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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:

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220402_164513.jpg
Camera with cap and 2 extra lenses.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220402_164528.jpg
The camera front with cap.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220402_164826.jpg
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.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220402_164551.jpg
Left side. Shutter lever with cable socket and aperture wheel

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220402_164617.jpg
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

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220402_165019.jpg
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.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220402_164603.jpg
Back. Tiny counter, window is lit when the camera is on. Film presence window.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220619_162610.jpg
Back open.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220616_111258.jpg
This is the same camera with a very different look, the Sanremo Edition. The colours should give it a retro charm and remind the colours of capucchino. It has a black cap.

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Cap off.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220616_111343.jpg
Front and top.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220616_111356.jpg
Back.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220616_111921.jpg
Another set with all of the lenses, the golden Yangon Edition. Its golden colours should remind the golden sunsets on this ancient city.

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It has "matching" cap.
The colour is difficult to photograph, so I tried special illumination with a different camera.

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This is the result. It's nearer to what you see when you hold it in your hands.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220616_112030.jpg
Cap off.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220616_112050.jpg
Front and top.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220616_112012.jpg
Back.

../jpgother/lomo_instant_IMG_20220616_113119.jpg
My 3 models.

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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.

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The close-up attachment.

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Attachment and 2 caps.

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Mounted. It only sticks to the lens, no screwing. Brings focus down to 10-15cm. Framing is a guess, so count 2 photos at least to have your result. A tripod helps a lot.

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 cameras via classified ads for very little money, so I'm pleased with them. 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 very good. 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 office 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.

Some photos taken with this camera. Scan 400 DPI with no post-treatment. The settings - if any -  are noted on the rim of the photo.

To be fair: the pictures shown here are more than life size. If you hold them in your hand and look at them, they seem sharper. So one about life size first:

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220401lim/6-10_02.04.22a.jpg
About life size.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220401lim/6-10_02.04.22.jpg
Cologne center, Rothgerberbach (main threspassing road). Sunny day with clouds. Quite OK as result. Its an ultra wide angle, 27mm equivalent. No vignetting!

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220401lim/7-10_02.04.22.jpg
Same picture with "portrait" attachment, brings the angle down to 35mm, an ordinary wide. A bit of colour cast. Quite OK.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220401lim/8-10_02.04.22.jpg
The fisheye lens. It's fisheye indeed, but the circle is much too small.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220401lim/9-10_02.04.22.jpg
Cologne center, St. Pantaleon park. Quite OK as well.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220401lim/10-10_02.04.22.jpg
Cologne center, New Tax Offices (1950s), in front of the park. Nice as well.

As I have 3 of these cameras, I tested the others 2 as well. So here are some more photos:

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220702lim2/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li2-4.jpg
Park St, Pantaleon in deep shade with strong backlight sun. A good result seen the difficulties of the subject.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220703lim3/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li3-1.jpg
Same photo with +2 setting. So the choice of apertures gives you quite some freedom. Good Picture, but in reality the park was much darker.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220702lim2/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li2-7.jpg
Bright summer day, shot from the shade towards the buildings in the glaring sun. Superb result.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220702lim2/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li2-8.jpg
A car in the shade at 60cm. Remarkable result.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220702lim2/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li2-10.jpg
Entrance to St, Pantaleon. Nice Picture.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220703lim3/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li3-2.jpg
New Tax Offices in bright sun from the shade of the park. Fine as well.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220703lim3/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li3-3.jpg
Same picture with 35mm attachment. Fine.

And the close-up attachment:

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220702lim2/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li2-8.jpg
Close-up at ~10cm, quite some distortion.

https://www.subcompactcam.com/scans/instant/220703lim3/Reinhard_30.06.22-Li3-4.jpg
Do not forget to shut-off the flash., it ruins the picture.

Altogether the results are much better than expected for a single speed camera. Having a choice of 5 apertures is fine. The ultra wide plastic lens is better than expected as well. No vignetting which is ways better than the glass lens. Seen the price it's a good choice if you can cope with manual setting.

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