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Polaroid SX-70

Even though the Polaroid instant process was developed already in the late 30ies and the first Land Camera was introduced in 1948, it wasn’t until the SX-70 arrived in 1972 that instant photography really took off. The Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera was (and still is) not only a beautiful camera, it was also the first SLR-type camera to use instant film. And back in the day, the film it used was kind of revolutionary, as it developed all by itself.

In fact, the SX-70 film was the precursor to many modern types of instant film. Now, wouldn’t it be great if we could go back in time and witness how this then-revolutionary camera was being used for the first time? Thanks to LIFE photographer Co Rentmeester, we actually can. LIFE has just publishes a gallery of images that Rentmeester took with the camera while preparing an article on its creator Edwin Land in 1972–before the camera was actually available on the market.

So the pictures you see in the LIFE gallery were actually some of the first taken with the camera, before it became popular and “helped to define the early Seventies” as LIFE puts it. Despite their obvious age, apparent in the various patterns of cracks that many of them are covered with, the pictures still preserve a beautiful range of colors and tonality, which is pretty amazing of over 40-year-old instant photos.

Today, the SX-70 is seeing a renaissance thanks to the folks over at the Impossible Project, who have made SX-70 film available again. If you’d like to own one, be prepared to pay ridiculous prices for a fully working model. But then again, you’re buying a piece of photography history.

Via boing boing via /r/photography

Lubitel-1

The Lubitel is a very old TLR camera that is still made today in a different fashion by Lomography. The camera shot 120 film but there were tinkerers that made it into a Polaroid shooting machine. Photographer Ed Cole posted on Reddit about unearthing his father’s old hacked Lubitel. He asked George Cole, his father, if he had any photos available from when the camera was still brand new. Unfortunately, George stated that he doesn’t have anything. And while Ed tried to run some film through it, it wasn’t very much of a success due to the fact that the Polaroid used the old 88 film. Not even the Impossible Project makes that stuff anymore.

Still, it’s a very cool and notable find. More photos are after the jump.

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Canon A-1

There are tons of old film cameras that folks still love and use. Many of these cameras lasted for years in the market and some even lasted until very recently. And while lots of cameras may be in the memory of photographers, here are some that we really miss.

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Lomography Belair Instant Back

For many medium and large format cameras, it is common to equip them with an instant photo back so you can take test exposures. This is especially true for those models that don’t come with a light meter, or when you’re doing professional work or your film sheets cost a small fortune. Even though the Lomography Belair X 6-12 is neither a pro camera, nor especially expensive to run, you can now equip it with an instant film back that lets you expose Fujifilm Instax Wide film.

Lomography being the prime supplier of photography hipsters, it was only a matter of time really until they would come up with something like this. But in the end, Lomo cameras are all about the fun of it, and we’re pretty sure the new instant back for the Belair will provide loads of it. Especially at parties, when you equip the camera with the wonderful little Diana Flash and some color gels.

For the more experienced of us, this may all sound a tad familiar. The camera already looks like many of Polaroid collapsible Land cameras–many of which were totally automatic with the exception of the 185, 190 and a couple of others. Granted, there are many more ISO settings on the Belair and the rangefinder also isn’t coupled. Instead, it’s more like a viewfinder.

Now, the Belair all by itself already isn’t quite a small camera. With the instant back added, it becomes even more of a beast, as it adds quite a bit of additional bulk to the camera. But if you don’t mind the extra size, we’re certain the instant back will add quite a bit of extra fun to your Belair experience. It can be yours for US-$ 89.

Additional product shots and sample images courtesy of Lomograpgy after the break. Also, there’s a video.

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Picture courtesy of DigitalCamera.jp

Picture courtesy of DigitalCamera.jp

At CES 2014, one of the less exciting items we found were these Kodak-branded lens-camera devices that seem to mimic the Sony QX cameras. But apparently, JK Imaging wasn’t the only company that wanted a piece of the smartphone add-on camera cake. Photo Rumors now reports of the Vivitar IU680, another lens-camera smartphone add-on, but this one is admittedly a bit different.

In fact, we think the Vivitar IU680 looks like the bastard child of a Ricoh GXR and a Sony QX camera … it’s a lens-camera add-on that works with your smartphone or tablet, but just like the Ricoh GXR, it features interchangeable lens+sensor modules. Most strikingly though, these lens+sensor modules look remarkably similar to those that are used on Sakar’s Polaroid-branded Android-powered system cameras

While we have to give it to Vivitar that they came up with a slightly different version of Sony’s QX camera, it is till just that: a slightly different version of Sony’s QX camera. And we keep up the sentiment that the Kodak and Polaroid brands are being used for all kinds of less-than-mediocre stuff that puts the names of these two once so dominant and influential companies to shame.

There’s no word yet on either pricing or availability of the Vivitar IU680.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer CES 2014 Panasonic 42.5mm f1.2 first impressions (4 of 9)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 1.6

Now that CES 2014 is over, it’s time to take a look back at all the things that have been announced during the show. During our time in Vegas, we had the opportunity to take a closer look at some of the announcements: the Nikon D4S, the Panasonic/Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 lens, the new Nikon D3300 … and more. Here’s our recap of all the hot stuff presented at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

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