It’s no surprise that people who have used a Leica would want more of it. The Germans really put a lot of effort into the camera and seeing a lot of them alive and well (and relevant) several years later is a testament to its quality. But can the same be said about those Leicas made in Japan? This was a question I asked myself…
Several months after purchasing and falling in love with a Leitz-Minolta CL, the Leica Mini piqued my interest. During this time, I found myself leaving my M3 and digital camera behind and using a disposable camera as a backup to my CL. I wanted another compact and being enamored by the German brand, I wanted one from them. I considered the Minilux but it was way out of the budget plus I was afraid of the infamous E02 error. I then stumbled upon the Japanese-made Leica Mini at auctions but would always lose the bid at the last minute. I finally won and received a Leica Mini right before my trip to Taiwan so I wasn’t able to run a test roll through it but I took the risk and brought the camera with me anyway.
The Leica Mini felt very plasticky and cheap but it was light, pocketable and a joy to use. It doesn’t look as classy as the Minilux or any of the other premium compacts but I guess it grows on you. (In hindsight, it was really that red dot that got me.) Needless to say, I’m quite happy with the results and look forward to more trips with it. Question is, will it last like my M3? Probably not but I’m here to enjoy it while I can.
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