No. 394

The Camera Museum: Polaroid SX-70 Sonar OneStep

Patrick Tobin, | Apr 28, 12:00 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 Sonar OneStep 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 Sonar OneStep 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.

The SX-70 Sonar OneStep works with all of Impossible’s SX-70 films, which can be purchased HERE

To purchase your own SX-70 Sonar OneStep Camera Kit, click HERE

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Comments:

  1. I’m in the market for a SX Alpha1 or SX 70 Sonar The camera club guy said the Sonar is better than the Alpha 1 which one is better please email back thank you Glenn

    said Glenn 3187 | 681 days ago
  2. What type of shutter does the SX-70 Sonar OneStep have? Im 3 shots into the first time using mine and there seems to be a light leek or shutter issue in the bottom 1/4 of the image. Thanks

    said mert | 695 days ago
  3. What type of shutter does the SX-70 Sonar OneStep have? Im 3 shots into the first time using mine and there seems to be a light leak or shutter issue in the bottom 1/4 of the image. Thanks

    said mert | 695 days ago
  4. hello,

    what is the difference between the “sonar” and “time zero” version of the same model?

    thank you!!

    said elizabeth | 926 days ago
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ394WwYgc0
    a short film i realize with sx 70 :)

    said pinto maia | 960 days ago
  6. I’ve got one as well, it was a good deal, I only have to glue the skin back to the camera’s body. As Jim Robertson says, mentioning the tripod socket is very important, actually in my opinion it is the most important feature on a SX-70 model, followed by the split-screen focus screen and then the sonar auto focus. This model doesn’t feature the split-screen, in my opinion it is always important because sometimes it’s better to focus manually, like when the subject is behind a glass or simply not centered. How does the remote shutter works?

    said Robin Bervini | 1577 days ago
  7. I got a deal on one of these through Ebay and while I don’t usually use the sonar focusing, this camera is easily the best functioning SX-70 I’ve ever owned. Another fav feature not mentioned in this article is the tripod socket. Love it!!!!!

    said Jim Robertson | 1579 days ago