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Polaroid spectra film (Pic: Polaroid Originals)
(Pic: Polaroid Originals)

Polaroid Originals has announced it is pulling the plug on its Spectra range of films.

Polaroid’s Spectra cameras, which were first introduced in the 1980s, used a special wide-format film.

According to Polaroid Originals it had professional applications back then, being used in police and medical applications, though it has recently been touted as a landscape film for a new generation of instant photographers.

The discontinuation comes after many reports of the new films failing to eject properly from cameras.

A statement from Polaroid Originals released on Wednesday (2 October) read: “Our manufacturing team led an intensive, six-month testing and improvement plan on Spectra cameras and our film. We optimized the dimensions and deflection angle of the ejecting film, reduced the pod weight, and lowered the mask friction through different coatings. We also carried out multiple battery tests with different voltages and currents from different suppliers.

“This fault is completely random and depends on many variables with each pack of film and the configuration of the camera circuitry. There is, unfortunately, no simple fix.”

Polaroid Originals also released a statement from CEO Oskar Smolokowski on the discontinuation: “Since 1986, Spectra has played an important part in Polaroid’s film offering and in the world of analog instant photography. With three decades behind them, these wide format cameras are now coming to the end of their useful lives. Jamming and frequent breakdowns are now affecting the majority of these cameras, and unfortunately, this is not something we can influence with our film.

“After extensive testing, we have concluded that we cannot support these cameras any longer. So today, with a heavy heart, we are announcing the end of production for Spectra film.

A Polaroid Spectra camera (Pic: Andrew Butitta/Wikimedia Commons)
A Polaroid Spectra camera (Pic: Andrew Butitta/Wikimedia Commons)

“As we share in the sadness with our community, we continue to focus on the future of analog instant photography through enhancing our core range, and through continued work on our film chemistry. We look forward to working with our community to test new products and to keep analog instant photography thriving well into the future.

“If you are one of the lucky few with a fully working Spectra camera, you can still purchase the final batch on sale now for the next few months.”

Polaroid Originals began life as Impossible Project in 2008 after the announcement that Polaroid’s last factory making instant film – in the Netherlands – was to close. It restarted the factory with new formulations of instant film for Some of Polaroid’s old cameras.

The company changed its name to Polaroid Originals in 2017 and released its One Step 2 camera – a reimagined version of the original Polaroid model – in September of that year.

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Stephen Dowling
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