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5 Frames With… #55: Fuji INSTAX Wide Monochrome (EI 800 / INSTAX Wide / Mamiya Universal) – by Raymond van Mil

I love to shoot instant film. I love the old peel-apart film, I love Polaroid and I also love Fuji INSTAX. What I didn’t like so much was their bulky plastic camera so I bought the Lomography Belair Instax back and managed to DIY cut, glue and tape it to a Mamiya Universal. For flash work I use the rare Fuji Instax 500AF, the only Instax camera ever build with autofocus which they only made for 1 or 2 years. (God knows why, its way better then what they sell now, Fuji if you read this, please bring it back)

When EMULSIVE teased a picture of a Monochrome Wide pack I immediately became enthusiastic. The Monochrome film in mini version was nice but I wanted to shoot it with the medium format Mamiya to see what a good glass lens would do with it, and I was finally able to do so. The Dutch advertising department for INSTAX did sent me a few packs to try as soon as it came out, and I also shot one photo with FP-100b film that I had laying around to see what the differences where. I saw no difference in sharpness but the INSTAX has way more contrast and consequently the peel-apart film had more gradation of mid tone grays. Then again the FP100b film is old, and has a little marble effect of the development fluid being a bit treacly.

The images follow below. To view them in full screen, click or tap to zoom.

The third photograph with Amartey making a phone call with a stack of fake money bills was taken with the plastic 500AF at a party to see how the film works with flash – I loved the result. We are used to the same deep contrast with INSTAX color film and quite a lot of sharpness. All the other photos are shot with studio light and the custom Mamiya Universal with a 100mm Seiko lens around f/4.

Just yesterday (at the time of writing), I went to see Tijn who has been fixing Mamiya Lenses and camera’s since the beginning of the 1980s. He showed me around his workshop – which is a camera nerd heaven – and I managed to take the final sheet above and have his magnification add-ons sharp in focus!

~ Raymond van Mil



Get involved: submit your 5 Frames With

Getting your 5 frames featured couldn't be simpler: all you need to do is send over 5 frames shot on a single roll of film using the same lens and camera combination. Large format shooter, not a problem! As long as the shots all came from the same film stock, camera and lens, you're good to go.

You can submit your article in one of two ways: using this form, or via this page.

Finally, don't forget that this series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent Head on over to read the other half of these stories.



About The Author

Raymond van Mil

Raymond van Mil is a freelance photographer & Dutch VICE photo editor — Polaroid, analog, and digital work!


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