No. 474

The Camera Museum: Polaroid SX-70 Sonar Blue Button Special Edition

Patrick Tobin, | Jun 23, 12:05 PM

As many consumers had difficulty focusing with their original SX-70s, Polaroid released an autofocus model of their folding SX-70 in 1978. The SX-70 Time Zero Auto-Focus utilized a new and very advanced sonar technology. When the shutter button is pressed halfway, a series of ultrasonic chirps is emitted from an electrostatic transducer located under a plate over the lens. These chirps travel to the subject and bounce back to the camera’s receiver, alerting the camera to the subject’s distance, and the lens is turned on a motor to focus accordingly.

The Polaroid SX-70 Time Zero Auto-Focus features a 4-element 116mm glass lens, manual or autofocus capabilities, with a minimum focal length of 10.4 inches, electronic shutter, programmed automatic exposure and a socket for flashbars or electronic flashes. Another nice feature is a socket for an electrically-actuated remote shutter release.

This particular model sports a delightful blue button, which Polaroid used to designate Special Editions.

The SX-70 Time Zero Auto-Focus works with all of Impossible’s SX-70 films, which can be purchased HERE

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  1. Shouldn’t “a minimum focal length of 10.4 inches” be minimum focus distance of 10.4 inchs. This isn’t a zoom lens. It has a fixed focal LENGTH of 116 mm.

    said SillyBoy | 1557 days ago