Essentials: The Semi Serious Fujifilm Instax Film Photographer

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

While it’s still not totally there yet, the Fujifilm Instax format is starting to offer support for the more serious minded photographer out there. The imaging area is around the size of true 645 format, and for that reason it would be absolutely incredible as a serious image capturing format. The film is more than capable of delivering great details but the problems for many years has been the cameras. However, two cameras in particular are fantastic choices for a photographer looking to get more seriously into the Instax format.

As always, the Essentials series isn’t sponsored but instead designed to give a photographer various kit options.

Mint Camera InstantFlex 2.0

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Glass lens elements, aperture priority, manual focusing, a bright focusing screen, exposure compensation, what more could you ask for? Well, some photographers may want more but most photographers actually shoot in aperture priority. With an f5.6 lens attached, you’ll be able to deliver some really cool photos from this camera.

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In our review, we state:

“The camera is made of metal with a few parts here and there being comprised of plastic. The lens has glass elements with coatings accordingly. Everything about this camera feels solid: much more on par with something like a Canon 80D than a 7D Mk II though it isn’t weather sealed. However, I took it out into a rainfall and walked for many blocks with it. It was fine even though there are electronics inside.

My only major qualm with the build quality has to do with the aperture dial. I honestly wish that operating it were smoother as I’m not always sure how much energy I should put into changing the setting lest I break the thing.”

Buy Now: Amazon

Diana F+

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Crazy, right? Well, not exactly. The Diana F+ is arguably one of the best and most versatile cameras that can shoot Instax images. It is natively a 6×6 camera, and so the smaller 645 format is easily adapted to. You’ve got a locked 1/80th shutter speed and a variety of aperture settings. With your ISO locked in, you just need to set the aperture based on the situation that you’re shooting. Then you just shoot it and print it out.

There are also glass lenses available for the camera.

Diana F+ Instax Camera Back

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In order to make the Diana F+ shoot Instax images, you need this special back.

In our review, we state:

“I flippin’ love this thing. I’ve always been smitten with instant film. The fact that you can shoot a photo and have it ready instantly or nearly instantly for you is amazing. The tangible image is something that you don’t necessarily forget. Sure, lots of these images stay in a box in my desk–but for what it’s worth I always take them out occasionally and look at them. In contrast, I have loads of images on Flickr, Facebook, etc. I never go through them religiously and flip through. Heck, I barely even go through my own portfolio.”

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Fujifilm Instax Mini Monochrome

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The newest emulsion of Instax film is fun to use and is incredibly versatile overall.

In our review, we state:

“Instax Monochrome is a medium contrast black and white film. I wouldn’t describe it as high contrast or low contrast–but instead it depends on a lot on how you expose the scene. However, it’s easy to blow out the highlights, so if manual exposure is possible I recommend underexposing by around half a stop if possible. Unfortunately, it can be tough to do that to begin with when you don’t always know what your camera’s shutter speed will be. It’s a bit easier with the Diana F+ because you know that you’re always around 1/60th of a second and your aperture changes based on your setting, but again it’s pretty difficult to work with simply because of the lack of proper cameras available.”

Buy Now: Amazon