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Lomo Instant Camera – Get Your Retro Look On

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lomo instant camera havana

Lomo instant camera is just another proof that film photography is still alive and kicking. Instant film cameras are growing in popularity, and Lomography knows how to take advantage of this trend. The Lomo instant camera is one of the most recent exciting releases that Lomography is eager to engage us in. If you are unfamiliar with the whole Lomo movement, we’ll explain the ins and outs.

What is Lomography?

This organization is dedicated to experimental film photography, also known as analog photography. But it’s not your traditional style of photography; that’s for sure. Lomography was invented by the Austrian company Lomographic Society in the early nineties. Lomography is thought to be an art movement.

It evokes the same feelings you get when looking at vintage photos taken by old polaroid cameras. There’s no rule when it comes to Lomography. Did the colors come off wrong? That’s the aim. Wrong focus? Your picture might just look more impressive now. How about that vignetting effect? One either loves it or hates it, but for Lomographers, it is just the thing. With Lomography, you can create one of a kind photos.

What is Lomo Instant Camera?

Lomo instant camera

Lomo instant camera, officially named Lomo’Instant, is the most advanced instant camera you will come across on the market. Adding to the uniqueness of it, it was developed thanks to a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign. The campaign raised a whopping $1,000,000.

Are you still wondering why all the hype on Lomo instant camera? It is probably because users get more control with Lomo’Instant than with any other instant photography camera. You can switch lenses, select different shooting modes, enjoy aperture control, as well as choose the exposure.

Lomo Instant Camera Features


The Lomo instant camera rocks a fun retro design, although it may look a bit too bulky. The faux-leather covering comes in different colors; the white one looks especially pleasing to the eye. You can also add a shoulder strap that will come in handy when traveling. The overall design is minimal, as with any Lomography camera. Even the controls are hidden carefully to maintain the look as clean as possible.


Mode switch. The mode switch allows users to enable or disable the flash, as well as set it on auto. If not sure what to go for, just set the flash on auto and let the camera decide what works best.

The handy chart fitted on the underside of the Lomo instant camera tells users which settings to use for certain shooting conditions.

Shutter release. The lever is quite clever, and does not allow for any shake when taking the shot.

MX control. This control lets users take multiple exposure shots with just the flip of a switch before each snap. Users can take unlimited pictures of the same setting before getting the picture out of the camera.

Focus. The Lomo instant camera has a zone focusing system adjustable by a lever. At the short end, it can focus between 0.4 and 0.9 meters, and at the long end, it will focus on anything from one meter up.

Exposure-compensation dial. This feature can help adjust the aperture. This will ease getting just the right amount of luminosity into the picture.

Bulb switch. Talking about light, the “B” switch allows for long-exposure shots, perfect for nighttime.

Optical viewfinder. Just like a DSLR and any other film camera, the Lomo’Instant come with an optical viewfinder.

Selfie mirror. Are you a fan of selfies? Most people enjoy a selfie now and then. Lomography quickly came with a solution and provided Lomo instant camera users with a tiny mirror on the front.

lomo instant camera with photos

Getting used to all the controls if you have never used a Lomography camera or a different analog camera definitely takes some time. The exposure settings might prove to be a bit tricky, and you will most likely waste a few shots until setting everything up correctly.

Film and Lenses

The camera works with Fujifilm Instax Mini instant film, which should be easy to find either in store or on online shops. You can pick yours up from the official Lomography Store as well.

The Lomo’Instant features a 27mm equivalent wide angle lens, but you can opt for additional lenses if willing to pay extra.

The “Lomo’Instant Lens Combo” comes at $59, and it packs three lenses. The Fisheye lens is incredibly fun and lets users take 170-degree snapshots. The second lens is the Portrait one, which is the 35mm equivalent lens suitable for indoors and outdoors alike. Mainly for portraits, it can still be used for street photography or for landscapes because it works wonderfully. Thirdly, we have the Close-up lens designed for macro shots, allowing a 10-15cm focusing distance.

Pros and Cons

lomo instant camera havana

On the upside, we have:

  • Cool retro design that you will not find in digital cameras
  • Cheap lens
  • Interesting tiny mirror for your selfie game
  • Supports multiple exposures
  • Optical viewfinder
  • It is cheaper than many digital cameras

On the downside, we have:

  • Regular use will be expensive because you will have to buy film all the time
  • Bulky thus might turn out to be hard to handle
  • Lacks a timer, so no real selfies or group photos for Lomography users
  • It will, most likely, not replace the need for a digital camera
  • You will have to learn how to set your controls to avoid wasting precious shots
  • The fixed 1/125-second shutter speed


lomography shot

The Lomo instant camera is not the easiest camera to use. It takes time to understand all the controls and users will miss a few shots in the process. But seeing the photo come out straight out of the camera is a unique experience in the digital era we are living in.

It is a fun camera to work with. Don’t expect to use it in a formal setting, because it was not designed as a “corporate” device. It’s a great retro camera to take with you on your travels or when meeting up with friends. It is not an ideal camera when it comes to the technical features, but what it does or lacks in doing is still part of the whole Lomography experience. It is not for everyone, that’s for sure, but it is an enjoyable little gem nonetheless.




Tony Mack

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