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Lomography's latest is all about that glass with a bright wide-angle lens

Why it matters to you

Instant film cameras didn't typically have wide-angle or wide-aperture lenses until the Lomography Instant Automat Magellan.

Instant cameras are getting wider and the Lomo’Instant Automat Glass Magellan is all about the lens. Recently introduced by Lomography, the camera has both the widest focal length and the widest aperture of any instant camera to date, according to the company.

The Magellan uses a wide-angle 38mm lens and, while most instant film cameras tend to have narrow apertures, the latest from Lomography boasts a f/4.5 aperture that is the brightest yet for the category. The lens is also capable of shooting as close as 0.3 meters away. Designed with multiple coatings, Lomography says the lens also reduces reflections. The lens cap even has a built-in shutter release with up to a five-meter range.

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The Automat in the name indicates the instant camera uses automatic settings, though with programmed auto the lens can be set to either f/4.5 or f/22 and there is also a bulb shutter speed option. Exposure compensation adjusts up to one stop below or above what the light meter reads.

The cameras use Fujifilm Instax Mini film, which brings that 38mm lens down to a 21mm equivalent on a 35mm camera. The instant film, making a popular comeback for mixing the instant nature of digital photography with a physical print, uses a motor ejection system, though the camera can be used for multiple exposures layered as many times as you like.

The camera ships with colored gel filters, a close-up lens attachment, and the Lomography Splitzer, a lens attachment for splitting multiple exposure photos in half with a second exposure.

The widest-yet instant camera comes from Lomography, a company that started bringing alternative, fun photography methods to the market in the early nineties.

The Lomo’Instant Automat Glass Magellan is expected to begin shipping in mid-April, retailing for $189, excluding film and two CR2 batteries.