For my Christmas pressie I was spoilt with a Fujifilm, Instax Mini 8 camera from my hubby. I have wanted one so badly for a while and thought I’d ask Petro from Monoshop.co.za for some advice on how to use this beauty properly. Just love this ladies’ photos that she takes as well as her on-line store!
Instax Mini 8 Review
Taking photos is something, I think, most people with a smart phone enjoy – myself included. Smart phone cameras and platforms such as Instagram allow us to take beautiful photos, edit them and share them with everyone, all in a matter of minutes.
While it is great to be able to do that, I also love the idea of getting back to basics – taking a photo through the viewfinder, waiting a few minutes for it to develop and doing all of this with a limited amount of film.
I am talking, of course, about my instant camera. I own a white/cream Instax Mini 8 camera – it doesn’t take professional quality photos, the film is expensive and I can hardly control how the photos come out but somehow I just love it so much. There is something about taking photos this way that really appeals to me and the photos do have a unique character to them (I think that’s why so many love the Instax).
If you have one of these (or are thinking about getting one), you should know (maybe you already do) that the Instax is not like your smartphone camera or any other camera. In other words, don’t expect a great amount of accuracy or detail from it. Rather think about it as a fun, retro way to capture your favourite moments (which, in my opinion, is a great reason to own one).
Having said that, I do have some tips on getting the most out of your Instax.
- Use the exposure control dial.
This is probably the most important tip. If you don’t use the right exposure setting, your photo will end up either too dark or too light. Your camera will tell you which setting to use – simply adjust the dial according to which setting lights up when your camera on.
- Avoid close-ups.
Since you can’t control the focus or turn of the flash, it is best not to take close-up photos. Try to hold the camera at least 60-80 cm away from your subject.
- Use the high-key setting indoors.
If you are like me and prefer your photos to be on the bright side, use the high-key exposure setting. You will see it on the exposure dial. Be careful though – this setting works great in dark areas but if you already have enough light in the room, your photo can easily turn out white if you use this setting. When outdoors, stick to the setting that lights up on the exposure dial.
- Plan your shots.
Film is expensive! Plan your shot, get everything ready and check that your camera is on the right exposure setting before you press the shutter. If you take candid photos, always check the exposure before each photo.
Always have extra film with you.
It’s good to stock up on film – especially when you’re traveling or otherwise planning to take a lot of photos (if you run out of film, your camera will be nothing more than a cute accessory!). Just remember to store your unopened film packages in a cool, dark place.
If you get the basics right, Instax is such a fun way to take photos and the photos themselves are great for putting on your mood board or as part of a personal gift. As for the not-so-great photos, I usually just use them as bookmarks.
Would you buy an instant camera? If you already own one, what is your favourite part about it? Let me know in the comments!
Text, images and products by Monoshop.co.za.
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