Good glass always matters, but when you only have 10 LPM to work with, it matters a lot… that is if you are looking for “sharp” images from instant materials! Below I did a test comparing the Fuji 500AF to a converted Polaroid 110B with an Instax wide back… as you can see, the difference is HUGE! The 110B has better sharpness and better color, or at least more accurate color, which is to be expected as the 127mm Rodenstock lens on that camera is quite amazing.
Advantages to the 110B
- Total manual exposure control
- Multiple exposure and pre-exposure capabilities
- F 4.5 – F90
- Cable release option
- “Accurate” rangefinder focusing (manual focus only)
- Build quality but comes at the cost of size and weight
- No batteries required
Advantages to the Fuji 500AF
- Fast shoot time
- Lighter weight
- AF but that also has its issues in low light
- Built in Flash
In conclusion… both cameras are quite nice and represent a real creative option to shooters looking for “sharp” Fuji Instax wide images. When holding the physical instant prints in your hand, both instant images seem quite sharp. But the Polaroid 110B has a lot more pop and under magnification it becomes quite clear which camera is sharper, so if your intentions are to scan and enlarge the image this should be part of your consideration.
One final note on the test shot: I did 5 images with the Fuji 500AF and chose the sharpest one- as with AF there is always the possibility of the camera picking the wrong point of focus. The 110B was spot on with just one shot. I also chose F8 as the Fuji would default to that setting due to the lower light level.