Spectra System

Instant film camera
Date of appearance: 1986 — 1999
Trademark: Polaroid


Polaroid introduced the Spectra system of cameras in 1986. It was an all-new line of cameras, and had a corresponding new film. Spectra film (called 'Image' outside of North America) is different from 600 integral film in that it has a different image format: a rectangular 9.2 x 7.3cm rather than 600 film's square format. Spectra film is otherwise identical to 600 film - ISO speed, development method and operation remain identical. The Spectra range of cameras also sport better lenses on average than the 600-film range, with most of the models utilising an arc-shaped range of focusing lenses inside the body that swing across the exterior lens element to provide correct focusing, rather than adjusting the distance between internal lens elements. Spectra cameras are thought to take higher-quality pictures than a conventional 600 Polaroid camera, due to the camera's higher build quality and a proportionally larger print area. Over time, Polaroid has introduced many variants of the Spectra, but most include a 'Quintic' 125mm f/10 3-element plastic lens, self-timer, automatic exposure, and sonar autofocus; in many cases the addition or removal of user controls is the only distinguishing characteristic between models (eg the Spectra 2 has only exposure adjustment; Spectra 'E' only has AF, flash and lighten/darken controls and the original Spectra has these plus LCD display, self-timer and volume controls). The Spectra/Image series also has many optional accessories, such as close-up lenses, special effects filters and a "law enforcement" kit. Spectra film came with 10 shots per pack. After 10 shots, the camera went into EOP (end of pack) mode. Spectra film is also known as 1200 or Image film in some markets, and there are high definition and grid-marked versions available, as with 600 film.

Spectra System
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