When I was a child I won a Polaroid camera in a contest about road-safety education, but I have not been able to find it at home. Last year my father asked me about the Polaroid camera, because he wanted one of those “fast cameras”… So I bought him the Fuji Instax 210
Obviously, the first characteristic that attracts your attention is the camera size: 18,5 × 11,5 × 9 cm (when the camera is turned off)
But the photos you get are twice as big as the Instax Mini photos. The printed photo size is 98 × 62 mm.
I shot these two pics with my father´s new camera and I loved the results, so I decided to buy another Fuji Instax 210 for myself.
You only have to consider two things: distance and lighting of the object.
Distance to the object
When the camera turns on, you can only choose between two positions: from 0,9-3 meters and 3 meters to infinite
The camera also has an extra lens to be used for foreground objects (distance 40-45 cm). You can place the lens on the camera when it is turned on and the distance position is 0,9-3 m. Because of the huge size of the camera, the space between the lens and the viewfinder is quite large so the foreground lens has a little guide to help you to centre the object when you are looking through the viewfinder.
Besides, the foreground lens has a little mirror where you can see your face and compose a funny self portrait.
You can see it on this manual extract.
Nevertheless you can find difficult to straighten several objects. For example I wanted to take a photo of this flower inside a light bulb and I had to try it several times in different positions
The camera has three different positions: Normal, Lighten (when there is little light) and Darken (when there is too much light: beach, snow)
The flash works automatically when there is not enough light. The camera has a position for forced flash so you can take backlighting portraits (Fill flash).
Nevertheless, you cannot cancel the flash and it always works when there is little light. Sometimes the flash may ruin a photo when there is a mirror or a window. In the case of the flower and the light bulb, when the flower was in shadow the flash worked and it was reflected on the bulb.
You can use color filters in front the flash. I made some with plastic and hung them from the strap.
As you can see, the handling is very easy: there are only a few options. And cartridges are so easy to load, they are labelled with a yellow tag you have to put it next to the same tag on the open camera.
When the camera is ready you have to do the first shot to remove the cartridge cover by the top film exit. When you use the camera you have not to put your fingers near the film exit.
This camera is not supposed to take double exposures. So when I read this article about how to make multiple exposures with the Fujifulm Instax I wanted to try it. Basically the post explains that you have to take the first exposure after opening the back door and then you have to pull the cartridge just a little before the camera ejects the photo after the first exposure. Then you can take the second exposure. I tried it several times with a homemade splitzer but I never got the second exposure.
The next day I read in the same post, that someone broke their camera trying this tip, so I have not done it again.