Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special  –  Vintage Camera

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (three quarters)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (three quarters)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (three quarters)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (three quarters)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (front view)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (front view)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (rear view)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (rear view)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (three quarters)Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (three quarters)Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (front view)Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (rear view)Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special Specifications

Manufacturer: Polaroid Corporation for
  Sears, Roebuck and Co.
   
Country of Origin: USA
   
Made in: USA
   
Introduced: 1977
   
Camera Type: Viewfinder
   
Format: Instant Film (Polaroid SX-70)
   
Dimensions (cm): 10.8 x 9.5 x 14

Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special Review

The Polaroid Pronto! Sears Special was sold exclusively at Sears department stores and is a variant of the Pronto!, Polaroid’s first non-folding Land Camera to use SX-70 instant film. Polaroid’s earlier instant films required users to peel the negative away from the print which, unfortunately, caused many photogenic locations to become littered with discarded negatives, much to the chagrin of Polaroid founder Edwin Land. Land addressed this concern by developing SX-70 film, which did not use separate negatives and therefore produced no excess waste with each exposure.

The Pronto!’s viewfinder is surprisingly bright and is used in conjunction with a Polatriplet 116mm f/9.4 lens that has a minimum focus distance of three feet and boasts a single coating as well as color correction. The shutter is activated by the bright red button and exposure can be controlled by rotating the knob directly underneath the viewfinder. Flashbars—disposable bars that contain five single-use flash bulbs on each side—can be used if additional lightning is required and are attached via a slot just behind the lens. Turn the Pronto! around and you’ll find a small, recessed frame counter on the opposite side of the viewfinder as well as an accessory socket between the strap eyelets.

The original retail price for the Pronto! was $66 (about $250 in today’s money) but I found a newspaper advertisement from 1978 that listed the Sears Special for only $39.99 (about $140, priced to compete with the Kodak Colorburst, perhaps?). I obviously paid nowhere close to that, having found the camera, original manual, and three (used) flashbars in a bespoke carrying case at a local thrift store for only 99 cents.

References:

“Polaroid Land Camera 3000,” Camera Wiki, http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Polaroid_Land_Camera_3000

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