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Gear & Apps

InstantFlex TL70 | Bringing The Best Of Rolleiflex & Polaroid Together

By Kishore Sawh on March 29th 2015

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When most people think of twin-lens reflex cameras, it’s a Rolleiflex they are picturing. As far as iconic looks to equipment in photography, there are a few that stand out like the look of a Polaroid camera, and this is one. There’s something sort of historic about them, and inexplicably, people are drawn to touching them. So it was sad when recently, DHW Fototechnik was found to be liquidating great stocks of their manufacturing assets, much of which used in the manufacturing of the famous Rolleiflex cameras.

It’s awfully sad to see such a chapter of photography come to a close, but with the turn of a leaf, another one has begun that aims to blend both the look and style of the Rolleiflex and the fun and instant gratification of Polaroid. It’s called the InstantFlex TL70 and it’s an instant camera that has been designed to appear like the famous twin-lens reflex cameras.

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The company behind it is called MiNT and it’s clear that this new offering in both name and design is meant to be an homage to Rollei and Polaroid’s classic SX-70 camera. By all accounts, it looks like they’ve done a good job. It uses Fuji Instax film and you operate it by looking through the viewfinder atop where you’ll also find indicator lights that signal when your exposure is correct, and when it’s either over or under. The camera is able to do auto exposure, bulb mode, manual adjusting of aperture, exposure, and focus, and has a built in flash, all powered by two AA batteries.

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It’s not exactly the cheapest of Instant cameras, considering you can get retro looking Fuji Instax shooters for about $150. This one comes with an attached price tag of $319. But if you consider some of the joys of instant cameras, that they are talking points, ice-breakers, and fun, you’d be hard pressed to find one that does all of those things to a higher degree than this.

You can find out more here on the company’s site.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Tim Buerck

    Awesome. Even if it is hipster, at least it is getting these new generations a taste of tangibility instead of electronic.

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  2. Gurmit Saini

    the funny thing is I am looking into Fujifilm Intax Wide or 90 mini, which seems to be very interesting. This looks cool, but i am not sure yet, but definitely. Anyone have used Fujifilm Wide 300 or 90 mini would like to have any feedback,

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  3. Kristopher Galuska

    Would it be possible to scan the prints at high enough quality to have a semi medium format quality digital file?

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  4. satnam singh

    That’s pretty cool.

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  5. Ralph Hightower

    It would be neat to have a TLR, but for medium format, I have my eyes set on a Mamiya 645 and RZ67. Yes, I’ve been shooting file since 1980. But I need to invest in glass for my DSLR.

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  6. adam sanford

    Hipster cultural appropriation rolls on. My dad shot a Rolleiflex TLR rig when he was a photographer in the military. He took some great shots with it.

    See the far right pic in the aperture diagram in the ad — “f/bokeh” — that’s worth a chuckle.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Damn kids and their weird haircuts and rock and roll music. *shakes fist at cloud*

      Every time I see someone complain about “hipsters” on the internet that’s what I think of. Why do people care what hipsters do? I mean they’re sort of keeping a tradition of film going. What’s wrong with replicating iconic designs?

      Fashion is cyclical and people never “get” the generations that come after them…

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  7. J. Dennis Thomas

    That’s pretty cool. Too bad Impossible Project film is so pricey. And crappy.

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