Instant photography has come a long way, and the excitement is not slowing down anytime soon. Even when the convenience of digital is just a few taps and swipes away, the world of instant continues to flourish with amazing developments to keep instant snapping fresh and cool.
How it began
The inspiration to create the very first instant camera happened when (American physicist and Polaroid founder) Dr. Edwin Land’s 3-year-old daughter innocently posed a question: why can’t she see the photo that his Dad took of her? Dr. Land was already experimenting with photographic equipment earlier – he created the polarization filter which eliminated glare and reflection from camera lenses – so dabbling with the idea of the instant camera was not too far-fetched. By 1948, the very first instant camera was introduced. Called the Polaroid 95, it proved to be a success and sold out fast.
SX-70 in the '70s
Different models were developed ever since the inception of the Polaroid 95, but it wasn’t until 1972 when an icon was born: the Polaroid SX-70. It was a folding SLR instant camera that made use of dry development process. It proved to be so popular that the company produced 5,000 units a day. Fast forward to five years and another best-seller emerged: the Polaroid OneStep Land, which was a fixed-focus instant camera.
Instant Power in the '80s
This is the era when the Polaroid Sun 600 camera and Type 600 color film were released. In 1982, Dr. Land decided to leave the Polaroid company. They still continued to develop instant photography products, which led to the Polaroid Spectra system.
'90s and the Instax
Two years before the millennium, Fujifilm introduced the Instax Camera series which uses an ISO 800, credit card-sized daylight color instant film. A year later, Polaroid launched the i-Zone, which proved to be popular among teens.
2000 and beyond
Fujifilm remained strong in the instant photography game. Lomography's first foray into instant photography was when Instant Back accessories were developed for the Diana F+, Lomo LC-A+, and Belair X 6-12 cameras. By simply attaching the Instant Back (loaded with Fuji Instax film) to the corresponding camera, it enabled the user to shoot instants with the distinct Lomographic effect.
In 2014 through Kickstarter, Lomography started developing the Lomo'Instant, an instant camera that uses Fuji Instax Mini film. Tagged as "the world's most creative instant camera", the Lomo'Instant is equipped with 2 creative shooting modes (so that it can be used for standard daytime shots and nighttime and long-exposures), and lens attachments can be used to switch between wide-angle or fisheye, close-up or portrait. It also came with color gel filters to use for colorsplashing.
A year later, the production of Lomo'Instant Wide started. It retained the creative features of the original Lomo'Instant camera, and the lens cap for the Lomo'Instant Wide was made to double as a remote control for easy self-portraits, group shots, or long exposures. This camera used Fuji Instax Wide film.
In 2016, the Lomo'Instant Automat was introduced. Put simply, it's the instant camera that does it all for you -- the aperture, shutter speed, and flash output adjust automatically for perfectly-lit shots in any and every light situation.
And now, Lomography aims to mark another milestone in the instant photography history with the Lomo'Instant Square! Please help us realize this special project by backing us on Kickstarter. The Lomo'Instant Square boasts a multi-coated glass lens, fully automatic shutter mode and heaps of creative features, so you’ve got everything you need to take stand-out shots everywhere you go.