Leica X Vario after two years. Is it destined to be a classic?
John Shingleton’s Indian adventure and his comments on the Leica X Vario reminded me once more that this camera, which got off to such a bad start, is a gem. If you accept it for what it is—a versatile, high-quality but relatively slow fixed-lens zoom—this APS-C compact will reward you with consistently good results. I made this point when I reviewed the camera just after its launch in 2014 and everything I have seen and heard has only reinforced my original view. The lens is one of the best, designed by Peter Karbe and capable of astounding results.
Unlike the Q, which remains on backorder seven months after launch, the X Vario was never in such demand. Now it is something of a bargain. It is still listed at £2,150 but I’ve found new cameras for as low as £1,250 from British-based retailers. At the time of writing, even Leica Mayfair had an ex-demo model available for £1,200. Worth a shot, in my opinion.
Strangely, there are not as many X Varios on the used market as I would have expected to see. I checked a number of dealer websites and couldn't find much worth shouting about. Could this mean that those people who get their hands on an X Vario are so pleased that they are reluctant to part? Or that any that do come on the market are snapped up immediately? A used X Vario at around £800 would be a bargain indeed.