Why my Leica Sofort is my current daily camera

Back in 2018 I upgraded my instant camera to a Leica Sofort camera.

Prior to this purchase I had been using a Polaroid Snap camera for a couple of years.

I had used the Polaroid Snap camera quite a lot, especially when out at parties but I’d always been disappointed with the photo quality because it was printed on zinc paper.

I had always preferred the quality of the fuji instax mini film which I had seen from friends who had taken photos using this film.

However, I really didn’t like the design of the fuji instant cameras so never got round to buying one.

This all changed when Leica released their line of Sofort instant cameras which also uses the fuji mini instax film.

I really felt they had got the design perfect for what I wanted in a modern instant camera.

I instantly fell in love with the Orange design and knew that this was the time to upgrade.

Having the ‘Leica’ branding on it meant that this came at a higher price compared to the other fuji instant cameras on the market.

I decided for me, it would be a worthwhile purchase and I can say over a year on since owning the camera, I still absolutely love it and use it lots!

I’ve found it’s actually become one of my every day camera’s.

There are several reasons for this.

First of all, I love the fact the the photo is instant and I especially love it at parties when I take photos and give the instant photo to that person I took the photo of.

I also love using it during the day when I’m out and about, on walks to work etc as I can instantly take a photo and put it in my photo journal.

I tend to keep a daily photo journal for creative inspiration and I love writing/sketching in it everyday and adding photos:

The Leica Sofort is perfect for this. It also has a built in flash so it doesn’t matter whether I’m indoors or outdoors, I can take pretty decent photos regardless.

I love how fuji film also have different colour borders on their films they now sell rather than just plain white and I regularly purchase these film packs which can be picked up quite cheaply on places like eBay.

Whilst I appreciate the photo quality isn’t the best in comparison to the size of fuji square/wide or Polaroids, for me it is the perfect size for my photo journal and for giving to people at parties so they can just pop it in their bag or pocket.

I also have fuji instax albums to put other photos in such as when I go away on holiday and take photos. The ones below are from a botanical garden I visited in a trip to Singapore last year:

I’ve also used these albums as gifts for people at their parties when I’ve taken a load of photos then put them all into an album for them at the end of the night.

Whilst I love Polaroid film and my Polaroid camera’s, the downside is the cost of the Polaroid film. I’m paying over a pound more for each photo and Polaroid film in my experience can be a bit temperamental so I’m not guaranteed a great quality photo every time I use it.

With fuji film, the consistency of the film is very good so I’m pretty much guaranteed a decent photo every time.

I also love the long battery life on my Leica Sofort. It can be weeks before I need to charge it up again which is great so I can just leave it in my bag regularly ready for the next days photography inspiration.

It’s also a great ice breaker at parties as people are always fascinated by the look of the camera and I’m always surprised to find the amount of people I speak to who don’t realise that instant cameras and instant film still exist.

I do still use my Polaroid camera’s but I tend to use them more when I know I want a bigger instant photo than what I will get from the mini instax film.

Now I use this camera regularly, I find I tend to buy the fuji instax film weekly rather than monthly.

I really enjoy looking back through my journal to see what photos I’ve taken and what my daily scribbles/sketches have been.

It’s also great for jotting down potential photo ideas/projects in case I promptly forget them again.

In fact, I read an interesting article called ‘The art of the notebook’ by Tracy Calder in this month’s issue of Black and White Photography magazine (published by GMC publications).  

It is about creating a photo journal with some inspiration and pictures of photo journals that other people have created.

Does anybody else do a daily photo journal with their photography? I would love to hear what other people’s thoughts/views are on keeping a photo journal.

Instagram: natalie_smart_photography

10 thoughts on “Why my Leica Sofort is my current daily camera

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I don’t know Leica made an Instant camera. And that’s a great idea using your instant photos in the journal. I have a photo journal as well that I created from an assignment by Ted Forbes on his YouTube channel. It can be expensive and time consuming printing out photos for it so I like your idea of putting my instant pics in there instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve also been thinking about getting an instant camera, but I don’t like the look of the Fuji cameras and Lomo never struck me as being a quality brand. The Leica solves both of those problems, but . . . . what will I do with all the prints? I’m currently decluttering my photos and film, so maybe I’ll hold off on purchasing an instant camera for now. The photo journal idea is nice, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a great looking instant camera. I got an Instax Mini 70 for a great price a while back, and I absolutely love it. It has just enough features over the 9, plus I like the look of it a bit more. I tend to buy Instax film in bulk whenever possible, because like you said, it certainly isn’t cheap. It’s a ton of fun though, and a great medium for photo journals and all sorts of impromptu creative projects.

    Liked by 1 person

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