Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Review

fujifilm-instax-mini-90Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Review

The Instax Mini 90 by Fujifilm is the newest camera in their credit card sized instant photography range. The Mini 90 is a follow up to the almost forgotten Instax Mini 50 series.  What separates the Mini 90 and 50s before it from the colorful Instax 7(s) and 8 is the ability to customize your shot with advance settings while still being point and shoot. Included on the camera are multiple flash settings, basic lighting options, more shooting modes, a timer, and a tripod socket. New to this version alone however are the bulb and double exposure mode and a rechargeable battery which makes this camera the best they come up with for mini instant photography. The 90 also give offers instead of the bright colors and oddly shaped body of the 7 & 8’s a plastic and leather combination that holds and feels more like a camera (a design they’ve termed Neo Classic). Shoot modes include: Standard, Marco, Party, Kids, Landscape, Double Exposure and Bulb with 4 lighting modes of Normal, Light, Lighter, and Dark. As well you have Flash modes: automatic, forced firing, suppressed, and red eye reduction with option to turn on a self-timer for 1 or two shots.

Now for example photos and my review, you can also check out my Instax Film Guide.

Portraitinstax mini toronto (10)

Self-Portraithamicat instax mini film (1)

Catsinstax mini toronto (12)

Group Shotinstax mini toronto (2)

Landscapelomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (15)

Still Life
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Double Exposure
instax mini toronto (13)

Motionfuji-instax-mini-lake-ontario

Macromacro fail(I have not good example macro shots because they are all fails)

Sunnyspring instax mini film (14)

Cloudyfuji instax mini film lake ontario (3)

Duskhamicat instax mini film (9)

Sunrise/Sunsetfujifilm instax mini film

Direct Sunfall in instax film (5)

Shadefall in instax (2)

Nightfuji-instax-mini-film-15

Flashhalloween instax mini film (5)

Review

At the time I bought it last summer I was really wondering if it was worth it, especially as I really had my eye on the old Mini 50S in piano finish which was the same price as the Mini 8 and had almost identical features to the Mini 90 besides being the older model. However if shoot often with instant film and enjoy having a new camera with accessibility to film – ­­this camera will make you much happier than its contemporaries. Before I start reviewing and dissecting the Instax Mini 90, I want to state that I emphatically believe that it is the best camera option for mini instant film, even beyond the range of Fujifilm’s own cameras (hello Lomo’Instant) and the price is worth it. The only opposition to buying it over the others is personal preference for how it looks , not wanting to buy the higher price point (I bought mine for $60 more than the Instax Mini 8 but slightly cheaper than the Lomo’Instant) and the biggest one, no accessories (additional lens types and colourful cases). Like with any Instax film camera there is plenty of faults you can find with all of them including manual options, ability to use in all situation, and the viewfinder in name a few. If you want my opinion the best instant camera would be a vintage Polaroid camera compatible with current FujifilmFP100-C film but we are talking about cameras that use mini Instax film so I will digress. In my experience the Instax Mini 90 is the strongest out of them all and there is no element to it that is weaker or inferior to any other model when it comes to its technology.

Modes

The modes works well and allow you to use the camera in almost any situation. My favourite modes are the Party, Landscape and standard which I use constantly and get great results. My least favourite is Macro which I’ve never successful gotten a clear shot with despite trying various distance and subject matter. My second least favourite is Multiple Exposure, I know it might be hard to believe that someone who posts bi-weekly double exposures doesn’t enjoy this mode but I don’t. The results it gives me are easily over exposed with little details and I just can’t get behind it. I also not one to do typical multiple exposures so maybe the average person would still love this (I know it’s why I decided to buy the camera in the end). The other modes, Kids and Bulb I never use – I don’t know why I just don’t. One thing I will mention while I’m talking about the modes is the fact that Party and Kids for some reason do not allow you to shoot with no flash on. It infuriates me because unless I’m indoors or its night I mostly shoot with no flash and for them to arbitrarily not allow you, pisses me off especially since I use Party mode a lot. Although it can be said that the Mini 7/8’s don’t even have real modes so my negatives comments you have to take into perspective anything is better than nothing.

Lighting

The automatic Normal lighting is really good and versatile although it can be tricky as I’ve noticed at certain times in the afternoon you tend you get blue tinted photos for some reason. On bright sunny days when you are not shooting in shadows I recommend Dark as Normal will always be too bright. As for Light it’s good to use when shooting in shadows, but I haven’t had good experience using it in the afternoon as the sun is going down as it tends to make images more blurry and oddly have little contrast. Lighter is useless and blurry and has over exposed all dark situations I’ve used it on. Keep in mind I am referring to shooting by the hand as most people I am assume are not shooting with tripods. The two lighter options would drastically improve if used on a tripod as my biggest concern is the how blurry they are (I haven’t not tried this so I might be wrong). Lastly DON’T point at the sun; you will always get a black hole that ruins the shot.

Flash

For the flash modes as I’ve stated I solo try to shoot with the flash off. However I have used it at night and indoor and the default flash and red eye flash work great. It’s powerful and doesn’t wash out too much if things are at a good distance. However you want to make sure your subjects are not too close, I’d say anything an arm reach away (sorry all selfies will be over exposed ghosts). As for Non-flash I love, I do not trust any camera to know when the lighting is okay for flash or not, one reason why the Mini 90 is amazing because you can turn that off. But by default the automatic flash will be on and if you accidently leave it on, or are in the two modes that you can’t turn off the flash it will be a drunk fool and shoot in the middle of a sunny day just because. Automatic flash is the worst thing in any camera, full stop. Another peeve of mine is that I have to reselect the flash mode anytime I change the shooting mode, it’s annoying and it leads to that automatic flash being on when I didn’t realize and blinding someone during the middle of the day.

Normal mode – flash went of automatically fall in instax flash

No Flashfall in instax film (4)

Viewfinder

The viewfinder for me is the most frustrating part of the camera. I feel like I have a better time shooting if I ignored it completely. However when you are spending so much money per shot, it’d be nice to actually be able to frame it and what you see in the viewfinder is never what you’ll get. I’ve even started to try and figure out how to compensate for it and that just ends me up with worse shots. Now I’ve used the other versions and they are worse but I have to point it out because I’d love a true viewfinder and it’s a sour point in all the Instax cameras.

Other Features

One thing on the camera I cannot fault is the battery. For starts it has a rechargeable battery which I could just stop there as that’s already such an improvement. However not only do you no longer have to buy and carry around replacement batteries that weigh down you and your camera but the battery is amazing. I’ve owned the camera for a year and a half and charged it twice; once when it arrived and again a second time this summer. Now I don’t use the flash that often but it blows my mind that it lasts that long. The camera also has ‘selfie’ mirror on the front which is just the highly reflective shutter button that I didn’t even notice was there (I now no longer wonder why all mine turn out framed so badly). Speaking of things I didn’t notice, there are two shutter buttons on the camera. The top shutter is in the convention shutter button area and the second is on the front acting as the mirror and with the power switch around it – who knew? I use the one on the top exclusively and forgot the other even existed until now. Holding the camera now to test it I don’t know what position I’d be holding the camera in where that button would be more useful and comfortable that the other one. Luckily for me I’ve never accidently used it so it’s still a good design in my books as it’s there for people who want it but it doesn’t get in the way either. Other random features are the back mode screen and the film counter which do their job well. Only thing I can note is the film counter has on occasion told me the incorrect number of film available but that was after the camera was jammed in my bag and took 5 shots of the inside and one other time when I opened the back while having power on the camera. There is also a tripod mount that I have not used but it’s one of those musts and not enough toy cameras have one so I appreciate it. It also came with a very nice, fashionable and long leather neck strap that I love, and you can change it out for any other type of strap like a hand one. It’s also really light which probably in part has to do with not using batteries for power, and being the smallest of Instax camera. The size of it also makes it easy to fit into any of my smaller bags, you can load up with packs of film and still have plenty of room.

10 More Instax Mini 90 Photos:

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Lomography Wednesday: Coke Cola Camera

coke cola camera (6)I am really excited about this post because never in my head did I conceive that this existed, that in the world there was a coke cola camera. Now of course I know of 90’s automatic throw away cameras that are simply branded with the logo (apparently there are ones made to look like the cans too which is pretty cool) but a camera made from recycled coke cola cans blew my mind. My friend Zara gifted to this me last week; a purchase from Cuba for a few pesos she told me, while saying it was the combination of my two favourite things before pulling it out of her bag. Honestly it’s the best present I’ve gotten all year, it’s amazing. Something that I guess hasn’t come up on the blog, is that I am addicted to Coke Cola, no shame but a total fact that I love Coke Cola so this really is two of my favourite things combined. I love what they used for each element to, like the pull tabs being the strap for the camera, it’s all very ingenious. The only disappointment is that is somehow doesn’t actually take photos. However you can use the viewfinder to frame a shot and pull the trigger like a real camera but what happens next is a surprise!
(check the video below if you want to find out)

More Close Ups:

coke cola camera (4) coke cola camera (2)coke cola camera (1)

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A Year in Lomography

disderi robot 3 camera (14)Have a look back at the last year of lomography and toy camera photography! I’ve had the great pleasure of adding a few more different types of toy cameras to my collection including my love (the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90). You can check out this post if you want to see all the cameras I have currently. I’ve actually ended up with such a back log of undeveloped film that I decided to take a short break until I can get back into developing my own film again and even try developing color film. This also came about because my local lap is horrendous and expensive and unable to develop a lot of the types of film I produce with my unique cameras so the end of the year was a little bare but next year I’m hoping by summer to get back into constant content. Click the link/photo if you want to see lomography photography, cameras and more.

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Wish List of Toy Cameras

Every year I like to look and see what new toy cameras are available and what I am missing from my collection put together a list of what I’d love to add to my collection. So this is my wish list of toy cameras in 2015, it’s a mix of discontinued cameras, Kickstarters, ones you build yourself, vintage and the like. A girl can dream…


Belair X 6-12 Trailblazer

Holga K202 (hard to find but the other version K205 is on Ebay)


Konstrukor Transparent


Holga Wide Pinhole (discontinued camera)

lomo-instant-camera-presale
Lomo’Instant


Smena 35 (vintage)


Holga 120 Panorama Camera (discontinued)


Holga Glo 120N


Fujifilm Instax Wide


La Sardina Camera and Flash Cubic

Holga Stereo Pinhole


Lomography Diana Mini Double Rainbow (repeat from last year’s wishlist)

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Fall in Instant: Camping and Lake Ontario

               fuji instax mini film instant photography (8) fuji instax mini film instant photography (9)fuji instax mini film instant photography (15) fuji instax mini film instant photography (5) fuji instax mini film instant photography (3)fuji instax mini film instant photography (21)fuji instax mini film instant photography (12)fuji instax mini film instant photography (10)fuji instax mini film instant photography (11)fuji instax mini filmfuji instax mini film instant photography (1)fuji instax mini film instant photography (6)fuji instax mini film instant photography (4)

My Fujifilm Instax 90 is turning into my go-to camera anytime I’m going to hang out with friends. I had so much fun last weekend camping and being a beach bum for the last warm weekend of the year. I took with me both my Instax 90 and my vintage Super Shot Polaroid camera and it was surprising how in comparison I enjoyed shooting with the Instax more. I really noticed the difference in using a vintage camera over a modern camera when I was in the middle of cooking bacon over the fire or on a windy sandy beach and didn’t want the hassle.  I just love taking a photo with the Instax and tossing it in my bag to dry and peaking at it as it developed, plus the size and weight really makes a difference. The one thing that occurred to me on my trip though that I don’t like about the Instax 90 is how frustrating it is to frame a shot. The viewfinder is not accurate at all. I always feel like I’m adding in the correction as the viewfinder is to the left of the actual lens but my correction seems to only make it worse. Had several shots where they didn’t turn out right because the subject was either half cropped out or completely cropped (example the photo of my delish bacon on a stick, 3rd from bottom). I don’t want to have to frame my subjects to be center frame in every shot so it’d be nice to have a camera that had a proper viewfinder! I should probably do my review for the Instax 90 soon. I’ve used it quite a bit at this point, but there are a few of the ‘scene’ options I haven’t used yet. It was fun shooting in instant film, regardless of camera. It is just so satisfying and that immediacy of instant photography is something I am really enjoying right now. I’ll be showing the shots from the Polaroid next week on Tuesday as well if you want to see the different results.

fuji instax mini film instant photography (14)

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Lomography Wednesday: Disderi Robot 3

I think everyone has this moment when they are into film photography when they have no idea what photos are actually on a particular roll because it’s been either sitting around for a while or it just took you months to take photos with a camera. Well today I’m sharing that moment with you, I actually found this roll of film inside my Disderi Robot 3 camera at the end of August and decided to take it in to be developed.  I was pretty excited when I got these back from the store to see exactly what was on this roll. What I found a combination of shots from the winter, spring and the start of summer (yah that film was in there for a long time). Most of them were taken during my trip to Toronto in February to visit my friend Derek for his birthday and when I went with Starchild Stela to document her creating her piece for the Jem and the Hologram movie audition back in May. Just a few from a walk in the summer at the very end, completely random but that’s part of the fun with film.disderi robot 3 camera (14) disderi robot 3 camera (13) disderi robot 3 camera (1) disderi robot 3 camera (19) disderi robot 3 camera (26)disderi robot 3 camera (21) disderi robot 3 camera (25)disderi robot 3 camera (15)disderi robot 3 camera (10) disderi robot 3 camera (17) disderi robot 3 camera (12) disderi robot 3 camera (8) disderi robot 3 camera (18) disderi robot 3 camera (5)starchild stela disderi robot 3 camera (6) disderi robot 3 camera (11) disderi robot 3 camera (23)disderi robot 3 camera (24)Hopefully that was fun to look through for you as it was for me. I think I’ll be having a lot more experiences with random photos when I get back into developing film. I am not very good a labelling or document what my film is. If you have any tips actually for documenting your photo process or film let me know in the comments.

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Lomography Wednesday: New Toy Cameras!

I went a little crazy this month but it really felt like it’s been forever since I bought a new toy camera and there was a few that I’ve been dying to get for awhile now. I also found out that Lomography’s online store has a discount section for cameras with open or damaged boxes. The deals were pretty good and hard to resist, it really helps get over the price hump since I notice that a lot of Lomography cameras are pretty expensive. Anyways have a look my 3 new cameras!

Golden Half: Hello Kitty Edition

golden half hello kittyI bought this camera from Ebay because it’s a Superheadz camera that’s been discontinued for a few years and I was worried that it might disappear on me. I wanted a Golden Half camera because the photos I’ve seen people take with them seem to be really fun and this one is by far the cutest (there are several different variations, not sure if they are all discounted by they are uncommon to find anywhere except Ebay). I was hesitant because I have my Holga Tim and didn’t think I needed another half frame camera but it’s super tiny and light which is good for trips and you don’t have to worry about accidently forgetting what ‘eye’ you have closed or open like the Holga Tim.  It even came with film although expired film since it’s that old (you can see why I wanted to scoop one up before it disappeared).

Sprocket Rocket: Teal Color

sprocket rocket (2)Found on the Lomography discount store, this camera and I have been destined to be for a while now.  I remember when it first came out in 1 color and I thought it was the ugliest camera ever…and then it came out in teal. Okay so that’s not why I wanted it, it is a wide panoramic camera that also exposes the film sprockets. This will be my only toy camera that exposes the film fully. Also I have really wanted to take more panoramic shots and beside the Holga panoramic cameras there just aren’t many toy panoramic camera out there (Holga discontinued their Holga 120 PAN camera a few months ago)

La Sardina: Domino Edition

la sardinaLa Sardina is another find from the Lomography discount store. I’ve always liked this camera even though it is very similar to Holga and Diana cameras because it used 35 film and it’s just really cute. Definitely not a camera I would pay full price for (I bought it for $45). This does happen to be one of those cameras where it’s really hard to choose a design for. I dislike that about newer toy cameras since I have a problem with wanting more than just one design and also think it would be really silly to own the same camera in a different colors or design. If I was rich I’m telling you right now I’d have all of the limited anniversary additions of Holga 120s that glow in the dark and probably 2 or 3 La Sardina cameras. This is my favourite design but I also love:

Aren’t they weird? I really like them and think the artist designs for Lomography cameras always end up being the best. The one I bought doesn’t have a matching flash but I find I don’t use toy cameras often enough indoors for that to be a big issue and the ones that have a matching flash don’t appeal to me as much. It isn’t compatible with other hot shoe flash which is the downside so I hope I don’t end up regretting my decision to get this design (the designs with flash were only $20 more at the discount store). Excited to see if it’s a good alternative to my other 35 film cameras.

If you want to see me do a review or show you photos with any of these cameras let me know in the comments. The hardest thing is to stop using the ones you love to make room for new ones so knowing you are interested would make that easier!

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Holgaroid

I think I’ve been spending too much time this week in the sun because I’ve been thinking about giving my Holgaroid one more chance…even though last summer I swore I’d never use it again. If you don’t know why I don’t favor this camera, you can check out my review (here)… but long story short it’s a right pain and wastes a ton of film with failed shots. I’d just love to see instant photos from my Holga. The process of taking a whole film roll and then process it at home and scanning the negatives and color correcting the negatives is just not how I want to be spending my summer weekends. Plus now that I’m getting more use to taking double exposures with instant film, I’d love to try with the Holgaroid and see the results. I have also been considering the newer Diana F+ instant back that uses Fuji mini instax film. It’s a much newer product and maybe the reliability is higher than the Holgaroid but the reviews I find online leave me a little cold (plus I’d have to buy it, which at full price is $100). Thought I’d share some old Holgaroid photos and see what you opinions are, let me know in the comments! I also rescanned the photos since the review and they look a lot better! I know I promised two weeks ago to have some Split-Cam photos today but haven’t had a chance to get the film developed.

holgaroid (43) holgaroid (44) holgaroid (45) holgaroid (46) holgaroid (47) holgaroid (48)

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My Toy Camera Collection

lomography toy camera collection

My Toy Camera Collection

Holga 120 CFN

toy camera (14)My first ever toy camera, I bought it at a local photography store back in 2007. It is the dearest one to my heart, you can check out photos I’ve taken with this guy: here, here, here, here , here and here! I don’t have a review but I do have a profile of this camera, here!

Holga Tim (purple edition)

toy camera (8)This is also probably one of my favourite cameras, it goes with me everywhere. I bought this for myself as a Christmas present and it’s design really makes other people smile. Wish I could own one in every color, lol. You can see my review of it here! I also have photos of it here, here, here and here!

Diana F+ (Hudson Bay edition)

toy camera (2)One of my newer toy cameras, I bought it off of Kijiji used for only $50 which is pretty amazing for the Diana camera with the flash. Didn’t have a say in the design but I really dig it…still haven’t really fallen in love with the camera overall. Feel like I’m a Holga girl and not a Diana one, lol. I have photos I’ve taken with it here!

LomoKino

toy camera (11)Bought this two years ago after realizing how painful it would be to get my Super8 camera film developed. The LomoKino is really neat and a great alternative to people who want to create video with film. It doesn’t take much to finish a roll though but I found it really fun to try. Going to be making more mini-movies with it this summer. You can check out one I did last year at Piknic Electronik, here!

Disderi Robot 3

toy camera (7)Love, love, love this camera. One of the biggest surprises, I mean for $10 and from Ebay you don’t expect much but this camera is delightful. Always with me to take silly photos while on vacation. I’ve done a review of it, here. Photo taken with it here, here, here, and here and here!

Holgaroid (Holga 120 GFN with Polaroid attachment)

toy camera (15)Probably one of the most frustrating cameras I’ve ever owned and also one of the most expensive. I bought the camera and the Holga Polaroid back together used for $100 (although it’s a good deal since the attachment itself is $100 and at the time wasn’t being made anymore). If you want more information I have my review, here and photos here!

Oktomat

toy camera (5)Another frustrating camera, but it does have a special place in my heart since it was my 2nd toy camera and a birthday present I bought for myself 4 years ago. It a neat idea for a camera but I wish it was better built and implemented. I have a review, here and a profile of it, here. Photos are here, here, here, here and here!

Diana Mini (Love is in the Air edition)

toy camera (10)Another used camera off of Kijiji for less than 50% of the normal price, and honestly it’s one of my favourite designs for Diana Mini’s. I haven’t used it much since the sizing of the frames are so strange and I just know the local film developers wouldn’t print it off correctly. Have 2 rolls in my fridge all ready to be printed when I start doing color developement.

Spinner 360

toy camera (13)The only toy camera I bought while on vacation, this guy is from the old Toronto Lomography store ( I think? I might be making that up but I remember looking at these at the store). I was really excited for this camera but again because of the special size of the negatives I wanted to home develop the film and my first ‘test’ roll in black and white made me realize this camera is made for color. You can check out my test roll, here!

Juice Box

toy camera (3)Another cheap Ebay camera, this one happens to be my newest one! I tracked it down because I’ve seen them floating around for the last few years and it looked like they might stop selling thems oon. They come in so many different juice boxes and milk teas designs. I really wanted the peach one but it’s really hard to find. Waiting to develop the 2 rolls I’ve taken with it.

Split-Cam

toy camera (6)Purchased on Amazon when I was buying books and it flashed up as an add on for only $12. I can’t wait to show you photos I’ve taken with the Split-Cam. I’ve only taken one roll with it last summer and another roll this weekend but my next Lomography Wednesday post in 2 weeks will actually be from this neat camera.

Disderi Robot 4

toy camera (4)Bought this at the same time as the Disderi Robot 3 camera since they were so cheap. It’s hard to remember this guy when it’s a standard 4 lens toy camera and the 3 lens version of it is so much neater. Hope to run it through it’s paces at some point. $10 cameras from Ebay are hard to resist.

Nishika N9000

toy camera (12)I bought this camera for a photo project I’m doing with Victor last summer when I thought making gifs was going to be my newest obession. We are collecting photos for it slowly so I image I will mostly be using it for the project and not sharing many but look out!

SuperSampler  (Silver edition)

toy camera (9)Picked up mine from Kijiji used for only $20 and still haven’t gotten around to taking photos with it…it also has a roll of film that was left in it from the original owner that I have no idea what to do with.

Sooter 35

toy camera (16)This is a toy and vintage camera that I received when my grandmother died. Never been able to get the flash working but it’s a cool edition to the collection. I’ve done a review of it here!

Holga Micro-110

toy camera (1)No idea why I haven’t tested this little guy it, I’ve had it since Lomography started producing 110 film again and I found it for under $10 on Ebay. I’ve had a roll of 110 film for it in my fridge for over a year too just ready to go. I just feel like I should bring it somewhere where the spy element of it’s size is useful.

So that’s it, my toy camera collection! I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are just so many cameras available these days and it seems lately the prices from the Lomography ones keep going higher and higher in the last few years. Although as you can see most of the Lomography cameras (ie the expensive ones) were bought used and the rest are mostly cheap Asian market cameras that honestly do an awesome job. So if you think I have piles of money to buy cameras – I really don’t.  I think the most important aspect of toy cameras is their affordability. It’s better to spend the money on development and film – not the camera. Besides missing a few key cameras like Fujifilm Instax, and larger format Holga cameras I probably have at least one of every type of ‘trick’ available which is kind of neat. If you really want to see photos from one of the cameras I currently don’t have posts for let me know in the comments. Except the last camera I’ve actually taken photos with all the cameras but simply haven’t had a chance to develop the film for them yet. So it’ll be a good kick in the butt and I’ll know what ones people are interested in seeing :)

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Holga in the Snow

It is starting to snow here so I thought I’d share some Holga photographs I toke back in 2011 of me and Victor walking around our old neighborhood to visit our friends in the Basement. The ones of the masks were taken on our old apartment’s back porch that went down onto an open rooftop. I miss that house and being able to walk a few blocks to visit friends, it feels like such a long time ago. I look so grumpy in the one Victor toke of me, lol. I have lots of photos to share with you guys coming up in the new year taken by this guy, it’s been really nice starting to use my CFN version more and getting back into the feel of it. My profile of me with it went up last week if you haven’t check that out, here.

Holga (17) Holga (23) Holga (19) Holga (7)

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