Skip to main content

The Instant Lab Fuses Digital Photography With Analog Prints

instant lab fuses digital photography analog prints 2
Digital photography may be quick, convenient, and instantly shareable, but let’s face it — there’s nothing like the feeling of holding an actual photograph. Florian Kaps, Henne Wanders and Achim Hein felt a need to bridge the gap between the digital and the tangible, so they create the Instant Lab. The Instant Lab fuses everything good about digital photography with everything that makes Polaroid photographs so awesome. Basically, you can take an image from a smartphone or tablet screen put it through this machine, and voila — an analog photo comes out. The Manual caught up with its CEO,  Creed O’Hanlon to ask all about The Instant Lab.

How did the idea for The Instant Lab come about?

Related Videos

It was partly conceived by a camera engineer, Henne Wanders, together with Impossible’s founder, Florian ‘Doc’ Kaps and an eminent former designer for Leica, Achim Hein, as a way to bridge digital image-making and analog instant film. However, to make it possible, they also had to ‘re-invent’ and refine  the mechanical film processing unit that is the basis of all classic Polaroid instant cameras. It was a simple concept with some major mechanical challenges.

The Instant Lab is like a magic box that allows you to turn digital photos into tangible, analog instant Polaroid-like photo. How does it work?

At its simplest, a lens projects an image from a smart phone or tablet screen onto an instant film, which is then processed mechanically (and chemically) as the film is ejected. It’s actually not a printer but a camera.

How long does it take to set up The Instant Lab and use it?

It works right out of the box! Download The Impossible Project app, which manages the image selection, cropping and exposure, insert a pack of colour or black white Impossible film into the Lab, and away you go!

Who does it make the ideal gift for?

It’s a great gift for anyone (of any age) who likes making and sharing images, and who also wants to make them tangible. The images themselves are the classic square-frame photos that everyone recognises as ‘polaroids’ – and like Polaroids, the opportunity to watch them develop in the palm of your hand is still something like magic!

What’s next for you?

An instant camera, the first designed specifically for the classic Polaroid in over a decade. It will be easy to use, point-and-shoot, but also have the capacity to be a sophisticated photographic tool when used in combination with a dedicated app and bluetooth!

For more information, visit

Editors' Recommendations

Is Wordle Worth Jumping on the Post-Viral Bandwagon?
The Post-Viral App Is Still Helping Drive Revenue at The Times
Wordle game #196 solved in 4 guesses

The Wordle app’s popularity has cratered since The New York Times (NYT) acquired the app, but the latter is only one possible reason for the former’s fall.

Wordle’s plunge from late January highs are down almost 1000% in July. An average of 350,000 users posting game results to Twitter in the first month of the year. Those tweets are barely breaking 40,000 posts in July. Gaming function, management missteps, seasonal changes, knockoff apps, paywall rumors, and the essential nature of the phrase "gone viral" all factor into the decline. Despite the dive, Wordle’s January acquisition has been a success for NYT.  According to first quarter earnings, subscriptions to app games are driving growth for the media giant.

Read more
Incredible Prime Day 2022 Deal: Two Smart Bulbs for $10
Hotel Room with a Notebook Computer on the Table Near the Bed

Photo provided by PxHere and licensed under Creative Commons (

Prime Day 2022 has finally arrived - and with it some truly epic Prime Day deals. We've got some great Prime Day smart home deals for you, and one of the best deals around right now is this smart light bulb bundle from Merkury Innovations. You'd normally pay $16 for this bundle, but with this smart light bulb Prime Day deal, it will cost you just $10, saving you $5 off the usual price  -- and at that price, you could afford to pick up more than one.

Read more
Best Prime Day Deals 2022: The Ultimate Shopping Guide
amazon prime day boxes, prime day deals

One of the biggest sales events of the year, Prime Day, is very nearly upon us, set to run from (tomorrow) July 12 through July 13, but it has already launched a number of early Prime Day deals to get you in the mood. Read on while we take you through some of the Prime Day deal highlights. Not sure where to begin with Prime Day? Don't worry. Read on below and we'll take a look at everything you need to know about the unmissable sales event. For now, let's take a look at some of these early Prime Day deals.
Best Prime Day Deals You Can Shop Today

Amazon Prime Stampcard --
Fire TV Stick 4K Max --
Get $20 in Prime Day credits when you spend $75 on P&G essentials --
Insignia 50-inch Class F50 Series 4K TV --
Toshiba 75-inch Class M550 Series 4K TV --

Read more