Looking at the instant film by Fuji (Instax Mini) and the lomo love it has created.
With the demise of Polaroid’s instant film line, and instant snappers watching their refrigerated stock slowly get used up, it was very timely that Fuji released its new integral instant film and it was only right for Lomography to jump on board with instant backs for our favourites such as the LC-A and the plastic beauty Diana.
The marrying of integral instant film with plastic analogue goodness was a dream come true for many lomographers and instant lovers alike. The instant back for the Diana camera in particular was what converted me. I had a small museum of Polaroid Land cameras that lay unused until a ‘special ocassion’ but I did always have my Diana slung over my shoulder for my shoots. I had two Diana cameras (one with the F+) and I liked the idea of using one as my ‘polaroid back’ like the pros use in studios. This way when I called out ’it’s a wrap’ I knew that I had at least a few winners on the countless rolls of film I was dropping off at the lab, because the instant results had told me so!
However, when I finally attached the back I was somewhat surprised at how difficult it was to actually ‘frame’ my shot. It was a whole combination of awkward, my nose squished up to the back as my eye tried with all its might to stretch over the attachment to look through the view finder. What resulted was unpredicted shots of the ground with the subject nowhere to be seen. I soon learnt to compensate for this and had a jolly good time. But, Diana attachment aside, the film was a lot of fun.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini comes in a box that lovingly advertises itself as ‘credit card sized photos’ which is not very far from the truth. The size is very much a part of what makes this film extra unique. The small image size (62 × 46mm) invites the viewer to peer into the past like Alice peeking into a keyhole, it is just magical. I’m sure this is something people of all ages would definitely enjoy, people with small fingers included.
The Instax Mini shoots at 800 ISO which gives us the versatility to achieve satisfying results in low light conditions (camera settings permitting), it is important to mention however that the Diana Instant Back alters the ISO of the film with the correction lens bringing it down to 400 ISO, so keep this in mind when using the Diana with this film.
The film come in packs of 10 but I suggest buying in bulk, because once you snap you can’t stop. And, unlike it’s predecessor, Fuji’s integral film is widely available online at Lomography and probably even your local camera shop. This film is not going anywhere, and has very fast become a part of the analogue renaissance.
The user friendly film will give different results depending on the camera being used. The quality of the film and the size make this film fun to have at gatherings and equally interesting when displayed as a work of art in the white cube. I’m sure when I give my very young sister (born in the age of the digital image) she will fall in love and be converted faster than you can say ‘mini’.