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User comments btil June 2003



This is a really great FFL-lens (2.4/40) and you can do also, if you want to, use it without Program mode. Similar to the Minilux Zoom, the viewfinder is to small.

I also think it could be smaller, since it only has a FFL. The size is not that much different from a M6 body. At least for a P&S at this price to big.

Dirk. I agree that the body is large, but as an owner of the Minilux and a Contax T3, that extra size and weight is sometimes and advantage. Additionally, that extra size means that fewer construction compromises had to be made. If you have to carry a smaller camera around all the time, the Minilux or T3 would be my 2 choices without hesitation.
The Minilux is the best P&S I have ever owned.
When I say best, I mean the lens in the camera is the best. It does not have any bells and whistles of the latest P&S camera.

The 40mm f/2.4 Summarit lens is amazingly sharp.
I mostly shoot wide open. I would like to compare this with the contax T3 though. I prefer the T2 over T3, just because I like the design of the camera.
I, too, very much like the Minilux. A lot of people spend 2 or 3k to buy an M6 and 50mm lens (I, too have fallen prey to the M6 allure) and never buy another M lens. I am convinced, that for 95% of the Leica using public, this Minilux would meet their needs at 1/4 the price. It's a "real" Leica lens and can be tweaked to cover virtually any exposure scenario. I love it and carry it everywhere. I disagree about the T2 personally. I find the T3 is a much better design with the exception of the aperture control location. The camera has better metering, has well placed (but small) controls, less shutter lag (especially when using the custom function CF2). I find it a match for the Minilux despite having a slightly slower lens. The Minilux does, however, produce photos with a different "look" that I like.

The sharpest P and S camera I have ever owned period. When printed on an inkjet printer it has this Leica look which is incomparable and very transparent. Personally the Minilux is my favorite choice along with the M6 and R8 and Canon stuff I have :D.
I have a new Minilux and I'm very happy with it. I am curious as to the location of manufacture. Any one know...mine has AG on the back but no "made in" that I can find.
The Minilux is made in Japan by Panasonic. The lens is a real Leica design, but it too is assembled in Japan. Leica was very particular about quality issues though I suspect the Japanese could actually teach the folks in Wetzlar and Solm a few things about quality. The electronics, materials and construction are all first-rate so I would not worry that it is not built in Germany.

I had the minilux for a while but returned it because the lens motor had a problem. I have more recently purchased the T3. In terms of features (faster shutter, better viewfinder, use of off camera flash and, filters), and ease of use (i.e. using the manual overrides), the T3 is definitely the winner. However, I do like the feel of the minilux better, even if it is larger, and I prefer the 40mm verses the 35mm, as I already have a GR1 with a 28mm. The GR1 has the best handling and controls of all of them IMHO. Differences in optical quality at this level become debatable. They will all produce excellent pics, but Charles is probably right that they have a different feel (although this is difficult to determine because of differences/variations in processing, film, conditions etc.) I wish they would update the minilux to include some new features, particularly a faster shutter and filter compatability. If this was the case the minilux would be a hands down winner for me. I could live with all of the other short comings. Alternatively I would like to see Ricoh come out with a GR variant with a 40 or 45mm lens.
I have not used my Minilux as much as my Contax T3 owing mostly to size of the T3 and my heavy travel schedule. What concerns me a little is this EO2 error that some threads discuss with the Minilux and the high cost of repair should it occur. I would hate to think I would have a problem out of warranty and have to replace the camera. Can anyone shed light on this error code and if it is a continuing problem?
I spoke with someone from Kindermann's in Ontario Canada. They use to do alot of Leica warranty servicing. I think Leica has now changed the rules (i.e., all warranty servicing is now to be done by Leica) but I think Kindermann's can at least still get the part from Leica and remains one of the best spots for Leica repairs off warranty. I was told this was a somewhat common problem (don't know the stats) with earlier minilux models, but was somewhat corrected with later models. With the EO2 error, the entire shutter assembly must be replaced, which is obviously fairly expensive. In addition, because the shutter is located between the element groups within the lens, I was told (by a different shop) that this was a difficult task. For this repair I think one is looking at around US$200-300.