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Guest VVJ

Leica CL as main camera

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Guest VVJ

If size was the only criterion, I would still be using my Fuji X-Pro2 with 23 and 35mm f/2 lenses (each about the size of the CL's 23/2.0.  Optical VF plus EVF!  But the small fast Fuji f/2.0's do not compare with the Leica Summicrons for CL and M, and the Fuji 1.4's, although much better, are not small and not as good as Leica's best among the faster lenses.  Fuji also has a macro AF lens, which I never tried and have heard complaints about, but the CL has basically put that set of gear on the shelf, perhaps waiting for an EBay outing.

 

It might be my memory (which could very well be) but I don't recall the quality differences between Fuji and Leica being as pronounced as you describe.  As a disclaimer I used Iridient Developer and not LightRoom which at least at the time was simply subpar for Fuji raw conversion.  Also, Fuji has got the IBIS thing going on for them now with the X-H1 which is huge IMHO.  I loved the 35mm/f1.4 and the 14mm/f2.8.  Had 4 other lenses, was generally satisfied but standardized on Leica because my other cameras were Leica.  

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I went Moire'-hunting today, in response to Jaap's post.  My favorite target is the grills over the windows in the building that you see in the background here:

 

C1010948 copy by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr 55 mm, ISO 400 f/5.6

 

I shot this (it's where I work) a few years back from 500m away on an M9 with the 135, and had it printed 80 cm wide.  Folks liked it, but I was horrified by the Moire on the window grills.  Let's see how a 100% crop with the humble APS-C sensor and the APO 55-135 looks, this time 300 m away from the building.  It's still there, faintly...

 

C1010939 copy by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr 100% crop.

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It might be my memory (which could very well be) but I don't recall the quality differences between Fuji and Leica being as pronounced as you describe.  As a disclaimer I used Iridient Developer and not LightRoom which at least at the time was simply subpar for Fuji raw conversion.  Also, Fuji has got the IBIS thing going on for them now with the X-H1 which is huge IMHO.  I loved the 35mm/f1.4 and the 14mm/f2.8.  Had 4 other lenses, was generally satisfied but standardized on Leica because my other cameras were Leica.  

 

I use COne, which is also very good with X-Trans files.  The image quality with the Fuji 1.4's is really very good almost to the very edges and when stopped down just a bit.  I used the 35/2.0 mostly, as it is a perfect complement to the X-Pro2, but I grew unhappy with its resolution away from the center and lower contrast. I really like the IBIS on the Olympus cameras, and understand that the latest Panasonics are just as good, but Fuji will have some catching up to do.  And it's another $2K to move on to the X-1H.  Fiscal sanity finally intervened.

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“I was horrified by the Moire on the window grills”

 

You need to get out more. There’s a lot of things be horrified about in the world, and moire on window grills isn’t one of them :-).

Edited by Tobers

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Given that it is sitting in the middle of my web of camera systems - sharing M and R lenses with the M9 and DMR, a superior EVF, like my Panasonic GX8, sharing batteries with the Panasonic - I think the position might be rather enduring, especially as the image quality rivals my M240 (now sold) and is for all practical purposes rather similar to SL and M!0 (yes, I know all about the pixel-peeping differences

).

Hallo!

Are your sure that the CL is original bettet then a M - SL ? Vollformat - gegen Kleinbild

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Sorry - I don't quite understand. Nobody is discussing better or worse, certainly not in the post you are reacting to. "Rather similar" does not imply better...

Consensus is that there is very little to choose in image quality between CL, M10 and SL. Sensor format is rather irrelevant.

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[...] Consensus is that there is very little to choose in image quality between CL, M10 and SL. Sensor format is rather irrelevant.

 

Consensus really? Would be interesting to do a poll on that.

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Not just to me, the differences are utterly irrelevant for real-life photography, there are quite a few  threads on the forum right now confirming that. Feel free to disagree - if your photography is of a level to benefit of the marginal differences, any small-format sensor, be it APS-C, full-frame, or -horror!- MFT, is bound to disappoint.

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I just wondered if there is a real consensus on that. Consensus between APS users perhaps but otherwise? It's like asking if differences are "utterly irrelevant" between MF and FF if you ask me.

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Miniature formats like full frame and APS-C differ less between themselves than from the next step up.  Digital full-frame medium format is 54x40 mm. APS-C --> 135 full frame is 1.5x, 135 FF --> medium FF = 2.5x

 

 

 

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Seems to me that there are two issues at work here. One is the feeling that many Leica users have the sense that they want "the best", even though "the best" may not have any relevance for their photography. Sometimes I have that feeling too, although I don't often act on it: when reading about the new Summicron-50 ASPH, I realize that I am happy to have my favorite 50mm lens, the DR Summicron, followed by the Summilux-50 pre-ASPH. The other is the feeling that, if one is using lenses for FF format, one wants the look of those lenses without the crop factor — I don't put much stock into that argument, but think that if I'm going to use "crop sensors", I don't mind using the smaller lenses made for those sensors.

 

But do I really need the M10? I like the malleable files that I can torture in various ways, but do I really need the "exquisite" look of which this camera is capable? In my annual transhumance between three continents, I carry the M10 and the M3 and M6 and seven lenses as well as the BEOON copy stand — this is because there is a great hand darkroom in Chiang Mai, which keeps me shooting film when I'm in that city. When I shoot film I use the M10/BEOON/Focotar-50 II to get digitalizations that are close to the quality I got with my old Imacon Precision III that had a true optical resolution of 6,300 dpi and a dMax of 4.2.

 

So, I could simplify things if I stopped shooting the ten or so rolls that I manage to use annually. Not much. Incidentally, Paulo Nozolino, in an hour-long conversation with Alberto García Alix, at a Spanish film festival last year (youtube video available in Spanish and Engslish on the web) stated that he shoots only 20 rolls of 35mm annually. If I stopped shooting film and didn't the full frame M10 for easy and good film digitalization, I could easily move to a CL, or more simply, a Fuji X100F and a wide- and tele-converter, or even a Ricoh GR II. That would cut down on the equipment to be carried and simplify my life. On the sensor size, I agree with Jaap: I could use either APS-C or 4/3rds.

 

Moriyama Daido is the trailblazer here. For years, when people on the photo.net Leica Forum were saying that you couldn't print larger than 8x10 or 11x14 with 35mm film but needed medium format for that, he shot Tri-X with two Ricoh point-and-shoots, the GR and the GR21, which he made famous — and in 2006, I think, he had an exhibition in the Gallery of New South Wales with some sixty 150x100cm (60x40 inch) prints from an Epson wide format inkjet printer, scanned from 35mm Tri-X film. It was breathtaking. Today, or at least as of his seminal 2016 exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, he shoots with the Nikon Coolpix 6500, which has a tiny ⅔" sensor and a zoom lens. There are videos on the web in which Moriyama explains why he prefers to shoot a small camera that doesn't "look serious." He also says that one of the reasons that he likes digital is that he has the choice of making a decision later whether an image should be color or B&W.

 

One could do a lot worse that Moriyma, and I could easily "make do" with a CL. It would be nice to have IBIS, but I haven't had an issue not having it all these years — and sometimes the contingent aspect of producing images blurred by camera movement can be fortuitous. Oh, I would also have preferred to have a pop-up flash on the CL, having seen how Moriyama and others use it sometimes but, again it's not essential. So why don't I simplify my life and dump film and dump the M10? As teenagers say, "dunno."

 

Please bear with my thinking that it's always best when dealing with photography to illustrate what you're talking about. Below, are some recent pictures that I've already posted elsewhere. The first picture is a M10 image that I feel I could not have been achieved better with film. The second, intrinsically a better photograph, I feel, is a Tri-X image that I would be hard-pressed to achieve by "roughing up" an M10 image in Silver Efex — what I mean is that skilled use of Silver Efex could possibly achieve something similar, but processing the digitalized Tri-X image brings me to this look easily and naturally, while torturing an M10 image could take me in any number of directions and, unless I knew exactly where I wanted to end up, the likelihood is that I would end up with something that might look artificial and nowhere near as good. Paulo Nozolino call people who do this "photoshop cheaters" — I think it's clear what he means.

 

M10 | Summaron-M 28mm | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/60 sec

Bangkok

 

 

M3 | DR Summicron 50 | Tri-X | D76 | f/2.8 | 1/15 sec | Yellow Filter

Chiang Mai

 

 

The third is an M10 image that, for me would work with any of the formats discussed, film or digital.

 

 

M10 | Summaron-M 28mm | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/250 sec

Dan Sing Khon

 

 

The final image represents the direction I want to go in, to get away for a while from wide-angle lenses, street photography and photographs that tell story, and go to just form and light and the emotion that they might create; and from the horizontal shots that are induced by processing images on a computer screen that shows them better than vertical shots. Not sure that this will last or take me anywhere. (In an image like this small differences in contrast and brightness make a huge difference in the impact. Unfortunately, in the JPG below the light bulb is less bright and the dark tone of the metal lampshade is barely differentiated from the wall behind it compared to the view in Lightroom. I'm used to soft proofing and printer targeting when making a print, but can't get myself to do that in exporting a JPG for the web.)

 

 

M10 | Macro-Elmar-M 1:4/90mm | ISO 6400 | f/4.0 | 1/125 sec

 

 

​So where does this take me on switching over completely to a CL? Dunno, as I said. Any thoughts or advice?

_______________

Alone in Bangkok essay on BURN Magazine

Nowhereman Instagram

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Miniature formats like full frame and APS-C differ less between themselves than from the next step up.  Digital full-frame medium format is 54x40 mm. APS-C --> 135 full frame is 1.5x, 135 FF --> medium FF = 2.5x

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 02.54.11.png

 

Same difference between Leica M and CL as between Leica S and M more or less. Those are just numbers anyway. When i shoot APS with a Summilux 50 i don't get the same result as with a Summilux 75 on FF. None is superior or inferior, just different. Correction: One is vaaastly superior but it's not a thing to say on a crop forum

. Just kidding.

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The CL could easily be my only camera (leaving aside dedicated bird photography). It basically puts the great things about the SL into a smaller package... EVF, access to almost any Leica lens, great form factor. As a bonus, the excellent and small T lenses cover the whole sensor. Going the othe way, it extends the reach of the SL lenses.

 

That said, I prefer a camera the size of the SL when handling larger lenses and I still enjoy using a rangefinder, so the SL and M10 are staying.

 

Any of the M/SL/CL are fantastic cameras in their own right and I find the IQ the same from all three for any of my practical purposes. What’s even better is that as a system they work really well together. With these three bodies, Leica has given us a very flexible and complementary ecosystem.

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“I was horrified by the Moire on the window grills”

 

You need to get out more. There’s a lot of things be horrified about in the world, and moire on window grills isn’t one of them :-).

Definitely.  I only showed it because it is proof that a lowly CL lens can push more than 120 line pairs/mm to the sensor.

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Same difference between Leica M and CL as between Leica S and M more or less. Those are just numbers anyway. When i shoot APS with a Summilux 50 i don't get the same result as with a Summilux 75 on FF. None is superior or inferior, just different. Correction: One is vaaastly superior but it's not a thing to say on a crop forum

. Just kidding.

Errr.. no. Difference between M/SL and S is 2x, between CL and M 1.5x. You need to look at MFT to M to arrive at 2x.

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Errr.. no. Difference between M/SL and S is 2x, between CL and M 1.5x. You need to look at MFT to M to arrive at 2x.

 

Curious indeed. How do you compare? By the diameter of sensors? I have no spreadsheet available now but i'll do the calculation when i find one if you wish.

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Just calculate the sensor sizes. We used to do so without spreadsheets in the past

 

I wish i could but my spreadsheet sees more difference in diameter and area between M/SL and CL (15mm, 493mm2) than between S and M/SL sensors (11 mm, 486mm2). Am i missing something?

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Guest VVJ

The Leica S sensor is (only) 45x30.... 

 

Full frame Medium Format Jaap is referring to is approximately 54x40.

 

Perhaps that explains the differences in calculations.

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Guest VVJ

side by side 35.jpg

 

Couldn't agree more, only difference for me is that the CL replaces my M for travel.  We are off for a short trip next week, carry on baggage only,  and my only issue is the wonderfully performing, but badly formed 35mm.  Mine may have to stay home in favour of a 46 year old M 35mm - because even with adaptor it takes up so so much less room in the bag.  Would really like Leica to come up with a smaller 35 1.4 for the CL, I was when I used it, a big fan of the Fuji 35mm 1.4 much friendlier form.  

 

My 35mm has almost been glued to my CL lately...   It is probably the first lens I would take.

 

FWIW, I don't use the hoods.  They are huge, ugly and I don't feel you need them.

 

That being said, they obviously do protect your lens as well...

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