Instax

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Instax
Instax logo
Owner Fujifilm
Introduced 1998
Markets Worldwide

Instax is a brand of instant still cameras and films marketed by Fujifilm since the late 1990s. There are two formats of Instax film and cameras − the original "wide" format which gives an image approximately 60 mm x 99 mm, and a "mini"[1] format of 62 mm x 46 mm.

Format Characteristics[edit]

The films and cameras are based upon the improvements Kodak made to Polaroid's SX-70 instant film system in the instant film cameras it sold in the 1970s and 1980s, namely the ability to expose the film through the rear of the photograph, and the reversal of the order of the dye layers so that development in the blue layer is visible first. As a result of these changes the image does not need to be taken via a reflex mirror in order to reverse the image (as all Polaroid integral film cameras do); and colour balance and tonal range are improved over Polaroid integral instant films. As well Fuji's decision to integrate the pressure plate springs and electrical power sources into the camera bodies rather than the disposable film pack itself helps make the Instax system more economical per exposure than Polaroid's equivalents.

Although Kodak itself ceased production of instant film cameras when it was successfully sued by Polaroid for patent violation, the Instax cameras were made and marketed with Polaroid's permission and as a result could not be officially distributed in certain territories such as the USA, until the original Polaroid patents expired in the mid 1990s. With Polaroid ceasing production of instant films in 2008, the Instax system was the only integral instant film system in production until The Impossible Project launched their own integral film in early 2010. The Instax Mini system is also sold in some markets by Polaroid itself [2] through the Polaroid 300 and Polaroid 300 Film (in reality an Instax Mini 7S and Instax Mini film).

Instax Mini[edit]

Fujifilm Instax Mini 25 camera

Instax Mini is an ISO 800 credit-card-size (86x54 mm) integral daylight color film designed for use with Fujifilm instax mini compatible cameras. The Mini film and camera systems are also called Cheki (チェキ) in Japan; the Cheki moniker derives from the English "check it".[citation needed]

Film Specifications[edit]

Taken from the film specifications on the Fujifilm website [3]

Film Speed ISO 800/30°
Color Temperature Daylight type (5500K)
Resolving power 12 lines/mm
Photos per Pack 10
Film Size 86 x 54 mm
3.4" x 2.1"
Image Size 62 x 46 mm
2.4" x 1.8"
Film Pack Size 92 x 61 x 20 mm
Film Pack Composition Polystyrene pack and light-
shielding cover sheet

Instax Mini Cameras[edit]

Discontinued Current
Model Release Lens Shutter Exposure Batteries Size
W×H×D (mm)
Weight
(body)
Notes
Instax Mini 10 [4] November 1998 60 mm ƒ/12.3 1/30 to 1/400 automatic 2xCR123A 119 x 113 x 58 mm 335 g (11.8 oz)
Polaroid Mio [5] December 2001 60 mm ƒ/12 automatic 2xCR2 117 x 127 x 56 mm 343 g (12.1 oz)
Instax Mini 30 [6] May 2002 automatic 122 x 106 x 52 mm 325 g (11.5 oz)
Instax Mini 20 [7] December 2002 automatic 115.5 x 121.5 x 52 mm 310 g (10.9 oz) Similar to Polaroid Mio
Instax Mini 55 [8] March 2003 60 mm ƒ/12.7 manual (4 settings) 112.0 x 96.5 x 49.5 mm 275 g (9.7 oz)
Instax Mini 50 [9] September 2003 manual (4 settings)
Instax Mini 7 [10] June 2004 1/60 to 1/400 manual (4 settings) 4xLR6/AA 119.5 x 121.5 x 70.5 mm 320 g (11.3 oz)
Instax Mini 7S [11] June 2008
Instax Mini 25 [12] June 2009 1/30 to 1/400 automatic 2xCR2 112.0 × 121.0 × 50.5 mm 275 g (9.7 oz)
Polaroid 300 [13] April 2010 1/60 to 1/400 manual (4 settings) 4xLR6/AA 119.5 x 121.5 x 70.5 mm 320 g (11.3 oz) Rebranded Instax 7S
Instax Mini 50S [14] September 2010 1/30 to 1/400 manual (4 settings) 2xCR2 112.0 x 96.5 x 49.5 mm 275 g (9.7 oz) [15]
Instax Mini 8 [16] November 2012 1/60 to 1/400 manual (5 settings) 2xLR6/AA 116 × × 118.3 x 68.2 mm 307 g (10.8 oz) [17][18]
Instax Mini 90 [19] September 2013 1.8 to 1/400 manual 1xNP45A 113.4 x 91.9 x 57.2 mm 296 g (10.4 oz) [20][21]
Model Release Lens Shutter Exposure Batteries Size
W×H×D (mm)
Weight
(body)
Notes
FinePix PR21 [22] 1999 35 mm ƒ/8 1/4 to 1/1000 automatic 3xAA 113 x 127 x 60 mm 550 g (19.4 oz) 2.3 Megapixel
Model Release Lens Shutter Exposure Batteries Size
W×H×D (mm)
Weight
(body)
Notes
Diana Instant Camera Back April 2009 N/A N/A N/A 2xCR2 N/A  ??? g For use with Diana F+
Diana F+ w/ Instant Camera Back April 2009 32 mm ƒ/11 ∞ to 1/60 manual 2xCR2 N/A  ??? g
Lomo'Instant[23] December 2014 27 mm ƒ/8 ∞ to 1/125 manual 4xLR03/AAA 141 x 96.3 x 57 mm  ??? g All new camera
LC-A + Instant Back[24]  ? Minitar 1 32mm ƒ/2.8 Automatic - ∞ to 1/500 automatic LR44 1.5V  ?  ?  ?
Instantflex TL70[25] July 2015 61mm ƒ/5.6, ƒ/8, ƒ/16, ƒ/22, ƒ/bokeh 1/500 - 1 second, 10 seconds bulb automatic 3XAA Batteries 141mm x 102mm x 80.2mm 525g  ?

Instax Mini Printers[edit]

Model Release Batteries Size
W×H×D (mm)
Weight
(unit)
Notes
Instax "Cheki" NP-1 [26] 2005 2xCR2 120.5 x 45 x 108 mm 250 g (8.8 oz) Only released in Japan
Instax Share SP-1 [27] January 2014 101.6 x 42 x 122.5 mm 253 g (8.9 oz) Successor to the Pivi

Digital Instax Pivi[edit]

The Digital Instax Pivi line was intended as a digital/analog hybrid. The original intention was to produce a new format to feed a series of digital instant cameras similar in approach to the Olympus C-211, a digital camera with a built-in Polaroid 500 film printer. Fujifilm delivered on that premise but did so in the form of the FinePix PR21, a digital camera with a built-in Instax mini printer released in 1999.[28]

Instax Pivi film looks physically identical to Instax mini, but it takes a different formulated film producing an inverted image when used in a mini camera, making them deliberately incompatible to a fault.

The original project did not end with the launch of the FinePix PR21. A stand alone printer was planned from the start but was not the primary focus, but it turned into one with the advent of mobile devices, making it to market in 2004 after 5 or so years in limbo.

  • Digital Instax Pivi film (film size: 54 (W) x 86 (H) mm picture size: 46 (W) x 61(H) mm) - incompatible with Instax mini film -
Discontinued Current
Model Release Max Input Resolution Interface Batteries Size
W×H×D (mm)
Weight
(unit)
Notes
Instax Pivi MP-100 [29] 2004 3 MP (2048x1536) IrDA 2xCR2 126.5 x 98 x 29.5 mm 205 g (7.2 oz) compatible with IR-100 [30]
(USB to IR adapter)
Instax Pivi MP-70 [31] November 2005 129 × 100 × 29 mm 210 g (7.4 oz)
Instax Pivi MP-300 [32] June 2006 41 MP (6400x6400)
or 1 MB over IrDA
USB
IrDA
146 × 102 × 29 mm 225 g (7.9 oz) optional AC adapter

Instax Wide[edit]

Instax Wide Pack
Fujifilm Instax 500AF camera
Instax 100

Upon introduction simply called Instax without any suffix (making it the normal, not mini, Instax film), Fujifilm gradually embedded the "Wide" moniker into the name of the product. That rebranding pattern can also be seen on the Instax 210 who now appears on Fujifilm site as Instax WIDE 210 despite not being referenced elsewhere like that.[33]

Film Specifications[edit]

Taken from the film specifications on the Fujifilm website [34]

Film Speed ISO 800/30°
Color Temperature Daylight type (5500K)
Resolving power 10 lines/mm
Photos per Pack 10
Film Size 86 x 108 mm
3.4" x 4.3"
Image Size 62 x 99 mm
2.4" x 3.9"
Film Pack Size 92 x 115 x 20 mm
Film Pack Composition Polystyrene pack and light-
shielding cover sheet

Instax Wide Cameras[edit]

Discontinued Current
Model Release Lens Shutter Focusing Batteries Size
W×H×D (mm)
Weight
(body)
Notes
Instax 100 [35] May 1999 95mm ƒ/14 1/64 to 1/200 Manual 4xLR6/AA 171.5 x 91.5 x 119.5 mm 650 g (22.9 oz)
Instax 500AF [36][37] July 1999 95 mm ƒ/12.8 1/8 to 1/125 Automatic (AF) 2xCR123A 174.5 x 76 x 120 mm 655 g (23.1 oz) Only Instax model with Autofocus
Instax 200 [38] November 2000 95mm ƒ/14 1/64 to 1/200 Manual 4xLR6/AA 178.5 x 94.5 x 117.5 mm 650 g (22.9 oz) Flash relocated to the side
Instax 210 [39] June 2009 610g (21.5 oz) Internally slimmed down
Instax Wide 300 [40] Spring 2015 167.8 x 94.7 x 120.9 mm 612 g (21.6 oz) Redesign+tripod mount
Model Release Lens Shutter Exposure Batteries Size
W×H×D (mm)
Weight
(body)
Notes
Belair Instant Back March 2014 N/A N/A N/A No N/A 599 g [41] (21.13 oz) For use with Belair X 6-12
Belair X 6-12+Instant Back March 2014 ƒ/8-16 1/125 sec. and bulb N/A 2xLR44 N/A 1400 g [42] (49.4 oz)

Reception and growing popularity[edit]

Fujifilm originally wished to release the Instax series worldwide including North America and Europe simultaneously,[43] but chose to work with Polaroid on the mio camera based on the Instax mini 10/20 for the US market. The mio product was discontinued after a few years.

In 2014 it was reported that the Instax Mini 8 was outselling flagship models like the Fuji X-T1 and Sony A7r. The Impossible Project also registered year on year growth since the launch of their film line in 2010, and for the first time in years camera releases are coming more often as well as becoming more premium.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kennedy, Ingrid (5 September 1999). "Is it worth it... The Fujimax Instax Mini". The Independent. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Polaroid 300 on Polaroid website". 2010. 
  3. ^ "Instax Mini film manual" (PDF). May 1999. 
  4. ^ "Instax Mini 10 JP manual" (PDF). November 1998. 
  5. ^ "Polaroid Mio manual" (PDF). December 2001. 
  6. ^ "Instax Mini 30 JP manual" (PDF). May 2002. 
  7. ^ "Instax Mini 20 JP manual" (PDF). May 2002. 
  8. ^ "Instax Mini 55 JP manual" (PDF). March 2003. 
  9. ^ "Instax Mini 50 JP manual" (PDF). September 2003. 
  10. ^ "Instax Mini 7 JP manual" (PDF). June 2004. 
  11. ^ "Instax Mini 7S EN manual" (PDF). June 2008. 
  12. ^ "Instax Mini 25 EN manual" (PDF). June 2009. 
  13. ^ "Polaroid 300 EN manual" (PDF). April 2010. 
  14. ^ "Instax Mini 50S EN manual" (PDF). September 2010. 
  15. ^ "Instax Mini 50S brochure" (PDF). September 2010. 
  16. ^ "Instax Mini 8 manual" (PDF). November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Instax Mini 8 US brochure" (PDF). November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Instax Mini 8 EU brochure" (PDF). November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Instax Mini 90 manual" (PDF). September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Instax Mini 90 US brochure" (PDF). September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Instax Mini 90 EU brochure" (PDF). September 2013. 
  22. ^ "FinePix PR21 spec sheet". 1999. 
  23. ^ http://shop.lomography.com/ph/cameras/instant-cameras/lomo-instant-black-edition
  24. ^ http://shop.lomography.com/ph/cameras/instant-cameras/lca-instant-camera
  25. ^ https://mint-camera.com/tl70/specifications/
  26. ^ "Instax "Cheki" NP-1 JP manual" (PDF). 2005. 
  27. ^ "Instax Share SP-1 EN manual" (PDF). January 2014. 
  28. ^ "FinePix PR21 JP press release". 1999. 
  29. ^ "Instax Pivi MP-100 JP manual" (PDF). 2004. 
  30. ^ "IR-100 JP product pagel". 2004. 
  31. ^ "Instax Pivi MP-70 JP manual" (PDF). November 2005. 
  32. ^ "Instax Pivi MP-300 EN manual" (PDF). June 2009. 
  33. ^ "Instax WIDE 210 product pagel". October 2014. 
  34. ^ "Instax Wide film manual" (PDF). May 1999. 
  35. ^ "Instax Wide 100 JP manual" (PDF). May 1999. 
  36. ^ "Instax Wide 500AF JP manual" (PDF). July 1999. 
  37. ^ "Instax Wide 500AF EN manual". July 1999. 
  38. ^ "Instax Wide 200 JP manual" (PDF). November 2000. 
  39. ^ "Instax Wide 210 EN manual" (PDF). June 2009. 
  40. ^ "Instax Wide 300 brochure" (PDF). September 2013. 
  41. ^ "Lomography Belair Instant Back Product Page". March 2014. 
  42. ^ "Lomography Belair Jetsetter Instant Camera Kit Product Page". March 2014. 
  43. ^ "Fuji may enter US instant film market". 31 October 1998. 

External links[edit]