MiNT Flash Bar 2

A Principal Polaroid SX-70 Accessory

4 min read by
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I love my Polaroid SX-70. It brought me tons of joy over the years and more prints than I could ever hope to get with any other film type. But this unmodified film camera comes with a slow shutter, slow film, and slow lens, making it difficult to shoot in all but perfect light conditions.

MiNT Flash Bar 2 helps fix some of these drawbacks.

SX-70 shots taken with flash can look a little eery. Due to its larger aperture than that of most other Polaroids, the background falloff can be quite aggressive in really dark environments, though the points of interest are usually very crisp. Some of the sharpest photos I ever took with my SX-70 were made with MiNT Flash Bar 2.

Created by the same company that made its name modifying old SX-70 cameras with manual controls, MiNT Flash Bar 2 is a modern take on the disposable bulbs still available as new old stock.

Fitting the flash on top of the camera and powering it on is easy, though it does come with a few extra features that make it particularly valuable: colour filters and power modes.

Light bulbs that burn out after one use are bad news for the environment. MiNT Flash Bar 2 makes shooting instant film a little cleaner by reducing such waste.

Together with two rechargeable batteries, it’s been serving me for two years producing no trash whatsoever — I’ve even kept the box it came in; it’s a great piece of packaging.

MiNT Flash Bar 2 colour filters.

The flash bar comes with two colour filters: hot pink and lime green. They are fun to use on certain occasions though I would recommend changing your exposure control of your SX-70 by 1-2 notches towards the bright side when using flash. Especially with the pink filter as it tends to cut a lot of light.

The filters are cleverly engineered to snap via built-in magnets. You could even stack them to create an orange filter. In which case, you should definitely compensate your camera’s exposure settings.

My MiNT Flash pink filter is quite aggressive, though it could be lovely for some ideas. Here I took a picture of a chocolate soufflé in a red ramekin on a white table.
My MiNT Flash green filter happened to make this indoor-lit scene look only more natural.

Shoot Polaroid 600 film with SX-70.

My favourite feature of this flash bar is its ability to precisely cut its output to match Polaroid 600 film sensitivity. A small switch at the back that indicates half-power is what you want to shoot the higher-ISO emulsions.

600 round frame film. Shot with unmodified SX-70 and MiNT Flash Bar 2.

While I’m immensely grateful to be able to still buy fresh film for my SX-70 camera, I often find myself throwing jealous glances towards the expansive aisles of the cool 600 frames. Duotones, decorated borders, and even round frames — only available for 600-series cameras.

Having MiNT modify my SX-70 may cost about $1,000. Other solutions, such that range from installing an ND filter to modifying the camera on my own aren’t always convenient. But MiNT flash is very convenient for the task.

Having used MiNT Flash for over two years, I struggle to find anything negative to say about this product. It’s made by a Hong Kong manufacturer who truly cares about film. A quality, versatile product.

By the way: Please consider making your MiNT Flash Bar purchase using this link  so that this website may get a small percentage of that sale — at no extra charge for you — thanks!