Photography

Leica creates an instant icon with the Sofort

Leica creates an instant icon ...
The Leica Sofort is a premium instant camera
The Leica Sofort is a premium instant camera
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The Leica Sofort instant camera will be available in November
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The Leica Sofort instant camera will be available in November
The lens on the Leica Sofort offers a 34-mm equivalent view
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The lens on the Leica Sofort offers a 34-mm equivalent view
The Leica Sofort is an instant camera which uses Instax Mini film type
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The Leica Sofort is an instant camera which uses Instax Mini film type
The Hektor lens extends from the front of the Leica Sofort
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The Hektor lens extends from the front of the Leica Sofort
The Leica Sofort is a premium instant camera
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The Leica Sofort is a premium instant camera
On the rear of the Leica Sofort are control buttons and a display screen
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On the rear of the Leica Sofort are control buttons and a display screen
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A couple of years ago instant cameras were beginning to feel out-dated and pointless, but now they have an air of retro-cool about them. Indeed, Fujifilm, Lomography and the Impossible Project have all had instant hits with them. Now Leica is getting in on the act too, with the Sofort.

The Leica Sofort is a high-end take on the instant camera (as you'd expect from Leica) and the first instant shooter from the firm. Designed by the Leica design team in Germany, it's also quite a looker, and is sure to be a hit with fashion-conscious photo fans. The rectangular camera will come in orange, mint or white.

But the Sofort isn't just about its looks. On the front is a Hektor lens which extends from the camera and offers a 34-mm equivalent view. There are three focus steps, Macro, for shooting subjects 0.3-0.6 m away (1 to 2 ft away), Close, for subjects 0.6-3 m away (2 to 10 ft), and Far Range for subjects 3m (10 ft) or further away.

The Hektor lens extends from the front of the Leica Sofort
The Hektor lens extends from the front of the Leica Sofort

Shooting modes also go beyond those you find on most instant cameras. These include Automatic, People and Party, Action and Sport, Bulb, Macro, Self-timer, Double exposure and Selfie, where a rectangular mirror on the face of the camera helps you make sure you are getting a good shot of yourself.

The camera measures 124 x 94 x 58 mm (5 x 3.7 x 2.3 in) and weighs 305 g (10.7 oz) making it an easy travel companion. On the rear is a column of control buttons and an old-school LCD display. If you are shooting when struggling for light, there's the option of a built in flash. The battery is said to mean the camera is good for around 100 photos on a full charge.

On the rear of the Leica Sofort are control buttons and a display screen
On the rear of the Leica Sofort are control buttons and a display screen

While the Sofort uses the Instax Mini film type, Leica will also be offering its own color and monochrome instant film options, and both will give prints framed with a border in a warm shade of cream, which is said to "reflect the nostalgic character of instant photography."

The Leica Sofort will be available from November priced at £215 (US pricing is still to be confirmed but that's around US$285) and AUD$399 in Australia. Leica Sofort monochrome film will come in packs of 10 for £11.00 ($14.50) while the color variant will come in packs of 10 for £9.50 ($12.50) or 20 for £15.50 ($20.50).

Product page: Leica Sofort

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3 comments
Mark Fagerburg
Sofort means immediately in German.
EKH
Yuk.
Tom Lee Mullins
I like the design.