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Leica Sofort
 
The Leica Sofort instant camera.
   
 
   

The Leica Sofort

By: Thorsten Overgaard. September 26, 2016

Index of Thorsten Overgaard's user review pages on Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica M-E, Leica M9 Monochrom, Leica M10, Leica M10-P, Leica M10-D, Leica M10-R, Leica M10 Monohcrom, Leica M11, Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom 246, Leica SL, Leica SL2, Leica SL2-S, as well as Leica TL2, Leica CL, Leica Q, Leica Q2 and Leica Q2 Monochrom:
Leica Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
M9 Mono 20 21 22 23 24 25      

                     
M 246 Mono 26 27 28 29
30
31      

                     
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44            
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                        
Leica M10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8                         Video
Leica M11 1 2 3                                    
Leica SL / SL2 1   3   5 6 7                              
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 / Q2M 1                                          
Leica TL2 1 2                                        
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books

 

 

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Instant Gratification

One of the great news at Photokina 2016 was that now everybody can afford a Leica

 


Leica Sofort comes in mint, white or orange. Price is $298.00. Delivery starts mid November 2016.

 

Much of what German camera producer Leica Camera AG does is based on the original, simple concepts on photography that was often invented by Leica themself 100 years ago.

The Leice Sofort almost goes back to before Leica produced cameras, back when a camera made just one original photo, and in one size. The first cameras exposed a metal plate or glass plate, and as enlargers were not yet a known concept, the only available size was the one the camera made.

 


Photography in the 1800's. The picture had the size of the negative frame (as you can see he's holding behind the camera).

 

The Daguerreo-Type camera (1839) photographed on a metal plate, and that was the photo. The development took time and technical skills (and a lot of exotic chemicals).

Later came glass plates (1852), and with them the possibility to make several copies in a darkroom by sending light through the glass negative onto light-sensitive paper. For a long time the size of the print was the same as the negative on glass plate.

With the Oskar Barnack idea, "small negative, large print" (1930's) came the "the tiny camera" Leica M that uses small film, as well as enlargers that can enlarge the negative to a large print in the darkroom.

 

The Overgaard New Extension Course

 

Reinventing original photography

  Edward Land
  Edward Land
   

With the Leica Sofort, Leica Camea AG takes us back to simple photography, but they add the instant film so you can get the results in 30 seconds.

Thanks to Edward Land who invented the instant camera (the Land Camera and later the Polaroid camera), we now get instant gratification.

 

The film

The film is Leica Instant 100 ISO that comes in color. A pack of 10 sheets cost $13.00. Also Fujifil Instax Mini will do and cost about $12.50 for a pack of 20 sheets. In other words, when you have taken about 5,000-10,000 photos, you are at a point where you can re-consider if you should have bought a digital Leica M instead.

 

A special package of 10 sheets: Fujifilm instax mini Rainbow Instant Film for $9.00.
A special package of 10 sheets: Fujifilm instax mini Rainbow Instant Film for $9.00.

 

34mm wide angle lens

The lens is a 60mm, which in 35mm photography terms translate to a 34mm. In other words, it's a wide angle lens. With a f-stop of f/12.7 it needs some sunshine or flash to take pictures, and sharpness from front to infinity is almost given with an aperture like that.

The lens is called Automatik-Hektor. The "Hektor" in the lens name usually is for f/2.5 lenses in the Leica language (derives from Leitz' lens designer Professor Max Berek's [1886-1949] dog Hektor. He also had another favorite dog, Rex, which inspired the lens name Summarex).

 

 
 

 

 

Macro, portrait and landscape focus

The Leica Sofort has three manual focusing ranges: Macro (1.0-2.0' / 0.3-0.6 m), Close Range (2.0-9.8' / 0.6-3.0 m) and Far Range (9.8' / 3.0 m to infinity).

 

Buying a Leica Sofort

If you want to get your hands on a Leica Sofort, you most likely must wait till mid November 2016. One of the first places to check for new stock would be Leica dealer Ken Hansen in New York. Rumor has it he will be getting early stock (as long as it lasts).

Price of the Leica Sofort is $298, which makes it about $1.00 per gram (weight of the camera is 305 g).

 

         
 

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Leica Sofort Definitions

Aperture = The f/ stop on the camera that regulates how much light passes through the lens.
ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.

 
  A 34 mm lens has a 54° viewing angle
   

Focal length = The viewing angle, which is often given in for example 90° viewing angle for a 21mm lens, 74° viewing angle for a 28mm lens, 6° viewing angle for a 400mm lens, etc.
Each human eye individually has anywhere from a 120° to 200° angle of view, but focus only in the center.

Hektor - (as in Automatik-Hektor f/12.7) Refers to the lens aperture - usually f/2.5 - in Leica terminology. The name was apparently taken from the name of Leitz' lens designer Professor Max Berek's [1886-1949] dog Hektor. (He also had another favorite dog, Rex, which inspired the lens name Summarex).

Instax - is a brand of instant still cameras and instant films marketed by Fujifilm since the late 1990s. There are two formats of Instax film and cameras − the original "wide" format which gives an image approximately 60 mm x 99 mm, and a "mini" format of 62 mm x 46 mm used in the Leica Sofort.

ISO = Light sensitivity of a film or camera sensor is given in ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It's a standard that was used in film and is now used in all digital cameras also.

Leica = A compound word derived from " (Lei)tz" and "(ca)mera". Apparently they were originally going to use "LECA", but another camera company already used a similar name in France, so they inserted the 'i' to prevent any confusion.

Sofort - German word that means "immediately".

Type - The "Type" in Daguerreo-Type refers to images typed onto or into something and not "type" as in a model type. If you study early photography, you will see many different sorts of rints referred to as -type. For example Doré-type is a type of photograph made with a thin glass and gold-colored paper behind it. (Doré is French for that means covered with a thin layer of gold)

 

The Leica Sofort seen from above.
The Leica Sofort seen from above.

 

Reviews of the Leica Sofort

(If you feel yours or somebody elses review is missing, please feel free to mail me and I will try to include it)

Petapixel: "Leica Unveils the Sofort, Its First Instant Camera" (as of Sept 15, 2016).
TechCrunch: "Hands-on the Leica Sofort" (as of September 20, 2016).
David Farkas/Red Dot Forum: "Photokina 2016 - The Leica Sofort" (as of September 22, 2016).

 

Video reviews of the Leica Sofort

David Farkas did this interview with Leica Camera AG product manager Stefan Daniel at Photokina 2016.

 

Comments or ideas?

As always, feel free to send me an e-mail if you have questions, comments or suggestions.

 

 

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    Index of Thorsten Overgaard's user review pages on Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica M-E, Leica M9 Monochrom, Leica M10, Leica M10-P, Leica M10-D, Leica M10-R, Leica M10 Monohcrom, Leica M11, Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom 246, Leica SL, Leica SL2, Leica SL2-S, as well as Leica TL2, Leica CL, Leica Q, Leica Q2 and Leica Q2 Monochrom:
Leica Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
M9 Mono 20 21 22 23 24 25      

                     
M 246 Mono 26 27 28 29
30
31      

                     
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44            
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                        
Leica M10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8                         Video
Leica M11 1 2 3                                    
Leica SL / SL2 1   3   5 6 7                              
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 / Q2M 1                                          
Leica TL2 1 2                                        
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books
   
   

 
 

 

 


A Life With Leica from Northpass Media.

   
Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M digital cameras:   Leica L digital cameras:
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Leica M10   Leica SL2
Leica M10-P   Leica SL2-S
Leica M10-R   Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica M10-D   Leica TL2
Leica M10 Monochrom   Leica CL
Leica M9 and Leica M-E   Leica L-Mount lenses
Leica M9-P   Leica R digital cameras:
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Leica M240   Small Leica mirrorless digital cameras:
Leica M246 Monochrom   Leica D-Lux
Leica MD-262 and Leica M60   Leica C-Lux
    Leica V-Lux
Leica M film cameras:   Leica Q2 / Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica MP   Leica Q
Leica M4   Leica Digilux 3
    Leica Digilux 2
Leica M lenses:   Leica Digilux 1
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica Digilux
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4    
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R film cameras:
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R8 / R9
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica R3 electronic
Leica 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL / SLmot
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0   Leica compact film cameras:
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7artisans 50mm f/1.1   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4    
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
7artisans 75mm f/1.25   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 250mm Telyt-R f/4.0
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Above: The Leica Sofort instant camera.
 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

You can follow him at his television channel magicoflight.tv and his on-line classroom at overgaard.com

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