As the Polaroid fades into the annals of photographic history, Fuji's Instax line is filling the instant film void. Available in a standard (108mm x 86mm) and mini (53mm x 86mm) size, the horizontally-oriented photos behave much the same as classic Polaroid film, but they generally only work with three existing models of Fuji-licensed cameras (one for full-sized and two for mini film).
Fortunately, other parties are creating their own mechanisms of exposing Fuji's instant film. The Diana Instant Back+ employs the same dreamy aesthetic of Lomography's classic Diana camera, rendering it on the business card-sized Instax mini film. What used to involved the annoyance of developing 120mm film is now immediately tangible, if much smaller than most medium-format prints.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on an Instant Back and snapped some shots with our Diana. Easily installed as a replacement for the existing back, after loading the Instax cartridge and batteries, you can use is exactly as you would a normal Diana, allowing for varying apertures and multiple exposures.
The resulting shots delivered the hazy, imperfect images the camera's known for in a immediately satisfying medium. Downsides include the relatively expensive and hard-to-find Instax mini film and CR-2 batteries. (While it's more cost-effective to order online, even reputable retailers like B&H don't carry the film.) But despite that and the considerable bulk and weight added to the Diana, the Instant Back represents a worthy successor to the beloved Polaroid.
The Diana Instant Back+ costs $95 from the Lomography shop. See some enlarged photo experiments—including shots of CH folk and a woefully overexposed failure—after the jump.