The new Leica Instant Camera confirmed..meet the SOFORT

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The new Leica Instant Camera confirmed..meet the SOFORT

Earlier in the week I posted a leak about the new Leica instant camera. Some thought it was a fake, but nope, here it is. The new Leica SOFORT. Basically not much to say about it other than it appears to be very Fuji Instax like, and instead of a cheap crap lens it will have a HEKTOR lens on the front. The design and colors are also pretty attractive and nice. I would say in the world of instants, this one is the most beautiful. Price to be around $300 for the USA (but not 100% on that yet)

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FROM LEICA:

“The Leica design team has developed the SOFORT to differ from other instant cameras in a number of essential aspects. SOFORT users will be equipped with a camera that not only comes in stylish choices of orange, white and mint colors that reflect the light-hearted fun of instant photography, but also an easy-to-use creative tool that can handle more dynamic situations than a traditional instant camera. In automatic mode, the SOFORT utilizes available light as much as possible before triggering the flash, creating pictures with a more authentic, natural look that are one-of-a-kind and cannot be replaced or reproduced.

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In addition to preset modes for Automatic, Party & People, Sports & Action, Macro and the creative possibilities of multiple exposures and time exposures, the SOFORT also has self-portrait and self-timer modes. The camera automatically adapts exposure time and aperture to the mode the user selects. The SOFORT even offers options for manual control overrides: focusing distance can be changed independently of the presets, the flash can be turned off entirely and image brightness can be set higher or lower. And, to make it easier for those fond of self-portraits, the SOFORT has a rectangular mirror on the front for easier framing.

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The SOFORT works with both color and black-and-white film. In a nod to the nostalgic character of instant photography, the border frames of instant film offered by Leica for the SOFORT are a warm cream color. All Leica SOFORT film packs come with 10 exposures. Color film is also available in double packs of 20 exposures.

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Easy to use and fun to accessorize, Leica SOFORT will see a comprehensive range of accessories for both the camera and its unique pictures. Carrying straps are available in mint, orange, and black & white to perfectly match the colors of the camera and keep it secure, while stylish Leica SOFORT cases for protecting the camera come in black or brown. SOFORT owners who’d like to display their work can purchase SOFORT Postcards offered in sets of three with different designs integrating the instant picture, a SOFORT Photo Presenter which can be filled with photos and put on display, or a classic SOFORT Photo Album for storing even more of life’s tangible instant memories. SOFORT Storage Boxes round off the selection of accessories for conveniently storing your favorite pictures, available in sets of three with each set including mint/black, white/black and orange/black boxes.

The Leica SOFORT will begin shipping to Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers in November.”

Film (available November 2016)

Color film (pack with 10 exposures)
Color film (double pack with 20 exposures)
Black and White film (pack with 10 exposures)

29 Comments

  1. I sometimes wonder why some people don’t get it.
    Problem with digital is that you take a picture, load it to your computer and if you remember you might uploaded it onto Facebook and you all forget it after 5 minutes.
    Digital is not people friendly. Imagine you are meeting your friends or family, wouldn’t it be magical to capture the moment and stick it to a wall or leave it somewhere in view (used to be top of the telly!).
    I would say well done Leica!

    Sofort, in many ways is similar to Fujifilm Instax 90 but not quiet, some settings like focusing are different. Does it worth £100 more?! it probably does just for the wow factor as no one talks about Instax 90 but everyone is reviewing Sofort- me included!

  2. Seriously, though – I leica joke! (Not much good for shooting black cats in the dark, but definitely cheaper than a Noctilux).

  3. ” and instead of a cheap crap lens it will have a HEKTOR lens on the front?” only just the good side of crap. But, hey, I like the idea of instant cameras, saves lugging all that heavy Leica M6 stuff about?

  4. I’ve used an Instax and it’s a very challenging camera, or rather, I should say, the film is very challenging to use. It has very narrow latitude. Why would anyone buy this camera(?) except to say they have a Leica.

  5. This is why I don’t buy Leica anymore.What they should have done was make an instant camera that makes instant prints in postcard size or square, ( It looks big enough! ) in black and white with a Leica quality lens producing sharp images. Even the Pros would buy that. Yes, they would have to make the film too but if you are really serious about the quality of prints and actually want people to buy the stuff, this won’t do.Especially when we have cellphones and digital for instant gratification.. Kodak and Polaroid already did this thing years ago. What are you thinking Leica? seriously!.Next, a chocolate bar with a red dot on it? ( German chocolate is actually tasty so it might be quite good. I’d buy that long before buying this thing. This is what happens when the marketing team with no real ideas sits around the table looking for something, anything, to make. Or maybe Fuji forced them.Yes big sad sticker on this one.

  6. Steve – Will you be reviewing one of these? The Leica seems to be a re-branded/re-designed Instax mini 90 as they have similar features. The biggest is the ability to turn off the flash which is huge for improving photos in certain lighting conditions. The Instax 90 was $199 at its introduction so $299 doesn’t seem quite as outrageous as the usual Leica tax. I would have really been excited if the press release mentioned that the lens is a new one developed by Leica or somehow the processing of the instant film was enhanced (not even sure that is possible with instant film though). I will say that my Instax 90 takes much better shots than the cheaper instax mini 8. Haven’t tested the newest mini 70 but that model doesn’t allow you to turn off the flash although it supposedly has the improved metering from the 90.

    • I may…but if it is simply an Instanx rebranded I do not see the point. Just Leica getting in on a niche while its a little hot it seems. Seems it is indeed just the rebranded Fuji, lens and all. They renamed the lens to a HEKTOR but seems to be the same. If they want to send me one to test I would love to but do not think I will buy one to review.

  7. Interesting launch. Still thinking of a good reason to buy it rather than using my instax printer paired with my phone – which additionally allows me to share pics on social media / optimise the photo before i hit print.

    • Yes, really sad indeed. Probably some wise guy in Leica headquarter saw the insane prices on the items on lomography.com and said to his boss – “Hey, look at the heap of money those guys are making out of selling crap, why can’t we do the same?”. And presto! we have a camera with the VERY important characteristic of “stylish choices of orange, white and mint colors that reflect the light-hearted fun of instant photography”! Hallelujah, brothers and sisters! And wait, there’s more – carrying straps in mint, orange, and black & white,stylish Leica SOFORT cases in black or brown, SOFORT Postcards offered in sets of three with different designs, SOFORT Photo Presenter which can be filled with photos and put on display, SOFORT Photo Album, SOFORT Storage Boxes in sets of three with each set including mint/black, white/black and orange/black boxes!!!!

      Kingdom come!

  8. “instead of a cheap crap lens it will have a HEKTOR lens on the front”

    Steve, what is your source for this piece of information? If this Hektor lens is true Leica-quality, this is quite something! If it is just a rebranding of Fujifilm resin, it is misleading. On the official Leica data sheet, there are just the lens specs, identical to the Instax Mini 90.

    In the leica promo video, they also show leica branded Instax film. I can’t imagine Leica would have asked to change/improve the chemistry of the instax film.

    So in my opinion, there is little evidence that this is nothing more than a Mini 90 in a (very nice) Leica jacket.

      • No, unfortunately it doesn’t.

        Looking at the specs of the Leica HEKTOR lens and the lens on the Fuji Mini 90, they are exactly identical which leads one to believe Leica is rebranding the Fuji made lens on the Mini 90. It even looks exactly the same. Same focal length, same max aperture, same focus range, heck, it appears it even defaults to f/22 in Macro mode just like the Fuji.

        This is pretty much a Mini 90 with Leica branding and slightly different ergonomics.

  9. I have a completely insane desire to buy one of these. I know, it’s just an Instax with a lens. But the idea of a Leica product that eschews gravitas is bizarrely appealing.

    (But surely people will want to share their Sofort pix online… what do you suppose they’ll do, snap them with a phone cam?)

  10. If the $300 price point ends up being accurate then it is a lot less than I thought it would be. I still wouldn’t buy one though. The Fuji made Mini 90 is only $150 and it by no means has a “crap” lens. In fact, it is a rather fantastic lens and just based on looks seems much more ergonomic than the Lecia Sofort.

    But hey, if Leica makes money off this then I say more power to them.

  11. It is not Fuji-like, it is a Fuji indeed – a Mini 90 rehoused and with a different back lcd panel. Look both cameras from the front, they are almost the same (the lens is exactly the same).

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