Lego Instant Camera shooting with expired films

So old camera should use old film. It makes a lot of sense, right? For my 100 years old Lego Instant Camera, I gonna use some “really old film” – Fuji Instax Mini film expired in Mar 2014. Merely from the package you can see it looks quite old school. It is given by my old friend Clarice in Singapore. I asked around my experienced Instax friends and no one ever used films that expired four years ago. Four years don’t seem like a lot but it is indeed a long time for Instax film. There are chance that the film ink pack may dry out and explode when the roller pressed the pack.


Old film expired on March 2014

So here is the results. I’m surprised that it is still working properly. It is interesting to see the colour of the picture looks very old. My camera lens was produced at 1913 and hence it has no modern day coating. Therefore the colour was quite vintage in normal film to start with. In this expired film the vintage feeling compounded. The colour tone and saturation look very different. It appears like these pictures were taken in the 1970s.




Cosplay with Lego camera

There was also an interesting incidence. I saw a cosplayer and she was doing some shooting in the park. I introduced myself and did a shooting with this sci-fi cosplayer with my surreal Lego Instant Camera. She was impressed by the picture. I think it was probably added a new dimension for cosplay – this is cosplay x old film cameras x Lego.


The following is a comparison of a normal film and an expired film. The feeling is completely different. While the left (normal film) shows the vivid colour of the rose, the right (expired film) seems like peeking into a window that connected to the past.

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Lomography’s article on Lego Instant Camera

Thanks Lomography for the feature of the 100 years old Lego camera. I hope it helps to preserve the great creation by the masters in the past.

Kindly refer to the following link for the article.




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China Club encounter

Recent visit to China Club. Many interesting events recently related to the renaissance man Sir David Tang.

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Picture of the day

Contessa Nettel Lego Instant Camera

The art of shooting with a vintage camera of the vintage cover of a vintage book.

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A night at F22 foto space

I’m honored to participate in the fantastic opening ceremony of F22 foto space last Friday. With an elegant and classy interior, F22 foto space is a gallery focusing on photo art and contemporary design. Everything associated with this gallery has a unique feeling of modern meeting classic. It also has an amazing collection of Leica cameras. I’m really impressed by Douglas’ passion in not only photography but also in life. Without the passion in life, one would never go so far to create these one of a kind museums.

Douglas (the founder) was presented a special edition of Leica camera from Leica!

I also brought some interesting cameras to there – two of my latest Lego cameras. The Contessa Nettel Tessco is the older among the two with a hundred years old.


Douglas, Huang Jing and Amelie

It’s a wonderful night. Met up with F11 Photographic Museum team and many interesting people. What made this event special is that many people were holding Leica cameras. Even the guests on the stage were shooting with their own Leica cameras when other speakers were delivering speech. I also saw some fanatic photographers shooting with three Leica cameras when we were talking. He kept changing cameras and shoot every 30 seconds. Don’t get me wrong. I just thought it looks quite costly to shoot films in this way but I’m tempted to try that too some day !

During the night, I went into lengthy detail to explain how to operate these two Lego cameras and more importantly “what (the hell) is it”. It is fun to demonstrate how to take the pictures with them. It always aroused some amazement and laughter. It looks like we all became kids again and enjoyed Lego + these reborn antique cameras.  I also had the privilege of receiving a SX-70 Polaroid picture from Jack. It really reminds me the old days I took Polaroid in Christmas dinner with my parents. All precious moments.

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Enjoy the magic of Instant Photography

Wish everything goes well with F22 foto space and continue to share the art of photography.

Find out more about F22 foto space


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Pictures from 90 years old film camara

Follow up on yesterday’s post, here are more pictures sample from my 90-year old Zeiss Ikon Trona Lego Instant Camera.

A friend of mine said it looks like pictures from decades ago, despite the obvious modern design of the film borders. What do you think?




More details about the 90 years old Zeiss Ikon Trona Lego Instant Camera:

Instant back in time – Shooting with a 90 years old Lego Instant Camera

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Instant back in time – Shooting with a 90 years old Lego Instant Camera

This is probably the oldest Lego Camera in the world

This is my latest attempt to revive a 90 years old camera using Lego bricks together with instant films. Not too many people would have experience to use a camera with 90 years old. Most of these cameras are put on display shelves or in basement. I hope this project can bring them back to the real world and make them relevant again.


Legendary camera made in 1930
A month ago I obtained this beautiful Zeiss-Ikon Trona which was produced at around 1930. I purchased it from a camera collector who has hundreds of camera. While he took good care of it, he doesn’t have much time to shoot with this camera that uses single 6×9 film. I always have fascination in old cameras and wanted to use it to shoot pictures like the good old days.Zeiss Ikon Trona camera pic

Extracted from the original camera manual from 1930

This beautiful camera left in my home for a few days and is likely the oldest object at my home. It is still workable. From the wear and the marks on the exterior of the camera I think it had been used intensively for a period in the distance past. The viewfinder also show signs of usage – the lens have been extended numerous times that left some marks on the viewfinder surface. Nonetheless, the lens is in amazingly good condition after cleaning.

I tried to imagine what kind of shooting this camera has been going through in the past. This camera is almost as old as my grandparents. I think it should have witnessed many precious moments of its owners in some life changing moments, such the birth of the new baby, weddings and many memorable gatherings?

Adapting to modern instant film
Needless to say, I have modified the camera into instant film after I got all the essential materials. This camera, after modification, has a motorized back for processing instant film. It takes a pack of 10 instant films (Fuji Instax Mini) each time and it is convenient to change a new film pack even on the street.

This time again I use Lego to modify this beautiful antique camera. It gives a modern playful look to it yet I think the dark theme Lego pieces fits the camera very well. It comes at harmony with the wear outlook of the camera leather.





Holding an antique camera to shoot in the street
Holding such an antique to shoot in the street is an interesting experience. The images always have a vintage feel, perhaps due to the color saturation and the contrast of the picture. It never need an Instagram filter to achieve that. I think photographers in the past who use this camera would normally bring at most three sheets of films for a day of shooting. With the modern instant film, I can bring several packs of film with ten pieces each to shoot. It certainly makes the process more convenient for the busy modern day shooters as well as saving the cost of developing the films. Here are some shooting examples.

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For those who are interested, please check out the original camera manual for more details.

Remember to subscribe my blog for more updates on vintage cameras shootings ! I will also send out some physical photos in the future to subscribers.

Comments and suggestions are welcome. Stay tune !


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