The Instant Joy of the Instax Mini Link Printer

I recently purchased a Fujifilm Instax Mini Link instant film printer, which is a way to make Instax pictures from non-Instax cameras. It has already proven to be a lot of fun! I’ve been using the Mini Link to make instant film pictures from some of my recent road trip photographs, and it’s been a true joy to use!

As you might know, Instax is Fujifilm’s most popular photographic line, outselling X and GFX by leaps and bounds. It’s extremely popular worldwide, especially among younger people. Instax is currently the top-selling instant film brand, even more popular than Polaroid.

We have a couple of Instax cameras in our house, but sometimes it’s not practical to carry them around. These cameras are larger than my Fujifilm X100V and Fujifilm X-E4, so occasionally an Instax camera comes along with us, but oftentimes not; however, now that I have an Instax Mini Link printer, this is no longer a problem. In fact, in some ways, the Mini Link is actually better than an Instax camera.

The Instax Mini Link instant film printer is just a little smaller than the Instax Neo Classic Mini 90, yet pretty similar in size. It can fit fairly easily into a camera bag, but, unless you are going to an event and want to be able to instantly share pictures on-location, you might as well leave it at home. Not needing to carry around an Instax camera or even the printer is an advantage to using the Mini Link.

No surprise, the Mini Link uses Instax Mini instant film, which measures 2.1″ x 3.4″ with a 1.8″ x 2.4″ image inside the frame. It’s not a large picture whatsoever, but a good size for a travel journal or sharing with someone. Instax film quickly gets expensive. When you use an Instax camera, you don’t know what you’ve got until the picture develops. If it’s an important image (such as family or friends at an iconic location at a National Park), you have to wait a couple minutes for the image to develop, and if it didn’t come out you have to snap a second or maybe even a third frame. But with the Mini Link, you only print the images you want, which saves you both time and film (and ultimately money).

Another advantage of using the Mini Link printer over an Instax camera is that the picture quality is better. Instant film isn’t necessarily known for its high resolution renderings (although this can and certainly has varied), and I think the Instax cameras themselves often don’t allow you to get the highest potential image quality out of the film. While you still have the limitation of the film, using a Fujifilm X camera (or even a cellphone) to capture the images can improve the Instax picture quality. Instax cameras don’t seem to allow you to maximize the film capability, but the Mini Link definitely does allow you to maximize the image quality of the Instax Mini film.

The photographs that I printed on my Instax Mini Link printer were captured with my Fujifilm X100V and X-E4 cameras using various Film Simulation Recipes, as well as pictures captured on my iPhone using my RitchieCam camera app using various filters. While the printed photos retain much of their original aesthetics, the film itself has its own aesthetics that affect the outcome, so it is a combination of the recipe or filter plus the film that make the final Instax image. I especially like how the Nostalgic Color and Fujicolor Super HG recipes—and the MetroColor and Color Negative Low filters on the RitchieCam app—render on Instax film, but I certainly haven’t tried all of the recipes or filters. It’s amazing, though, how Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipes and RitchieCam filters pair so seemingly well with Instax film printed on the Mini Link.

What about the images in this article? The top two pictures were captured with my Fujifilm X-E4 with a Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens using my Fujicolor Superia 100 recipe, while the third was captured on my iPhone using the Faded Film filter on the RitchieCam app. The printer requires you to use the Instax Mini Link app to wirelessly (via bluetooth) transfer pictures from your electronic device to the printer. There are several “creative” options within the app that allow you to “enhance” your pictures, but I haven’t found a reason to use these—simply, the fun is found in the magic of instant film. Printing my digital photographs—captured on my Fujifilm X cameras and the RitchieCam app—on Instax Mini film is a true joy, and the Mini Link printer allows me to do this.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Printer Amazon B&H
Fujifilm Instax Mini Film Amazon B&H

14 comments

  1. stuartshafran · April 16

    This is really interesting, I had no idea this printer even existed! I’ve heard of the Instax camera but you’re right, the mini link printer has even more potential being able to link to better quality cameras. Have you tried it with your polaroid film recipe?

    Like

  2. Does this printer link directly to the Fuji camera? My X-Pro2 has that option but I’d like to know if it works with this printer rather than having to go through the phone first.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · April 16

      On my X-H1 there’s an Instax printer option in the connection submenu, but I couldn’t figure out how to actually connect the camera to the printer. So the answer is: maybe? I’ll have to dig deeper into it to get a definitive answer.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Khürt Williams · April 17

    I thought it might be fun to get an Instax camera. But I already own too many cameras. The printer might be fun for parties.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · April 18

      I’d recommend the printer over an Instax camera, if you can only have one. It’s great for parties, as long as you don’t mind going through a bunch of film, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Janey · April 18

    This is such a great idea!! And it makes so much sense for those an instax lover like me. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. J Griffith · 14 Days Ago

    Fuji doesn’t offer great compatibility info with the Fuji cameras so it’s difficult to understand if your particular X-Series camera can direct print to the Instax Printer. The best info I could find was on a Fuji South Africa website: https://fujifilm-x.co.za/instax-compatibility-x-series/

    This seems to say that for most cameras, you’ll have to link via the Camera Remote App (there’s a print button in the app when selecting a single photo to print).

    The X-E3 has the Instax printer menu items but so far the SP-3 is the only printer that seems to be compatible. Waiting to hear back from Fuji on the SP-2 (not holding my breath). If anyone has any more experience with Fuji Cameras direct printing to Instax printers, please post here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 14 Days Ago

      That might be old information (for example, my X-T5 can supposedly connect to an Instax printer, although I haven’t yet tried). But I’m not an expert. You might try Nathalie Boucry, as she’s the most knowledgeable person I know about Instax. https://www.nathalieboucry.com

      Like

      • J Griffith · 14 Days Ago

        Not sure what you mean by old information, I was just on the phone with Fuji Pro Digital and they couldn’t figure it out (X-E3 printing to Instax Link Wide). If you are able to link your X-T5 please let us know!

        Will definitely reach out to Nathalie, so glad to learn about an Instax expert, there aren’t many yet this format is so fun! Thank you!

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · 14 Days Ago

        By “old information” the X-S10 was the most recent camera listed, so the list obviously hasn’t been updated since the release of that particular model, which was over two years ago.

        When I get the chance, I will test if the X-T5 will connect to the Instax Mini printer that I have.

        Like

      • J Griffith · 14 Days Ago

        Gotcha! Thanks for the info and giving that a try, good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

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