[Review] Fujifilm Instax wide 210 and Fujifilm Instax mini 25
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 ).
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 ) 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.
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.
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.
Can you control the flash for either the mini or the wide? i.e. turn it off and on?
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.
Originally Posted by ColdEye
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.
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Thanks, I didn't know the +/- were to control the exposure adjustment, I always thought it was flash control level.
Originally Posted by Joe VanCleave
Thank you for the information.
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.
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?
Originally Posted by h.v.
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.
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