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Lomography Lomo'Instant Wide Review

The Lomo'Instant Wide is continuing the 'film is cool' trend in a much wider fashion and we were given the chance to take it out for a spin to see just how fun film can still make photography.

|  Lomography Instant Wide in Film Compacts
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1/15 sec | f/9.0 | 10.4 mm | ISO 3200

Instant film cameras (yes, we did say film) are still riding the popularity wave with many never leaving Amazon's 'most popular' lists and Lomography quite regularly releasing new versions which are bucking the digital trend. One of Lomography's most recent releases was the Lomo'Instant Wide camera with its quirky features, conversation-starting style and fun accessories. 

Those who are Lomography fans will recognise the design instantly as it is very similar to the Lomo'Instant designs released previously. If you've not joined the film revolution just yet, you may look at the Lomo' Instant Wide and wonder why on earth you'd be seen in public with it due to its chunky box design but once you've actually started taking photos with it and having a bit of fun, its overall design isn't all that important. Yes, it doesn't look as sleek as some of the retro-looking MFT cameras out there but it's definitely a conversation starter and some, I'm sure, will find its quirky design appealing. 


1/25 sec | f/9.0 | 10.4 mm | ISO 3200

The Lomo' Instant Wide is available in four colour choices: Central Park (orange / red), Portobello Road (blue / green), White and Black (on test is the black version) and it retails for £199, which is a little steep when compared to other instant cameras on the market, however the money does get you the camera and a boat-load of accessories which includes: 

  • Colored Gel Filters
  • Lomo'Instant Wide Ultra Wide-Angle Lens Attachment and Viewfinder
  • Lomo'Instant Wide Close-Up Lens Attachment
  • Lomo'Instant Wide Splitzer
  • Remote Control Lens Cap
  • Shooting Technique Cards
  • Instruction Manual


Lomo Instant Wide (8)

Lomo'Instant Wide Features

The Lomo' Instant Wide uses Fujifilm Instax Wide film (not included) and is powered by four AA batteries. The batteries are cheap but some may find the price of the film a little expensive as it's around £20 for 2 packs of 10 sheets making each photo you capture about £1. A film pack of 10 shots is loaded into the back of the camera and there's a counter which tells you how many shots you have left. Also on the back is the power button, an exposure compensation switch for making photos darker / brighter, a button for toggling the flash on / off and a button you can press to switch to a multiple exposure mode. 


Lomo Instant Wide (2)

If you're used to working with more conventional cameras then the location of the shutter button may seem a bit weird at first but once you've held the camera in your hands, it's easy to see why Lomography placed the shutter button where they did as it falls into place under your finger right away. 


1/100 sec | f/9.0 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160

For those who like to get a bit more creative and hands-on with the final image, the added controls will be a welcomed addition along with the bulb mode that can be activated by switching the power dial to 'B'. In Bulb mode, users can keep hold of the shutter button for as long as they like to capture a longer exposure. There's also a 1/30th of a second option which is great in situations where there's plenty of light (such as under studio lights). If you're just wanting to have a bit of fun with friends then the A mode will be perfectly adequate for you as all you have to do is frame your shot, press the shutter button and wait for the camera to kick out your photo. 


Lomo Instant Wide (5)

Turn the camera around and you'll see a 'selfie mirror' on the front which even though is small, is actually really useful for framing self-portraits and there's a ring around the lens which can be twisted to adjust the focal length. Three options are available: 0.6m, 1-2m and infinity. Any budding landscape photographers will know that infinity is ideal for those wide vistas you capture in the countryside while the closer, 0.6m option is the one to go for when capturing portraits or 'selfies'. The middle option will capture more of your subject in the frame and is also useful for general wide-angle shots. 


1/30 sec | f/9.0 | 10.4 mm | ISO 3200

The optical viewfinder, which can actually be changed when using a different lens, is clear to look through and Lomography has added a dotted box on the glass to help you frame your photo. This is a nice little touch and helps ensure you don't waste one of your photos by accidently chopping off someone's head or messing up your composition. 


Lomo'Instant Wide Performance 

The quality / style of photos the Lomo'Instant Wide produces won't be everyone's cup of tea but I have to admit that I really do like the photos. Yes, they're not completely sharp, colours can be a bit weird and there are vignettes and light bleeds galore but for me, this is the beauty of it. The photos you produce can be incredibly quirky and creative, something you'd struggle to get with digital without having to complete some post work on your shots. The whole photo taking process is fun and when you're so used to capturing an image, seeing it on screen then more than likely never really doing anything with it apart from sharing it on Facebook, there's something really novel and almost special about clicking the shutter button and an image appearing right then and there. 

The camera's really easy to use and by using the multiple exposure option, you can capture some really unique and most of the time, unexpected results. The exposure compensation dial is really useful when working outside on bright days while the 'A' mode is just a good, all-round option that's perfect for those who just want to 'click and print'.

We didn't have much luck with the close-up lens but the lens cap, which acts as a remote trigger is a nice little feature that means you can be in group shots rather than having to stand behind the camera. If you do want to capture the arm out-stretched selfie, the little mirror is a handy tool. 

The prints are of a nice size and the frames just further add to the retro uniqueness of the shots produced. Plus, it's great to be able to click the shutter and hand the print to your friend there and then. 

Lomography Instant Wide Sample Photos


Value For Money

At almost £200, I'd be lying if I said I thought that the Lomo'Instant Wide is reasonably priced (but then again, I am a northerner...), however, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 isn't far behind it at around £126. The Instax Mini cameras are slightly cheaper at around the £60 price mark and so is the Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera at £89.99. The Fuji Instax Wide uses the same film and is £96. 


Lomo'Instant Wide Verdict 

The Lomo'Instant Wide instant camera is a lot of fun to play around with. You can experiment with photography, not take yourself too seriously, have fun with portraits and experiment with capturing quirky shots of architecture etc. in ways you might not when working digitally. A slight downside (if you can call it that?) is that it's really easy to quickly get through a pack of 10 shots when with friends, all of whom want their photo taking with the quirky bit of kit. I don't know what it is but there's just something awesome about instant prints you can actually hold in your hand and watch develop, even if they are a little expensive and the kit that captures them is far from subtle.

I've already mentioned the cost of the prints which when compared to the price of digital printing is a bit ridiculous, however, the film is around the same price of any film you pick up for these types of cameras. We can't overlook the price of the actual camera bundle either as even though you do get lots of nice accessories at nearly £200, it's a lot of money to spend on a piece of kit that in reality, you're just going to take to parties or out when you want a little bit of fun. Having said that, the camera's a lot of fun, the prints it creates make you smile and it's a doddle to use so if you can justify its cost, the camera's well-worth a look. 


Lomo'Instant Wide Pros

So much fun 
Plenty of creative modes 
Instant gratification of 'instant prints'
Cool accessories, including a quirky remote shutter release 

Lomo'Instant Wide Cons

Close-up lens is tricky to use 
Design is a bit chunky 


The Lomo'Instant Wide instant camera is a quirky bit of kit that you can have a lot of fun with.



Lomography Instant Wide Specifications

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josa 9 25 Czech Republic
25 Jan 2016 8:06PM
Yes, looks like lots of fun!

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