We just got the Mint Instaflex TL70 a couple weeks ago and were super excited to try it out so here’s a few initial thoughts on the camera. In case you aren’t familiar with it, the TL70 is a twin lens reflex instant camera that takes Instax mini type film. It looks retro but has modern features like an integrated flash even.
First impressions were that the packaging was nice and setup was pretty darn easy. The camera itself feels lighter than other TLRs we’ve used, so it does feel a bit less substantial from that perspective. We loaded it up with the instax though and took it out in the daytime as well as the night to get a feel for the TL70.
One of the challenges is focusing since the viewfinder isn’t super bright. Even during the day you might need to pop down the magnifier to get a better look to make sure you’re getting a crisp shot. Also, since the viewfinder is a square, you have to take that into account when you compose since the film is rectangular in aspect ratio.
Another thing to note is that this is not a good low light camera for candids. It’s hard to focus in the dark and although the snaps it takes turn out well, it’s just too darn hard to focus without using additional lighting (flashlight from your phone can work well) to be able to see what you are shooting and to dial in the focus. Of course you can kind of rangefinder it too as I did on the shot below.
You can also set it to ‘Bulb’ and do exposures up to 10 seconds which is cool when it’s dark. This shot below was of my friends playing pool and shot with about a 3-second exposure: