MINT Instantflex TL70

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.using the integrated flash

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:

Mission Bar - TL70

3-second exposure at Mission Bar

One of the coolest things is doing multiple exposures with the TL70.  You can shoot as many as you want, and the guidance in the booklet suggests using the EV slider to -1 for these and the first one I tried out came out well (below).

Double Exposure with the TL70

Double Exposure with the TL70

Overall I’d say the TL70 is best to use in decent light but since the Instax film is 800 speed it can be a bit fast to shoot wide open at 5.6.  Not sure what the fastest shutter speed is on it but will be trying it out more in various lighting conditions to see how it does!  These last shots were taken outside the studio in the sunny Dogpatch in shade or backlit…Dennis Yang on TL70 - MINT Instantflex TL70 review