The Polaroid Spectra (also known as the Image in some markets), introduced in 1986, is somewhat of an oddball among the other popular Polaroid cameras, in that it used a unique rectangular film format instead of the more common square format of the 600- and SX-series cameras. Apart from its different form factor, the Spectra film was almost identical to the 600 film, though, including its ISO rating and development method.
Of course, as with all things Polaroid, the era of the Spectra eventually came to end, leaving many a camera out of use for the lack of film supplies. That changed when The Impossible Project began its mission of reviving Polaroid instant photography and started manufacturing and selling instant film for numerous Polaroid systems again. While both a color emulsion and a black-and-white film for Spectra cameras were in Impossible’s portfolio, the latter was withdrawn about a year ago.
In the meantime, the film has been completely re-worked, and it’s now back again as a pre-release for pre-order. According to the Impossible website, the new Spectra black-and-white film is “better than any of its predecessors, with improved tonal range and contrast and a fast development time.” Currently available only in an unbranded, plain-white box, an 8-exposure pack can be ordered online for US-$ 16.50, with a twin-pack coming it at $30.
For those who have been eagerly waiting for the return of black-and-white Spectra film, this should be great news. To everyone else who once owned such a camera or might still have one collecting dust in the attic, why not order a pack of film and see if the old lady is still working? Not only will your purchase help the Impossible Project continue their work, it can also be great fun to turn back in time and do photography “the old way” again for a change.