A few months ago, I pre-ordered a Lomo Instant Square on Kickstarter, and I received it last week. It came without film, and I had to order the new Fujifilm Instax Square film on Amazon ($12.45 a pack of 10 instant prints).
On paper, the Lomo Instant Square is a very interesting camera:
- it works with the new Fujifilm Instax Square film, which yields images significantly larger than the Instax Mini, without needing cameras as large as those accepting the Instax Wide film.
- It also accepts the Instax Mini film – but it needs a different film door, which is only sold as part of a bundle of accessories ($59.00). I’ll pass for the moment.
- It has a lens with glass elements. The focal distance is 93mm, and the maximum aperture F/10.
- Thanks to its folding construction and light weight, it’s easy to carry.
I’ve only shot a few pictures so far, but because it’s a brand new model that only Kickstarter subscribers have received so far, I decided to post a few pictures of the camera with my comments.
The Lomo Instant Square in 4 bullet points:
- it’s intelligently designed, with the needs of serious photographers in mind.
- the build quality is good – for a Lomo camera – it’s not a Leica for sure, but it worked out of the box, and looks like its going to withstand the test of time in the hands of a moderately careful user.
- the Fujifilm “Square” prints are much larger than the “Minis” (which are credit-card size), but they’re still significantly smaller than the Polaroid SX700/600 format. The Impossible Project and Polaroid have a clear advantage here.
- I need to test the camera in different situations (in particular taking pictures of people with and without a flash – which seems to be the typical use of an instant film camera) – but what I’ve seen in admittedly difficult conditions shows potential – it’s hundreds time better than the combination of a Holga 120 and a Lomo Instax Mini back.
When I took this picture, it was already getting dark in the house, and Jules was somehow back-lit. With a lens opening at F/10 and a 800 ISO film, I was clearing flirting with the limits. The camera did well considering the circumstances. The picture is too dense (under-exposed), and the color balance is blue-ish, but the result is encouraging – the lens shows potential, and it’s my first Lomo camera that produces decent results out of the box without requiring some form of surgery.
A few links
My previous experiences with instant film:
Fujifilm and the instant film bonanza
The Impossible Project’s PX100 – the ultimate “low-fidelity” film ?