5 Frames with a Leica Minilux and Kodak 400NC

I’ve been planning a “5 Frames With My Minilux” for years now… these images have been staring back at me from a Flickr album just waiting to be sent out. And the colors of that day have gotten no less vivid. Finally, 13 years later, it is time… Anyway, it was the summer of 2010, an unusually cool June and I was visiting my friend Trevor near his apartment on the Lower East Side of NYC — I brought along my new-at-the-time (to me) Leica Minilux with a couple of rolls of Portra 400NC, which was still available at the time and which was/is my favourite stock of all time. RIP.

man walks along the street in NYC

The light was so good that afternoon and we wandered the streets with Trevor’s dog Monty…Even 13 years and many many rolls later I look back at these images as some of my favourites I’ve shot with this incredible little point and shoot. I’d been lucky enough to have gotten it off eBay for CHEAP, $191.50 to be exact, because it had a little issue where the lens cover gets stuck and triggers an error; easily avoidable if you manually free the cover once it closes. Anyway, other than its comically tiny viewfinder, which frustrates me every time I put my eye to it, it’s a magical little beast. When it’s on, it’s ON.

diner sign in NYC

In the mid-day sun, the colours were really popping, so saturated. The reds and pink are just insane.

women pushing daughter on a bike

So close. If only that guy hadn’t ridden in behind the woman and her kid on the pink bike, this could have been a really great shot.

dog on the street in NYC

Missed focus on Monty’s face here but love his wagging tail and that mid-afternoon New York City light.

yakitori chef at the grill

At the end of the day I hit Yakitori Taisho on Saint Marks Place, I love the texture and tones of the metal through the Summarit lens.

So, back to the year 2023, I’ve hung on to this Minilux as many other cameras have come and gone. Partly because of the great deal I got on it, and mostly because of the lens cover issue and knowing it wouldn’t be worth it to sell. Being a gear addict as many of us are, I’ve owned the following film P&S’s over the years: Olympus Stylus Epic, Olympus XA, Yashica T4, Contax T3, Konica Hexar AF (sort of a P&S), Minox 35GT and this Minilux. And probably 5 others I’ve forgotten. I have kept the Contax T3 and the Konica Hexar in addition to this Leica. In terms of the pictures I get back, the Leica and the Konica are my favorites, the shots out of the T3 are just a bit too clinical and clean.

It’s hard to say that the Leica Minilux is worth the cost nowadays (at last check these are $1000+ on eBay) but I hear the zoom version is almost as good, and half the price. Or a Contax TVS or Konica Big Mini. I digress…the Minilux is a classic should you get lucky like I did.

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3 thoughts on “5 Frames with a Leica Minilux and Kodak 400NC”

  1. Hi Neil!
    Nice shots! There really is no reason to be coy. : ) The members of 35mmc seem to be an extremely friendly lot. So, keep posting more pictures, we´d like to see them.

  2. So…no nikon 35ti or minolta tc-1, huh? I loved the hexar af but couldn’t keep a copy running so i got a konica uc hexanon 35 which is the same lens in LTM. I shoot it on an M10 so it’s like a modern iteration of the hexar af with an endless roll of film.

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