Everyone loves a bargain. Earlier this year I tested one of Leica Mayfair’s D-Lux (Typ 109) contacts and thoroughly enjoyed the process. I took it to the Bièvres Photo Fair, near Paris, and it showed its mettle as a compact, thoroughly competent travel companion. Since then I have been lusting verily but refusing the get out the credit card. I rather fancied a used example although, it has to be said, such are as rare as rocking horse manure. The D-Lux is extremely popular.
Today, though, I visited Red Dot Cameras in London’s Old Street to meet George James and have a chat about cameras and life in general. In passing, I mentioned to Red Dot’s Ivor Cooper that I would be interested in a used example of the 109 if he were to take one in. “You’re in luck,” he said, “I took a nice one in earlier this week. Trouble is, it has a lot of accessories and I don’t want to split the package”.
Even with all the accessories, though, the price was right and I decided then and there to get out the card. I came home with a bag full of genuine Leica boxes and I’m really content that I have a new lightweight but very competent travel camera.
So what gives? The treasure trove turned out to be extensive indeed. It had cost the previous owner the thick end of £1,100 only a few months ago at Leica’s Mayfair store. In addition to the pristine D-Lux, there was a half case and a full-cover case, two neck straps (one of the full case, one for the camera) and a nifty wrist strap—which I really like, incidentally. To cap it all, there was a spare £50 battery—all the sort of things one might want to buy in addition to a camera.
While I wasn’t too interested in the full case, nor the neck straps, the whole ensemble represented excellent value for money and I did the deal on the spot. I’m now looking forward to reacquainting myself with the D-Lux. It has a large four-thirds sensor and can seriously out-perform the previous D-Lux 6 which, though highly competent and very popular, suffered from a tiny sensor.
Whenever I plan to visit Red Dot Cameras in Old Street I experience a get-thee-behind-me-Satan moment of impending zoom. The shop is crammed with Leicas and accessories, old and new, and it takes a strong constitution to resist one or other bargain. Today I was glad I didn’t resist. The D-Lux treasure trove represents excellent value for money.