Using our Polaroid Spectra ImagePro

Hey everyone!

This week we decided to kick back, relax and share with our readers some of our favourite photos taken with our Polaroid Spectra ImagePro! You may have seen some of them on our Instagram, but here, we also detail the work that goes into these Polaroids!

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Click here to view other varieties of Polaroid Spectra camera and the specifications.

The Polaroid Spectra camera series was introduced in the late 1980s, and it is famously made known by many movies filmed then (like Johnny Depp as shown below):

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What convinced us to get a Polaroid Spectra are mainly based on:

  • the advanced functions of the camera (such as multiple exposure/self-timer etc), which go beyond ‘automatic’ functions;
  • the improved quality of the Polaroids that the Polaroid Spectra captures; and
  • the ability to override pre-set functions manually.

We started hunting around second hand online shops and eventually decided on the Polaroid ImagePro (the UK version of American Polaroid Spectra Pro)! The Polaroid ImagePro was well suited to us Singaporeans as the focus measurements are the metric system (whew)! Our Polaroid Spectra was purchased from Polawalk (do check them out!); upon its speedy arrival, we were surprised to find a frog tongue built into the Polaroid Spectra. The guys  at Polawalk were friendly and also assisted us with any issues we had!

How It Works!

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Sandra using the Polaroid Spectra ImagePro!

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(1) Autofocus & manual focus systems –  Here, we set our camera with autofocus and it automatically focused on the chair! This would have been an amazing photo (the depth-of-field looks amazing) – do note that the closest focusing is about 0.6 metres.

(2) Flash – Perfect for our night shots. The camera automatically starts up in auto-flash mode. The user may also manually shut off the flash for photography in natural sunlight. This camera also has a ‘backlighting’ function. The Polaroid Spectra is programmed to fire enough flash to focus on the subject in front.

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(3) Self-timer – perfect for timed-selfies & light painting! Here, we placed the Polaroid Spectra onto a steady shelf as our makeshift tripod, positioned the camera towards our coloured torchlight and adjusted the self-timer to about 10 seconds – voila!

(4) Exposure adjustment control – perfect for the great outdoors! Here, we reduced the exposure to darken the photo.

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(5) Programmable and manual timed exposures – This function is THE setting for long exposures, to take fireworks, city skylines, and/or light paintings! Our photo above has also been featured by Snapitseeit.com 🙂 What an honour!

(6) Self-timers and variable sequential pictures – the Polaroid Spectra allows the user to take a series of pictures at various time with the option of pre-setting intervals! This is perfect when shooting a sporting event, or for someone who is jumping into a swimming pool! Here, we attempted to use this function to take moving pictures on the go while walking through Bras Bersah Complex. Somehow our subsequent Polaroid did not eject out… which is an issue addressed below.

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Last and definitely not least, (7) Multiple Exposures – With this feature, a user can take up to 5 exposures on the same piece of film. Here, our first double exposure was a test shot taken along Orchard Road; we really loved this!

Problems:

Damian w Polaroid Spectra (Deon's camera)
Film jam! (Photo credits to our friend Deon, taken with his Sony a7-11, Voiglander 40mm f1.4 lens)

Although the Polaroid Spectra was working fine when we bought it, overtime we realised that our films were not ejecting out smoothly. Quite often, the Polaroid would be stuck halfway- and as a result, we wasted no small amount of Polaroids. Again, we were not surprised that it was happening (any old camera deserves good maintenance), but its increasing frequency was perplexing. After a talk with our friendly helpers at Polawalk and further experience gained from using the Polaroid Spectra, these are the tips to troubleshoot the Polaroid Spectra:

  1. CLEAN YOUR ROLLERS before using the camera (we can’t stress this enough).
  2. Check the expiry date of the film pack- clearly, an older film pack will not process as smoothly as the newer Impossible Project film.
  3. Keep film in fridge – in the humid island of Singapore, do not remove the film from the fridge and immediately use it out of the hot sun, as the film is likely to retain water from the sudden temperature change. Generally, do not transfer the film pack throughout extreme temperature/humidity changes.
  4. Read the camera manual – sometimes reading the instructions helps to fully utilise the camera functions AND solve problems which are addressed in the manual.
  5. Push our the dark slide before loading the film pack – not too much (to avoid light leakage); move it slightly so as for the rollers to ‘detect’ the dark slide and prompt its ejection.
  6. Press down and hold the shutter – so as to process the full development of the Polaroid that is ejecting.

We hope these tips help! Do comment here below if you have any more tips to add! 🙂

Sandra w Polaroid Spectra (Deon's camera)
Polaroid Spectra now working like a pro! (Photo credits to our friend Deon using the same Sony a7-11).

Polaroid Gallery

Lastly, here are more of our favourite Polaroids taken with the Polaroid Spectra (various films used: Softtone Paul Giambarba Edition and Impossible Project). Can you guess which function we took them with?

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Another featured Polaroid, by Instagram user @retrospekt_! Thank you!

Click here for our mini gallery of the photos we have taken with our Polaroid Spectra. We hope this entry inspires you to pick up/purchase your own Polaroid Spectra camera and start using it!

Till next time,

Damianwithsandra

NOTE: We have been updating our “Cameras We Use” page and uploading our best Polaroid photos we have taken! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @damianwithsandra for more 🙂

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