I bought an Instax Wide printer couple of months ago. These are couple of things that I learned along the way.
I want to print photos at home. I snap so many photos and i want to selectively print them. Smartphone are great for snapping photos and keeping them but to enjoy those photos from photos app gallery are not very enjoyable. Nothing beats opening up physical album and revisiting memories by seeing printed photos.
Sending my digital photos to printing service would be cheaper than any home-printing solution that i can find at the moment. However I'm not sure how well they'll handle the data privacy (In fact I'm sure that they don't care or even aware about data privacy); I don't want my photos of mine lingers on any of these printing services and opening up possibilities to be misused.
This being said I don't necessarily want Instax printer. Technically any home photo printer will do. However after reviewing available printer in the country's marketplace and comparing the cost, Instax printer seems to be the most possible option to start.
Instax is film based instant photo solution. So far there are three Instax printer options, based on the size of the photos:
- Instax Mini: prints 62mm x 46mm portrait photo
- Instax Square: prints 62 x 62 mm square photo
- Instax Wide: prints 99 mm × 62 mm landscape photo
Instax mini feels too small for my taste. Square is okay-ish but I think i'll end up the need to crop my photos unnecessarily just like the old Instagram days. Therefore, I think Instax Wide to go.
There are only one problem: accessories and album availability for Instax Wide are very poor. I can only found one type of good album for Instax Wide all across the marketplace so far:
The instant photos format makes the photo very physically tangible. It does feel even better compared to any 3R or 4R printed photos. It just feel nice to grab / hold.
Secondly, since it is a film-based photo, it gives the photo some kind of vintage feeling to it. I kinda dig it in the way that the reason I print the photo is so that fast forward years in the future i will revisit this photo, and the vintage feeling just give it more nostalgic vibe.
On top of this, if you'd like to annotate the photo, there's also some room for you to add note on the photo frame. I particularly like adding MM/YYYY-formatted date and location to the photo to give more context on where does this take place.
Finally, it gives me some peace of mind that no matter how ridiculous I look like in the photos, it will not hanging around on some strangers / photo printing service's computer.
It is kinda pricey. I think it costs around IDR 10k - 15k per photo print. Therefore you need to select the photo that you want to print carefully (the carefully selecting photo is kinda bless in disguise, i guess?)
The vintage vibe that the film-based photo give came at cost: I think the photo isn't sharp enough.
For whatever reason.. very bad variaty of available accessories and album :sigh:
So far, I love it. It is prefect for highlight photos like "things we do in Y year" or "highlight of this month". However due to its cost, using it to print some kind of travel album where you'll print tons of photos will be pricey.
How I use it so far:
- Create an album where highlight of every year is printed, like Highlight of 2013 - 2023 kind of album
- Allocate two packs of instant photos to be used for every month. So i know that every month, i'll spend around IDR 240k for printing photos of this month.
All of this being said, i still from time to time checking out any home photo printing solution. I love how Instax Wide printer turns my digital photo into memorable tangible object, but I still want solution to print my photos sharply.