Week 56 – Polaroid One Step

On the heels of the success of the SX-70 instant camera, Polaroid needed a mass market offering. Folding SX-70’s were marvels of technology and beauty, but they cost an arm and a leg.

Enter the One Step.  Introduced in 1977, it was a simple rigid-bodied camera using the same integral film technology.  It featured a plastic fixed focus lens, electronic auto exposure, and a socket for a flash bar. Each flash bar featured 10 bulbs to match the 10 exposures in the film pack. The One Step was a snappy dresser, with a black body, white face, and 70’s rainbow accent. It would define the basic shape of a Polaroid for the rest of the company’s history.

One Step on a 600 – shot with the Polaroid Sun 660 Autofocus

Unlike most of my Polaroid collection, this one is a family heirloom. It was our family Polaroid when I was growing up, and my parents made me a gift of it for Christmas a year ago.  One Step cameras were shipped in a few custom badged versions; my BC Series indicates that it came from our local Kmart.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with Impossible Project film. I haven’t been able to achieve consistent results in the past, but their latest offering seems almost as good as original Polaroid. It took me a couple of shots to get the exposure adjustment dialed in, but I’m very happy with the results.

Beth and I took the One Step and my Spectra on a trip to Worcester this week. In use, it’s fun and simple. Point, click, picture. My only negative reaction is that like all non-folding Polaroids, it is a bit large and awkward to carry around. Fortunately it’s not very heavy and has a built-in neck strap. I love it, and it produced some of my best Impossible results to date.

Keep Out

Use Other Door

I’m not sure about the bomb, or why it’s pointed in the wrong direction.

No Trespassing



Polaroid 1000 (international version of the One Step) at Camera Wiki

One Step at the Land List

Manual (scroll down)


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