The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is a development of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11.
It keeps that camera’s stripped-down functionality but swaps the toy-like shape for a vintage-inspired body.
Instant photography can be enticing and frustrating for beginners.
First-time cameras are frequently made with youngsters in mind.
The Instax Mini 40 is more grown-up.
Automatic exposure and variable-speed shutter return take a lot of the uncertainty out of utilising instant film, while an adjustable lens barrel enables close-up photography without easily misplaced attachments.
About Its Family!
Mini 40 uses Fuji’s Instax Mini film, like Mini 11.
This is one of the most economical formats, featuring colour and monochrome prints and a large assortment of border colours and patterns.
Multipacks can also lower the price.
Each 54x86mm photo features a 46x62mm (2.4×1.8-inch) image area.
It Has Been Redesigned!
Redesign may broaden Mini 40’s appeal, but it costs more than the Mini 11.
Those interested in immediate photography must consider if the increased costs are worth it.
The Mini 40’s faux leather surface and silver accents give it a more mature look than the Mini 11.
What About Its Design?
The design is influenced by the more costly Fujifilm Instax Mini 90, yet this cheaper model, constructed nearly completely of plastic, doesn’t feel cheap.
It’s slightly smaller than the Mini 11, but not pocketable; for portability, look to hybrid instant cameras like the Canon ZoeMini or Fuji’s Mini LiPlay.
The Mini 40 is light enough to use one-handed and has a rubberized thumb rest.
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Front-facing buttons lengthen the lens barrel and release the shutter.
Automatic flash can’t be turned off, even in broad sunlight, so just point and shoot.
The body lacks a tripod thread.
The viewfinder is to the right of the film-loading door.
As with the Mini 11, the lens is somewhat off-centre, so what you see isn’t the final print.
A glass in the rear door shows how many shots are left in the currently loaded pack, preventing wasted bullets by opening the door early.
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What About Its Performance?
The button releases the spring-loaded lens barrel.
Pulling it farther brings it into selfie mode, which is meant for shooting between 0.3 and 0.5m. Any closer and the pictures will be fuzzy, so don’t treat it as a macro lens.
Older Instax cameras required you to carry attachments.
The convex curvature of the lens barrel’s tiny mirror distorts your reflection.
The viewfinder is separate from the system optics on most instant cameras.
Off-centre, it shows what will fit in the frame.
Getting closer to your subject than expected might be a learning curve.
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Each print is ejected through a slot in the camera’s top and takes up to five minutes to develop.
Given its smaller size, Instax has the edge over Polaroid’s I-Type film.
The auto-exposure mechanism is tuned to expect the flash to fire every time you click the shutter button.
Its shutter speed ranges from 1/2 to 1/250, so it can handle bright and dim indoor settings.
Two AA batteries endure for 100 shots or ten film packs.
You’re more likely to run out of the film than power, although AAs are more common than Fuji’s odd CR2 batteries.
What About Its Graphics?
Well-defined, high-contrast photos
Selfie focal length requires practice.
If you’ve used an Instax camera before, the Mini 40 will feel familiar.
They capture more exact details and have no light leakage than Lomography’s devices.
Expect soft edges and blended darks with digital photography.
Always photograph away from the sun, as the film fails to reveal well-lit skies and shadowy subjects.
Film and a fixed-focus lens work best for portraiture since the more away a subject is, the less detail is captured. Softness gives landscapes an airy feel.
Light flare might deceive you into thinking you have a well-composed photo in direct sunlight, only to overexpose half the scene.
What About Other Cameras?
Other instant cameras are as culpable as Fuji.
The forced flash makes the most difference indoors, exposing both subject and background in a way that, while not natural, doesn’t leave huge swaths in darkness.
Not having to decide whether to use the flash and allowing the auto-exposure mechanism to do its job led to a higher percentage of successful images.
On Fuji’s older cameras, 20% attrition was common.
You can’t tell if the lens barrel is extended from the back of the camera, and photographing landscapes in selfie mode produces grainy photos.
It improves the clarity and sharpness of selfies over the normal option, especially indoors.
What About The Final Verdict?
The Instax Mini 40 is the Instax Mini 11 with a more mature design. If the Mini 11’s toy-like appearance turned you off, this should change your mind.
This is a fantastic beginner camera for anyone unfamiliar with instant film, and the auto-exposure feature removes much of the guesswork.
The images aren’t flawless, with highlights blown out just as easily as on the Mini 11, but no more than rivals.
The off-centre viewfinder is this camera’s sole major peculiarity.
It’s more expensive than the Mini 11, but they’re almost identical internally, therefore we prefer that camera.
The Mini 40 is a wonderful alternative for instant beginners provided you don’t mind paying extra for flair.