Polaroid SX70. Won't eject film.

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by Justin P, May 3, 2015.

  1. Justin P

    Justin P Member

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    Hi all,

    Just purchased a Polaroid SX-70. Looks to be in good condition. I loaded brand new pack of film and the camera ejected the darkslide as expected. Then went take a photo and there is a nice shutter clicking noise and the camera appears to try and eject the first photo (you can hear the beginning of the whirry eject noise and see the rollers start to turn briefly, but the film does not eject. In fact, the film does not move at all.

    Then if you remove the pack and re-insert it (at this stage the camera thinks it is a new pack of film), the photo is ejected (the camera thinks it is the darkslide). Then the same thing happens again - go to take a photo, the shutter sounds good and it makes a whirry noise for half a second or so, but nothing ejects. At this stage the camera is "locked up" - can't see through viewfinder and can't take another photo. In fact there is something mechanical preventing you from fully closing the case (it won't latch into the flat position).

    Then if you remove and re-insert the film pack, the top photo is ejected and everything is reset. Then when you click the shutter release the same things happen again...

    Someone else has the same problem and has a youtube video of it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCS8U7oKkfY

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    First: stop wasting film! You can carefully re-insert the dark slide (or a wasted/developed film) so it ejects that again. Just need to make sure it's on the very top of the stack. Sometimes slightly moving the current sheet of film out of the pack just a bit helps re-insertion.

    Sounds like you have two problems but I'd check that the film picking lever is not bent. Does the film look like the picking lever is touching it in the corner where it grabs it to start the ejection process? Upper left if looking at the film pack from the open side.

    When the VF'er goes dark and you can't close it, the mirror is stuck up.
     
  3. OP
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    Justin P

    Justin P Member

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    So looked into this a little more closely. It would appear that the camera is getting to the stage where the shutter closes and the fresnel screen is in the "up" position. I am assuming that the brief whirring noise is actually the fresnel moving. I'm not sure whether the shutter actually opens (I don't think it does) but I'm pretty sure it isn't actually getting to the stage where it attempts to eject the film. Pick lever looks good BTW.

    When I open the front to remove the film pack the shutter is definitely open, but I think it is the action of opening the front that actually causes the shutter to open. From a quick read of a service manual I'm guessing that one of the switches may be failed (e.g. S3)?!
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Is the filmpack fresh or expired? Mine was fine with Impossible Project's pack when it was fresh, but I set it aside for a year or two then tried to use it. Similar issue happened. I think fairly certain their early batches (I think I got their second release run) ... the pods hardened to where the transport couldn't burst it.
     
  5. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Maybe that's not your problem.

    In my case, the shutter opens and shuts and the motor makes every effort to eject the photo... it just can't.
     
  6. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    Sorry that I can't offer a solution.

    I believe, but do not know for certain, that the ejection mechanism can be triggered two ways:

    1) When the camera detects a pack is inserted and the film door is closed (this is how the dark slide is ejected).

    2) When (as a result of making a photo) the mirror comes down (this causes a sheet of film to be ejected).

    In both cases, the ejection lever pushes the top item in the film pack far enough out for it to be grabbed by the rollers. In your case, it seems that either the mirror isn't coming down (*) or, if it is, that it's not being detected.

    I suspect the sound you hear is just the rollers and your mirror is still up - i.e. there was no activation of the ejection lever.

    Perhaps if you take the pack out, you may be able to see if or why the mirror is staying up, or may be able to see if there is a foreign object preventing the mirror-down triggering of the ejection mechanism.

    (*) Normally, when the camera is "at rest", the main mirror is down, flat over the film pack. Light entering the lens reflects off a mirror at the back of the camera, then down and off the back of the main mirror which is lying flat. From there, light is reflected upwards towards the tip of the viewfinder before finally being reflected out to make an aerial image. When the shutter is pressed, the main mirror lifts up, uncovering the film pack, and light from the lens now reflects off the front of the main mirror and down to the film.
     
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    Justin P

    Justin P Member

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    Fresh film. What appears to be happening:
    1. Insert pack
    2. Camera ejects darkslide
    3. I press shutter release
    4. Shutter closes
    5. Motor whirs / rollers rotate slightly and fresnel/mirror opens

    (and that's when it freezes)

    6. I open front
    7. Shutter opens (fresnel/mirror still up)
    8. Remove and reinsert pack
    9. Close front
    10. Camera resets (drops fresnel/mirror and I can see through the viewfinder again)
     
  8. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    Oh - interesting. So, if you pull the pack out, does it seem like the top film sheet was moved forward out of the pack - but no further because it couldn't get past the rollers?

    Maybe the Impossible packs just don't have the power of Polaroid's Polapulse battery? I'm using *eight* year old film in my SX-70, which ejects fine (but looks like crap).
     
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    Justin P

    Justin P Member

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    -> mirror isn't coming down

    -> It appears to be that the cycle just isn't completed. I think it is likely that there is a switch failure (I think it likely to be "S3" which should activate the exposure)
     
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    Justin P

    Justin P Member

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    -> Top sheet has not moved at all

    -> From what I've read Impossible batteries are very good. It's definitely not a battery problem

    Thanks.
     
  11. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Mine was well past their expiration date so I assume that the pod had hardened. Is the eight year old film Impossible Project's?

    Justin P, Can you tell if the shutter opens/closes? In the video it seems like the shutter never opens.
     
  12. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    My old film is Polaroid Time Zero.
     
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    Justin P

    Justin P Member

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    I do not believe the shutter opens.
     
  14. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    So maybe the mirror isn't going all the way up? Shutter won't trip unless mirror is fully up.

    The camera locks up in the fully extended position, right?
     
  15. OP
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    Justin P

    Justin P Member

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    The fresnel is indeed opening. As I mentioned, I think it is likely that there is a switch failure ("S3" which should activate the exposure / open the shutter) or the switch isn't being activated. And yes, the camera is locked in the open position.
     
  16. Eliot

    Eliot Member

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    I'm having the same problem with one of my SX-70s. When I take a shot, I can hear the mirror flip, and then the motor whirring. But after a few seconds of motor whirring sounds, nothing. I get a blacked-out viewfinder and no film ejection. The only way I've been able to reset it is by pulling out the film pack and reinserting it.

    Are there any pictures floating around the web that show where the lever that pushes the film out is located? I'd like to compare with mine to see if something is bent or out of place.
     
  17. Jan Ruzicka

    Jan Ruzicka Member

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    Hello, I just purchased an older SX 70 and it show the same symptoms as Justin described. Anyone found a solution or cause of the problem?