In many ways, the Mint Instantflex TL70 Plus is my favorite camera that I’ve reviewed this year. In a 2023 dominated by a ton of digital cameras and cheap film cameras, this is a welcome respite. So I’m going to say a few words — and know that all of them describe this camera. TLR. Manual controls. Square Format Instax Film. Clear viewfinder. Optics that Mint finally got right. Simplicity. To a camera reviewer that’s been doing this for the 15 or so years that I have, it sounds like a dream. And to many photographers looking for something different, you’re going to fall in love here.
I’m not writing this review in the particular way that we approach camera reviews with all the headings and such. But instead, this is being written more as a letter of genuine appreciation for this product.
The Mint Instantflex TL70 Plus is a proper TLR, just like the previous TL70 that Mint made. But while that one shot Instax mini, this one shoots Instax Square. And overall, it’s the perfect medium that more than just Golidelocks will appreciate. While the camera is pretty big, it’s innovative in that it’s only twin lens reflex camera that has an integrated instant film storage area. Load it up with Instax Square and you’ll be happy as can be.
The camera has everything that you’d need too. There’s shutter control on the side that’s integrated in with the exposure dial. On the bottom, it has the aperture control. And then there’s the focusing dial that works well enough to get your subjects in focus. To aid that task, there’s an enlarger that lets you see the contents on the ground glass more clearly. Even so, I wish that this part of the loupe were a bit better. But it’s easy enough to shoot photos as long as you’re careful.
There’s also an integrated flash and other controls that let you hook it up to an off-camera light.
In many ways, the Mint Instantflex TL70 Plus is the dream camera that I wanted several years ago. And now that it’s here, I’m pretty stoked about it.
Previous Mint cameras had issues with the coatings in the lens as they didn’t let the camera really show off how sharp Instax film can be. But this camera doesn’t have that issue. Instead, the Mint Instantflex TL70 Plus does a fantastic job rendering details as well as possible.
But truthfully, that doesn’t matter much. All of the photos that I shot with this camera, I ended up giving away to the people I shot with it. Why? The more important part of all this is the big-ass smiles that it puts on everyone’s face. If your subject is a photographer or even just someone that’s an enthusiast, they’re going to love this. There’s a special fun that someone gets shaking an Instax print like it’s a Polaroid. And there’s even more joy in the reward that they get for when the image is fully developed for them to look at.
Seriously, people hung these images on up their walls, on their bars, by their computers, etc. It made people happy. And overall, if I weren’t overloaded with tons of cameras and lenses to test, it would’ve made me even happier. You, reading this, don’t have that problem. So I’m pretty confident that the Mint Instantflex TL70 Plus will make you incredibly happy.
My only qualm: I wish it were weather-resistant so that I could bring it with me everywhere. As it is, Mint’s products tend to be a bit delicate. So I’m not sure how long this camera will last me.
We’re awarding the Mint Instantflex TL70 Plus 5 out of 5 stars. Go to Mint’s website to get one.