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?

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


The Best Places to Explore and Things to Do in Ecuador

There are a lot of beautiful places, great outdoor activities, and delicious (and adventurous) food to try in Ecuador.
Food & Drink

How to Deep Fry a Turkey Without Killing Yourself in the Process

If you've never deep fried a full-size bird before, please, please, please read this very thorough guide.

Traveling Alone Can Be an Unforgettable Adventure with Contiki

Ever wanted to climb a volcano and make chocolate in the same trip? Check out Contiki and their curated trip to Ecuador.

Update Your Workspace with These Sleek Office Decor Ideas

Who knows? You may even be excited to sit down to your desk each morning.

Find Perfect Harmony Between Architecture and Nature at Amangiri Resort

This secluded desert getaway is helping to reshape the idea of what Southwestern style can be.

How to Clean Your House or Apartment in 30 Minutes or Less

This isn’t a deep clean. It’s an, “Oh shit, I really should have done something earlier and now it’s gonna take a miracle to do this” clean.

Baby on the Way? Here’s How to Support Your Pregnant Wife

Pregnancy requires you to get proactive, pal. She’s driving the car, but you are the entire pit crew.

Dive In (Literally) to This Minimalist Lakeside Retreat in the Netherlands

Once the walls open up, you can dive right into the water from the living room.

An Old Garage Is Transformed Into an Artist’s Home and Studio in San Francisco

Yes, that's a red Fiat hanging from the ceiling.

From Milan to Mars, Architect Stefano Boeri is Creating Vertical Forests

A combination of housing shortages and climate change led to the creation of Vertical Forests which blend housing and landscaping into one amazing building.

What’s a Salt Cave and Why Are They So Damned Relaxing?

Experiencing Halotherapy in a salt cave can be pure relaxation or relaxing purification depending on how you look at it.
Food & Drink

Say No to Disposables with All the Best Reusable Lunch Gear for Guys

From straws to cutlery to sandwich bags, there's a reusable option for everything that comes with a traditional takeout lunch.

Heat Up Your Digs with One of Our Picks for the Best Space Heaters

Admit it, you need a little extra warmth this winter.

5 Seriously Stylish Dog Houses to Pamper Your Puppers

There will be no question about who’s a good boy when you get Fido one of these amazing dog houses.