Text and Photos By Monch Henares
I have been addicted to photography for the longest time ever and one of my first hand-me-down Instant Film cameras was a Polaroid Land camera. It had a class of its own. You were considered hip if you owned one, the latest innovation and novelty at the time.
I was recently given the privilege to test-shoot the latest instant film camera of Fujifilm Instax - the mini 40. I went on a camping trip to Calatagan, Batangas with some outdoor-loving friends to find out what this camera could do.
|The body has a premium feel, non-slip texture, that will sit comfortably in anyone's hand.
|The Instax mini 40 has a way of making a statement with its nostalgic, edgy, and classic aesthetic.
The Instax mini 40 has a way of making a statement with its nostalgic, edgy, and classic aesthetic. They say I look 20-years younger by just carrying it around. It's a hip knockabout fun entry-model point-and-shoot camera from Instax and it allows users to enjoy on-the-spot photo printing and adapt to different shooting situations.
|Thanks to the new thumb rest instax designed into the body, it's more stable when held.
The body has a premium feel, non-slip texture, that will sit comfortably in anyone's hand. Thanks to the new thumb rest instax designed into the body, it's more stable when held. The faux black leather, framed with silver edging, is a design feature that achieves so much sophistication and style, that it could even become an awesome tabletop decor and conversation piece.
|The Mini 40 has a Selfie Mirror and utilizes a retractable 35mm-Equiv. F12.7 lens
The Mini 40 utilizes a retractable 35mm-Equivalent F12.7 lens. A press of the silver button (bottom right) both deploys the lens and turns the camera on. To turn the camera off, simply push the lens back in. The lens has a fixed focus range of 0.3 m to infinity.
The Instax Mini 40 is fully automatic. The exposure is calculated by the camera via a variable-speed shutter (1/2 - 1/250 sec). Its flash always fires, with a maximum flash range of 2.7-m (8.85 ft) and the recycle time is about 6.5 secs.
|Automatic Exposure function using the flash and ambient light sensors
The mini 40 features an Automatic Exposure function, which was originally introduced in the curvy Instax mini 11 (released in May 2020). The camera automatically optimizes the shutter speed, flash output, and other settings according to any shooting condition.
The mini 40 delivers beautiful photos, correctly exposed to the main subject and the background even in low lights. Whether you’re outdoors on a bright sunny day or cozying it up indoors, you’re sure to produce high-quality Instax prints.
|Fujifilm Instax mini instant film and the New Contact Sheet instant film
The Instax mini instant film has an ISO 800 rating which is considered a pretty fast film speed. The jump shots taken by the mini 40 of my friends on a cloudy day by the beach came out sharp and full of life. At the count of three, they were up in the air and all I had to do was click the shutter.
|The jump shots taken by the mini 40 of my friends on a cloudy day by the beach came out sharp and full of life.
Selfie Mode is activated by pulling out the front edge of the camera’s lens after powering it on. With the tiny selfie mirror conveniently located beside the lens, this mode allows you to perfectly frame your selfies so you won’t waste a shot. This mode also makes for great close-up shots. Proper focus can be achieved with a subject-to-camera distance of 30-50cm.
|Pull out the front edge of the lens until the “SELFIE ON” marking appears
|Close-up shots using the Selfie Mode
This camera is incredibly simple to operate. There are no exposure controls, dials to adjust, or lenses to manipulate; just point, and shoot. It might be too simple for some to use, but if you are a person that just wants great instant pics, this is the camera for you.
I only struggled with one thing. What i saw and composed through the viewfinder was not always what came out on the picture. Acurate and on-the-money shots were the one's taken more than 1-meter away. Any thing closer were off the mark and I had to learn to adjust my center point.
|Instax mini Contact Sheet instant film photos
Aside from the standard Instax mini instant film, I also tried the new film variant, the mini CONTACT SHEET. It is designed in the motif of contact sheet on photographic film, being the perfect partner to the retro vibe of the mini 40. There are 70 patterns of photo numbers from 1 to 70, randomly packed by 10 sheets/pack, making each shot stand out. That was a nice touch you added Instax.
The Instax mini 40 is pumped with attitude for today’s new generation of image-makers and shot takers. Combining ‘fast to action’ features with classic design cues and fresh Instax mini film, it’ll keep you one shot ahead of the rest.
I totally enjoyed shooting with the Instax mini 40. It brought back photographic nostalgia and lifetime memories I can actually touch, treasure, and share with my friends.
Learn more about the mini 40 at Fujifilm Instax on Facebook (facebook.com/TeamInstaxPh) and Instagram (@teaminstaxph).
The Fujifilm Instax mini 40 (SRP Php5,499) and mini Contact Sheet film (SRP Php400) are now available for purchase in all authorized FUJIFILM dealers nationwide. You may visit the Instax website (instax.ph/where-to-buy) for a complete list of stores or purchase it online from the official flagship stores in Lazada (lazada.com.ph/shop/instax-philippines), Shopee (shopee.ph/instax_ph), or Wonder Photo Shop (wonderphotoshop.ph)
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