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CL with M lenses

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Friends, owning an M9 and S 006, I find each to be perfect within their design envelope. The problem, of course, is that the world does not care. And it often presents me with tempting shots that I know I can not get with either box. So I am looking for a higher ISO camera that would give me a longer reach into the dark. And the CL, from what I have read, would help me get there.

I would be please to hear from those current owners who have used M lenses with the CL. How fast can you focus with manual lenses, especially in dim light. How are the image characteristics vs. with M body. For those of you who have a 35mm or 50mm Lux, examples of images taken with the CL would be most appreciated. Overall, how would you rate the pleasure factor of shooting M glass on the CL.

Much obliged,

David

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I have a CL and a 90 Summicron AA. Using focus peaking (red sparkles) it's pretty quick and easy to focus. I'd say as quick as an M (as you can see the focus plane moving). Then for very precise focus, you can zoom in quickly with the right dial and get it spot on. So finally I can be confident I can shoot wide open and in focus with a 90 (the rangefinder was never precise enough even on my M10).

 

Same story for my 50 Lux and 24 Lux. A quick zoom in gives you confirmation if you need it. In fact I'd recommend zooming if you are using wide open apertures just to get it absolutely precise.

 

Obviously you've got a 1.5x crop so a 50mm is now a 75mm, and a 24mm is a 35mm. So take that into account. Wide open you'll lose some of that lovely vignetting (that I really like) when compared to full frame, and the effective aperture from a DoF perspective is also approx 1.5x what you'd see on full frame. Otherwise the lenses "draw" very nicely on the CL sensor.

 

The shooting experience is quick and simple. The UI is very M10-like. The top dial will give you shutter speed, aperture is on the lens. Not having the ISO showing on the top at the same time is a pain, but liveable. Basically, so far, it's quick and easy to shoot M lenses, and you're more certain of both focus and exposure with the lovely WYSIWYG viewfinder.

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I have a CL and a 90 Summicron AA. Using focus peaking (red sparkles) it's pretty quick and easy to focus. I'd say as quick as an M (as you can see the focus plane moving). Then for very precise focus, you can zoom in quickly with the right dial and get it spot on. So finally I can be confident I can shoot wide open and in focus with a 90 (the rangefinder was never precise enough even on my M10).

 

 

 

Perfect, and much obliged. I am an optical viewfinder guy and have never used an electronic finder/screen. When you see the focus plane move, in real time, do you also see the DOF relative to the point of sharpest focus?

Cheers.

D

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I can focus M lenses much faster on M10 than on CL, but with EVF (CL/SL) I can (especially with longer lenses) be more precise in focusing. M lenses have the distance scale, so you can preset focus, otherwise, working with AF (T-lenses) is faster. 

My process to focus with M lenses:

- open aperture to max

- activate magnification

- focus

- close aperture to the desired value.

 

That is what I like on cameras that use Visoflex (M10/TL2): EVF at 90-degree tilt and you can move the aperture back and forth without lifting your eye from the EVF.

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Or go faster and avoid focus shift issues by focusing at working aperture which works fine up to f/8 with image magnification. The latter is well implemented in the CL. Suffice it to turn a wheel with the right thumb while shooting with the index finder. Not as fast as a rangefinder but faster than my SonyA7s mod and more handy than my Fuji X-E2 with M lenses.

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Or go faster and avoid focus shift issues by focusing at working aperture which works fine up to f/8 with image magnification. 

Starting to wrap my mind around this. Am I correct that since you are looking at the screen/finder through the lens, the amount of light reaching the eye will be determined by the aperture opening. Hence, with a lens wide open (or to f8 - assuming adequate lighting of the scene), you will be able to focus without having to open wide, and then stop down. But in dark scenes, or when shooting stopped down, there may be insufficient light reaching the eye to focus without opening aperture.

Sounds much like operating my 4x5 rig....

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Yes but the EVF remains bright enough even at fast apertures. Remember split image focus screens of film SLRs, they became useless around f/5.6. We have not this problem with good EVFs anymore.

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Or go faster and avoid focus shift issues by focusing at working aperture which works fine up to f/8 with image magnification. The latter is well implemented in the CL. Suffice it to turn a wheel with the right thumb while shooting with the index finder. Not as fast as a rangefinder but faster than my SonyA7s mod and more handy than my Fuji X-E2 with M lenses.

Yes, focusing with working aperture would eliminate a potential focus shift (don't think it is an issue with M lenses), but your DOF may become too large to focus precisely. You can see that with focus peaking, where suddenly almost everything is marked as focused if you close the aperture. If I am not in a hurry, I always go for the best possible focus.

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Starting to wrap my mind around this. Am I correct that since you are looking at the screen/finder through the lens, the amount of light reaching the eye will be determined by the aperture opening. Hence, with a lens wide open (or to f8 - assuming adequate lighting of the scene), you will be able to focus without having to open wide, and then stop down. But in dark scenes, or when shooting stopped down, there may be insufficient light reaching the eye to focus without opening aperture.

Sounds much like operating my 4x5 rig....

The problem of focusing with closed aperture is not that you have less light coming in (mostly problem for AF), but that your DOF becomes too large to set the focus precisely.

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The problem of focusing with closed aperture is not that you have less light coming in (mostly problem for AF), but that your DOF becomes too large to set the focus precisely.

Fascinating technology. To avoid all of this are people just resorting to old fashion Zone/hyperfocal distance preset?

D

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Yes, focusing with working aperture would eliminate a potential focus shift (don't think it is an issue with M lenses), but your DOF may become too large to focus precisely. [...]

 

W/o magnification yes but 5x or 10x change the story. Easy to check. 

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Friends, owning an M9 and S 006, I find each to be perfect within their design envelope. The problem, of course, is that the world does not care. And it often presents me with tempting shots that I know I can not get with either box. So I am looking for a higher ISO camera that would give me a longer reach into the dark. And the CL, from what I have read, would help me get there.

I would be please to hear from those current owners who have used M lenses with the CL. How fast can you focus with manual lenses, especially in dim light. How are the image characteristics vs. with M body. For those of you who have a 35mm or 50mm Lux, examples of images taken with the CL would be most appreciated. Overall, how would you rate the pleasure factor of shooting M glass on the CL.

Much obliged,

David

I just collected my CL with M adapter but weren’t able to do some reasonable photographing already. Remembering the discussion in the S forum, I was actually tempted to propose the CL to you as a lighter weight alternative, but felt I do not have appropriate experience with it yet.

 

What I can say so far: The CL would clearly solve your focusing issues with the M9 and fast glass. I did some test shots with the Lux 35, 50 and Cron 75 as well as the 2/40 Minolta and a really old 3.5/35. All seem to perform really well. Focusing is easy and if you require AF, there is the option of native lenses.

 

Cheers

Ivo

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As I get a few more chances to use it, I'm beginning to think that wide M lenses on the CL are a bit of a waste of time if you have the M10.  Weight and size advantages aren't that great and your losing the full scope of wonderful lenses like the WATE .  Where the CL does make sense (for me) is with long M glass.  Here are some shots (through a glass window - so not ideal) of a horizon which must be at least 4 miles from our house in Kendal (looking towards the Howgills for those who know the area).  90 elmar M macro and 135 A-T. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current situation? I'm waiting for a used 23mm TL lens to come on Monday. If the 23 is as good as it's supposed to be the CL could also be the small, light, fully competent companion camera. Combined with the 90 Elmar it could also be a really interesting combination for trekking.  For documentary assignments when I might have taken the Canon 5D3 and 70-200 f2.8 it's possible that the CL would go in the bag instead.  I'd then use my default set up of 2 M10s + M glass (EVF for long lenses when critical focusing is needed) with the CL coming in when I need a bit more reach. For live theatre and music performances I'll still be depending on the Canon for telephoto purposes. Much as I'd like to, I can't see the slower 55-135 CL lens.  I might get one to see how it works out - but at £1400 it doesn't seem such good value as an L series Canon lens which you can get for £1500...

 

More thoughts as I have them.

Edited by chris_tribble

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One interesting issue (with some of my lenses at least) is that they focus past infinity on the CL but (so far as I know - must test!) they don't on the M10.  However - I suppose this begs a question as I've never tested this issue with the M10, and perhaps my lenses need adjustment! If I have time I'll have a go this afternoon...

 

Any others with the same experience?

Edited by chris_tribble

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One interesting issue (with some of my lenses at least) is that they focus past infinity on the CL but (so far as I know - must test!) they don't on the M10. However - I suppose this begs a question as I've never tested this issue with the M10, and perhaps my lenses need adjustment! If I have time I'll have a go this afternoon...

 

Any others with the same experience?

I think the M Adapter is spec’ed to this behavior.

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One interesting issue (with some of my lenses at least) is that they focus past infinity on the CL but (so far as I know - must test!) they don't on the M10.  However - I suppose this begs a question as I've never tested this issue with the M10, and perhaps my lenses need adjustment! If I have time I'll have a go this afternoon...

 

Any others with the same experience?

A common experience when using adapted lenses on mirrorless cameras such as M lenses on micro 4/3 cameras, so a function of the adapter, not the lens.

 

Barrie

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Mini package for good light: CL + 4 focal lengths from 21 to 50 in the tiny 14825 combi case for (film) CL. Guess which M lenses?

 

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Mini package for good light: CL + 4 focal lengths from 21 to 50 in the tiny 14825 combi case for (film) CL. Guess which M lenses?

 

 

Hmm. Well, Leica only produced three lenses specifically for the CL film camera: 40mm f/2, 90mm f/4, and 28mm f/2.8. I'd expect the CL Combi Case to hold those.

 

Beyond that, well, there are a lot of other lenses that could be used... My kit for a couple of years back in the 1990s was a CL film body, the 40 and 90, and the Voigtländer Heliar 15mm f/4.5 in a case about that size. They'd all fit in the Combi case along with, perhaps, an Elmarit-M 50mm f/2.8. And a Skink Pinhole too...

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