This is my Fuji Instax 200 camera.
I always wanted an instant camera when I was a kid. There’s something magical about seeing that photo develop in front of your eyes.
I wanted a polaroid but the news that polaroid instant film is going to be discontinued, plus the knock on effect this has had on the price of polaroid film, really put me off. I like using Fuji film in my (other) low tech and toy cameras so thought why not give Fuji instant a go.
I bought this Instax 200 off ebay in the summer for £3. It came with it’s original case and some batteries (and a slightly musty smokey whiff).
It has buttons on the side for power, focus range, lighten/darken/normal and to switch flash on (which is automatic anyway in low light and can’t be turned off). Also an LCD display at the top shows how many photos left in the film pack and the settings.
It’s very plastic but solid. The viewfinder seems a bit out. The film packs are really environmentally unfriendly. But I love to see that photo developing from a white sheet to a colour photo before my eyes. Plus it seems to make the world look like it’s the 1970’s again.
Nothing really prepared me for how huge a camera this really is. It’s almost as big as my head! And it’s not particularly light either so it’s not exactly the camera to take on a day trip without a bit of effort being put in! Also it doesn’t exactly lend itself to discreet photography – between the size of it, the not being able to turn off the flash and the whirr of the rollers spitting out the photo from the top … well it’s not exactly subtle.
This action shot of taking a photo with the Instax 200 demonstrates the scale …
Here’s the photo developing, still in the top slot of the camera where it popped out …
And this is the photo itself, taken with the Instax 200 of … well my hand and the digital point and shoot on a tripod taking a photo of the Instax 200, taking a photo of … and so on. You can see my arms are shorter than the required 90cm minimum focus range, or rather you can’t see because everything is blurred!
I feel a bit of a love hate relationship with this camera. I love the idea and the magic, but getting results (even toy camera, low tech results) may be a challenge. It’s fun. But it’s heavy, bulky, slightly odd smelling, fun.