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Leica AF-C1 favori envoyer Print
Photos by JM text by JM. From the collection of JM
France Version française

Chronology of the Leica brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from Circa 1989 until Circa 1991.
Index of rarity in France : Peu courant (among non-specialized garage sales)
Sold listing on New window
Inventory number: 15366

See the complete technical specifications New window
Leica AF-C1

Even if purists like it or not, this is indeed a real Leica; at least in terms of the lawful use of the name and the red logo! But at this point the comparison ends. This is indeed a camera made in Japan, sponsored by the company, Writting at the bottom of the body is stating "Manufactured in Japan for Leica GmbH".
This bi-focal 24 x 36 compact  camera (40 and 80mm) nevertheless had a good reputation in its time. This would be an avatar of the Minolta AFT Tele-Freedom, if not at Leica standard, at least with a set of relatively demanding characteristics. The body is well built, strong and is well in hand. The viewfinder is clear and the optical is of quality.
Camera start-up and energizing are carried out acting on the lever opening the lens and located under this lens, a simple and safe system avoiding the need for motorizing the opening.
The transition from a fixed focus to another is by lightly pressing a command (motorized switchover of the internal prisms). The viewfinder adapts to the chosen focal length.
The flash moves upward when the 80 mm focal length is chosen and goes automatically into the housing when the focal length is reset to 40 mm or when the camera is turned off.
Among other features (other than those listed in the data sheet) are included, according to the manual, the exposure measurement on the complete format with predominance of the center part and automatic correction of strong contrasts as well as automatic start of the flash in case of low light or in case of extreme backlighting.

Comments about this camera are from 'average' to 'good'. The practical and well designed side is often raised.

In 2004, enthusiastic, informed photographer could write "Great camera - a brilliant design Probably the best street shooter I've ever had!".
Editor's note: In 1989, the magazine "Chasseur d'Images" accused it of bad optical performance in telephoto, overexposure using flash to short distance and very limited flash range.