the sx-70 arrived yesterday and after a frustrating (and expensive) struggle with the pack filters i finally got it working today. the filters slide on top of a 600 film pack, meaning you don't have to mess with the elecronic eye (so can easily go back to sx-70 film - of which i have a very small stash) or put filters over the lens (with manual focus and no rangefinder circle i need to be able to see out!). mine came as a freebie with the camera - otherwise i'd prolly have bought some blend film and re-used the filter from that.

turned out to be a pretty expensive freebie though when it managed to trash all but the above single shot of my first film by jamming the camera in various weird and wonderful ways. for anyone interested in using this type of filter who wants to save a lot of grief a) make sure it doesn't stick too far out the front - trim to fit if necessary and b) tape it in along the back of the film pack to hold it snug.

anyway, after sorting that one out i've been putting the camera through its paces and loving it. it turns out that available light indoor portraits aren't exactly its forte, which was hardly a great shocker, although personally i feel the pretty muted colours make up for a multitude of "technical" shortcomings :D

this supported still life gave a much better result even without a remote shutter release, and it demonstrates the sharpness of the lens (and the shortcomings in my focusing, you can see i've focused a fraction behind the back of the cup that i was aiming for - the sliver of handle's caught it instead). it also shows how shallow the depth of field is, which i think is what really marked out the sx-70 pictures i'd previously seen as so delicious. i've heard discussion of shallow dof as being "dreamlike" because in reality we refocus at all distances continuously, so it's an "unreal" kind of perception. i have to say as someone who's rather shortsighted and rarely wears her glasses, it's a damn fine representation of reality as far as i'm concerned. i think that's why i like photographic blur in all its forms, no wonder i'm a pola-fan :D

it's not all fuzz though, i was pretty impressed with the sharpness of this spiky pic, and while i was hoping for some exciting blues i'm really liking these greens too. i did take a blue sky pic but haven't scanned it in yet. getting the scans to match the pix is turning out to be quite a challenge. in particular i need to find some kind of guide to colour correction - i can't seem to work out in any less-than-random way whether it's red, green or blue that needs adjusting in any given shot. i'm actually really happy with the ones i have so far, which are mostly just tweaked in levels and colour balance, but i'd like to speed the process up a bit.

update: well i'll admit i'm hardly the photoshop expert but i'm quite embarassed to find i've managed to overlook variations for so many years. guess i never made it quite that far down the menu. entirely visual/instinctive colour correction, just a shame that it can't be applied as an adjustment layer, but should be a good way to start getting to grips with colour casts. found via this photoshop tutorial.

and at the risk of ruining the magic here's a head-to-head between pola and nikon. i was surprised at how subtle the differences actually are.