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It Goes To 11 - The Leica Z2X 35mm Film Camera Video Review

(If you can't see the video please click here.)

 Leica Z2x

So there I was, walking along at the car-boot sale when I saw a little white box with that magic word "Leica" on it. What I had found was a Leica Z2X, a 35mm film camera made between 1997 and 2002. It has a zoom lens with a focal length of 35-70mm, and apertures of f/4 to f/7.6.

To be honest it's a bit bulky and plastiky, but apparently it has a really sharp lens for a point and shoot, and as we all know, Leica's take better photographs than any other cameras, so I must be onto a winner.

Seriously though, I was very surprised to find this camera. I didn't think that Leica made cheaper cameras, but I guess at $400 when new back at the turn of the century, the Z2X wasn't exactly a budget model.

Leica Z2X Test Shots (2nd Batch Of Fogged Jessops Film)

I loaded the Z2X with some of my old, expired Jessops film, shot it that day and developed it that afternoon. The negs are a little dirty and scratched, but that's no fault of the camera.

Using this Leica is simplicity itself, it's all automatic. All you have to do is point the camera in the right direction, half-press the shutter for exposure and focus lock, then all the way down to activate the shutter.

Like all older auto-focus compacts, the Leica Z2X suffers from considerable focus lag. The camera only starts to focus when you press the shutter all the way down - so this adds a little bit of randomness to any photo's of moving subjects.

Leica Z2X Test Shots (2nd Batch Of Fogged Jessops Film)

I enjoyed using the Leica Z2X - it's not as small as the Olympus Mju II / Stylus Epic, but that little zoom makes composing photographs easy, and the auto-focus seems to work fine too.

Leica Z2X Test Shots

The real question is whether I'll carry on using the little Leica. I'm a big believer in the fact that the camera you use doesn't make your photographs better or worse - but I also believe that using different equipment can motivate you to go out and try new things, shoot more, and look at your art in a different way. I guess that means I'll be using the Leica Z2X for a few weeks more!

 Leica Z2X Test Shots

I'm also starting to feel that I've almost come to the end of my explorations of different types of film cameras, especially when you take into account my low budget car-boot approach. I've tried all sorts of cameras, and I hope you've enjoyed reading and watching my posts about them. 

Thinking back to the Minolta SRT 101 where it all started, the various other film SLR's, compacts, instant cameras and the Mamiya C33 TLR from a few weeks ago, I think I might have reached a peak with the Leica. It isn't the best camera I've used, but I don't expect to see many more in the foreseeable future, and I think it may be time to start concentrating on producing a body of work instead of playing around with a lot of different cameras.

Leica Z2X Test Shots

I've got to do a video review of the Fujifilm Instax 100 / 200 soon, then it'll be down to some serious effort to produce some good work, and the Leica Z2X will definitely be part of this.

Leica Z2X Test Shots

So, keep your eyes open on those trips to the Charity Shops, Thrift Stores and Car-Boot Sales for gold-coloured cameras that might just have that little red logo on them - they might just be a real Leica!

Leica Z2X Test Shots

(And as I said at the beginning, we all know that Leica's take the best photographs!)

Leica Z2X Test Shots

Thanks, Rob.


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