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Meet the evil twin of the Polaroid SX-70: the Polaroid SLR 680, a legend among the legends!

image from ricohmatic

It all started a year ago when I was looking around for a decent Polaroid camera to play around with. My friend actually got me interested in the famous SX-70 foldies, but at that point of time, the Time Zero films are already out of production and modifications have to be done to the SX-70 to shoot 600 films.

While I was researching on the internet about the SX-70s, i chance upon a website(can’t remember which already!) that introduced the SLR 680. What caught my eye is the similarities it has with the SX-70s and most importantly, it shoots 600 film natively! This would mean that I do not have to modify anything(and break anything) to shoot a Polaroid!

So i started hunting around for a decent SLR 680(or SLR 690) from my local used camera shops all the way to eBay! Well.. it took me 8 eBay auctions before I manage to get my hands on it. And thank goodness it works perfectly well(it was an AI-IS item).

The SLR 680 is similar to the SX-70 Sonar model, which featured a function sonar(the golden round thingy in the middle), which is capable of very accurately measure the distance between the Polaroid and the subject. (It probably only don’t work if u are cam-whoring yourself using a mirror). And the best part of the SLR 680 is, it has it’s own built-in flash, something that most SX-70 models do not have. The flash is pretty accurate as it will adjust the level of flash based on the distance that was read off the sonar, giving me a proper exposure for every shot.

My SLR 680 got me amazed by the types of shots that a Polaroid can produce. One of the effect that shocked me bad was the bokeh effect that it is capable of doing. I never knew that Polaroids can do it back then and when the shot came out, I was pretty amazed. It kinda made me love my SLR 680 more!

The other amazing effect that the SLR 680 can do, is a short 5 second long exposure. But for this effect, it’s more or less a love-hate relationship because the metering will not be really accurate and once in a while, if it’s too dark, i do get blanks or really underexposed shot.

There are quite a number of SLR 680 popping up in auctions and estate sales if you wish to get one but it is probably more uncommon than the SX-70, therefore, finding one might be a little harder as compared to the SX-70s. And it’s a pity that 600 films are also dead(for the time being). If not, it will probably be the best Polaroid(for me) that was ever made.

written by dotdotdot


  1. ananditya


    everyone loves polaroid, please somebody produce the film again...

    i think i've been to number 14, do you live in singapore?
    and number 15 is really nice
    great gallery!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. d_i_hunter


    Terrific gallery - love 15 and 22 in particular.

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  3. lomodirk


    Nice one ;)

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  4. stouf


    Gorgeous gallery ! Good job dotdotdot !

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  5. cinzinc


    this is one serious polaroid camera! great gallery + review!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  6. maddyoulook


    ahhh need one

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  7. noobits


    I have been shooting Polaroid for about 2 years now and am still in love with it. Glad to see new converts to the SX70 world.

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  8. tommynorth


    this is the camera i have got!!! its a really cool camera. nice review and cool shots

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  9. dotdotdot


    @anaditya: yap.. i'm from the sunny island of singapore!

    Thanks guys for the nice comments!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  10. lighttomysoul


    daaaaamn this camera looks so tasty and amazing!! I want it but it's soooooo expensive!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. vivie


    Your polas are wonderful!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam