Making a Simple Shutter Release Button for the Polaroid SX-70

You don't need to speed $50 USD on Ebay for a vintage external shutter release when all you need is some wire and a button.

My custom shutter release for SX-70 ready to use.
Justin Ribeiro

Back towards the middle-ish of the what I though was going to the pandemic, I wrote a project I was undertaking in the midst of quarantine called Pandemic on Polaroid over at EMULSIVE. I wrote about the technical details about as well as an side, and have just kept shooting packs of film as the pandemic has continued.

And shooting. And more pandemic. And shooting. And social unrest. And so on until the end of time. At least it feels like it at this point.

As such I decided I was going to build a new rig for my late grandfather’s SX-70 to give myself some features as I continue on the project. To start, I wanted an external shutter release on a new custom made grip I’m working on. That said, vintage external shutter releases for the SX-70 aren’t exactly hard to find, but they’re not inexpensive (around $50 USD).

We are however in luck, as the only thing you need is some 14 gauge solid copper wire and a button. Shape said copper leads to engage with the two pronged outlet on the side of the SX-70, solder in your button and that’s it. No fancy hacking required, no camera modification needed.

The uncomplicated shutter release sits in my hand after soldering.
Justin Ribeiro

In this case, I grabbed some spare ROMEX and a red demo button that came with and old kids toy and in about five minutes, had a working shutter release. In the video below, you can see it working flawlessly without issue.

Now on to the rest of my SX-70 rig building, of which I’m sure I’ll write an installment on in the coming weeks.