civilized ku # 5133 / the new snapshot # 183 ~ relics

one way or the other ~ Ogdensburg, NY (embiggenable) • iPhone

2 cameras sitting idle ~ Au Sable Forks, NY (embiggenable) • µ4/3

8x10 Arca Swiss and Polaroid SX70. 2 cameras I used to use a lot. And, 2 cameras I really miss using.

I actually have 4 SX70s all of which I purchased at flea markets for ridiculously little money. I have bins, not boxes, filled with Time Zero prints. The Polaroid camera(s) were the pinnacle of instant joy, picture making wise and I must confess, the iPhone is giving it a run for the money, instant joy wise. That written, I miss using the SX70s.

The 8x10 Acra Swiss view camera has been with me for 40+ years. It was a commercial workhorse, especially for my food photography work. Although, long about 1979 I fell under the spell of the work by Joel Meyerwitz, Stephen Shore and a handful of other pictures makers who used 8x10 view cameras and color negative film. So, I took to the streets (and the Adirondack mountains) with a wood 8x10 Deardorf camera and 10 8x10 film holders (20 shots) loaded with Kodak 8x10 Type L color negative film.

In today's world each film holder + 2 sheets of film = $270.00 - that's $240.00 for a film holder + $18.00 per sheet of film - not including processing cost. At any given time I was walking about with $2,700.00 (today's market value) of film related stuff. And, FYI, the current cost of an Arca Swiss 8x10 Classic view camera is in the $7,000.00 range.

All of that written, with the cost of approximately $38.00 per 8x10 sheet of film (including processing/contact) and the cost of the new instant film for the SX70 at approximately $2.50 per print, both cameras seem destined to be nostalgic paper weights.