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Polaroid SX-70 Sonar One Step - 1978
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• First autofocus SLR

• $249.95 in 1978 ($836 in 2010 dollars)

The Polaroid SX-70 was an SLR, perhaps even the world's first folding SLR, so when Polaroid added sonar autofocusing to it, it became the first autofocusing SLR. I don't have any film for mine, and the battery was in the film pack, so I can't try it out, but after I made some ill-informed disparaging remarks on my website about its autofocus, Jeff McCrum sent me an email with these comments:

"... a few things should be set straight about the autofocus: It's great and it's silent. Monochromatic white walls, bright sunny days, dark moonlit nights, nothing stops it from working. Except glass. Glass is it's major enemy, but thankfully a flick of the switch and you're able to manually focus. As long as your subject is center frame however, you're set. Just like any autofocus you can just center and recompose, there are two levels for the button like other SLRs. There is no audible chirp either, it is silent and quicker than one would imagine."

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar One StepAd from New York Magazine, 30-April-1979Article from Popular Science, July 1978Review from Modern Photography, Dec. 1980

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