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Vintage Refurbished [ℹ]

Polaroid SX-70 Alpha Prototype Sonar Chrome Folding Instant Film Camera

Sale price$ 599 Regular price$ 799
+ Free ShippingThis product ships free within the contiguous US.

This pre-production SX-70 Sonar Autofocus camera features a chrome body and black leather. True to the series, this camera has strap lugs and a tripod mount. Being pre-production, some features are in prototype forms - the camera is even badged as an "Alpha 1"! The plastic for the Sonar upper cover is untextured, which is common for pre-production models as the engineers work out the tooling for injection molding. Subsequently, the geometry of the sonar housing differs from the final production version, most notably in the lack of ridges surrounding the gold sonar and the mounting method of the MF/AF switch. 

This vintage Polaroid SX-70 instant camera is an unusual camera and is part of the collection from a former Polaroid employee. Carefully stored for decades in Boston, these cameras and other paraphernalia eventually made their way to Retrospekt. We are slowly releasing bits and pieces from this incredible collection, much of which is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to own pieces we've never seen before.

Please note, this camera's MF/AF switch is broken and, being of non-standard design, could not be replaced or repaired.

This is a genuine piece of vintage retro tech - refurbished and restored by Retrospekt. We have brought the internals of this camera to a working condition, but we have left the cosmetic nature of this camera original. The leather has been replaced.

Brand Polaroid
Color Chrome with black leather

Polaroid SX-70 instant film
(sold separately) [shop]

Film Size Image 3.1 x 3.1 in
Image with border 4.2 x 3.5 in
Lens 116mm f/8
Focus Sonar AutoFocus, 10.4" - Infinity
Viewfinder Single lens reflex (SLR)
Exposure Control Automatic, with manual +/- 1EV lighten/darken wheel
Shutter Release Electronic, automatic shutter speeds of 1/175 to 14 seconds
Flash External flash bar socket
(Flash bar sold separately)
Battery Built into film cartridge


Yes No
Freshly repackaged X
Built in flash X
Flash socket X
Tripod mount X
Strap lugs X


Its beauty and technical capabilities are ageless, but to ensure it still works like the day it was first made, our team carefully refurbishes every camera by hand from the inside out. Each camera is deconstructed to its base components so its pieces can be checked, cleaned and serviced (or replaced if need be). This also includes a step unique to Retrospekt’s refurbishment process: using proprietary tools to internally recalibrate the shutter to expose true to the light/darken wheel so no compensation is needed in settings with normal lighting. The cameras are then reassembled with fresh, genuine leather covers and film tested to ensure they’re producing excellent exposures for another lifetime of use.

Authentic Vintage, Guaranteed to Work

This camera has experienced decades of life before finding its way to Retrospekt. As such, it will show some signs of past use and may vary ever so slightly from what is pictured. However, we are extremely picky about the condition of the cameras we restore and the parts we select for the repair process. The end result is an excellent vintage restoration that is guaranteed to work properly. Should any questions arise, we have a team of friendly people ready to help you.

This camera is covered by the Retrospekt Refurbished guarantee. [view our 90-day limited warranty]