The Fujifilm Instax 210 is one of the few wide-format instant film cameras on the market today. I picked one up a couple months ago for around $80 with the intent of capturing some fun analog photos this summer.
And it’s been a real hit all around. Every time I break it out around friends or family, I get nothing but positive vibes. In today’s world of a bajillion Instagram photos on everyone’s phone, there’s something special about handing your friend or family a physical print that exists only as that single print.
There are no copies, no reprints, no downloads and no filters. All of that is a fun breath of fresh air.
Now, about the camera…
As I mentioned, it is a wide format Instax camera that produces images twice the size of the more popular Instax Mini prints.
The wide Instax prints have a 62 x 99mm image size, whereas the Instax Mini prints have a 62 x 46mm image size. Both prints have a white frame around the image with a wide base that allows you to write captions for the images with a pen.
With these Instax cameras, I don’t really care to rate image quality outside of “fun” but if you have been locked into digital for years, I think you will appreciate the obvious analog appearance. The colors are nicely saturated in good lighting but it needs that good lighting to make a decent exposure.
You can adjust the exposure +/- 2/3EV by using the Lighten and Darken toggles. The lens is 95mm at f/14 and the shutter auto adjusts between 1/64s to 1/200s.
I haven’t done the math on the 95mm focal length equivalent but just eyeballing it, it looks to be around a 35mm-equivalent field of view on a full frame camera.
The viewfinder is a rather loose frame of your final image, so you’ll want to stay away from the edge of the frame with your subject.
One obvious downside about the Instax 210 is its size. It is almost laughably large by today’s mirrorless and compact camera standards. You can see that it even dwarfs the smaller Canon Rebel SL1 in the above photo.
The Wide Instax film is not necessarily cheap for the 210. You can usually find it for around $0.75 to $0.85 per exposure. At the time of this review, a twin pack of 10 sheets is $16 at B&H Photo (or $0.80 per exposure).
Of course, you won’t be popping off frames with the Instax 210 the way you do your DSLR with a 64GB memory card. I make an effort to only aim for deliberate, special moments with the camera. With that aim in mind, I’m more than happy to spend a little under a buck per shot.
I realize that instant film cameras are clearly not going to be every photographer’s thing. But if you haven’t shot instant film (or any film) in some years, think on it for a couple of minutes and you just might come up with the same nostalgic reasons I did to plunk down $80 for one of these fun cameras.
Along with my GoPro cameras, the Fujifilm Instax 210 is one of my favorite photography purchases in the past couple years.