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Leica CL as main camera

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Surprised to see so many people selling the M10. If I were to sell all my M gear, I’d see no reason to stay with Leica. The main appeal of Leica is the rangefinder and the tiny yet spectacular M lenses. Once that appeal is gone, there are so many other cameras that are much more capable with much better lens selections than the SL or TL.

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Hi Jared,

Sorry for this "dumb question". I am a newbie. When you say you "traded in" did you trade it back to Leica for credit towards the new cameras? Or did you sell it yourself? Is it pretty easy to sell used Leica cameras?

 

Thank you.

No trade in program—good relationship with my local camera store that happens to sell lots of used Leica equipment. Yes, used Leica equipment is relatively easy to sell with reasonable value. At least, reasonable compared to most camera equipment.

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All that gear you used to swap ..... for an X1D? You must have saved a lot of money by this transaction or am I missing something?

Still working out pricing on the used gear. I expect to make enough to cover more than the X1D and 45mm. Intent was not to suggest equivalent monetary value, but rather to show how the CL is really replacing everything I was doing on the M10. At least, with the safety net of the SL.

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Surprised to see so many people selling the M10. If I were to sell all my M gear, I’d see no reason to stay with Leica. The main appeal of Leica is the rangefinder and the tiny yet spectacular M lenses. Once that appeal is gone, there are so many other cameras that are much more capable with much better lens selections than the SL or TL.

 

 

While I understand your perspective, obviously I don't agree.  The SL is an amazing camera as long as you stay within its performance window.  The lens selection is extremely limited, but is finally expanding enough to give me confidence that there will be an SL2 and an SL3.  The lens quality is impeccable across the range.  The platform is even getting a capable wireless strobe solution, it appears.  

 

Likewise, I think the CL fits very well with the Oskar Barnack vision for Leica cameras.  Small, unobtrusive, high quality, impeccable lenses, and image quality that does the most one can with a small format.  Frankly, the only things I find lacking on the CL are in-body image stabilization and weather sealing.  

 

While i have used M cameras for many years, it was never the rangefinder itself that drew me to them.  I much prefer the advantages of through-the-lens designs, whether they be EVF or SLR.  What always drew me to the 'M' was the combination of size, superb, jewel-like lenses, and the simplest possible interface to get the job done, at least the jobs I wanted to get done.  What I like most about Leica cameras is the simplicity of controls coupled with the high quality in materials and optics.  Those features are present in the Q, the M, the CL, the SL, and the S lineup; they are not unique to the M.  Frankly, the same ethos is why I am choosing the Hasselblad over the Fuji GFX as a landscape camera--high quality materials and simple controls. By almost any other measure the Fuji would be a better choice than the Hasselblad.

 

Nobody chooses Leica--any Leica--based on features or value.  But rangefinder alone is not the draw, at least it isn't for me.

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Little discussion about relative quality, I would say.

 

I still wish the CL were weather sealed, and I'd be willing to sacrifice a little bulk to get in-body image stabilization.  That's just about all I would change, though.  The EVF is appropriate for the camera.  The CMOS chip is up with the best in class.  The AF is quick enough and accurate enough and consistent enough for anything I am doing.  The lens quality--across the line of TL lenses, as far as I can tell--is up there with 'M' glass.  The camera may not inspire with its density in the way that an 'M' does, but from a practical perspective the build quality is actually quite good.  While it wasn't easy to decide on the switch, I think it's the right choice for me.  More consistent focus; more accurate exposure; less bulk; reasonable user interface; equal image quality in almost all situations.

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[...] Nobody chooses Leica--any Leica--based on features or value.  But rangefinder alone is not the draw, at least it isn't for me.

 

Nobody but one at least. I have always chosen Leica based on features and value personally. Now there is little reason to keep a rangefinder if you don't need a rangefinder obviously. 

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First time without an ‘M’ in the bag in, well, a very long time. It was hard to part with all the ‘M’ glass, but, honestly, I can’t tell the difference in image quality between the ‘M’ glass and the TL for the vast majority of my day-to-day uses, and I get more keepers with the CL.

 

Says a lot for me, especially the last phrase re keeper count.  M bodies have mojo, but present practical limitations depending on what and how I'm shooting.  My M bodies are gone, and if the CL + M glass combo doesn't work out for me, the M glass will be gone too.

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Nobody but one at least. I have always chosen Leica based on features and value personally. Now there is little reason to keep a rangefinder if you don't need a rangefinder obviously.

 

I stand corrected, but I”m surprised. Not that some prefer rangefinders—that makes sense to me. I’m surprised to hear that you would choose a Leica based on features and value. Leica cameras have lots of strengths, but they generally lag on features, and I have never before heard anyone suggest they represent good value. Good cameras, yes. Good lenses, certainly. Offering something special or something different, absolutely. Good value? Well, to each his own.

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Read here - lack of features. 

Where Sony and others cram every kind of feature into their cameras, Leica tends to strip every feature that is not essential for photography, making for a very clean shooting experience. According to Amateur Photographer: "other manufacturers could learn from this".

Features and gimmicks do not a camera make.

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So does Panasonic but you seem to like your GX8 

 

Features like weather-proofing, tilting LCD, IBIS, PDAF, video, and lighting solutions (flash) are not gimmicks. They are useful tools that expand the shooting envelope. The bigger the envelope the more likely the camera satisfies more photographers as their "main camera."

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I am personally not there yet but I was wondering whether anyone is using the Leica CL as their only or main camera and what they were shooting before.  

 

Also, whether you are missing anything from your previous platform.  Or the areas in which you feel the CL is still severely lacking. 

 Me too "not there yet" , but :

 

- When bought my first Leica M I thought that being my Leica IIIf so small and pocketable (with the Elmar), I I would have continued to use also it... I had lenses to share... ---> DIDN't HAPPEN, in a relatively short time M became my only 35mm camera

- When bought my first digital (M8) I thought that being not FF and that "film is always FILM"  I would continue to use my M4 time to time (and also Rolleiflex TLR... "the MF waist level experience"..

 ) ---> DIDN'T HAPPEN, in a short time M8 became my only camera.

- When upgraded to M240, I thought that I was in the lucky situation to have two bodies with lot in common and subtle details (CCD... BW...) which would have made continuing some usage of M8---> DIDN'T HAPPEN, in a short time M240 became my only camera.

- So... I'd like the CL concept and design... and given that the previous history spanned over 35 years around I have few doubts about what will happen should I buy one... anyway... until they will introduce the silver finish  

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Features like weather-proofing, tilting LCD, IBIS, PDAF, video, and lighting solutions (flash) are not gimmicks. They are useful tools that expand the shooting envelope. The bigger the envelope the more likely the camera satisfies more photographers as their "main camera."

 

 

Yes. I like those mentioned. But we have to decide if they are minor tools rather than primary tools and if they can be worked around. And if we are willing to give up its utility.

Leica has their own idea what primary tools should be 

 

If you have fractions of seconds to decide, they might get in the way. Just go to any event and watch the photographers at work. The more they have to do to switch to a change in scenario the slower they are in responding to capturing the moment.

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I'm don't have a CL but the SL with SL,TL, M lenses.

 

So a general question for CL owners. What's neat about the CL that you think should absolutely be in the SL? Or something you will not give up?

Edited by lx1713

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I stand corrected, but I”m surprised. Not that some prefer rangefinders—that makes sense to me. I’m surprised to hear that you would choose a Leica based on features and value. Leica cameras have lots of strengths, but they generally lag on features, and I have never before heard anyone suggest they represent good value. Good cameras, yes. Good lenses, certainly. Offering something special or something different, absolutely. Good value? Well, to each his own.

 

Well i like both RF and TTL cameras actually and i have always used Canon, Nikon and Sony SL, DSL and lately CSC cameras since the seventies. Now i've not bought my M3, M4-2, M6J, R-D1, M8.2 and M240 because they are compact or have whatever gimmick in the first place but because they have a rangefinder. A unique feature to me but YMMV. As for values, that of my M lenses is generally higher than the price i paid for them in the past as far as second hand lenses are concerned at least. I'm not aware of current camera brands doing better than Leica in this matter but i have no experience with MF cameras like the Hasselblad you were referring to admittedly. 

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