polaroid spectra w/ impossible film jams

denada

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
243
Reaction score
117
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
i am using a polaroid spectra camera with a impossible project frog tongue and impossible project film, both color and B&W. thing jams all the time. some packs are perfect, but most are a struggle. the photo often stops ejecting almost immediately, and when the camera thinks it's jammed it powers off and stops trying. if the picture starts to eject but doesn't seem like it has the power to finish, quickly shaking the camera and/or pulling on the frog tongue often helps. resulting in some picture but burns from the developer being concentrated at the bottom for too long. worst case is that the photo stops, which makes the camera power off completely, and then the picture is ruined as i have to open the front and pull it out. i don't think it's this hook people are talking about because the photo always makes it into the rollers before getting stuck. like it doesn't have the power to push the frog tongue out so it powers off. sometimes.

it's like the camera just doesn't have the power and shuts off because it thinks it's jammed, but i know the batteries are good because they're new impossible project packs. sometimes it works just fine. sometimes it works but sounds like it's really struggling.

any idea what's up? lots of people are complaining of similar issues, but i'm not finding any solid solutions. it's driving me crazy at $4 an exposure and losing great photo opps.
 
Last edited:

compur

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
3,859
Reaction score
821
Location
L.A.
The cameras are cheap. I would try another one.
 
OP
denada

denada

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
243
Reaction score
117
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
dang it. this one was so nice looking and cheap. i guess i'll try another one. i don't understand. if i hand-load eight photos into a cartridge it works fine every time. it's just the live pack that jams.
 

vintagesnaps

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
8,667
Reaction score
2,748
Location
US
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I had a Spectra (thrift store find) that would go Rrr, Rrr, rrrrrrr... and that was it, all of $5 down the tubes! lol

I have more than one 600 and 70 series camera and a couple of them are temperamental. Had a pack jam the other day and yeah, once one photo got jammed that was it for the rest of the pack. But put in a fresh pack and it was fine.

And just in case, if you save empty packs you can use those to test a camera to see if it works.
 

terri

Administrator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
Messages
30,786
Reaction score
4,554
Location
In the mental ward of this forum
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Have you inspected the camera's rollers? Quite often if you give the rollers a good cleaning, the film will start coming out smoothly every time. I've not shot with a Spectra and so can't help with specifics, but generally with these pack film cameras, the rollers are a good place to start whenever there are film ejection issues with fresh film packs.

This troubleshooting guide might be of some help. Good luck with it! Instant film is a blast. :)
 
OP
denada

denada

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
243
Reaction score
117
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
the rollers are fine. i cleaned them just to be sure. the problem is different that what's usually described. it's like the camera doesn't have enough energy to push against the frog tongue, so it jus quits. again, i agree the solution is buy another and see what happens.

edit: actually i didn't try with denatured alcohol as the guide terri supplied suggests, so i'll give that a try as well. but given that it aways works fine with a cartridge i repack myself, i just don't know about it being rollers.
 
OP
denada

denada

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
243
Reaction score
117
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
the camera works fine now. i've put dozens of shots through it without a jam since making the OP. i have no idea what the problem was, but it's gone.
 

Watchful

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
1,130
Reaction score
255
Location
Arizona
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Clean rollers are absolutely necessary to proper functionality. IPA is the preferred cleaner in as pure a form as you can find to eliminate any oily residues.
 

terri

Administrator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
Messages
30,786
Reaction score
4,554
Location
In the mental ward of this forum
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
the camera works fine now. i've put dozens of shots through it without a jam since making the OP. i have no idea what the problem was, but it's gone.
I'm so glad to hear that! You know, it could have simply been that the camera itself needed to be worked with. I seem to recall reading a passage about troubleshooting Polaroids, and the writer mentioned just putting one through its paces several times got it working smoothly again.

Glad you're having fun with it!
 

Leasummer

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hi Denada,
Can you explain how you fixed it if you did anything specific. I have a Polaroid Spectra System and the photos are getting stuck. There's no problem with the dark slide ejecting and then I took a picture and it came out but with a delay. Then I took a picture using the timer and that's when the problem started. The picture would not print out all the way and it was stuck. The only way to get it out was to completely take the film pack out. And the picture didn't turn out all which I was super bummed about. And the same thing happened when I tried to take another one.
 
OP
denada

denada

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
243
Reaction score
117
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
hey, Leasummer. super frustrating, huh? i did not do anything (that worked) to fix the camera except continue to use it. the problem started after attaching the impossible project frog tongue and then went away quickly but progressively.

if the picture starts coming out and you hear it struggling, you can save it. even if it stops for a fraction of second you'll be ok. if the camera recognizes the error and stops trying, the photo is ruined. i attached a hair pin to the the hand strap and would use it to help the frog tongue (sticking it in one end of the rolled up tube and pulling out) if the photo was getting stuck. just shaking the camera worked in a pinch. when that happened it would burn the bottom of the photo like so. this happened less and less until i lost the pin and it never happened again anyway.

my camera was a closet camera, or one that thad been purchased new, used a little, and then put away for decades until i bought it. i suspect it was just stiff and the impossible project tongue has more resistance than the stock tongue. or it was getting used to impossible project versus polaroid brand film.

hope you get it figured out and don't lose too many more shots in the process. i agree with other posters and would not try for too long before buying a different spectra. they're affordable; impossible film isn't.
 
Last edited:

Janell823

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I have purchased 2 a spectra and the SE. both do the same as you have described. Mantle pieces here they come!
 
OP
denada

denada

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
243
Reaction score
117
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
if you install an impossible project tongue, it happens to 100 percent all of them. i just got my girlfriend and new-old-stock spectra (found a lot of three of them for nothing) and it even happens to it from time to time.

i have a minolta pro (coated glass lens!) and it hasn't happened to that one, yet. but i've only put one pack of film through it.
 

Most reactions

Top