Lomo Instant Review


  • Cool retro design
  • Built-in flash with fun colour gels
  • Good-value bundle with extra lenses


  • Bulky and a little flimsy
  • Viewfinder doesn’t work with close-up lens
  • Pricey film

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £89.00
  • 27mm-equivalent wide-angle lens
  • f/8-f/32 aperture settings
  • Compatible with Fujifilm Instax Mini instant film
  • 1/125s shutter speed and Bulb mode

What is the Lomo’Instant?

Lomography’s Lomo’Instant is the most advanced instant camera yet, and the result of a crowdfunded Kickstarter campaign.


the rise of the selfie and concerns over cloud storage of digital

snaps, Polaroid-esque instant cameras have made something of a comeback.

This model from analogue camera expert Lomography is the latest version

to hit the shops, but what sets it apart from the others?


Lomo’Instant offers far more control than you get with any other instant

camera, including a selection of removable lenses, different shooting

modes, aperture control and the ability to take multiple exposures.

The first models went out to Kickstarter backers in October, and the Lomo’Instant is now available to everyone.

Lomo’Instant – Design and Handling


Lomo’Instant sports a pleasingly retro design, although the box-like

design means that it’s rather bulky. With the exception of the

incredibly cool Fujifilm Instax Mini 90, instant cameras in recent years

have tended to feature slightly ugly, uninspiring designs, but the

Lomo’Instant is cool and blocky.

The camera sports a similar

faux-leather covering to the Lomography Lomokino and Belair models, and

is available in black or white. There’s also a model that’s covered real

brown leather with a slightly higher price tag of £109. We like the

white version best, as its shows off the minimalist design more, but the

finish is rather prone to picking up marks and scuffs, and there’s no

protective case available to keep it in.

The only accessory that

is available – aside from the optional lenses which we’ll look at in

more detail later – is a shoulder strap (£8.90), which is good news as

it makes the hefty camera slightly less cumbersome.

As with most Lomography cameras, physical controls are kept to a minimum, but these all feel well placed and intuitive.

Lomo’Instant – Controls and Features


key control that you’ll need to get to grips with is the mode switch,

which enables you to choose between having the flash on, off or on auto,

where a sensor will automatically set the flash to the most suitable

level based on the ambient light.

If you want to keep things

simple, you can just set it to auto each time, but it’s worth

experimenting a little – after all, the whole point of this camera is

that it offers you the flexibility to do just that. There’s even a handy

chart on the underside of the camera that tells you which settings to

use for which shooting conditions. The chart is cleverly moulded into

the plastic casing, so it doesn’t mess with the camera’s design.


next major control is the shutter release lever, which is smooth and

offers just the right amount of tension not to jog the camera when

you’re taking a shot. A simple, sliding focus switch lets you choose

from two options – 1m and below for close-ups and 1m to infinity for

everything else. Setting the focus to close-up makes the front portion

of the camera body protrude slightly, leaving it slightly vulnerable, so

make sure you switch the focus back to infinity before plonking the

camera back in your bag.

A ‘B’ (for bulb) switch means that you can snap long-exposure shots – ideal for light streaks at night.


MX control lets you take multiple exposures – just flip the switch

before taking a snap and you can take unlimited pictures on the same

frame before the picture pops out. While you can take as many multiple

exposures as you like on one frame, you’ll get the best results from

just two or three.

The exposure-compensation dial can be used to

adjust the aperture from -2 (f/32) up to 2 (f/8) – the largest aperture

range currently available on an instant camera, which means that you’re

more likely to get the right amount of light into your shots.


settings need a bit of trial and error to get right, but you’ll soon be

glad of the control offered when you see how opening up that aperture

makes a big difference in dark shooting conditions.

Perhaps the

most basic, yet effective, feature of all is the tiny round mirror on

the front of the camera, which is great for lining up selfies. For

conventional shots, there’s a straight-through optical viewfinder, but

it’s rather on the small side.


Lomo’Instant – Film and Lenses


camera uses the Fujifilm Instax Mini instant film, which is readily

available, albeit rather pricey – especially as you only get 10 shots

per film. Hunting out bulk buys on eBay is a good way to go.


up the film is as easy as on any Instax-toting cam – you simply tear

open the foil wrapper, plonk the cartridge in, making sure that the

yellow stripe matches up, and take a picture to eject the cover sheet.


adding to the flexibility offered by the camera, the box contains a set

of colour gels that can be placed over the built-in flash. As with any

colour gels, the lighter colours tend to give better results, as they

give a subtle filter effect rather than an overbearing hue.



camera’s fixed 27mm equivalent wide angle lens is really rather good –

it works well on portraits and selfies and also means that you can pack a

fair bit into long shots, too.

A bundle pack with three

additional lenses will set you back an extra £30, though the lenses

can’t currently be bought separately – so you need to decide at the

start whether you want the camera with or without the extra optics.



portrait lens is the best of the three and works well on mid-range

photos of people, while the fisheye is probably the lens that you need

the least – it’s good for some novelty shots but unlikely to be your

‘go-to’ lens, plus it needs plenty of light to get good results.


close-up lens attachment is a bit trickier to get good results from –

largely because you can’t use the viewfinder to focus on anything that

close, so you’re shooting blind. It’s also best to steer clear of the

flash on close-ups, with bright daylight giving the best results.


all images are slightly on the soft side, but getting the right

combination of lens and aperture gets picture as sharp as is possible.



camera is powered by four AAA batteries, so swapping in new cells is

easy and you don’t have to remember to take a charging cable around with


Should I buy the Lomo’Instant?

Overall we like the

Lomo’Instant a lot, despite its flaws. The design is cool, but for

something so bulky, it feels a little flimsy and the faux-leather finish

is slightly prone to marking. The amount of manual control is good but

not too overwhelming, even for photography newbies.

We love

what’s been accomplished in terms of an instant camera, but we’re hoping

for a second-gen model with a few refinements, including a more robust

build and a more resilient finish.

We also like that the camera uses easy-to-find Instax film, but the costs do rack up as you rattle through those shots.



you fancy diving into instant photography, the Lomo’Instant offers

great control and is capable of great results – especially if you splash

the extra 30 quid to get the additional lenses. If you just want to dip

a toe, some Fujifilm models offer better value.

Next, read more Camera Reviews