POLAROID SUN 660 AF

DescriptionPolaroid Sun 660 Auto Focus
ManufacturersThe Polaroid Corporation
Time Period1981-
ComponentsCamera and original box
DetailsAperture f/14.6 – f/45
Sonar Auto Focus
Dimensions
LocationUCL Cabinet of Obsolete Media
Inventory nº

First released in 1981, the Polaroid Sun 660 AF corresponds to one of the first 600 integral film cameras made cheaply available by the Polaroid Corporation. Though it used the same integral film format that the SX-70, the ASA of the 600 box-type camera film was much higher (640) making it better for low light conditions. With a squared black body, a lighten/darken slide, and a foldable integrated flash that could be overridden if preferred, the Sun 660 stands out from other cameras of that time for incorporating the recently released Sonar Auto Focus system (grilled golden circle on the left of the camera), which according to an official Polaroid advertisement, “worked by sending out soundwaves that bounced off the subject and return in a split second; the lens automatically rotates to perfect focus.”

During the 1980s and 1990s the Polaroid Corporation released hundreds of variations of its 600 box-type cameras, many of them featuring brand collaborations (such as the widely known Spice Cam, McDonalds, Looney Tunes, etc.), which later rendered the Corporation to be judged by some as a gadget mass-consumer company, as opposed to the highly technological reputation they enjoyed before. Nonetheless, some of the 660 models contemplated a Pro line that included close-up lens attachments to be used in the dental field, and the highly sought after models 680 and 690, which on top of the sonar autofocus system encompassed a tilting flash, and a foldable body (similar to that of the SX-70).

In addition to the black variant, the Corporation released a golden Sun 660 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Polaroid Corporation (1987) and a transparent one for demonstration purposes. The three of them are available for purchase from second-hand sites, albeit the black version is easier to find. Film for the Sun 660 (and all other types of 600 box-type cameras) is readily available for purchase from Polaroid Originals.

A.L.

Bibliography:

Adam, Rhiannon. Polaroid. The Missing Manual. London: Thames & Hudson, 2017.