Minolta Hi-Matic 9

Technically a great camera, fast Rokkor F1.7 lens, bright rangefinder and full manual override.

When i bought this from eBay it had wires hanging out and the lens in pieces (I like fixing things) but otherwise in great condition. After some minor surgery, soldering and cleaning, everything was working properly again.

OK, sounds like a great success story so far... but here's the stuff I can't get on with:

Lens is incredibly fiddly to adjust with a silly lock button to stop you taking it of automatic. This is a real shame because the main point of this camera was an advanced amateur mode that gave you fast auto mode and full control when you need it.

Light meter is the least sensitive / accurate / reliable thing I have ever used. Easily fooled by backlight and useless in darker conditions.

It seems that the Himatic-9 has aged badly. The shutter mechanism is very complex and doesn't seem to work as it should any more with the self timer being erratic.

I am a big fan of the Minolta SLR range and the Himatic-E has exactly the same lens but is utterly different and likeable. 

This Minolta changed the way I think about cameras. I saw so many people comparing specification, lens sharpness, F stop and I got caught up in the numbers game. Usability is the most important feature available to any photographer. 

So in conclusion, I'm going to test out a Leica. I'll let you know how it goes.