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Does instax mini film work with mini 8?

Instant cameras and instant film have seen a major resurgence in popularity over the last few years. The ability to capture a moment and immediately hold the printed photo in your hands is a magical feeling. Two of the most popular instant camera brands today are Fujifilm Instax and Polaroid. So a common question people have is whether Fujifilm Instax mini film works with the Polaroid Mini 8 camera. In this in-depth article, we’ll provide a clear answer and explanation.

The Difference Between Instax Mini and Polaroid Mini Film

Fujifilm Instax and Polaroid each have their own proprietary instant film formats that are incompatible with each other. This is because the film packs contain the necessary chemical developers that are coated in a certain way. The cameras are designed to work with the corresponding film format.

Specifically, Instax mini film has a width of 86mm. The image area is 62mm x 46mm. Polaroid Mini film on the other hand has a width of 102mm. The image area is 67mm x 55mm.

Film Type Width Image Area
Instax Mini 86mm 62mm x 46mm
Polaroid Mini 102mm 67mm x 55mm

As you can see, Instax mini is a noticeably smaller film size than Polaroid mini. The cameras to expose the film are designed specifically around these film dimensions. This is why Instax mini film will not work properly in the Polaroid Mini 8 camera.

Physical Incompatibility Between Instax Mini Film and the Mini 8

On a physical level, Instax mini film packs will not fit into the Mini 8 camera at all. The film door is too narrow to accept the Instax film pack. Even if you were to try to force it, the exposure and development process would not work correctly.

When you load a Mini 8 with Polaroid mini film, the pack has to sit just right so that it engages with the rollers and spreader properly. The rollers eject the film and spread the development chemicals evenly. This is a delicate mechanical process. With Instax mini, the roller spacing would be completely off.

In summary, there is no way to physically load or eject Instax mini instant film in the Polaroid Mini 8 camera. You can immediately see upon inspection that they are incompatible formats.

Chemical Development Process Differences

Setting aside the physical constraints, Instax mini film would not develop correctly even if you could load it into the Mini 8. Polaroid and Instax instant films use different chemical processes to produce the instant print. There are differences in how the developers are layered and spread during the development sequence.

When Instax mini film is ejected, the chemicals needs to be pressed and spread in a certain way timed with the ejection. The Mini 8 rollers are designed specifically for the Polaroid chemical system. Using the wrong film would result in issues like:

  • Poor color rendition
  • Areas with no image formation
  • Spots and artifacts
  • Incorrect developer spread

Chemical compatibility is a major reason why Polaroid and Instax cannot be interchanged. The end result would not be usable.

Electronic Incompatibilities

Both Instax mini and Polaroid mini film have little circuit boards attached for the camera to interact with. This allows basic settings like exposure compensation. The Mini 8 is engineered around Polaroid’s specific circuitry.

Using Instax mini film in the Mini 8 would likely result in the following electronic issues:

  • Problems powering on the film pack
  • Not being able to set exposure compensation
  • Errors communicating exposure settings to the film

Without the correct electronic signals to the film, you would not get a correctly exposed instant photo. The Instax electronic setup is simply incompatible with Polaroid’s Mini 8 camera.

Image Area and Quality Differences

Finally, even if you could load and expose Instax mini film in the Mini 8, the resulting image would not look right. As mentioned earlier, Instax mini has a significantly smaller image area than Polaroid mini. If Instax mini were used in the Mini 8:

  • The image would not fill the entire exposure area
  • There would be blank borders on the final print
  • The aspect ratio would be distorted and stretched looking

You would immediately notice the small image size compared to original Polaroid mini prints. And the lower 62mm x 46mm resolution of Instax mini is half the size of Polaroid’s 67mm x 55mm mini image area. Overall, the image quality and size makes the two film types completely different.

Key Takeaways

To summarize the key points:

  • Instax mini film is physically incompatible with the Polaroid Mini 8 camera
  • The chemical development processes used are different and not interchangeable
  • Electronic signals between camera and film would not work correctly
  • Resulting image area and quality would not match Polaroid mini film

So in short, no – Instax mini film will unfortunately not work properly in the Polaroid Mini 8 camera. You must use original Polaroid mini film packs to ensure correct operation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut Instax mini film to fit the Mini 8?

Physically trimming Instax mini film still wouldn’t make it fully compatible with the Mini 8. The chemistry and electronics would not align properly. This could damage both the film and camera.

What happens if I do load Instax mini into the Mini 8?

Forcing incompatible film into the camera is not recommended. But the likely result would be an incorrectly exposed and developed photo with areas of distortion or no image. Damage is possible.

Can Instax mini film work in other Polaroid camera models?

No, Instax mini film is designed for Instax Mini cameras only. It will not work properly in vintage Polaroid models like the 600, SX-70, etc. Some past Polaroid cameras did have interchangeable film packs, but mini film is a different format.

Where do people get confused about film compatibility?

The major confusion comes from the similarly named “mini” film types from Instax and Polaroid. But despite the name, they are completely different formats. The cameras and chemistry are engineered around the specific film.


While the Instax mini name sounds like it could work with the Polaroid Mini 8, the two film types are actually incompatible. From the film size, chemistry, electronics, and final image, Instax mini and Polaroid mini films have been engineered into their own distinct systems. The Mini 8 requires original Polaroid mini film for optimal operation. We hope this provides clarity to anyone wondering about cross-compatibility between these two popular instant camera brands.