The Fuji Instax market seems to be on fire with new models rolled out over the last couple years from Fuji, Lomo and MiNT. Is Leica the new kid on the Instax Mini block?
This image from photographer Steve Huff has been leaking around the internet today:
As a film photographer who uses both Instax instant film cameras and Leica 35mm cameras, I was super excited to see this marriage of two seemingly opposite ends of the photographic spectrum that probably unite only with obtuse film die-hards like myself.
But then I began to actually inspect the Leica Sofort which is due for release on September 15th.
The lens is a “Leica Hektor 60mm 12.7”.
But wait, the Fuji Instax 90 features a Fujinon 60mm 12.7….
And oh, the whole telescoping lens barrel down to the placement of the exposure and auto focus sensors and mode control dial is identical.
On the back of the Sofort, we see that the battery compartment, placement of the LCD display, buttons and even the film door slider lock are all eerily reminiscent of the Fuji Instax 90.
The Fuji Instax 90 sells for about $142 at B&H right now. The Leica Sofort is reported to start at $312.
The only thing that’s got me scratching my head is that there appears to be a rangefinder window in place of where the Mini 90’s second shutter release button is located.
I’m not usually a Leica critic. I am not one of these Nikon/Canon shooters who think rangefinders are stupid and Leica is purely an offensively priced fashion statement. But this product does not do much for the argument against this concept.
All of us photographers who are eagerly, almost desperately, searching for a new camera that will take Fuji Instax as seriously as we would like to, are probably going to be sadly disappointed with this head-turning and bizarre, even for Leica, “new” camera.
What are your thoughts? What’s your ideal Instax camera?