Before I left for Europe my sister and I tried to find pictures taken by my Great-Uncle when he visited Europe over fifty years ago. We thought that it would be cool to take a few of the pictures along and find some of the same locations that he visited to see how they had changed. The plan was to possibly hold the old picture up and take a new picture at the same location, but more than anything we just wanted to see his pictures. Unfortunately we were unable to locate them and so instead I thought it would be fun to buy an Instax Mini 8, which is something that I have considered purchasing for a long time. As a kid I LOVED to play with my parents Polaroid Camera and so the idea of instant photos sounded both useful and fun--useful as visual reminders of details for my travel journal. I decided that if I was ever going to buy one, before my trip to Europe would be the ideal time. I purchased the yellow one because it just seemed to be calling my name, although I also loved the pink and blue. This brought the number of cameras I took to Europe to three... Excessive, I know. But photography is something that brings me joy in life and I wanted good photos to help me remember my trip.
And ultimately it was fun to use the Instax Mini 8 to create photos like this one below of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Paris Photos (Linked to similar photos that I took at the same time on my DSLR Camera):
Row 1: L - Blossoms and Notre Dame Cathedral R- Beneath the Eiffel Tower
Row 2: Eiffel Tower
Row 6-7: Versailles Gardens
Row 10: Place de la Concorde
Row 11: L - Eiffel Tower with Carousel R - Eiffel Tower with Blossoms
Row 12: The gargoyles of Notre Dame
London Photos (Linked to similar photos that I took at the same time on my DSLR Camera):Row 1: L - Greenery in Hyde Park R- Pigeons in Hyde Park
Row 2: L - Kensington Palace R - The London Eye
Row 3: London Double Decker Bus
Row 4: L - House in Notting Hill R - Red Phone Booth with Elizabeth Tower (washed out in photo)
Row 5: Parliament
Row 6: Elizabeth Tower
Row 7-8: Shaun the Sheep, Shaun the Sheep at the Tower of London
Row 9-10: St. Paul's Cathedral
Row 11: Tower Green in the Tower of London
Row 12: Trafalgar Square
Row 13: Westminster Abbey
Row 14: White Tower inside the Tower of London
Row 15: L - Buckingham Palace R- church door
Row 16: L - Car in South Kensington R - Blooms in South Kensington
And now for my opinion on the Instax Mini 8... Pros: I loved how it looked, it was fun waiting in anticipation for the photo to develop, I loved the picture I took with St. Paul's Cathedral next to the Instax, I love the fun effects that film can create. Cons: The results were very inconsistent. I tried taking pictures in several different lighting situations and the only time of day that the photos turned out really well was in early evening, before it got too dark. Prior to that it was too bright and everything became washed out regardless of the exposure settings. There were several instances where the lighting seemed ideal (at least for my DSLR) where the photo didn't turn out at all on the Instax. Out of the 50 pictures that I took, 10 were completely blank, several were washed out, and only a few were what I considered to be gems. Do I need to spend more time learning and experimenting with the camera? YES. However with the camera costing around $70 and the photos costing $1/per photo, it makes for a very expensive experiment. For the time being I sent the camera back because the resulting photos didn't justify the cost, however in the future I wouldn't mind trying again to see if I can get more consistent results.