For Any Occasion, Try the Fujifilm Instax Mini


The Fujifilm Instax Mini is an ISO 800 instant film, compatible with any Fujifilm camera that takes Instax Mini film and certain camera accessories such as the Diana Instant Back+. From my experience, it provides consistent results (in the right conditions) and works great for both casual and serious instant photography.

At 54mm by 86mm mm, it’s smaller and thinner than classic Polaroid film and has a more rectangular shape. This is not a disadvantage in any way, however as the image is still large enough to capture subject and background. And in my opinion, the size is more applicable when taking wide landscape pictures.

It comes in cartridges of 10 that can be easily inserted and removed from the camera without fuss. Frame designs vary from classic white to more artistic designs such as rainbow and polka dot. There are even adorable character and event-themed film packs to suit anyone’s taste.

The Fujifilm website claims that Instax Mini film “ensures sharp, clear reproduction, vivid color and natural skin tones”. Personally, I find that Instax film produces soft, dreamy-looking pictures (sounds like Lomography already!), which can be appealing but isn’t for everyone. Of course, this largely depends on the lighting conditions and aperture settings used.

This was taken indoors with flash, using an Instax Mini 8, and whilst most of the detail was retained, the image is noticeably paler than the actual basket (though this is probably in part due to the flash, it happens with outdoor pictures too.)

For an ISO 800 film, Instax Mini film surprisingly performs well on sunny days, but has a tendency to overexpose when taking pictures in broad daylight.

The sun was shining directly on these flowers, hence the loss of color and heavy light reflection.
I found that better results come from shooting in shady areas. There was plenty of light but the colors are much more vivid.

Instax Mini film develops quickly, allowing you to see the full image in one or two minutes, but the process does not finish until about 15 minutes later, when it’s darkened and completely developed. This became quite a magical experience when I handed an Instax straight out of the camera to my relatives – everyone from my four and five-year old cousins to my 80-year old grandma were completely fascinated by the picture slowly coming to life on the film.

As an instant film, it is incredibly versatile. In the past, I’ve glued them into scrapbook pages, given them away as gifts to friends and archived them in a photo album. The film has many purposes and can be used almost anywhere. Whether you are rushing to take a group photo or taking your time and thinking about shooting a landscape, Instax Mini film gives beautiful results.

I think, that’s what it’s about in the end. Making memories with the click of a shutter and seeing instant results. Instax Mini film is perfect for that.

Information used in this article was sourced from Fuji Film.

written by shannonly on 2014-01-19 in #reviews


  1. jvujnovi
    jvujnovi ·

    I really like using this film when travelling - makes the perfect gift for people you meet (it has a real "wow" factor - especially if it has a coloured border). It would be really great if Fuji made it in black and white too.

  2. shannonly
    shannonly ·

    jvujnovi, I agree with everything you said. I would definitely buy B&W Instax film if they were to ever sell it. I think it would look quite striking in a way.

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