Lomography Lomo'Instant Wide Review
Pros: Gorgeous prints, lots of creative features, simple user interface
Cons: Prone to jamming, expensive, on the heavy side
Compare to Similar Products
Lomography Lomo'Instant Wide
|Price||$200 List||$160 List||$130 List||$70 List|
$73.50 at Amazon
$101.17 at Amazon
|Pros||Gorgeous prints, lots of creative features, simple user interface||Lots of creative options, convenient size, great image quality, can save photos and view before printing||Durable, comfortable to use, creative options||Easy to use, convenient size, reliable, budget friendly||Classic instant film experience, beautiful vintage-looking prints|
|Cons||Prone to jamming, expensive, on the heavy side||Mild learning curve to ensure prints come out well in different lighting situations||Learning curve, heavy for its size, super contrasty prints with dark lighting||Limited creative controls, non adjustable flash||Expensive film, awkward size|
|Bottom Line||A beautiful machine that produces stunning wide-format images with a vintage appeal||A hybrid that utilizes the best parts of digital and film, all in one convenient little package||A nice mid-sized option with lots of features that adapts well to different lighting conditions||A reliable and simple to use option that's great for all ages||The old school fun and classic prints you know and love with a few modern perks|
|Rating Categories||Lomography Lomo'Ins...||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Fujifilm Instax Squ...||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Polaroid Now i-Type|
|Image Quality (40%)|
|User Friendliness (30%)|
|Specs||Lomography Lomo'Ins...||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Fujifilm Instax Squ...||Fujifilm Instax Min...||Polaroid Now i-Type|
|Film Cost Per Photo (approx)||$0.85||$0.85||$0.95||$0.95||$2.12|
|Film Capacity||10 shots||10 shots||10 shots||10 shots||8 shots|
|Battery Capacity||Claimed: None
Tested: The same batteries it came with were used throughout all of testing
|Claimed: 100 prints per charge depending on conditions
Tested: Accurate; camera was used in a wide variety of conditions (cold, indoor/outdoor, near a heater), and the charge was never drastically affected.
|Claimed: 30 Instax Square 10-pack
Tested: Accurate; the same batteries it came with were used throughout all of testing
|Claimed: 10 Instax Mini film packs of 10 exposures each
Tested: Batteries the camera came with died after a few packs, not 10. The camera lasted longer with different batteries but continued to die before hitting 10 packs.
|Claimed: 15 packs (or up to 60 days)
Tested: Battery never died during our test period, but it started to lack power around 6 packs and self timer wouldn't work without charging
|Power Supply||4 x AA batteries||Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB)||Two CR2/DL CR2 lithium batteries||Two AA-size alkaline batteries (LR6)||Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB)|
|Dimensions (as per manufacturer)||190.5 mm x 95.25 mm x 120.65 mm||82.5 mm x 122.9 mm x 36.7 mm (excluding protrusions)||118.7 mm x 128.1 mm x 58.1 mm (excluding protrusions)||107.6 mm x 121.2 mm x 67.3 mm||94 mm x 112 mm x 150 mm|
|Weight (as per manufacturer)||27.7 oz (without strap)||8 oz (without fiilm pack and memory card)||10.4 oz (without battery, strap, and film pack)||10.4 oz (without battery, strap, and film)||15.2 oz (without film pack)|
|Picture Size (as per manufacturer)||62 mm x 99 mm||62 mm x 46 mm||62 mm x 62 mm||62 mm x 46 mm||88.9 mm x 116.68 mm prints with a 78.74 mm x 78.74 mm image area|
|Image Settings||Multiple exposures||Multiple filters (stylish, B/W, sepia, fish eye, vivid), 10 in-camera frames (antlers, color stripe, light bar, wings, speech bubble, photo inside a photo, comic strip, etc.), 30 frame options through the app, ability to put a time stamp on prints||Double exposure, light or dark mode, macro, landscape, portrait||Autofocus||Double exposure|
|Focus Distances||0.6 m / 1-2 m / infinity||3.94 in / 10 cm to infinity||Macro Mode (0.3 m - 0.5 m/1 ft - 1.6 ft)
Normal Mode (0.5 m - 2 m/1.6 ft - 6.6 ft)
Landscape Mode (2 m/6.6 ft and beyond)
|0.3 m and beyond (use selfie mode for 0.3 m to 0.5 m)||Autofocus system via 2 fixed focus zones 0.55 m-1.3 m, 0.6 m - infinity|
|Focal Length||90 mm (35 mm equivalent)||28 mm (35 mm fiilm equivalent)||0.3 m and beyond (use selfie mode for 0.3 m to 0.5 m)||60 mm||103 mm standard, 89 mm portrait|
|Aperture||f/8, f/22||f/2||f/12.7||f/12.7||f/11 - f/64|
|Film or Digital||Film||Film prints, digital camera||Film||Film||Film|
|Film Development Time||90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature)||Around 90 seconds to develop, 12 seconds to print||90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature)||90 seconds (dependent on ambient temperature)||10 to 15 minutes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Above all else, what makes the Lomo'Instant Wide a top contender is the pleasing blend of modern instant camera tech with the old-fashioned appeal of its appearance. This camera's gorgeous wide format prints offered the most accurate color depiction and best overall image quality of all the cameras tested. The amount of high-level creative controls was unmatched by any of its contemporary analog counterparts. With the ability to shoot multiple exposures and long exposures — mixed with add-ons like color gel filters, and ultra-wide and close-up lens attachments --the user can get great shots in any scenario and from nearly any distance, allowing them to get as creative as their heart desires.
Earning the top score in our image quality test, the Lomo'Instant Wide produced excellent color accuracy and performed very well in adjusting to different lighting conditions. Despite needing to get the settings just right, this camera displays the full range of colors and produced the most natural and realistically saturated prints of all the cameras in the test group.
The Lomo Wide also displays textures incredibly well and was the only one to accurately capture an image taken involving a mirror, with a clear reflection and no blowout or blurring of the subject. So, for any true film connoisseur or anyone willing to take the time to get familiar with this camera, it's guaranteed to give you some fun and beautiful keepsakes.
Our user friendliness test was one area where the Lomo'Instant Wide did not do well. Despite having relatively simple and intuitive controls, having to constantly unjam the printer was extremely frustrating. Using the close-up lens attachment was another pain point, as even after extensive research and messing with the settings, the prints always came out blurry. Aside from these unfortunate issues, the Lomo Wide is fun and fairly easy to use, with a high level of creative controls conveniently located on the body. It's quite sad that our experience was tainted by the need to spend so much time troubleshooting and yanking out dark slides that were jammed in the print slot.
The continual problems with the film dispenser led to the Lomo'Instant Wide receiving its lowest score of all the metrics, coming in near the bottom of the group. The film dispenser jammed multiple times throughout testing and even five times in one day. There were times when the remainder of the film pack could be saved by removing the jammed dark slide, but some caused the next few shots to be ruined, and others resulted in the entire pack being wasted.
For being a fully analog machine, the Lomo'Instant Wide comes equipped with a variety of features that give the user a high degree of creative opportunities. The controls on the body look minimal, with a few buttons and switches to adjust things like focal range, exposure compensation, brightness, and flash, but they provide a good amount of control over the final output while also keeping the learning curve gentle. The additional add-ons include both close-up and extra wide-angle lenses, color gels, and the ability to shoot long exposures, as well as unlimited multiple exposures. The lens cap also doubles as a remote, allowing you to set a timer or take self-portraits more easily. The aforementioned issues with the print dispenser and the close-up lens held this camera back a bit, but the creative opportunities offered by the Lomo'Instant Wide are about as much as you can get without going digital.
While the Lomo'Instant Wide does allow for a high level of creativity, it's also the heaviest camera that we tested, so it doesn't have the convenience or the added benefits of some of the smaller hybrid models. However, things like digital storage or a review screen would drastically change the experience and defeat the purpose of shooting analog, especially for the purists. When compared to similar models, this Lomography has more features and therefore provides more opportunities to get creative. Even so, the constant trouble with the printer, which is arguably the most important feature of an instant camera, caused it to score on the lower end in this test.
The fact that we never drained or had to replace the batteries in the Lomo'Instant Wide led to another top score for this camera. The same four AA batteries lasted through weeks of testing in all types of conditions, which was impressive because we often took numerous shots using many of the different settings each time we pulled it out. Also, since this camera doesn't automatically shut off when it's not in use, it was surprising that all the time we spent removing jammed slides and troubleshooting didn't drain the batteries more quickly as it did with some of the others.
The peak battery life performance for the Lomo'Instant Wide put it at the top of the pack for this metric. Although we didn't come across anything from the manufacturer stating the number of expected prints per battery cycle, we found a review that said around 40-50, which seems conservative but accurate based on our findings.
While the Lomo'Instant Wide can produce breath-taking images and enable the user to get as artistic as their creativity allows, it is also quite expensive. For many, the retro design, creative features, and picture quality will be enough to justify the price tag, and if we hadn't had so much trouble with the printing process, we'd completely agree. However, having access to printed photos in seconds is the main draw of instant cameras, and this one struggled to provide that. Also, the fact that this camera uses replaceable batteries, which are not included, means that the cost will continue to grow with its use. One saving grace is that the film for this camera is on the more affordable end, but this too will add up the more you use it.
All in all, the Lomography Lomo'Instant Wide is a beautiful vintage-looking machine that takes incredibly stunning pictures. Even with the printing issues, we found the experience of shooting with this camera enjoyable because of the impressive wide-format images that we came away with. Still, we have to note that every time we've tested this camera we've had issues with the film jamming. We keep hoping that the issue will be properly addressed, but thus far it has not and we will likely remove it from our lineup in a future update because of this. If you can get a fully functional model, we still recommend this camera for creatives, more experienced photographers, and anyone else who wants to have more control of settings but also wants the irreplaceable experience of shooting with film. Just make sure you have a solid return policy before purchasing this, just in case.
— Adam Yee
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