With the curious-looking Instant Magny 35, you won’t need an extra instant camera; your trusty 35mm film SLR or rangefinder camera will do!
With the popularity of the Fujifilm Instax Mini and Instax Square photos, everyone seems to be going after Instax cameras these days. They are definitely loads of fun to use and make swapping photos easy, but they don’t really give you much control over your photos. The analog answer to this has always been instant backs for film SLR cameras. The latest of these is the curious-looking Instant Magny 35 currently being funded on Kickstarter.
Developed by NINM Lab, the Instant Magny 35 is a neat contraption that transforms your film SLR or rangefinder camera into an instant camera without any modifications. It simply replaces your camera’s ordinary back and allows you to exercise full control over your camera settings to get exactly the instant image you want. It’s made up of three modular parts connected by a bayonet mount: the enlarging optic film back, aluminum lens barrel, and film ejection unit. This accessory’s modular design makes it easy to assemble and disassemble to store or carry.
How does it work? The Instant Magny 35 has an optic scheme that enlarges the 24×24 focal plane image to 62x62mm. Designers have found that with the optic dimension requiring a travel distance of over 10 cm, an Instax Square back cannot be assembled directly at the back of the camera. To work around this, they used a mirror with a high reflective rate to lead the optic axis to the portion of the camera and shorten the rear extended optical structure.
If you think “Magny” sounds familiar, that’s because this new contraption is the more modern and sleeker counterpart of the insanely unwieldy Speed Magny. Developed in the early 1960s, it was used by photographers who wanted to instantly check their lighting using Polaroid 3.25 x 4.25 in. film packs. It was marketed as the “Instant” Nikon that transforms the regular Nikon F into a large format camera.
The Speed Magny, however, came with some disadvantages. Apart from the heavy and awkward setup, its relay optics sacrifices around 5 stops worth of image brightness. The Instant Magny 35 has found a way to limit the light loss rate to only 3 stops, converting the exposure value of the Instax Square film from ISO 800 to ISO 100. It’s also noticeably smaller and only weighs 485 grams compared to the bulky and 2-kg Speed Magny.
The Instant Magny 35 is compatible with the popular 35mm SLR and rangefinder cameras from five leading brands/companies: Nikon, Leica, Olympus, Canon, and Pentax. See the list of models below:
- Film: Fujifilm Instax Square
- Exposure area: 62mm x 62mm
- Enlarging lens construction: 2 Groups 5 Elements
- Enlarging lens aperture: f/4
- Maximum effective aperture: f/4 (If using aperture larger than f/4, the incoming light value will remain at f/4. Yet, you can still get the narrow depth of field effect.)
- Reflex Mirror: Front Surface Mirror
- Power Supply: 4 x AAA batteries
- Film Feeding Out: Automatic
- Others: LED film counter, tripod socket, dark slide
– Film Ejection Unit: 118 (L) x 123 (W) x 34.8 (H) mm
– Aluminum Lens Barrel: 96 (L) x 96 (W) x 62.64 (H) mm
– Nikon Enlarging Optics Film Back: 65.98 (L) x 141 (W) x 53.2 (H) mm
– Leica Enlarging Optics Film Back: 50 (L) x 89.5 (W) x 51.8 (H) mm
– Pentax / Olympus / Canon Enlarging Optics Film Back: TBC
- Weight: Approx. 485g (without battery and film pack)
Interested in grabbing one? The already fully-funded Kickstarter campaign for the Instant Magny 35 runs until July 16, so there’s still plenty of time for you to get yours at discounted prices. The first batch of orders is scheduled to ship on December 2018 for Leica and Nikon models, and February 2019 for Olympus, Canon, and Pentax models.