So I promise that not every Film Friday post will focus on Polaroid photography. Really. I know that with recent ‘Roid Week festivities we’ve been talking a lot about instant film lately, but I’m hoping that you’ll indulge me for one more week. I’d like to talk a bit about the special fun that can be had with the Polaroid Spectra Camera.


Clearly the Spectra isn’t the prettiest Polaroid camera on the block. Stacked up against the cute little SX-70 or the long bellows of the Land cameras, the Spectra isn’t going to win any beauty contests. The Spectra’s appeal doesn’t lie in its good looks, though. We love it for what it can do.

Ferris wheel (double)

The Spectra’s specialty is the double exposure, like this beauty by Celina Wyss in the Film Friday pool. I love the way it combines two classic fair elements into one image.

The double exposure can also lend something different to a self portrait. The ghostly feeling in the image below was just what I was going for.

If you’re interested in making your own instant film double exposures the Spectra is the camera for you. They are less collectable than the SX-70s and less rare than some of the other models, which makes them relatively inexpensive to pick up online. They take the PZ films from The Impossible Project.

Quick Spectra Double Exposure Tutorial:

  • Set your Spectra’s exposure dial to the darkest setting (multiple exposures will let in a lot of light)
  • Set up your first shot and take it using the camera’s self-timer
  • The shutter will click but the image will not eject until you press the shutter button. Don’t press the button yet. Instead, close the camera.
  • Then, turn off the self-timer button and re-open the camera.
  • Take the second image (either with the self-timer or using the shutter button, your choice).
  • If you take the second image with the self-timer, you will need to press the shutter button (or turn off the self-timer) to eject the image from the camera.

And once you’ve practiced a few doubles, why not try a triple exposure like this one by Meghan.


So what do you film fans think of double exposures? Have you tried them? With Polaroid or other film types? We’d love to hear about it so please share your experiences in the comments.

Debra ~ Manifeisty

and read more about the Instant Love book featured in the Spectra photo above here in Kirstin’s post on photo books that inspire