When it comes to Fujifilm Instax cameras, the only thing you need to know that they are an easy and fun way to click and print photos instantly. These Instax cameras are fitted with a print that self-develops within a few minutes.
In the modern world, most of us would agree that there are few practical uses of this system. However, when did photography become practical? You can make use of these cameras to experiment, at parties and weddings, have fun, or even offer them as gifts to young children.
Of course, apart from recreational activities, instant cameras are also often used in businesses and photo/film productions where an instant print may be required.
About Instax Mini 8
Before we dive into the process of loading film into the Instax Mini 8, let us understand some basic features of this instant camera. The Instax Mini 8 is a compact instant camera that is very lightweight and can be carried around with ease. It is also available in a wide range of colors like yellow, white, pink, purple, blue, black, and red.
This camera is powered by two AA-size batteries, which provides it with an edge over other instant cameras that use CR2 batteries. This is because AA-size batteries are easily found and much cheaper than CR2 batteries.
The Mini 8 works with the Instax Mini film, which is available from Leica and Fujifilm. The films are sold in packs of ten and you may have to spend about $0.90 for a single picture. Hence, it is recommended that you buy them in bulk.
Additionally, the prices of the film will also depend on the type. For instance, there are special films with borders with other colors instead of white; however, their price is a bit high. Similarly, the Instax Mini Monochrome films cost $1 per image.
How do you load film into the Instax Mini 8?
When you buy an Instax Mini 8 for the first time, you will notice that the instruction booklet is written in Japanese, accompanied by small pictures. If you are facing troubles with loading film into the Instax Mini 8, you can follow the steps mentioned below:
Placing the battery
Once you open the packaging, you need to take the Mini 8 camera and insert two AA-size batteries into the battery compartment. In most cases, the batteries will be packed along with the camera. As for future use, it is recommended that you purchase batteries from the same company.
Opening the film
The Instax Mini 8 films will come in two packs. Before opening the pack, make a quick note of the expiration date. While you can still use the expired film, the quality will be extremely poor. Additionally, it is advised that you do not store the film in hot and sunny areas like near your window or the front dashboard of your car and humid areas like your bathroom.
Opening the film door and loading the film
Next, you need to learn how to open the film door. To do this, you need to open the film door, push the button/spring on the top, and pull out the door. When you open this ‘door frame’ of the camera, you will notice a small yellow stripe. Now, match this stripe with the one also on your film and shut the door. You know that the door has been locked when the circular window outside the door has the ‘S’ sign.
Click a photograph
To turn on the camera, you need to push the button that will pop the lens out. Place the viewfinder to your eye. To capture the photo, tap on the circular button, and while doing so, ensure that you are not covering the top.
Additionally, a black plastic component may stick out after the click; so do not panic! This is a mechanism fitted into the camera to protect the film from exposure. Additionally, the small window near the door will now read ‘10’.
What are some tips to capture great photographs with the Instax Mini 8?
Now that you know how to load a film into the Mini 8, here are some tips that will help you capture consistent and gorgeous pictures so that you do not waste your films:
Always look for good lighting
Given any lighting condition, the Mini 8 will automatically choose the appropriate setting. Additionally, it is also fitted with an in-built flash that will illuminate any scene or subject that you are trying to click. However, it is advised that you click pictures in areas with good lighting so that the photos are not under-exposed.
Do not stand too far or close to the subject
If you are looking for the best results, it is recommended that you stand at a distance of 2- to 9-feet from the subject. The in-built flash has an effective range of 2.8-m (maximum). This way, the photos will be correctly exposed and focused properly.
Experiment with the brightness setting of the camera
If you are new to the world of photography, you should follow the camera’s suggested settings. However, certain situations allow you to set the brightness level if you want a darker or brighter result.
However, you should also first understand the different brightness settings of your camera. How bright the photo turns out to be will depend on the aperture of the camera. If you do not understand this, here is a simpler explanation – the larger the aperture, the more light is let into the camera. This means that the film is exposed to more light.
The aperture is measured in f-numbers; the small the f-number, the larger is the aperture.
If you are looking for a budget instant camera, then the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is the best choice. While it may lack the features available on more expensive cameras, the Mini 8 offers a decent service at an affordable price rate. Operating this camera is automatic and does not take a long time to get used to. In all regards, the Mini 8 will provide you with a pure point-and-shoot experience.