New Instax Square TLR by MiNT

By Johnny Martyr

MiNT is a Chinese company that got its start with expert vintage Polaroid SX-70 camera refurbishment and customization back in 2009. In 2015, they released their own, all new instant film camera, the InstantFlex TL70 twin lens reflex.

The TL70 was only one of several new instant film cameras and accessories to be created by this innovative start-up. In itself, the TL70 was something that photographers had never seen; an aperture priority twin lens reflex camera with a stylish built-in flash that uses common and affordable Fujifilm Instax Mini film.

The camera is a refined alternative to the point-and-shoot Instax cameras available from Fuji because it gives the photographer much improved control over composition and exposure. And of course, it’s super fun to use with excellent cosmetics.

It’s hard to imagine how MiNT could improve on or evolve this popular design but the instant film powerhouse has announced an heir to the throne; the MiNT InstantFlex TL70 Plus.

More than just a follow-up, the TL70 Plus responds to criticisms of the debut model while bringing trending tech in the film community to this smart revamp.

For starters, the TL70 Plus is a square format camera, just like the classic 120 roll film cameras that define its heritage. The original TL70 used Fuji Instax Mini, a portrait oriented rectangular image film. But the TL70 Plus uses newer Fuji Instax Square integral instant film, which produces 62mm x 62mm (2.44″ x 2.44″) prints with a neatly proportioned 72mm x 86mm (2.83″ x 3.38″) border.

Image from

The TL70 Plus, features the same f/5.6, f/6.7, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22 manually adjustable aperture scale as the TL70 but the automatic and with 1 stop plus/minus and bulb shutter control is now automatic or fully manual and features speeds of A+1, A-1, B, T, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 1. Amazingly it can also do a slow timed exposure that maxes out at a staggering ten minutes.

This amount of exposure control is rare among instant film cameras and will be welcomed graciously by experienced and student film photographers alike. It can often be difficult to learn to shoot film fully manually since one cannot preview the results. But with a camera like the TL70 Plus, students can learn the interactions of the Exposure Triangle (all Instax Film is rated at 800 ISO) within minutes.

Besides making use of a modern instant film format, the TL70 Plus also incorporates recently trending OLED meter display technology. Many 35mm cameras use LED meter displays that rely on three simple light emitting diodes to abstractly indicate over, under and proper exposure. But the TL70 Plus shows the photographer “all the information you need – shutter speed and aperture indicator, ND filter reminder and B/T mode countdown timer.” Impressive indeed, and even better, it’s tucked neatly inside the viewfinder blind for excellent visibility while shooting.

The TL70 Plus adds a AR anti-reflective coating to its beautiful fresnel viewfinder which is 1:1 and 33% larger than the old model.

“One of the most beloved features of the TL70, PLUS takes it a step further with a 33% larger viewfinder to match the square film size, keeping the preview-to-image ratio elegantly at 1:1, and this time even brighter.” – MiNt Camera

Just like the TL70, the flash unit is discreetly hidden behind the camera’s forward-facing name plate. Vintage styling cues are not compromised while adding functionality. And now the flash unit is auto-balancing.

The crown jewel of improvements is with the TL70’s 3-element glass lens. It now features aspherical elements and multi-coating to maximize sharpness and minimize flare.

Beloved features of the original TL70 are retained though. The new camera is still focused fully manually with a 0.7m (27.6 inches) minimal distance. Multiple-exposures are still just as easy to perform with the unique dedicated eject button. Arguably, they are even easier to control with the manual shutter speeds too. And exposed sheets of film are still spit out from the open viewfinder blind that doubles as an intuitive on/off switch – perhaps the most elegantly designed feature between these cameras.

Only 400 MiNT TL70 Plus cameras are currently available to owners of previous MiNT models or a limited few those on their early bird list. No date has been provided for when the new TLR will be available to everyone else but it will retail for $699.99 USD. The camera comes with an amazing five year warranty and lifetime VIP membership which enables warranty extensions and discount film or other product purchases.

(All photos and quotes are from MiNT Camera)

Thanks for reading and happy shooting

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3 thoughts on “New Instax Square TLR by MiNT

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  1. I filled in the e mail forms, but got no response.   own a couple Mint cameras but was never entirely happy with the TL70. Sounds like most objections fixed  How do I get one?ThanksKurt Ingh

    Liked by 1 person

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