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Leica CL as main camera

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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."

Featiures AND gimmicks. I never said all features are useless. I buy Leicas for the shooting experience, And yes, when I want something the Leica doesn't offer, like IBIS/OIS, AF options, etc., there are other cameras catering for my needs. It has always been a misconception that one camera can do all, especially a camera with a radical concept like a Leica. In the past we had an M and a Nikon SLR next to it. The present is no different.

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 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  

 

Great post and I love to send you some silver paint or sand paper 

   

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I bought the CL with the 11/23 and the 55/135 zooms.

I use the CL together with the M10 which has either the 35 or the 50mm.

 

The Cl is wonderful for the short and long range lenses and the quality of the images is excellent and the autofocus is useful.

 

The handling of the CL compared to the M is definitely more complex due to the various knobs that occasionally get moved by mistake... I ended up turning most of them off.   The EVF is excellent but it is not comparable to the rangefinder, if you enjoy the rangefinder you will see the difference, especially at night.

 

I thought of getting the 18mm for it's compactness, but the CL is not that much smaller than the M, and as I don't care for the 28mm FOV, using the 23mm or 35mm will make the CL actually bigger than the M (or just about)... So I ended up buying a Summicron 40 which makes the M even more svelte.   I know the CL is lighter but a couple of hundred grams will not offset the lack of rangefinder, easier handling, full frame, and a Summicron...

 

A perfect companion to the M it is... But for me it is no replacement (at least in the 35/40/50mm range).

 

You can check the two at play in my Paris portfolio in my website.

 

Regards

 

Alex

 

durini.com

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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.

 

 

Ah, that makes more sense to me.  I thought you had meant the inclusion of features, which has not been a Leica strong suit in a very long time. I agree that the simplicity of the designs is part of the appeal.

Edited by Jared

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Featiures AND gimmicks. I never said all features are useless. I buy Leicas for the shooting experience, And yes, when I want something the Leica doesn't offer, like IBIS/OIS, AF options, etc., there are other cameras catering for my needs. It has always been a misconception that one camera can do all, especially a camera with a radical concept like a Leica. In the past we had an M and a Nikon SLR next to it. The present is no different.

I decided not to get the CL and keeps on reading CL postings to see any good reasons to change my mind, and most of the reasons posted here don't work for me. The Sony A7R, with Sony lenses plus lens adapters Canon EF and Leica M, is my other camera.

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Featiures AND gimmicks. I never said all features are useless. I buy Leicas for the shooting experience, And yes, when I want something the Leica doesn't offer, like IBIS/OIS, AF options, etc., there are other cameras catering for my needs. It has always been a misconception that one camera can do all, especially a camera with a radical concept like a Leica. In the past we had an M and a Nikon SLR next to it. The present is no different.

 

I don't disagree, but this thread is titled "Leica CL as main camera" and from my 1-month experience of owning one, I feel the CL is more of a complimentary camera to an existing Leica camera, and thus would benefit from more useful features such as a tilt screen, IBIS or OIS, PDAF, and weather resistance. If it had all of those features, and a more complete lens lineup (more faster primes) I would have swapped over from Fuji. Unfortunately the "shooting experience" of the CL was not enough to compensate for all of these weaknesses. It is similar to the Leica M in that regard (camera with compromises), but with the M at least I know that I'm not compromising the shooting experience, lens selection, and image quality.

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The lens lineup; doesn't Leica make enough fast primes in the M series? They work seamlessly on the CL.

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The lens lineup; doesn't Leica make enough fast primes in the M series? They work seamlessly on the CL.

 

They do, but they're cropped. There's no way to get fast wide (< 28mm FOV) primes.

 

And I prefer to use M lenses on M cameras and native lenses on autofocusing cameras.

Edited by Mr.Q

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I find the crop argument spurious. One uses a lens to gain an angle of view. The number on the barrel will not be visible on the photograph. Nor do M lenses lose their character on APS. As for ultra wideangle lenses, yes, that is true, the CL cannot be the main camera for someone who shoots mainly ultra-wide. What percentage of photographers is that?

Preferring not to use manual lenses on an AF camera is just a preference, the CL does the job well.

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All M lenses don't perform as well on the CL as on M cameras for sure but this is only true with some WA lenses and the lack of fast wide is a well known issue since 2004 at least (Epson R-D1). Now it is not forbidden to use both M and TL lenses on the CL obviously although having to mount or remove an adapter at each switch may be painful for some people like yours truly but this is another story.

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Painful? What part of your body do you get caught between the camera and the adapter?

I have seen no ill effects yet on any of my WA lenses yet. It would be surprising too, given that the CL has specific microlens technology and is cropped. Which lenses do you mean?

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Painful? What part of your body do you get caught between the camera and the adapter?

I have seen no ill effects yet on any of my WA lenses yet. It would be surprising too, given that the CL has specific microlens technology and is cropped. Which lenses do you mean?

 

Quite a PITA to have to mount or remove an adapter at each switch to me, not the way i like photography at all. Which lenses? I would have to do serious tests to be more specific but corners are softer below f/5.6 with my 35/2 asph v1, 28/2.8 asph v1, 28/2 v1 and MATE at least. Specific microlenses? I have not the least idea about that but my feeling is the CL has a thicker sensor stack than both my M8.2 and M240 let alone my A7s mod hence those softer corners and a lesser sensitivity to IR and moiré i guess but i'm no techie at all. 

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Err.. You leave the adapter on the body and switch M lenses, just like you would on an M camera...

 

I cannot see any difference between the corners of my Summicron 35 asph V1 the CL comp[ared to M24 and M9, in fact they are a lot worse on the full frame, as they get cropped off on the CL. Looking at the same location on the frame as the "CL-corners" , there is no discernible difference. The center even looks a bit sharper on the CL. Maybe that is what you noticed.

 

If you look in the Moiré thread, the CL artifacts are as expected, the frequency being 120 lp/mm. Many lenses won't even resolve that, so you wouldn't see it in many cases.

A 24 or 18 MP full-frame sensor will be considerably more prone.

The CL, AFAIK, has no AA filter, just like the cameras you mentioned. That means that the Moiré and aliasing is determined by the sensor pixel pitch, not by the filter stack. A 24 MP APS.C sensor will exhibit the same lack of artifacts as a 36 MP full-frame sensor.

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It clearly can make a great stand alone system and is capable of great quality. The lens list is not so exciting at the moment but it is all excellent glass.

 

I chuckle a little bit at the “it’s as good as the Mx..FF” comments. I think that’s the “new shiny shiny” talking. APS-C vs FF war is not for here but I personally never compare systems with different sensor sizes unless they have the same cost and functionality base. To me clearly the M240 is superior but that doesn’t detract from the greatness of the CL. So no need to get hung up about it

..... Edited by colonel

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It is more like a surprising finding that the CL image quality approaches the M10 and SL closely.

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Err.. You leave the adapter on the body and switch M lenses, just like you would on an M camera...

 

I was referring to switching between M and TL lenses then mounting and removing the adapter is obligatory

 

[...] I cannot see any difference between the corners of my Summicron 35 asph V1 the CL comp[ared to M24 and M9, in fact they are a lot worse on the full frame, as they get cropped off on the CL. Looking at the same location on the frame as the "CL-corners" , there is no discernible difference. The center even looks a bit sharper on the CL. Maybe that is what you noticed. [...]

 

You did not focus at the corners i suspect or you focused there and recomposed didn't you. 

 

[...] If you look in the Moiré thread, the CL artifacts are as expected, the frequency being 120 lp/mm. Many lenses won't even resolve that, so you wouldn't see it in many cases. [...]

 

I know nothing about those frequencies sorry. All i can say is with the same M lenses, my CL is less moiré prone than my M8.2, M240 and A7s mod cameras.

Edited by lct

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1. Not really, I usually carry one M lens and two TL zooms, so there is no mounting or dismounting of adapters. It stays on the lens

2. Those were landscape photos with lots of  3-dimensional detail like foliage/brances, so this is not relevant (and I didn't recompose)

3. As I said, the difference in Moiré has to do with pixel pitch and lens resolution (and the absence of an AA filter), nothing else. A 24 MP APS C sensor must have better Moiré/aliasing performance than a 18 or 24 MP FF sensor.

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I think it is easier to use the CL as a main camera than a M. Why? Because the M excells at 35 and 50mm slow pace photography, but the CL has several advantages for UWA (11-23) and Tele and accurate focusing for everything longer than 50mm.

If you dont need extreme tele longer than the 55-135 I believe the CL is a a very flexible system, including a UWA-Zoom, a fast standard lens, a compact 35mmFOV lens (23/2.0), a macro lens which als works good as a portrait lens, and a compact telezoom, plus a compact standard zoom.

So for casual and vacation the system offery quite a lot IMO.

I would have 3 wishes: a smaller 35mm lens, IS in the telezoom, and a 14-50mm 2.8-4.0 standard zoom.

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The SL 90-280 is the long, stabilized, telezoom for the CL.

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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.

 

they are simply not marginal

 

M4/3s - been there done it. Just well below my threshold of noise. DR and everything is noticeably lower

Compare APS-C to FF of the same technology and its less then the jump down to M4/3s, but its light and day at the pixel level, which effects both cropping and edit absorption. Also try DOF separation at wide angles and see even more difference. This effects everything, including falloff, which is why photos appear to pop, and FF will always appear to pop more then APS-C - with the right lenses.

 

Listen I get great photos from my iphone, but blow them up, start editing, drop the light a bit, and the difference becomes stark between sensor sizes ...

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