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The Lomo'instant is a simple camera for Fuji Instax Mini film. It was a Kickstarter project. Launched in 2014 it was easily financed and, as all Lomo campaigns, quickly delivered. There is a wide range of accessories, including some lenses. Let's have a look at the camera specs.

Technical Specifications:

Film Format: Fujifilm Instax Mini Film
Exposure Area: 62mm x 46mm
Lens Focal Length: 48mm (27mm equiv.)
Aperture: F 8, 11, 16, 22, 32 (+2, +1. A. -1, -2)
Shutter Speed: Bulb Mode, 1/125s
Film Ejection Automatic
Multiple Exposures: Unlimited
Flash Guide No.: 8 (m)
Tripod Mount: Yes
Film Counter: mechanical indication, counting up
Flash automatic or manual
Filter Thread: 37mm
Size: 13.8 x 9.5 x 5.5 cm
Weight: 366 gr.


Some pictures of the camera:

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Camera with cap and 2 extra lenses.

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The camera front with cap.

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Cap open. Camera front.
I tend to use these cameras in landscape mode, as on the photo. But let's use the indications for the "normal" mode, which is portrait mode for Instax Mini Film. Finder on top left edge, selfie mirror and small window for aperture indication, lens and flash. There are colour filters for the flash (guide number 8). The lens is an ultra wide lens, 27mm equivalent.

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Left side. Shutter lever with cable socket and aperture wheel

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Right side. Mode switch: off, A = Standard mode with flash, custom mode with flash, custom mode without flash. If the camera is on, you can set the aperture wheel from +2 (F8) to -2 (F32). It returns to the middle setting (F16) when switched off. N/B switch, N = 1/125. Indication table for best settings

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Camera bottom. Tripod socket. Battery compartment, takes 4 AAA batteries. Focus lever, 2 settings; 1m to infinity, 0.9 to 0.4m.

Camera top: ejection slot.

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Back. Tiny counter, window is lit when the camera is on. Film presence window.

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Fisheye Lens,


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Mounted..

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It sticks out quite a lot. As it's only an attachment, the image is too small. You get a tiny 35mm circle on a
62mm x 46mm image.

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Portrait lens.

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Mounted.


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Compact attachment. It's still a wide angle, 35mm equivalent. So it's not really a portrait lens. But it brings the ultra wide angle of the original lens back to normal wide.


The Lomo'instant is a lightweight and very compact camera, easy to handle. It has only one speed and a B setting, but it has 5 apertures. So with a little bit of experience you will get quite usable results. The fisheye lens is only a gadget, the real image is ways too small. The portrait lens is fine, but it isn't a portrait lens. As the camera focusses down to 40cm, the close-up lens is only necessary if you are really into close-up work. Multiple exposure is easy. The picture results are quite OK, there is less vignetting than on other wide angle cameras, let alone ultra wide combinations. The flash is too weak. It only lights subjects within a 2m range. So for the very close wide angle portraits, often shown, it's fine, but it won't light a normal interior photo.

I got my camera via a classified ad for very little money, so i'm pleased with it. There is a successor, the Lomo'Instant Automat. It has automatic speed but only 2 apertures. It's much more expensive.

Some gereral words about Lomography and their service: There is a 2-year warranty, at least in Europe. My personal experience with their service is good so far. As most of their cameras are made of (cheap) plastic, there is no repair, they just exchange your defective camera. You have to send it in to their Vienna firm at your expenses, which is not cheap if you are not based in Austria, but they try to compensate by adding film or so to the return. You absolutely need a proof of purchase, there was heavy abuse by fraudulent customers they told me. So if you buy second hand or your camera is gift, be sure to put your hands on the proof of purchase. After  the 2-years warranty period it's over. They will try to help for the expensive not-so-plastic cameras like the LC series, but for the rest there is no repair. Keep this in mind for the prices you pay for older gear.

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