WOLF DESIGN retro REVIEW. 11th November 2019
A retro review looks at products that are at least over ten years old from a present-day WOLF design perspective. While the technology and fashion of the period influence design, and are taken into consideration, great design ideas will transcend their eras to be timeless.
Interesting and factual information may be provided, but our review aims to deliver insight from the perspective of a designer’s mind and eyes.
Ahead of its time in design
As with most reviews the focus is on the design and its evolution within its industry. The functioning systems and picture quality are not necessarily considered.
The SX-70 is a folding single lens reflex Land camera produced by the Polaroid Corporation from 1972-1981.
Price and Availability.
With approx. 700,000 units sold there is always an SX-70 on the market. For the cult and iconic status that they have they are very affordable. Clean working condition units are between $100 and $200. MINT example do exist because cameras are normally well protected in cases and you can find them with accessories from $300 onwards.
There were many models and variations but we think the original aluminium with orange/brown leather is the one to go for. The SX-70 was flown aboard the Skylab space station in the early 1970s
First impression/ Delight
In our opinion this camera is an engineering marvel and a work of art. The materials and colours are just as futuristic as exquisite today as they must have been back in the seventies, but with the added coolness of now being “Retro”. It’s wonderful to look at, touch and even use.
Exterior Design Review
Exterior Design Review
The aluminium body has a very fine finish with perfectly polished round corners. It is seamlessly assembled with great attention to how it looks and feel when folded closed. The genuine leather panels are beautifully cut and applied such that there is no need for any stitching. It’s a really important element that not only adds character but makes this object very classy.
When closed the SX-70 gives no clues of how to open or that it even is a camera. It is streamline and simple. Designed a s beautiful object to hold or keep in your jacket packet.
These units were built to last and a well-cared for units will work just as well as they did when new. Cosmetically however they are rather fine and well used units will have obvious signs of age and use. The aluminium in particular is soft and vulnerable to scratches and dints. The genuine leather does mark and dry if neglected. The corners can also lift as they were only secured with glue.
The mechanics of this unit is clever, and how it opens smoothly and clicks shut crisply further affirms its quality build.
For the unfamiliar the hardest part about this camera is figuring out how to open it, which is more like a fun trick than a problem. Once opened the camera is fairly simple to use with minimal controls. One bright red button dominates the camera façade and screams “Press me!”. It’s an interesting reminder of how simple looking things are often in fact complex to create.
Desirability / Collectability and what to look for.
Most serious camera enthusiasts will have an SX-70 amongst their collection. It’s a great display and talking piece. We think it’s a must for any retro setting or someone with an appreciation for a design. Its affordable, fun and easy to use. It would be hard to find a designer out there who won’t find its good looks and build finish highly satisfying. We suggest finding the best one you can with as many accessories as possible. The matching case is particularly nice and serves its purpose well. We don’t know why its not worth a whole lot more but are confident that they will appreciate so find your mint specimen now!
WORD OF THE WOLF
While this is still an excellent camera, we think it’s worth enjoying purely for its design and clever mechanics. Just opening and closing it is a satisfying experience in itself. It is a very fine piece of camera history the exudes coolness.
The WOLF SX-70
The unit in this review was the second one ever owned in the WOLF Collection and is in immaculate condition. It has a good set of optional accessories and remains a well-respected.
WOLF DESIGN EXCELLENCE SCORE = 8.6
The information in this review is intended for informational or educational purposes to provide readers an understanding of how something may be seen from a certain design perspective. In this case it is from the view point of WOLF DESIGNS. As design is subjective this review should only be considered as an independent opinion. Information further to being of an opinion is provided to the best of our knowledge based on our own research at the time of doing the review. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies and reserve the right to change or update any content as appropriate.
The final responsibility of the design resides with the original manufacturer.