Leica Leica Sofort

Apologies if this isn't the most appropriate forum in which to post this thread, so please feel free to move it, as appropriate.

Anyway, has anyone else got a Sofort?

My wife has just bought me one - ostensibly as a Christmas present - but I'm getting to use it straight away. I've always had a soft spot for instant photography and used to have a Polaroid SX-70 which was great until the demise of Polaroid and subsequent paucity of film. TiP didn't do anything for me in the early days, so I traded the SX-70 and sort of gave up on instant.

The advent of the Sofort rekindled my interest in a way that the Fuji Instax never did. I'm not sure why but the Instax just didn't look or feel right to me and I never got round to buying one. The Sofort isn't what you could call ergonomically shaped but it has a certain something (and not just a Leica badge, I hasten to add). They come in white, orange and mint. I went for mint.

The lens is a 60mm f2.7 which, as the film is ISO 800 is no slouch. There's a few "scene" modes to play with, the lens has two focus positions that operate over and above the scene modes and flash can be forced or suppressed. There's even a back-lighting compensation mode.

Film comes in two options - colour and mono. For some reason, the mono is slightly more expensive (in the UK?) and the colour film can be bought in twin-packs. Each pack contains 10 shots and, unlike SX-70, the battery is not in the film pack - it's a rechargeable unit. the charger comes with the camera but for some reason, no mains cable is supplied. They're not expensive (standard kettle cable will do the trick) but it seems like a mistake, given that the battery is essential and not everyone will have a spare mains lead.....

As the film is standard Instax Mini size, I'm led to believe that Fuji film is compatible. I have no idea whether the film is identical but the packaging of the Leica film says that the border is a creamy white whereas Fuji is brilliant white. I'll run some Fuji film through it and see what, if any, difference it makes.

The camera comes with a perfectly serviceable black neck strap but you can buy trendier, colour-coordinated versions if you want. I didn't. There's also a never-ready case which, as it's a plastic body and there's a built-in lens cover when turned off, I also left on the shelf.

Well, there you have it. The two photos I've taken so far have come out well exposed and sharp and I'm looking forward to using it more over the coming months and when I'm on holiday. I would recommend the Sofort on the basis of my experience to-date. They're not cheap but what Leica product is? It does have some useful features and the quality of the output certainly seems top-notch.
 
Hi Paul,
Is this a repackaged Fuji but at a higher cost?
Hi Raid - for the most part, I think the answer to your question is "yes". However, the lens is shown as a Leica Hektor 60mm f12.7. I have no way of knowing whether this is identical to the Fuji version or it is a different design. In all honesty, I'm not fussed either way as it is a present to me and I was delighted to receive it.

So far, I've been very happy with the results. I'll post a few here later, when I get home.
 

Raid

All-Pro
I have twenty 10-film packs. I don't want to spend more cash on film now, Brian.
 
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Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I'll revive this thread because I have recently acquired a Leica Sofort; I've also owned its godfather, the Fujifilm Instax Mini Classic Neo 90, for quite a while now.

Just one correction to the first post in this thread: the lens is 60mm f/12.7, not f/2.7 - it's the same formula used in the Classic Neo 90; there's no way of telling if the materials used for the actual optical elements are any different, either.

My assessment: Leica got this camera right - with one exception, its handling beats the Classic Neo 90 for most kinds of photography. The exception is access to macro mode - the Classic Neo 90 has a dedicated button for that, the Sofort doesn't. But since Macro mode isn't that good on either camera, I'm much happier about the fact that it's a breeze to get to infinity on the Sofort, something the lens needs to be at its best for everything over 3m/9ft. away.

Here's one from today - I quite like the results from the Sofort; due to its more straightforward handling, their quality is more reliable than the ones from the Classic Neo 90, and (possibly because of sample variation, maybe because of better "glass" used in the lens) are a tiny bit sharper and more subtle when it comes to rendering.

1612627616502-21e890ba-ba3e-436e-9e40-bcd824420cc5.jpg


N.B. The background isn't blown out - we have heavy haze and high-altitude dust today (freakish wind patterns are carrying desert sand ...).

M.
 

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