I find that it pays to tell your family, friends, and colleagues that you are still shooting film. For on one fine day, I was rewarded with a Leica camera – a Leica Minilux.
A few months ago, when I arrived at work on a bright Monday morning, I was greeted witha surprise. Sitting on my workstation was a Leica Minilux. A colleague left it there. So I called him to inquire about it, thinking that he just wanted me to check out the camera. But he didn’t. He wanted to give it to me. I naturally thanked him and started to research this camera.
Somehow, I came across users talking about the dreaded ‘E02’ problem. According to the camera’s owners, it’s over when the camera’s LCD screen shows this code. Some owners said this could be due to a chip failure or the shutter mechanism. It was a concern as I didn’t want a paperweight. I was hoping to get at least a couple rolls out of the camera. Thankfully, it did.
For some reason, I couldn’t find a review on Lomography.com about this camera. However, I found a great write up by “Ken Rockwell”:http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/minilux.htm. But I thought it would be great to share with you how the camera feels and performs in the hands of a casual snap shooter like me and not a professional.
First of all, the camera is boxy and large when compared to the LC-A+ or LC-W. This means that it’s a rather nice camera to hold in your hand as you walk the streets, snapping away, even at night.
However, if you are not a fan of flash, it takes several steps to turn off the flash. To overcome this, you can just leave the camera powered on, as I did. Besides, it’s faster to keep the camera on and ready when you are street shooting.
What was a delight are the dials. You can select your aperture in aperture-priority mode. For me it’s F8 for street photography. But it can go as low as F2.4! And you can also manually preset your distance – ideal for street photography.
But my major gripe is the tiny view finder. Only 0.35x, it’s really small. I had a hard time using the viewfinder at times. So I had to rely on the zone focus dial.
Verdict? After the initial euphoria of having a Leica in your hands, you will realize that there are better cameras out there. However, with its 40mm f/2.4 lens, it’s a keeper as I like low-light photography. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know that you have a Leica in your camera library.