The beauty of the Leica Mini

Photographer Terry Richardson, he of the long sideburns, bad dress sense and unfathomable attractiveness to supermodels, is famous for using a Yashica T5, a seemingly ordinary ’80s camera that produces outstanding images thanks to its ace lens (apparently).

So, when I saw this exceedingly retro-looking Leica Mini in the big Oxfam on Liverpool’s Bold Street last week, I got the familiar nagging feeling. The one that goes, “If you don’t buy this, you will regret it forever.” This, like the Yashica, could be an undiscovered treasure.

Even though it may be a long-forgotten model, it is a Leica and there’s something utterly bewitching about that little red logo. It’s also nice to have a 35mm camera again, and with that Leica lens, it should produce brilliant, high clarity images. But what gets me, what had me at hello, is the way it looks.

Ultimately (and this says a lot about me) I don’t care that much about the quality of the pictures I get out of the camera. What makes me glad that I handed over fifty quid is its beauty as a piece of late 20th Century design. The curved corners, double flash, logo and the glorious none-more-’80s box make this something I want to show off, display, tell people about. It makes me feel good for being smart enough to pluck it from the cabinet of a charity shop.

All I need now are the adoring supermodels.


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