Lomography Lomo'Instant

Lomography Lomo'Instant

Instax Mini Format | 27mm equiv. F8 lens | Auto exposure control with exposure compensation

What we like:

  • Reasonably fast max aperture
  • Ability to completely disable flash
  • Positive and negative exp. comp. modes
  • Tripod socket
  • Cable release socket

What we don't:

  • Big and boxy
  • Heavy vignetting
  • Slight learning curve to use
  • Manually-driven focus
  • Difficult to frame close-ups
The Lomography Lomo'Instant is a mid-level Instax Mini format camera. First launched on Kickstarter back in 2014, it offers a handful of cool features, but there's definitely a learning curve involved when it comes to using it. That said, it offers a decent amount of manual control for an instant camera.
Stylish in design and available in a variety of pleasing colors, the physical dimensions are a good deal larger than most of its Instax Mini competition. Despite its size, the camera is comfortable to handle; it also feels reasonably well built, though not quite to the same level as the Fujifilms. The position of the shutter release on the front encourages portrait orientation shooting and the camera is powered by four AA batteries.
Users can bias the exposure using the variable aperture, with a range of F8-F32
We're fans of the multiple exposure mode on this camera, which allows for an unlimited number of shots to be stacked. Other features include a 'bulb' mode setting and a small selfie mirror. Small colored gel strips are also included for use with the flash, and slide neatly in to a slot on the edge of the light. The Lomo’Instant can be purchased on its own or with a trio of accessory lenses, expanding the capabilities to include fisheye, portrait and close-up options. Ten LED lights on the camera body indicate the number of shots remaining.
The shutter speed is fixed at 1/125 sec and there is no ability to control flash output (max range 9m / 30 ft) other than turning it off completely, which can actually be quite useful. Users can bias the exposure using the variable aperture, which by default it is set to F16 - the full range is F8-F32, resulting in five stops of exposure adjustment total. While this is a cool approach to exposure compensation, it might be a little confusing to the average casual user. A lever along the side of the camera moves the front of the lens forward and backward slightly to adjust focus between two zones: 1 m - infinity and 0.4 - 0.9 m. Most images taken with this camera have a noticeable vignette effect. If you’re not into that, this isn’t the instant camera for you.
Overall the Lomo'Instant packs a lot of creative potential into its chic-looking, though somewhat clunky plastic shell. The full three-lens kit is a nice to have, especially for someone with a big creative appetite, but is by no means necessary if you’re just looking to experiment with instant. This camera is pricier than models offering similar features and the learning curve is a little bit steep if you’re more inclined to just point and shoot.
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