Leica unveils the Sofort instant film camera

And black & white and color film to go with it.

With Kodak and others trying to make film cool again, Leica has jumped into the fray with an instant camera, the Sofort. It uses Fuji’s Instax format, and Leica has even decided to release its own brand of film, available in black and white or color. The German company designed the body itself, though it’s very … un-Leica like. If anything, Fuji’s own retro-styled Instax camera has a more Leica-esque look.

The camera is equipped with an optical viewfinder, like classic Leica’s of old. It does have some modern touches, with different scene modes including “party,” “selfie” and “macro.” The black & white film will likely run €14 (about $17) while the color pack should cost €12 ($14) for 10 photos. You can also use Fuji’s Instax film.

Knowing this is Leica, you may be bracing yourself for the “red dot” tax on the Sofort. The camera runs $300, which is less than I was expecting. However, the very similar Instax from Fuji runs $175, and the Impossible Project’s Polaroid-like I-1 camera, which uses the classic, larger-format Polaroid 600 format film, also costs $300. I think the latter camera, frankly, captures the nostalgic fun of instant photography better than Leica’s oddly-styled model.

Steve should have known that engineering was not for him when he spent most of his time at university monkeying with his 8086 clone PC. Although he graduated, a lifelong obsession of wanting the “solitaire” win animation to go faster had begun. Always seeking a gadget fix, he dabbles in photography, video, 3D-animation, and is a licensed private pilot. He followed l’amour de sa vie from Vancouver, BC to France, and now lives near Paris.
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