Lomo Instant Review

Lomo Instant Review

Image source: lomography.com

The Lomo’Instant from Lomography is the result of a campaign on Kickstarter and is one of the most complex instant cameras to date. Polaroid-like cameras have made a huge comeback ever since the selfie trend saw momentum. Lomo’Instant is the most recent such camera to hit the market but what exactly makes this camera stand out?

Lomography’s device allows the user to control a lot of features on the analogue camera such as different modes of shooting, the ability to take more exposures, control of the aperture and use different lenses.

Lomo’Instant is now available for everyone.

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Image source: diyphotography.net

Design

The Lomo’Instant camera features a very pleasant retro design, even though the square design means the device is a little bulky. Instant cameras that have been launched in the recent years have been pretty ugly, with boring design, other than the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90. Lomo’Instant’s design, however, is really cool.

The camera is available in both black and white versions but there is also a model that is slightly more expensive which is covered in brown leather. Our favorite is the white version, as it flaunts more obviously the retro design. Despite making the camera look stylish and cool, the finish quickly picks up scuffs and marks and as of now there is no case for it.

Physical controls are few in number but they are all very intuitive and placed extremely well on the device.

Features

The key control of the camera is the mode switch. The mode switch lets the user choose between on, off or auto-flash. Auto-flash means that a sensor will analyze how much light there is in the environment and will set the flash to the optimum level.

Another major feature is the lever that controls the shutter release. The control is smooth and will not make the user jog the camera too much when snapping a shot. A slider will let the user choose between two different options: one meter or below for close up shots and one and beyond for all other shots. A ‘B’ (which stands for bulb) switch will let the user take long exposure images, which comes great for shots taken at night.

An ‘MX’ control will let the user take multiple exposures on a single image. Flipping the switch will let the user take unlimited shots on just a single image. Even though you can take unlimited shots for just one image, the best results come when taking only two or three exposures at a time. There is also a dial that controls exposure-compensation that goes from -2 (f/32) to 2 (f/8).

And probably the best and most basic feature of the Lomo’Instant is the small mirror on the front side of the camera, which works great when taking selfies. For other shots, the camera features an optical viewfinder but it is a little small.

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Image source: lomography.com

Lenses and Film

The Lomo’Instant uses the instant film from the Fujifilm Instax Mini which is quite expensive but available in many places.

Loading the film into the camera is very easy. You just have to open the wrapper and put in the cartridge but you have to make sure the yellow stripes are upward. You also get a series of gels that are placed on the flash. These gels can be used to achieve several effects when taking photos.

The fixed 27mm lens of the camera is quite good and it behaves well in selfies and portraits, as well as long shots. Three more lenses can be bought in a bundle pack but they cannot be bought separate of the camera so you have to decide when buying it if you want them or not.

The three lenses are: a portrait lens, which in our opinion is the best, a fisheye lens, which you probably won’t use that often other than on some shots and a close-up lens, which is a bit tricky to use.

It may look like all the images are a little soft at first but once you get the right blend between the aperture and lens you will see that the pictures are going to become pretty sharp.

The camera makes use of four AAA batteries.

We liked the Lomo’Instant camera despite some of its flaws. We really loved the blocky design even though it’s prone to gathering marks. There are enough manual controls on it to keep us satisfied but we do hope that a possible future generation will be more polished, including a better finish and a more sturdy build.

Wrapping up…

PROS

– Retro design makes it look rather cool

– Has a built-in flash and also comes with a variety of color gels

– Good value for the extra lenses bundle package

CONS

– A little bulky

– The build is a little bad

– The viewfinder doesn’t work when using close up lens

– Film is expensive

Verdict

If you’re a fan of instant photography, the Lomo’Instant may be just the thing for you, as it provides great controls and is very capable of snapping amazing shots – particularly if you’re willing to spend the extra money for the package which includes the three additional lenses.

That being said, if you’re curious but are not entirely sure if this is for you, some Fujifilm cameras may be able to offer greater value for your money.

Also, be aware that the film for the camera is quite expensive even though it is easy to find and you will most likely go through a lot of packs until you will get used to the camera and its controls.

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David

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