The lens inside the new Sofort instant camera is made by Leica?

leica-sofort-instant-camera
A reader (thanks Michael!) sent me this link to Engadget's article on the Leica Sofort instant camera - reportedly Leica made the lens for the Sofort and few other changes and modifications to the camera (flash, etc.):

After roughly 30 minutes, I came away pretty impressed with the Sofort. It looks a lot better in person than the promotional images suggested, with a solid, albeit plasticky, build and decent handling. The lens, according to the representative I spoke to, is Leica made, and fixed at 60mm.

Here is the video (check the 0:40 mark):

The Leica Sofort is currently available for pre-order and is expected to start shipping in October.

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  • nwcs

    So they are rebadging and improving the Fuji Mini Neo a bit and charging double. Why not? People will buy it. Same with rebranded Instax.

  • Maybe so, maybe not. I’ve seen representatives talking inaccurate things before, it wouldn’t be the first nor the last time. Sometimes they have just a few days or even hours to get to know the product for an event, so who knows? But what is the resolution of the instant film? Would it be worth to put Leica lenses on it? It’s not like Fuji lacks optical quality or anything too.

    • Les

      Resolution wouldn’t matter much since the images won’t be enlarged, but contrast, distortion, etc, would.

      It’s probably a very simple lens (2 or 3 elements), but Leica may have specified different coatings, or even glass vs. plastic elements. Just because it’s made in China doesn’t mean it’s not made to Leica’s specifications.

  • Simon

    And is the Leica instant film produced independently or it’s Fuji Instax rebranded and marked up accordingly?

    I’m more interested in the recently updated Instax Share SP-2 portable printer. Looks like a decent upgrade from the first model and it’d be fun to print photos from the M via the iPhone (imported via camera adapter). A few more steps but workable.

  • Kit Reyes

    I tried out the camera in Photokina and the image quialty is actually quite good

  • David Teo Boon Hwee

    I seriously doubt so – just look at the bottom of the camera… I handled one.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/67d28f154b29f2f6697ebbf1a5d30f12ec5845b6e3577027b38b915f22c0ed95.jpg

    • I don’t know if that proves anything, since there could be a Leica-designed China made lens.

      However I am suspicious since the lens looks identical to the one on the Instax. I also think the price difference isn’t enough to pay for a new lens.

  • Mistral75

    From Herrn Doktor Andreas Kaufmann himself: the lens is the same as the one in Fujifilm Instax Mini 90:

    Si nous avions dû reprendre un boîtier à zéro, cela aurait fait grimper
    le prix de manière significative. Nous aurions pu revoir la formule
    optique pour réduire la taille du boîtier, mais il aurait fallu changer
    beaucoup de choses au niveau de l’ergonomie.

    http://www.focus-numerique.com/rencontre-andreas-kaufmann-proprietaire-leica-news-10028.html

    Translation: “If we had had to design the camera from scratch, this would have increased the price significantly. We could have modified the optical design to reduce the size of the camera but we would have had to change many things in terms of ergonomics.

    Ergo they didn’t modify the optical design of the Fuji Instax.

    • Mistral75

      An interesting additional piece of information:

      Vous savez, il existe une version Wide de l’Instax. Nous étudions la possibilité de produire également ce modèle. Il y aura peut-être plus de changements. En tout cas, nous y réfléchissons.

      Translation: “You now, there is a Wide version of Instax. We are reviewing the possibility of producing this model too. There might be more changes. In any case, we are thinking about it.

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