Lomography has announced the launch of the Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan, which is said to be the first instant camera with a glass wide-angle lens. The camera, which boasts a 21mm equivalent F4.5 optic, isn't due to be available until April, but we recently got hands-on with one at The Photography Show 2017.
The upcoming camera follows in the footsteps of previous Lomography instant shooters and uses Fujifilm Instax Mini film. However, while style has commonly been the main attraction (and distinguishing feature) of Lomography cameras, this time the focus has clearly been on the lens, and what it allows users to do.
The wide 38-mm lens gives the equivalent view of a 21-mm lens on a full frame sensor, and has a maximum aperture of F4.5. This should give it a low-light advantage over other instant camera lenses by letting in more light. With an optical design using six elements set in four groups, and coatings to reduce reflections, the camera also promises to be optically superior to rival devices.
Being part of the Automat line-up, settings including aperture, shutter speed and flash output are automatically adjusted to give a good exposure in almost any shooting situation. The camera can focus as close as 0.3 m (11.8 in), with other settings (selected on the lens barrel) of 0.6 m and 1 m to infinity.
We had the chance to get our hands on a pre-production Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan at The Photography Show in Birmingham, UK, and were pleasantly surprised by the overall feel of the camera, too. It feels like a more serious device than some other instant shooters, and the bobbly black body feels good in the hands.
The bundled accessories also show the camera is aimed at a slightly more discerning instant photographer. Bundled with the camera will be a close-up lens attachment and a splitzer for splitting images. There's also an included remote control lens cap with a 5 m (16.4 ft) working distance, and colored gel filters, too.
Unfortunately, the sample camera which was on show at the event was being somewhat temperamental (it wasn't a final production unit) and as such we couldn't shoot any photos with it ourselves. That said, there were a number of examples on show which demonstrated the quality that the new lens can deliver, and it looked like a significant step up from some rival instant cameras.
The Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan is available to pre-order now priced at £169 (or $189 in the US) and is expected to start shipping mid-April.
Product page: Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan