[Review] Fujifilm Instax wide 210 and Fujifilm Instax mini 25

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by dreamingartemis, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Hi,
    Decided to contribute to this forum by writing some sort of a brief review (along side the other hundred already on the internet somewhere on someone's blog :D).

    I had actually bought the Instax Mini 8 first when I couldn't find the mini 25 in any of the shops here in Malaysia (typical, there was some shortage I think :blink:) but then when i went to Japan, I spotted the mini 25 going for a spell during christmas and decided to cave it and buy it (the Mini 8 went to my sister instead).

    Fujifilm instax mini 25
    I love this little cam, the controls are ergonomic and well designed. The lens and metering can really take some stunning stuff! It can handle high contrast scenes, close ups and no lens flare whatsoever unless you really force it.

    The only major drawback is that the mini instax film are only credit card small. This camera is also heaps better than the other instax because it can easily retract into a nice little pocketable form. I can easily fit it anywhere (bag, pockets, coat)!

    Fujifilm instax wide 210
    Now here is a big cam! Though it's not heavy as first precevied even when the batteries are in (4 AAs). While you lose the compactness of the mini but it gains a larger format instax film size!

    Sadly, the Fujifilm 210 isn't as developed in terms of lens and metering, so far in all my shots where the mini 25 has aced, the 210 falls flat with lots of lens flare as the lens is not coated like the mini 25 and the metering is not as good as the mini 25 so it's prone to either underexposed or overexposed shots when faced with high contrast scenes.

    But if you are actually trying to achieved the old arty feels of polaroid shots then this camera might fit the ticket nicely! Because it really behaves like that from the shots I have seen taken with old polaroid. :laugh::laugh:

    Conclusion
    One would think that the Wide would be an excellent choice for landscape or even some serious urban photography but due to the problem with the metering and lens I actually think it's more suited to indoor or some other non-high contrast situation. But then again, I only just got the instax wide for only a few weeks and tested in limited outside environment while most of the time I have been using it indoors to see how it handles.

    Meanwhile the instax mini 25 is an all-rounder and can pretty be used in heaps of situations I have encountered so far (shot it everyday for 2 weeks in Japan and have heaps of shot I put into my travel journal). The only drawback is the small credit card size of the instax mini.
     
  2. troyholden

    troyholden Member

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    I have the Mini 50 and Wide 210 and feel the same. The Mini 50 is far more reliable, generally has better colors, but is 1/2 the size of the Wide 210.
     
  3. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Can you control the flash for either the mini or the wide? i.e. turn it off and on?
     
  4. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Unfortunately, no. That is determined by the meter, all you can do is only force it on if say in situations where the metering deemed the flash not needed. Another thing is that you do have limited control on the power level of the flash through the lighter/normal/darken settings on the instax wide. This setting though is not available on the instax mini.
     
  5. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    IIRC, there's a push button switch on the side control panel of the 210 Wide that turns the flash on when extra fill is needed, but the camera will automatically use flash otherwise as needed. Meaning you cannot prevent flash from coming on if it thinks it needs it, but you can force it on otherwise. Also, there's no flash power level control. There is also, however, a "+" and "-" lighten/darken exposure adjustment on the camera that operates similar to the classic Polaroid cameras, where you can control the exposure of subsequent prints, iteratively.

    Here's a link to the PDF manual, a large, multi-language one-sheet affair.

    ~Joe
     
  6. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Thanks, I didn't know the +/- were to control the exposure adjustment, I always thought it was flash control level.
     
  7. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Thank you for the information. :smile:
     
  8. h.v.

    h.v. Member

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    Interesting review, thanks for posting. I've looked into the Instax 210 in the past as I've heard nice things about it (despite its size) plus it has a regular print size. But I may have to give the Instax Mini another look if it works better than the 210 and decide whether the larger print size is worth it.
     
  9. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Well it really depends on what kind of shots you expect from the 210, do you like the look of the classic polaroid who most people find it to their liking? If so, yeah get it, or are you looking for something that can handle most scenario?

    The mini especially the 25 and 50 seem to be quite good though I can't say much about the 7 and 8 series. Meanwhile, if you are willing to put in the effort, the 210 wide can be pretty good but only if you can control the lighting correctly. The most important thing is to ensure there is enough light so the flash won't be too bright.
     
  10. stand

    stand Member

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    Instax mini have cute design and really fit in with trend nowadays! however the paper refill is very expensive, one box just provide 10 sheets!
    For me Polaroid better b'cos the roll of films not to expensive and easy ro buy.

    just my opinion:smile:
     
  11. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    Keep in mind that the Instax Wide image area is of a 16:9 aspect ratio, not 1:1 square format like Polaroids.

    As for the flash, you can experiment with diffusers over the flash to control output power and light quality. Even colored gel filters can be used, you just have to try it out.

    Here's a sample image of mine:

    [​IMG]

    Note the shiny hotspot on the left fender of the car has a small black spot, that's solarization that happens with the Instax film if grossly over exposed.

    ~Joe
     
  12. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Well, you're probably right (I think :blink:) I never tried the stuff from TIP since that would mean buying more cameras and frankly my drybox is getting too full :D:D. So I wouldn't know if the instax refill packs are more expensive but I personally find them worth the money and I usually buy in bulk, of roughly, 10 to 20 packs per time for both mini and wide.:blink::blink: My sister is gonna kill me when she finds out how much space my film stuff is taking up on my shelf
     
  13. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Hey! Now that is an idea! using gel filters! So far, I'm only using scotch tape just to slightly diffused the flash so it wouldn't be so harsh. Didn't think about using gel filters to give it some funky effects!
     
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  15. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I had the autofocus Fuji Instax Wide camera -I think was 200 - from an auction deal. It was a nice camera, but after a few years use the processor got confused and would not drive the film all the way out after expsoure. This drove me to the 210, since finding another 200 was just nigh of impossible it seemed at the time.

    I mostly use it indoors at night as a party camera. People get a real kick out of being handed a print these days, and se it develop in front of theitr eyes.
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    How are they MORE expensive, you can get an instax mini 10 pack at Walmart for $15 where the Polarood (TIP) film is $24 for only 8... Plus the image quality of the instax is way higher than Polaroid.

    Honestly if you are shooting either camera they are really about the look of them more than image quality since all of the instant cameras are pretty bad if you blow them up bigger than their actual size.

    Anyway just wondering why you thought TIP was less expensive?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    I think you're referring to the now discontinued fujifilm 500AF as its the only auto focus instax camera that I know.
     
  18. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Maybe he is referring to the expired polaroid stuff you can find on ebay and not TIP?
     
  19. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    I have the Mini 8 and Wide 210. Tried to get a 25 or 50 but they just are not available in thus part of the world.

    Anyway, the Mini 8 works badly in bright conditions which I assume is due to the fixed shutter speed. Sad. This is why I wanted the other ones.

    I am getting some good results from the 210 but film is hard to get around here

    I also have been playing with the TIP film in my 600 and that has been pretty bad so far, very orange pictures. I take it that is due to it being summer here and exceeding the operating temp of the film.
     
  20. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Depends on which version, I would suggest buying the "Color Protection" and UVSilver Shade version, NOT the "cool shade" versions as those are older and were really bad...
     
  21. Marisamoon

    Marisamoon Member

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    Thanks for the review. Love the Fujifilm Instax wide 210! Been wanting to get a polaroid camera but was very hesitant on getting this because of the bulkiness, but I guess it's ok because of the big size of the pic you get out of it. Finally saw this camera in person at a party and couldn't stop thinking about it, so I got my own! :smile:
     
  22. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

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    I'm enjoying my Instax 210. Was a Christmas gift and I have been wanting it for some time.

    I have been toying with this with my studio strobes. It's an f14 lens with 1/64 slowest shutter speed so it makes it very reliable in a studio setting in terms of exposure. If you can remember the flash on-board will overexpose when you move up close. Blocking the flash lens and putting an optical slave trigger in there will make it a lot more reliable.

    And the exposure compensation does seem to adjust flash output as well as shutter speeds.
     
  23. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

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    Well, after playing with my camera for over a month, here's my thoughts on it.

    Fun point and shoot. Lens isn't great, but the photos you can take with it are. Has bad parallax error but is remedied for the most part by using your left eye to compose through the viewfinder. The built-in flash seems to work fine for portraits. Zone focusing is a bit of a pain. Even though I am Canadian and we use the metric system, I still think small distances in feet. So I'm getting a few softly focused shots when I am shooting portrait around the 3m mark. I think I'm going a little over.

    I modified mine by epoxying a hotshoe optical slave to the flash lens, and then blacking the rest of the flash lens with primer and black acrylic paint so I can use my pocketwizards and studio flash with it in a controlled manner.

    Makes it a bit more usable by me. :wink: I can use natural light or I can use flash.

    15593134344_1113cf88b9_z.jpg 16116416230_8a4e2f6e1f_z.jpg 16291768037_1de8820c2f_z.jpg 16451670036_a1c1da9e06_z.jpg

    Great little camera and has gotten me shooting instant film again. I've shot a bit of Impossible colour film. Which was a big letdown for me. I think the last time I shot a lot of Polaroids was back in 1998 when I was a taking a lot of nudes of my girlfriend at the time. Heh.

    Just purchased an instant holder for my GX-680 and a couple land cameras and some FP-100C film. I'm back into instant. Hah.
     
  24. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Wow! Those are great shots! I am still learning with my instax 210 - nothing beats the experience of waiting for the photo to show up. :tongue::tongue:

    Do you mind posting a photo of your modified instax 210? I'm curious about and would like to do something similar. I have though of somehow directly modifying the camera's flash and link it up to a 3rd party hotshoe instead, but your solution seems to be a better idea!
     
  25. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Member

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    On the Instax Mini 90, the brochure says the flash can be turned off.
     
  26. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Only recent new models like the Mini 90 have the feature where the flash can be turned on or off.