Top Five Reasons To Buy A Polaroid Spectra Camera

Polaroid Spectra System Camera

Okay so I am writing this article solely based on my own experiences with the Spectra System Camera. In my opinion I think that it is the best choice if you are in the market for a moderately priced Polaroid. I don’t think that is can compete with Polaroid SLR cameras, but I think it is a close second choice. If you only want to spend about 30 bucks then the Spectra System is the best bang for your buck.

Now the specific cameras I am talking about are the Spectra System, Spectra AF, Spectra SE and the Spectra QPS. All these cameras are essentially the same camera in different colors and subtle shape changes. I would not put the Spectra 2, Spectra 1200i or the Spectra 1200FF in the same category, as they are lacking many features that are in the above mentioned cameras.

So in no particular order, below are my top 5 reasons for purchasing a Polaroid Spectra System camera.

1. Reason One – Built in Flash

Polaroid Spectra SE

I know. I know. Many other Polaroid cameras also come with a built in flash, but then again many of them do not. With the Spectra System you don’t have the need to go searching for a dwindling supply of flash bars or have to carry a bulky electronic flash. The Spectra also gives you the option to turn off the flash if you want to. This is great if you want to take photos through windows or if you want to have a longer exposure. So go out there and take some crazy long nightscape polaroids.

2. Reason Two – Taking Double Exposures

Thanks to the timer feature on the Spectra System you can work yourself some magic and take some double exposures on instant film. I’m in the works on writing an entire blog on the art of making double exposures so stay tuned. It’s a great trick and you don’t have to take the double image right away, giving you the freedom to frame the perfect shot.
Spectra Double Exposure


3. Reason Three – Wide Format Film

I love the wider format film that the Spectra series takes. It gives the film a little more of a cinematic feel and allows you the ability to cram a little more detail into your photos. Many people that are new to instant photography migrate to the new Fujifilm Instax cameras. Those are fun, but they give you a tiny photo the size of a credit card. The Spectra Images on the other hand are a much better size and are big enough to frame, if you are so inclined. Taken with Spectra 2 in Cape CodThe size of the film compared to SX-70 / 600 can be compared below (as least math wise).


Film Size : 4 x 4.1″ / 10.2 x 10.3 cm  Image Size : 3.5 x 2.9″ / 9.0 x 7.3 cm


Film Size : 3.5 x 4.2′ / 8.8 x 10.7 cm  Image Size : 3.1 x 3.1″ / 7.9 x 7.9 cm


4. Reason Four – Let me Take a Selfie

Okay so this may not be everyone’s reason to want to run out and buy a Spectra System camera, but sometimes a girl can’t help herself. I find that this camera gives me the best and simplest selfie results. I think that an Sonar SX-70 SLR may give just as good results, but it being much more expensive it’s not in the same category.

If you have an extra long reach (like I do) you can get some pretty decent selfies. You could also take it one step further and put your Spectra on top of a mantle (or tripod if you are fancy that way) and activate the 10 second timer function. That way you can take some hands free photos without the help of anybody ;0

Spectra System Selfie


5. Reason Five – Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

The Spectra System is a great camera on its own, but man does it have some great extra add ons.  The first of which is a Close-Up Lens. Want to take awesome micro photos of some flowers? The Spectra can do that with a little help.  There are two kinds that I know of. One measures the distance with a little kind of tape measure that you pull out and the other uses two little lights that when they come together means your pic will be in focus. You can find my review of the Polaroid F112 Spectra Close-Up Lens HERE.

Spectra / Image Close-Up Lens

There are also two sets of lens/filters for the Spectra. Each set come with a lens holder and 5 different filters to try. They range from colored filters, image splitters and effects. These are great to carry around and they come in a small light weight case. I will also be posting a blog on these filters soon!

Polaroid Spectra Lens Kit

The types of photos that the lens take are really fun. The results are unexpected and sometimes seem very manufactured 🙂  Check out my fast moving bike…in my apartment.

Spectra Filter

So remember that I mentioned selfies as one of the reason to get this camera? So there is another accessory that makes this even better. There is a shutter remote that can be used for even more posing fun. It only works with the Spectra System though as it needs to have a little connector in the back of the camera for it to function. It uses infrared technology and works only about 10 ft from the camera. But who cares because who wants to see you from any further than that 😉

Spectra Remote Shutter

If you are interested in any of these accessories you can find many of them in my Etsy Shop. 

So there you have it. My so called top 5 reasons to get yourself a Polaroid Spectra System camera. One of my personal favs. If you have any interest in getting one yourself you can find them in my Etsy shop at the link below.

Forgotten Charm Etsy Shop for Lonely Spectra Cameras




  1. Nicholas Zimmerman January 30, 2018

    Which is the better, Spectra System, Spectra AF, Spectra SE and the Spectra QPS? TY in advance.

    • Adriana February 26, 2018

      They are all basically the same camera, but made with different colors. If you really want to choose I would go with one that is entirely plastic so that you don’t run the risk of having the soft nylon material deteriorate. This is the case with some Spectra Systems.

  2. Amy Powell January 4, 2018

    Can I sell you a Polaroid Spectra SE?

    • Adriana February 26, 2018

      I generally do not buy directly from people as I try to source them very cheap to make a profit on them.

  3. Amelia December 16, 2016

    I got this camera as a gift, I was wondering what Brand or kind of Cartridge film should I buy? Wich one do you use?

  4. RobotOfTheDay December 12, 2016

    Hello, I finally managed to get a Spectra System (so-called “full switch”) and have also found a set of special effect filters! I’ve only shot one pack of film so far- actually only half a pack since the camera ruined 4 photos!

    The photos all eject somewhat slowly/reluctantly from my camera. The camera itself appears to be in very good condition with few signs of wear. I’m currently experimenting with a second pack of film with the “light curtain” removed (the little black plastic strip in each pack to help prevent light leaks) and I’m not sure that has improved film ejection all that much.

    All my 600-type camera eject the film with much gusto!

    What has been your experience with the Spectra?


    • Adriana December 13, 2016

      I’m glad you were able to find a camera. I find that them main reason for photos being ejected really slowly is because there is not much juice left in the film cartridge. It caused it to be very sluggish. The other is that sometimes the rollers have become to tight and is restricting the photos from coming out correctly. I generally roll many photos into the rollers and leave it overnight to loosen it up. Hope this helps.


      • RobotOfTheDay January 7, 2017

        I’m using new, unexpired film carts from Impossible so I don’t think the battery is the culprit. I’ll give your “spreading the rollers” trick a try. Thanks so much for the advice. Cheers!

  5. Dani Elsner December 6, 2016

    Cool! The Spectra is on my christmas wishlist! 🙂

  6. RobotOfTheDay October 24, 2016

    Yes! I am currently hunting down a moderately priced Spectra SE or the like (with ALL the options). A couple have gotten away from me on Ebay. Boo! I currently have three 600-type cameras: “Cool Cam” One-Step Express, and a one600 (I LOVE the folding feature and how “portable” it is!)

    I’ve enjoyed photography for a long time (Canon T-90, AE-1, and FTql) but have only just recently gravitated to instant via Polaroid. The output (one at a time) is my speed and I love the “surprise” nature of the images.

    I enjoyed reading why I need NEED a Spectra. And I didn’t know about the filters! Thanks!

    • Adriana October 25, 2016

      I’m glad you got were able to learn something from my blog 🙂 Thanks for reading!!


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