How to use the Instant Lab Universal

Please note that there are two versions of the Instant Lab, with different devices compatibility. This tutorial is only dedicated to the second version of the device, called « Instant Lab Universal». The Instant Lab Universal works with different iOS and Android devices. 

 

Read more about the difference between the Instant Lab and the Instant Lab Universal

Read more about devices does the Instant Lab Universal work with

 

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Before using the Instant Lab Universal

 

1 DOWNLOAD THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT APP 

To use your smartphone or your tablet with the Instant Lab Universal, you first need to install the free Impossible Project App. The Impossible Project App will allow your device to interact with the Instant Lab Universal and will guide you through the entire process. 

Always make sure that the App is updated before using the Instant Lab Universal. The App will ask you to choose which version of the Instant Lab you are using (Instant Lab or Instant Lab Universal).

 

Read more about the difference between the Instant Lab and the Instant Lab Universal

 

The Impossible Project app for iOS requires at least iOS version 7.0 and can be downloaded from the iTunes store.  

The Impossible Project App for Android devices requires at least Android version 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and up and can be downloaded from the Google Play store.

 

Read more about the Impossible Project App

 

2 CHARGE YOUR INSTANT LAB UNIVERSAL

Please charge your Instant Lab Universal fully before first use. Plug the USB Chargerinto the Power Connector H on the Instant Lab Universal and the USB plug into your smartphone charger or computer. Charging usually takes 1–2 hours. The red LED G switches off as soon as the battery is fully charged. When charging the Instant Lab Universal it is advised to remove the cable when fully charged

 

Read more about charging the Instant Lab Universal

 

3 LOAD THE FILM INTO THE INSTANT LAB UNIVERSAL

All Impossible square-format films (600, SX-70 and films for Impossible Cameras) are compatible with the Instant Lab Universal. 

 

Read more about which film to use with the Instant Lab Universal

Read more about Impossible films

 

To insert a film in the Instant Lab Universal, slide the Film Door Latch F to open the Film Door I. With the pull-tab facing away from the unit and the film darkslide (the black cardboard that protects the film from light) facing up, insert the film pack firmly, all the way into the compartment and then close the door. 

 

4 EJECT THE DARKSLIDE 

Every pack of film comes with a black darkslide on top to protect the film from light. If you have just loaded a new pack of film into the Instant Lab Universal, this darkslide will need to be ejected before you can expose your film. Press and hold down the Eject Button J for 1 second to eject the darkslide. 

 

Note: Do this only once each time after inserting a new film pack. 

 

5 EXTEND THE TOWER AND REMOVE THE CRADLE COVER 

To use the Instant Lab Universal, the Tower D must first be fully extended. Grasp the Cradle C at its sides and pull it straight up until all 5 sections of the tower have clicked firmly into place. 

The Instant Lab Universal’s underlying glass lens is protected by a Cradle Cover A which shields it from dust and damage when not in use. You must remove this cover before using the Instant Lab Universal. Before using the Instant Lab, and especially if you have moved it from a cold place to a warmer environment, make sure that the lens doesn’t have condensation on it.

 

6a. USING THE INSTANT LAB UNIVERSAL WITH AN iPHONE 4/4S/5/5C/5S OR AN iPOD TOUCH 5TH GENERATION

If you are using an other device, please skip this step and move directly to 6b. 

Directly under the Cradle Cover A, you will find the Adapter B. This Adapter has to stay on the Universal Cradle C if you are using the Instant Lab Universal with an iPhone 4/4S/5/5C/5S or an iPod Touch 5th Generation.

Make sure to remove any protective case you have on your smartphone or tablet. The Universal Cradle with the Adapter is designed to fit the iPhone snugly so as to ensure no light leaks onto the film below. 

Make sure that the Adapter is in the right position, as shown on the picture. Read more about how to place the Adapter on the Instant Lab Universal. 

 

Read more about devices compatibility

 

6b. USING THE INSTANT LAB UNIVERSAL WITH AN ANDROID SMARTPHONE, AN ANDROID OR iOS TABLET OR THE iPHONE 6 AND UP

Directly under the Cradle Cover A, you will find the Adapter B. Remove the Adapter B from the Universal Cradle C, unless your device is listed on the adapter. 

If you are using an iPhone 4/4S/5/5C/5S or an iPod Touch 5th Generation, please come back to step 6a.

 

 

Using the Instant Lab Universal

 

1 USE THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT APP 

Step 0 Make sure you have selected ‘Instant Lab Universal’ in the « Which version of the Instant Lab are you using? » screen (wheel on the top right hand corner).

Step 1 Choose ‘Instant Lab’ from the menu. Select an image from your iPhone library, your Instagram feed or shoot a new one. 

Step 2 Pinch to enlarge or reduce, and drag the image around within the crop frame until you are happy with your selection. Then press the ‘crop’ button. 

Step 3 Select the film type loaded in your Instant Lab Universal. Make sure that the film you select on the App matches the film inserted in the Instant Lab Universal. The App will adjust and control the exposure time depending on the ASA of the film. 

The App will ask you to choose between the films listed below:

• Color IMPOSSIBLE

• B&W IMPOSSIBLE

• COLOR 600

• B&W 600

• COLOR SX-70

• B&W SX-70 

 

Read more about which film to use with the Instant Lab Universal

 

Step 4 Tap the subject of your photo to optimize exposure timing. We recommend to tap one area of the image that is not too bright and not too dark in order for the App to calculate precisely the optimum exposure time of the image.

More: The “custom” selection allows you to create your own exposure setting by typing in an exposure time in milliseconds. The App also allows you to change the settings to calibrate contrast, hue and gamma. After changing the settings, always come back to Step 4.

Step 5 Validate your settings by clicking on the button on the bottom right of the screen.

 

2 START THE EXPOSURE 

After reading the final instructions from the App, place your device on the cradle with the screen facing down. Make sure to cover the square fully. 

Once the smartphone or the tablet is placed in the cradle with the screen facing down, it will start the process automatically. 

Utilizing touch location technology, via three points on the cradle which communicate with The Impossible Project App to establish ‘locating points’ for an image on the screen of a smartphone or tablet screen, the Instant Lab Universal automatically calculates what part of the screen to expose. As long as the square is fully covered, and even if the device is placed crookedly, the Instant Lab Universal will still capture a precisely cropped instant photo.

When you hear the confirmation sound, immediately pull the Shutter Slide L out all the way. Your device will now expose the image through the lens and onto the film inserted in the Instant Lab.

If you hear an alarm sound, it means that your device is not in the right position and that the three points cannot feel the device. Please take your device in your hand again and replace it on the cradle with the screen facing down. It might help the touch location technology if you gently press onto your device. If none of these solution worked, make sure the screen of your device is clean and that you don’t have a plastic foil on it.

 

3 FINISH THE EXPOSURE 

Once the exposure is done, you will hear a camera sound. When you hear that sound, close the Shutter Slide L all the way back in. After the Shutter Slide L has been fully pushed in, it is safe to remove your device at any point. 

 

4 EJECT THE PHOTO AND HANDLE IT CORRECTLY 

The exposure is complete. You can now eject your photo by pressing down the Eject Button J for 1 second. The photo will eject beneath the Film Shield F

The photo is sensitive to light starting the moment it is ejected from the Instant Lab. Therefore, the photo is automatically shielded from light by the Film Shield F as it ejects from the Instant Lab. Remove the photo after 5–10 seconds, and be sure not to expose it to direct light, place it face down on a flat surface. Leave it shielded from direct light for at least 5 minutes. Do not shake or bend the photo during development, and make sure that the photo develops at room temperature - between 13 and 28° C (55 – 82° F). Please check film packaging for development time and details. 

 

Read more about Impossible films.

Read more about image problems with the Instant Lab Universal

 

After using the Instant Lab Universal

 

If you haven’t already, remove your device from the Instant Lab Universal. To collapse the Instant Lab tower after use, press the Tower Section Tabs M on each Tower Section inward, starting from the top and with your two hands. Release each section and press it down gently until the Cradle C sits flat against the top of the FPU K. Be sure to replace the Cradle Cover A afterwards to protect the lens. 

We recommend leaving the cover on the Instant Lab Universal whenever its not in use – especially in dusty conditions or when the Instant Lab Universal is exposed to direct sunlight. Store the Instant Lab in its protective bag. 

 

Cleaning the Instant Lab Universal

 

Always unplug the Instant Lab Universal from the power adapter before cleaning. 

Exterior: Wipe gently with a soft cloth. If the Instant Lab Universal is very dirty, soak the cloth in mild soapy water and wring well before use. Wipe the Instant Lab Universal with the damp cloth and then dry it with a dry cloth. 

Roller System: When cleaning the rollers use a moist cotton swab or cloth. Do not use a paper tissue as this could get stuck between the rollers. Using a small amount of either warm water or alcohol, press the swab gently onto the rollers and press the eject button, which will turn the rollers. Do not turn the rollers forcibly by hand! Repeat several times until clean. Do not use an excess amount of water or alcohol as fluid may drip onto the electronics and damage them. 

Lens: Dust can be removed with a blower brush. Finger prints can be removed by breathing on the lens and then wiping it with a lens cloth or tissue. Persistent dirt can be removed by applying lens cleaning fluid to the cloth. Mold may form on the lens surface if the lens is left dirty. 

Charger: Wipe gently with a soft, dry cloth. 

Note: Do not use strong solvents such as benzene or alcohol or a chemically treated cloth on parts other than the metal rollers. 

 

Storing the Instant Lab Universal

 

Do not leave the Instant Lab Universal in an environment with high temperatures (40°C/104°F or more) or low temperatures (-10°C / 14°F or less.) Failure to do so may impact the battery life. 

Before using the Instant Lab Universal, and especially if you have moved it from a cold place to a warmer environment, make sure that the lens doesn’t have condensation on it.

Do not use the Instant Lab Universal in the rain or allow water to enter the device. Do not pour water over the Instant Lab Universal. 

When storing the Instant Lab Universal for extended periods, keep it in a cool, dry place that is well ventilated. The battery will lose its power, within a period of several months. It is recommended that you recharge the battery every 3–5 months to extend the battery life. 

Note: Never store the Instant Lab Universal in direct sunlight, in hot vehicles or near heat sources. Avoid leaving the device in places where chemical products are handled  as this may result in corrosion. 

 

Recycling empty film pack

 

Once the 8 photos have been shot, the film inserted in the Instant Lab Universal is empty.

 

Unfortunately we cannot reuse or recycle the empty film cartridges and batteries. However, we would encourage you to recycle the film cartridge and the battery by dismantling the cartridge in its 3 components (metal spring, plastic cassette and battery). Be careful while handling the metal spring.

 

Read more about recycling empty pack.

 

Note: If you own the first version Instant Lab, you have to follow a different tutorial to use it. The first version of the Instant Lab is only compatible with the iPhone 4/4S/5/5S. It has been introduced in 2012 and is no longer sold on our website. You might still find it online or at other retailers worldwide.

 

Read more about devices compatibility

 

 

If you need more information, please contact our customer service at service@the-impossible-project.com and attach images showing your issue with the Instant Lab. Please also specify the serial number of your Instant Lab (on the label on the back of device) and your order ID if you have ordered on our online shop.

 

 

 

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