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So my compact full frame camera body arrived this week.

I decided to buy a CL before outlaying for an M7 just to make sure that I'd still use enough film to justify the more expensive camera.

Any of you with one of these hi-tech sophisticated devices should feel free to join in a CL love fest

 

 

Inspired by all of the mental masturbation over the A7R I thought a reality check was in order.

Please don't tell me that some of this also applies to the M240. I'm still living the dream roll eyes:

 

The CL is similar to the A7R:

1. full frame

2. compatible with Leica M lenses with focal length of 40mm or more (well, lenses longer than 90mm are a problem as is the Noctilux which obscures the rangefinder but so what?).

3. Compromised somewhat with some M lenses wider than 40mm

4. Has a light meter

5 Neither shutter is that quiet

 

The CL is superior to the A7R:

1. Smaller and lighter

2. Runs without batteries

3. Cost $430 (lens not included)

4. It is 40 years old and I bet the A7R won't be going in 10 years

5. Takes color and B&W sensors of different ISO

6. Uncluttered ergonomic layout of only 4 analogue controls (ISO, shutterspeed, aperture, focus)

 

 

And it's so much fun to use.

 

Edited by MarkP
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I agree. They are lovely.

I sold mine - but hung on to a CLE which I still use from time to time.

It really is just the cost of processing film - esp.BW which prevents me using it more than my digital

 

Big disadvantage of the CL versus the CLE: the meter quits after some decades. Same as the one in the M5.

 

Big advantage: it works without a battery.

Second advantage: 50mm frame. (Unless you want to use a 28mm).

 

Sold my CL in the seventies, which was replaced by a Contax T (both for color) and kept the M2 with the 1.4/35 (for b&w).

 

Got two CLEs last year.

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Big disadvantage of the CL versus the CLE: the meter quits after some decades. Same as the one in the M5.

 

Big advantage: it works without a battery.

Second advantage: 50mm frame. (Unless you want to use a 28mm).

 

Sold my CL in the seventies, which was replaced by a Contax T (both for color) and kept the M2 with the 1.4/35 (for b&w).

 

Got two CLEs last year.

 

The comparisons with the CLE are interesting: AE priority, better rangefinder wiht longer distance between windows, probably easier to use shutterspeed dial, different (better?) film loading, 28m framelines (my second most used lens), no 50mm framelines (my most used lens),won't work without a battery, repairable electronics. But I saw this as a cheap step to an M7 for all of the obvious reasons so settled on a CL and I don't always need a meter for shooting B&W.

 

I may yet decide on a CLE as a small & cheap mini M7. Hmmm I may just have a look around now

.

 

Nevertheless the CL/CLE concept is fantastic.

 

 

I loved my Contax T3 and should never have sold it - fantastic camera with a jewel of a lens. Prices have held up over the years.

 

 

Regarding film processing & cost I thought it would be a limiting factor but an excellent small lab near home develops it for me for less than $10.

I don't even bother with a proof sheet any more and I scan in just what I want on my Epsom V700 (using Silverfast as a RAW converter equivalent).

 

Perhaps we can post CLE pics here as the original concept was a Leica-Minolta collaboration and even the CL was made by Minolta with a Leica labelling

 

I can't believe there ws no CL/CLE love-thread here previously in the Forum, perhaps because it is the bastard child of Leica & Minolta

. Edited by MarkP
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I bought my CL used, around 1980. It was an ideal travelling camera, and I used it for touring Scotland on a tandem bike among other trips. I'd generally stayed with 35, 50, and 90mm lenses on my cameras, so the CL & 40 were ideal for me. I recently found the 90 C, and have been amazed how good it is also, even on my M9. I could easily be content with just the CL and these two lenses.

The meter had quit working, and the camera had never been serviced, so a few years ago I sent it to Gus Lazzari, who fixed the sticky and out of cal meter as well as a full CLA on the camera. It has been a joy ever since. I like the Zhou half case too for normal days shooting with it, but the original pouch case gets used for packing and travelling.

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  • 7 years later...

Resurrecting an old thread. My CL with some lenses and a picture taken with a 25mm Voigtlander lens on the CL.

Edited by Pyrogallol
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Great little camera. I have a Leica and Minolta CL and a Minolta CLE. Quick scan of a picture I took with my Leica CL and 40mm 2.8 Elmarit-C with 5 year out of date Fuji 200.

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Thanks Pyrogallol and Matlock.  I'd forgotten about this thread.

So I did graduate from a CL to M7 which I love. I've often used the cameras together but I've not used my CL for a while.

t's on my desk fitted with a 2.0/40 Summicron and a roll of BW400CN

Will have to take it out next weekend 🙂

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My CL was bought with the idea of seeing if I would prefer the M mount over the Nikon S mount.  Well, it just wasn't the camera but the lenses too.  I could get Leica glass that was newer than the Nikon stuff, but don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the older glass (kept the Nikon set, and also then bought and kitted out a IIIf), but the later ones have a better build to them.  The CL makes a nice travel/everyday outfit to have at the ready.

The Cousins Get Together by P F McFarland, on Flickr

PF

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  • 2 months later...

My little baby:-   mint boxed 50 yr...working meter !!  yahoo!.

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