You could argue that a substantial portion of photography banks on the business of inducing nostalgia. Sure, the days of the moth-eaten albums filled with paling sepia prints have given way to “On This Day” and friendship reminders slung by our Facebook apps, but there’s no denying the power of a good trip down memory lane.
Back in Black
Premium cameramakers Leica demonstrated two years back that they’re more than game to shake up their product offerings to feed this appetite for throwbacks. In 2016, they introduced the Leica Sofort (roughly ‘instant’ in German) – an instant camera that spits out your Instax film a la the Polaroids of old. These sported the iconic red badge and a clean design that made the $400-plus buy seem palatable – but they came in rather off-brand colours: white, orange and mint green, and later a pink.
The German firm’s remedying that with a matte black version of it that could almost pass for a full metal Leica at a cursory glance.
There’s also extra styling in the form of a large “SOFORT” printed across the body and sides of the camera. Functionally the cameras remain the same – but if you were holding off on the purchase out of disdain for the earlier palette choice, your wait’s been vindicated.
Don’t forget, you can go even more retro with Leica’s monochrome instant film, though it’ll set you back $30 per pack of 10.
The Sofort isn’t the only trick Leica’s pulled out the bag. In another attempt to wring some nostalgic pangs out of a suffocatingly digital age, they’ve gone ahead and ripped the screen from their flagship rangefinder line, the M10.
Nope, if you want a good shot of your subject, you’re going to have to get up close with that old-school viewfinder and frame your subject up. In place of the screen, a new dial with two rings, the outer allowing exposure tweaks and the inner which turns the camera off, on, and on with wifi enabled.
It’s then you realise that you can still crutch on the assistance of a screen – the camera comes with its own WLAN that allows you to essentially “live-stream” what the camera is “seeing” to your smartphone display via the (free) Leica FOTOS app. This allows you to mess around with more settings than were ever possible on most standalone cameras.
As a finishing touch, check out this little detail that made it on the M10-Ds…
Remember that catch? Once upon a time, these levers were crucial in cranking up the film and shutter for the next shot. Here on the M10-D, they serve no other purpose than to rest your thumb on. How’s that for nabbing the #throwback dollar?