In a digital era when smartphones are more commonly used for taking pictures, instant cameras are far from dead. A lot of people have a penchant for good old-fashioned prints. Unsurprisingly, Instax 8 and 9 are still hot items amongst photography enthusiasts!
If you are a beginner, using a Fujifilm instant camera can be intimidating. While it is generally easy to operate, there are some aspects that require being more technical. You will encounter several problems, and at times, you might end up frustrated when you have no idea about what to do. That said, keep on reading and we’ll talk about some of the problems you might encounter, and more importantly, what you can do as a quick fix!
1. The Camera Does Not Turn On
This is one of the most common problems you will encounter. Some people may freak out instantly, thinking that there is a major problem. Do not panic. The first thing that you have to do is to check the battery. It might need a replacement. Make sure as well that the batteries are in their correct orientation.
If you read the manual, then you will see that the manufacturer notes that the average life of 2 AA batteries is 100 shots. This is equivalent to two film rolls. Keep track of the shots you have taken so that you will know when to replace the battery. It is frustrating to be in a beautiful location, ready to shoot, only to end up having no access to new batteries once the current ones have drained.
To be sure that the battery is the problem, look at the indicator light. The lights on the adjustment dial will blink at the same time. Also, the red light behind the viewfinder will blink.
2. The Picture is Too Bright
Instax film is expensive, so we understand how sad it is to end up with a picture that does not meet your anticipated quality. In many instances, the photo comes out too bright. This is a result of overexposure. This means that there is too much light coming in, resulting in a washed-out image.
The best solution for overexposure is to correct the aperture settings. There is an indicator light that detects the current environment, and from here, you can determine what aperture setting works best. Also, you might want to change the location and look for one there isn’t that much light. The film might have already been exposed to light, which is why it is unusually white after printing.
3. The Picture is Too Dark
This is the opposite of the problem above. In a smartphone, what you see on the screen is basically what you get. In an Instax, you cannot tell the quality of the picture unless it is printed. And once it comes out of the camera, it might be darker than anticipated, which is often a result of underexposure. The best way to correct this problem is to pick the right settings and make sure that it is matched to the environment where you are shooting. The best thing to do is to follow the settings that the camera recommends, and it is difficult to go wrong.
Another common problem is that there is not enough light. This is usually the case when you are shooting indoors. Fix it by adding an artificial light source or shooting outdoors. Nonetheless, make sure to manage the light to prevent the shots from being too bright.
4. The Lens is Stuck
The lens is one of the most important parts of an Instax. You can use it for taking self-portraits. Plus, it dictates how close the subject will be in the print. So, it is frustrating if the lens won’t rotate. Because you are annoyed, you might resort to hitting it hard with your hand or on a hard surface. This is one thing that you should not do as it can result to more problems than an effective solution.
A good solution is to extend the lens using the lens release switch. As you extend the lens, make sure that there is an opening when viewed from behind. After triggering the release switch, the lens must pop out. Look at the aperture ring. Once light appears, it means that the lens is already working, and you are ready to shoot.
5. The Film Does Not Come Out
When it is time for the camera to eject the film, but nothing comes out, this is an indication that the eject slot is blocked. There could be dirt or debris preventing the film from ejecting completely. Use a needle or any small sharp object that can pierce through the opening and remove the blockage.
You might also want to consider replacing the film cartridge. This can mean extra cost, but in some cases, this is the only way to fix the problem. The film can also be damaged, which is why it fails to eject from the camera. You also need to make sure that you have loaded the cartridge correctly. Otherwise, it will not eject or develop.
6. The Flash is Not Working
One of the best features of Instax is the flash. It provides supplemental lighting, adding brightness to your photos. If the flash is not working, the battery can be the problem. Also, inspect the bulb to be sure that it is not damaged. If you accidentally dropped the camera, then it is possible that the bulb was broken. It is one of the most sensitive parts of the camera, so make sure that you handle it with care.
So, if your Instax 8 or 9 is not working as it should, pay attention to the things mentioned above. From not turning on to having a film that does not eject, these problems are quite common. Do not panic once you experience these issues. With a bit of time and patience, you can complete the troubleshooting and the camera is ready in no time.