After the discontinuation of Fujifilm FP-3000B peel-apart instant film, the only available black and white instant films were those made by the Impossible Project (in SX-70, 600, and 8×10). However, Impossible Project films are not exactly “instant” and they can be troublesome to work with. Then suddenly in October 2016, Fujifilm introduced the Instax Mini Monochrome. Selling at $13.99 CAD (pack of 10 frames), compared to $30+ CAD (pack of 8 frames) for the Impossible Project ones, it is far more “affordable” though its tiny size is not for everyone.
However, unlike the FP-3000B and the Impossible Project black and white, I would say the Instax Mini Monochrome has relatively lower contrast and flatter tones, though its latitude is slightly wider than the original color Instax Mini. Moreover, to be exact, this film is “monochrome” as stated rather than truly “black and white”. Below are some examples. First one was taken with my wife’s Instax Mini 8 under a f/16 sun and the next two were shot with a Diana F+ Instant on an overcast day.
Finally, as the film is black and white, I first thought I could use a filter to enhance the contrast. So I put a Cokin deep red (003) in front of the lens to see if it would work. Unfortunately, the results are disappointing (top pair shot with the Diana and bottom pair with the Instax Mini 8). It seems the film’s image generating mechanism behind does not allow a color filter to be used. If anyone can shine some light on this, it will be greatly appreciated.