Fuji Instax Wide instant film is the big brother of the more common Fuji Instax Mini instant film. Almost double in size, it’s frame size is much closer to classic Polaroid than the diminutive Instax Mini.
Fuji Instax Wide is a reliable, high quality instant film that can be had for a great price. However, it’s not the most exciting instant film out there and the cameras that use it often come up short, keeping Instax Wide from taking over the instant film world. To see how it might fit into your bag and whether you should start out with Fuji Instax or a Polaroid camera, let’s take a deeper look.
Fuji Instax Wide instant film is an excellent, perfectly competent film. Instax comes from the same era as Polaroid 600 film, and shares many traits with the dearly departed film. Fuji Instax Wide is so competent, it almost seems boring next to the wild unpredictability of Impossible Project films. You pretty much get what you see, no color shifts, no defects, no roller errors. Just a clean image that almost looks like a digital printed out.
Colors are generally a bit dull with an overall blue cast. Impossible Project’s color films tend to be on the warmer side, which has a more pleasing effect on skin tones. Fuji Instax Wide has an ISO of 800, so it’s sensitive enough for real world use.
Detail and sharpness is exceptional. I’ve noticed that the film tends to have some difficultly with retaining any detail in overexposed areas, so be sure to stop down if you’re in a bright environment.
Fuji Instax Wide has been around for a while and all the kinks of film production were ironed out long ago. The Fuji Instax image will last for many, many years with no worries about the chemical chemistry doing something strange and ruining the photo. If you want your images to be around long after you are gone, Fuji Instax instant films are a pretty safe bet.
Price and Availability
When 8 exposures of Impossible Project color film start at 23 US dollars, getting 20 exposures of Fuji Instax Wide for 16 US dollars feels like a steal. The film is still manufactured and sold new by Fuji, and can be purchased from major online outlets like Amazon.
Fuji has recently released brand new cameras that use Fuji Instax film, so it looks like Fuji isn’t planning on discontinuing it anytime soon. Which brings us to the next topic…
Unlike Polaroid and Fuji Instax Mini, there is a pretty limited selection of cameras to choose from if you want to use Fuji Instax Wide. Basically, you get to choose between the Fuji Instax 210 and 300, neither of which can compete with Polaroid’s better plastic cameras, much less Land’s classic folding SLR cameras. Even the Fuji Instax Mini cameras like the Neo Classic 90 run circles around the 210 and 300.
Both the 210 and the 300 share the same lens (and its terrible manual focus mechanism), but the 300 has much, much better ergonomics if money isn’t a concern. If money is a concern, you can likely pick up a used 210 for cheap on eBay.
Fuji Instax Wide’s image quality, cost per image, and durability are all the absolute best out there today. However, fuji Instax Wide film occupies a tough place in the world of instant film. It’s little brother Fuji Instax Mini is even cheaper and has better cameras to pick from, making it the best format available for event and wedding photography. For artists, Polaroid cameras and Impossible Project film is more unpredictable and fun for those with the budget to use it.
So who exactly is Fuji Instax Wide for? If you’re just starting out in instant film, you’re on a budget, and feel constricted by the minuscule frame size of Instax mini, Instax Wide might be your film.