SX-70 conversion filter for using 600 film from Polaroid Japan

The filter is available from Tsepo, who sent me one for a review.

Its package is small enough to fit into a standard envelope.
It looks like this:

It is a circular two stop neutral density filter made of plastic film with a diameter of 25 mm matching the SX-70 lens with a black trim on one side and a self adhesive ring on the other side.


Remove the protective from the adhesive and stick the filter to the front element of the lens.

To load 600 film you have to slide a piece of cardboard (i.e.from the film package) under the film pack while you insert it to disable the latch that stops 600 cartridges - see illustrations in the japanese manual (top).

The filter is very thin and does not interfere with the lens movements or with the folding mechanism of the camera.
It covers the distance scale that is printed on the front element of some later SX-70 models.

I have not yet tried to remove the filter and mount it again.
The filter darkens the viewfinder image (guess) by two stops which makes it feel like wearing sunglasses.
This makes focusing somewhat difficult.

Focusing is still relatively easy with the SX-70s equipped with split image rangefinders.
I tried mine with a Sonar which does the focusing by ultrasound.

Test Shots

Ambient light

This picture was taken with no brightness correction


Test shots were taken with a Sylvania flashbar.
The left picture was taken with neutral L/D setting.
It is a bit overexposed but this also occurs with SX-70 film with close-ups if no flash diffuser os used.
The right picture was taken with the L/D set to the second marker towards "darken".

It is slightly underexposed so only a slight correction would be necessary for close-ups with flash


The stick-on filter is an easy way to convert the SX-70 for 600 film without messing with the electronics or optics.
Exposure is compensated correctly for both flash and ambient light.

It allows you to continue using your SX-70 until POLAROID decides to kill 600 film too.
They still sell new cameras that use 600 film but I don't believe that we have another 20 years to go.

The plastic foil filter is of acceptable optical quality but you have to be very careful not to scratch it.
Cleaning it with a cloth is probably enough to scratch it.

If you have access to high quality filter material you can probably make such a filter for yourself.

A coated glass filter would provide better optical quality and be scratch resistant but may be too thick to be left on the lens.

I can recommend the filter method to anyone with a split image circle or Sonar SX-70.

Polaroid should pack those filters into each 600 film pack so they can be replaced before they get scratched.