How to Use a Fuji Instax Mini 9 Instant Film Camera

How to Use a Fuji Instax Mini 9 Instant Film Camera


The Fuji Instax Mini 9 instant film camera takes 2 AA batteries, which come with the camera and are loaded into the handle. Simply slide the battery door out of the way and install the batteries as indicated. The Mini 9 uses Instax Mini film which is about the size of a credit card. The standard film with a white border comes in this kind of packaging. There are also other kinds of Mini Instax film you can use in this camera that have different colored borders as well as a black and white film. You can find links to these in the description below. To load the film, first remove the silver packaging by tearing at the top notch in the upper right. Make sure to hold the film cartridge by the sides and to not push on the film through the two holes. Open up the back of the camera by pulling down slightly on the latch on the top. Insert the film cartridge by aligning it with the yellow marking on the top right, then firmly close the back of the camera until you hear the latch click. You can always tell if there is a film pack inside the camera by looking for the yellow mark through the film indicator window. Push down firmly on the cameras “On” switch, in the lower right front of the camera. This will pop out the lens and start to charge the flash as indicated by the flash charging light blinking next to the viewfinder. Once the flash indicator light stops blinking and one of the brightness LED indicators is lit, the flash is fully charged. Keep in mind that the flash always goes off for every picture and the camera will not allow you to take a photo until the flash is fully charged. Pressing the shutter button will eject the black film cover from the camera and the picture counter will go from saying “S” to saying “10”, indicating how many photos you have left in this pack. Carefully remove the black film cover and you are now ready to start taking photos. Make sure not to open the back of the camera when you still have film loaded as this will expose the remaining film to light and ruin all of those shots. In order to prevent an accidental opening, you can actually put a piece of tape across the latch. To take a photo, first point your camera in the general direction of your subject and look at the brightness LED indicator. Make sure you are not blocking the light meter, the flash, the lens, or the viewfinder with your fingers. These LEDs will light up to indicate which brightness setting the light meter thinks you should set the camera to. Make sure to turn the brightness adjustment dial to the recommended brightness setting. Turning this wheel actually changes the size of the aperture, or iris, in the lens, letting in more or less light. Once you have chosen the appropriate brightness setting, look through the camera’s viewfinder to frame up your photo. Keep in mind the framing you see through the viewfinder is actually slightly different from what the camera lens actually sees, especially the closer your subject is to the camera. The lens will capture a slightly wider view than what you see in the viewfinder, with a little more space showing up on the top of the photograph than the bottom. Here you can see the view through the viewfinder versus the actual print that comes out. Keep in mind the Instax Mini 9 has a fixed focus distance of about 2 feet to infinity. Anything closer than 2 feet will be out of focus without the use of the close-up lens attachment, which I’ll talk about in a bit. Now that you have your brightness settings set and you framed up your photo in the viewfinder, you can hit the shutter button to take your photo. The camera pushes out the film through rollers, spreading the developing chemical evenly across the entire photo. You want to make sure to let the print come out of the camera on its own and only then pull it out. Make sure not to shake the print as this can cause the developing chemicals to become unevenly distributed. Your photo will be fully developed in about 2 to 4 minutes. On the brightness adjustment dial there is a setting called “Hi-Key”. This setting gives you the largest aperture or iris the camera has and will cause your photos to be brighter than normal. So if you’d like your photo to come out really bright or you are in a very low light situation, you can use this setting to get the photos you want. An important thing to remember is that every time you turn the camera off by pushing in the lens, the brightness adjustment dial will reset. When you turn the camera on again, it will always be at the default brightness setting of “indoors”. If you are in a bright light situation and forget to set the brightness adjustment dial correctly, this can cause your photos to come out way too bright. If you’re interested in taking selfies, or just photos from a closer range, then you can snap on the close-up lens attachment, which comes with the camera. This allows you to take photos at a closer focusing distance of about 1 to 1.5 feet from the camera lens. If you’re taking a selfie, you can use the selfie mirror on the front of the lens to frame the photo. If you’re shooting through the viewfinder at a close distance of about 1 foot, make sure to compensate your framing by moving the camera slightly up and to the right, as you can see here. Once you have shot through all of the photos in the film pack, the film counter will read 0. You can remove the used film pack by opening up the back of the camera and inserting two fingers into these holes here and pulling the pack out. You can store your Instax Mini photos in custom photo albums made by Fuji specifically for this film. They’ll come in multiple colors and they’re a great way to ensure the longevity of your photos. You can get your own through the links in the description. Keep in mind that the camera has an auto shutoff feature of 5 minutes to save battery. Once your battery does get low, the camera will let you know by lighting up the flash charge indicator a solid red. If you see all of the brightness LEDs light up at the same time, this can also indicate a low battery or something more seriously wrong with your camera. If this happens, leave the camera in the “On” position, while you replace the batteries. If this does not make the brightness LEDs work normally, you will need to contact Fuji for a repair or replacement of your camera. The Mini 9 does not have a tripod screw mount on the bottom. But the bottom is flat enough for the camera to stand on its own. You can still place the camera on a flat surface, like a table or counter, to help you stabilize it. When holding the camera for long periods, I found that using the handle isn’t very comfortable, and it’s far more comfortable to just grab the camera like this. Also, don’t forget to use the included wrist strap to prevent dropping the camera and damaging it. You want to make sure not to cut the print with scissors as this may cause the developing chemicals to leak out. Also, when traveling, avoid having any unexposed film, including the film in your camera, from going through the x-ray machine, as this will ghost the film. As of the making of this video, the TSA still allows hand inspection of photographic film upon request. Also, make sure to keep Instax film away from mothballs, as they contain a chemical that can damage both exposed and unexposed instant film. You also want to keep your film and prints away from extreme heat and cold. It’s generally a bad idea to leave unexposed film in a (hot) car as it will ruin it. If you’re going to put your camera and film or prints into long-term storage, make sure to keep them in room temperature and at low humidity. Make sure to remove the batteries as well as attach the close-up lens, so it doesn’t get lost. As far as specifications the Fuji Instax Mini 9 has a lens focal length of 60mm, which is roughly equivalent to 34mm on a full-frame camera. The shutter always fires at 1/60th of a second, and the flash has a maximum effective distance of about 9 feet. The Instax film itself has an ISO of 800. I hope this video has helped you if you feel I deserve it, please leave a “Like”, and if you’re interested in film cameras or film photography, go ahead and subscribe for more videos! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below. Thanks for watching!

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