Skip to main content

This odd-looking accessory converts traditional film cameras to instant film

Traditional film cameras are easy to find secondhand to use as a learning tool or for the film atheistic — but what if you don’t want to actually develop the film? The Instant Magny 35 converts 135 SLR and rangefinder cameras to instant film and back again, allowing photographers to shoot both 135 mm and Fujifilm Instax Square from the same camera body.

The Instant Magny 35 uses mirrors and optics to take the image that would have been projected on a roll of film and project that image instead onto Instax film. The modifier slides onto the back of a number of compatible SLR cameras. A monolithic mirror enlarges what the camera sees onto the 62mm film surface of the instant film. An ejector at the bottom spits out the film, or keeps it in place for a double exposure.

Converting a film camera to an instant film camera isn’t a new idea — Nikon created a Magny in the 1960s, for example. But Ninm Lab, the company behind the Instant Magny 35, says that the new adapter is a quarter of the weight of that earlier attempt. The Magny 35 is constructed with plastic and aluminum alloy and weighs as much as a tablet — a touch over a pound. 

The adapter comes in three parts, one extending from the back of the camera and two that sit below the camera. AAA batteries power the film feeder and an LED film counter. The film feed can be automatic, or photographers can leave the image in place for unlimited exposures overlaid over the same piece of film, such as a double or triple exposure.

The Instant Magny 35 is compatible with a number of film cameras, including the Nikon F line; the Leica M line (some without auto exposure); Olympus OM-1, OM-2, and OM-3; Canon AE-1, AT-1, and A-1, and several Pentax M cameras.

Converting the image from 135 to Instax film isn’t quite without limitations, however. The back supports a maximum aperture of f/4. Brighter lenses will still have that shallow depth of field, Ninm says, but will only let in as much light as an f/4 lens.

Ninm Lab is a company based in Germany. The startup is taking to Kickstarter to fund the Instant Magny 35. If the company is successful, photographers could pick up the Instant film adapter with pledges starting at $99. The company expects to ship the first batch of Nikon and Leica compatible backs in December, with the models for Olympus, Canon, and Pentax following in February 2019. 

The campaign has until July 16 to reach a $50,000 goal, covering a fifth of that in just the first few hours of the campaign.

Editors' Recommendations