New app turns your Apple iPhone into a Leica rangefinder (well, sort of)


posted Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM EST

Leicaphiles rejoice, Le Camera Cie, (Cie is the French version of "Inc.") has created an app that simulates the classic M series Leica viewfinder on your iPhone. The app is called Viewfinder Classic and it's available here.

Yes, the Germans can finally relax as their Euro-allies, the French, are becoming entrepreneurial, just like their Teutonic mentors. (How do you say “thar’s gold in them thar apps” in French?)
While hardcore iPhoners have happily danced on the grave of real cameras, many millions of others still long for the days of standalone gear. And, where there’s a longing, there is a French response.


Now Leica lovers who shoot with their iPhones instead of those heavy old M9s can still get a Leica fueled adrenaline rush. Le Camera's Viewfinder Classic app turns the iPhone’s screen into a Leica viewfinder, complete with frame lines for 35mm and 50mm focal lengths.

It is a “minimalist” interface with just the viewfinder and a shutter button. It is so minimalistic that it does not even have a Leica rangefinder patch in its center. Oops! Anyone who has ever shot with a Leica knows that the overlapping image rangefinder is the whole point of the viewfinder.
Anyway, that’s okay, this app is more an homage than a utility. Many iPhone apps are like that, reminders of the disappearing analog world. They are ironic symbols for things lost in the rush to total digitalization.

Instagram with its nostalgic frames and filters is a good example of “retro-longing.” Personally, I’m waiting for an app that makes my digital music sound like scratchy vinyl LPs played through a tinny portable radio speaker.
Despite the minimalism of the viewfinder, the app screen has the words “Le Camera” and “Designed in France” printed in Leica font style on the “viewfinder” frame. However, this app may be dead on arrival.
For while the French have a wonderful sense of the ironic, perhaps in this case it has gone a little too far. For there in the center of the app home page is the very first “Customer Review” and it does not bode well.

It reads: “Scam, what you see on the screenshots is not what you get. Looks like the app was designed to get your money - nothing else."
C’est la vie.

(Via Leica Rumors)