Jump to content
mph

Used Leica M or New Leica CL

Recommended Posts

Hi all, 


 


I have recently sold my Leica Q in order to buy something with interchangeable lenses.


 


I am really struggling to chose between buying a new Leica CL, Summicron 23mm (and I will probably down the road buy the adapter and some M-lenses), or a used Leica M 240 along with a used Leica M lens (probably 50 mm Summicron). In the end both options will do the same damage to my wallet  

 For info, I do currently not own any Leica lenses.


 


I am not a professional, merely a happy amateur. My photography is concentrated around portraits (bokeh!!), family, travel, social activities, landscape, architecture.


 


My heart is leaning towards the M, while my brain (and wife, even though she is not negative for the M) towards the CL. I am a bit afraid of the rangefinder, and if I will be able to focus as quick as I want to. The CL have AF on TL-lenses and focus-peaking on M-glass through the EVF (I know the M240 have focus-peaking on the screen and the optional viewfinder, but then the point of the RF is kinda gone?). After all the CL might just be a pit-stop to the M(?). I am not interested in sports- or action photography (even though we do have a eager and young dog), but it would be awful to miss a moment due to lacking focus.


 


My question is; which option would you buy, and why?


 


PS: I have in the process already passed on Sony and Fujifilm due to their overly-complex nature...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main difference between manual and auto focus is not difficulty of focus. You will miss some shots with either system. Rangefinder focus is nothing to be afraid of.

The difference is really the approach to taking a photograph. You take more time with the M than the CL; you think more about composition; you get lured into manual exposure.

The more electronics in your camera and your lenses, the sooner they fail.

As for the other alternatives, my experience with Fujifilm is that an X-Pro camera can be set up for un-complex use. And you can make it a manual focus camera with adapted M lenses, among others.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In your shoes, if I were to go for the CL, I'd just buy the native lenses for it and only buy M lenses if you get the M body.

 

I've had several chances to opt to buy a new CL and 1-2 lenses and have always chosen to buy a new, or virtually like-new used M lens for my M outfit, but if I really wanted the AF option already have an Olympus E-M1 Mark II outfit (that I am rarely using these days).....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you like AF lenses then the CL is perfect. If you wish to choose your focal point, rather than a mini computer, then the M is the best for MF lenses.

 

MF isn't difficult. It existed for donkey's years before AF was introduced. It takes time to master. 3 minutes at most.

Henri Cartier-Bresson managed it so you can too.

 

Rules:

1. Turn on the camera and remove the lens cap.

2. Don't cover the rangefinder glasses with a finger. 

3. Relax and choose the focal point.

4. Take the shot.

5. Chimp and, if it the shot is crap, go back to number one.

 

Good luck!

 

Pedants will say that I should include composure. They are correct, however this is a simplified version otherwise we could go on all night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An FF system has many advantages over an APS-C system. There is really nothing like a 1.4 or below lens on FF once you have mastered it

The battery on the 240 lasts much longer and the camera is far better made

The lens selection is greatly superior across multiple brands (Voigtlander, Leica, Zeiss, 7artisan, Lomo, Jupiter, etc.)

All the crucial settings on the M can also be set whether it’s on or off and so it’s faster to go

 

On the other hand AF is easier and quicker until you master RF focusing (not difficult and fast).

 

The CL is a lighter system.

 

Lastly the second hand 240 will retain most of its value but the new CL will loose 30% when you walk out of the door

 

You could actually try a 240 with a second hand lens and sell it after a month or so with little or no loss of you didn’t want it

 

I have had both systems and I get more keepers under the M and enjoy the process of making the picture much more.

I also think the M is special, whereas the CL compares to cheaper and more lens bountiful systems like Fuji and Sony

 

The CL is more a luxury version of the APs-c CSC whereas the M is something unique

 

At the end of the day its lower learning curve vs process and picture and your own comfort where you want to be with your photography. Don’t forget the financials if they are relevant to you ...

Edited by colonel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Colonel, lenses selection and full frame sensor are 2 major factors I would go for M. 

 

I bought a used M240 just to test the water few months ago, and I'm in love with it so much I just bought a brand new M-P 240.  I think I'm a bit nutty...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Colonel, lenses selection and full frame sensor are 2 major factors I would go for M.

 

I bought a used M240 just to test the water few months ago, and I'm in love with it so much I just bought a brand new M-P 240. I think I'm a bit nutty...

I reckon.

There are plenty of APS-C sensor cameras around with truly excellent lenses, I can't fault...so i wouldn't consider a CL. Fuji XE-1 is a cheap beautiful camera for example, with great ergonomics and looks. I keep comparing it with my M-P (typ 240), and wonder. But i love using both equally...i think.

 

The full frame M-P is a totally different experience. They both take good images.

 

My conclusion... buy both.

 

...

Edited by david strachan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as Leica is concerned I had a M9, a M240 and changed - mainly because my eyes - to a SL which I still own and will keep. But because of weight I bought a CL too, with the 18-56. And I really like this light weight combination because of excellent picture quality and very good performance and the AF. If I had to decide between a M 240 and a CL I would prefer the CL.

Edited by HeinzX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This   is easy,  the 240 wins .  For  me there ain't no substitute for full frame. I  have a CL with the 18-56 great little camera ,  love the snappy autofocus , and the  CL is a wonderful walk around camera. Small, light, easy to use.  But it ain't an M.  I find the M is more forgiving in post production,   better IQ, especially when it  comes to  a bit of cropping.   I have had an M9 and now  an  M10,   and  would never take the CL over the M10, or an M9,  in fact I  would take  my  Q over the CL if I  had to choose, --luckily and so far till the baliffs  start knocking I dont ......all that said  I fnd the CL to be the perfect 'auxilary' camera, but get the M.........its which would you rather have a new Boxster or a used 911? (An anlogy  which I am sure will get me into trouble).

Edited by AdamSinger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't take the same pics with my digital CL and M240 for the usual reason that either i don't use the same lens or i have to move to get the same FoV and perspective is then different. A more relevant comparo would be M8 or M8.2 vs CL IMHO. Now if you have no experience with rangefinders i would borrow or rent one before spending the big bucks on it as you could well love or hate it depending on your tastes or skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

M hands down. In regards of the images, feel and fun of shooting the camera. I have tried every single camera in the Leica lineup and nothing came close to the M. Closest was the TL2, but I got rid of that as well to settle with a M240. The look of the photos isn't comparable because you shoot M lenses with their full potential. The sensors of the CL and TL2 are great no questions asked, but they are still crop sensors and the shots just look better on full frame (my opinion). I don't have problems handling the full manual operation of the camera because I have only shot analog M's for many years, some say MF needs some gettings used to, but when you nail the focus it's very satisfying. The learning curve on rangefinders is there, but worth fighting through.

 

You will have a lot of fun shooting portraits with a M and the 50mm Summicron, it has an amazing look full frame. I currently own a M240 with 50mm Summicron v3 and I have never had a better time shooting a camera. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

M hands down. In regards of the images, feel and fun of shooting the camera. I have tried every single camera in the Leica lineup and nothing came close to the M. Closest was the TL2,

 

I thought it was SL?

Edited by jaeger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would go for the M as well. 

 

The M is unique while the CL is simply another mirrorless APS system, which in my eyes, is not any better than those offered by the competition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[...] The M is unique while the CL is simply another mirrorless APS system, which in my eyes, is not any better than those offered by the competition.

 

The M is unique for lack of competition while the CL is the best mirrorless APS for M lenses so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doesn't the choice boil down to the kind of photos you want to take?
 
Auto focus snaps/ travel .......or utilize the Full Frame option, big prints?
 
They are both great cameras and they each have there specific uses.
 
There is nothing like the M unless you don't need full frame and want to travel lighter.
 
 

PS: I do not have  a CL ....but I am thinking about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using Leica rangefinders for 50 years.  Focusing is not difficult, but it happens only in the center of the frame.  Also, the frames for each focal length are a different size and so the longer the lens the smaller the framed area you have to compose in.  Also there is no diopter adjustment, so if you can't see clearly you will need a screw-in diopter.  Finally, the frames are calibrated to show exact framing at 2m; beyond that you will get more in the file than you saw in the frame lines, so you need to develop a sense for how much outisde the lines will appear in the shot.  Upshot, for someone inexperienced with the M cameras, there is a learning curve.  Not all that steep, but it's there, and if you ignore it you will find yourself frustrated and annoyed. 

 

OTOH, the M is a unique camera whereas the CL is basically another APS-C mirrorless camera, at an enormous price premium.  I use M lenses on a SONY NEX6 and don't see anywhere near enough difference to justify the 10X price differential.  And the 6 is an older camera.  The A6xxx series is current and much improved.  I don't happen to care for EVF viewing of any sort, including the CL and even SL, so I personally only use the NEX as an emergency backup.   

 

The major downfall to me of APS-C is the need to adjust focal lengths to recapture the FOV I've grown accustomed to shooting, combined with the deeper DOF at those FOV's which frustrates my desire for subject isolation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's put it this way. I have two never-sell cameras: The M9 and MM1.

 

However, since the CL arrived it is my daily-use camera of choice, the other two are only taken out when I want to use their specific qualities.

The M240 (and it was a very nice one) I sold without regret.  It was completely redundant.

 

As for lenses, I use the native zooms and some M lenses. I don't feel the need for TL primes, they are intended for more considered photography and I like to use manual focus in that case. M lenses shine on the CL.

 

The APS-C vs FF debate is irrelevant IMO. In practice it does not make a single whit of difference which format you are using.

.Subject separation? Only in extreme cases, which rarely make for good photographs.  One step forward and the DOF is the same.

.Noise? The CL is clean up to 3200, pretty good up to 6400, usable at even higher. Who needs more?

.Framing? Hey! you have an EVF. WYSIWYG.

 

 

BTW, I have a NEX7. The files aren't even close to the output of the CL, especially in colour rendering and robustness when postprocessing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.Subject separation? Only in extreme cases, which rarely make for good photographs. 

2.One step forward and the DOF is the same.

3.BTW, I have a NEX7. The files aren't even close to the output of the CL, especially in colour rendering and robustness when postprocessing.

1. I think depends on focal length (the wider, the more pronounced the difference) and photographer choice.

2. Right, but then the FOV is not

3. The 7 has known problems with RF lenses, which is why I opted for the 6.  But both are old cameras.  The current A6xxx series is improved.  How much compared with the CL, Idk.  As I said, an EVF camera will always be an emergency backup for me, just in case both M240s bite the bullet on a trip.  So as long as the NEX6 exceeds the capability of my iPhone (which IMO it does) I'm ok with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. I think depends on focal length (the wider, the more pronounced the difference) and photographer choice.

2. Right, but then the FOV is not

3. The 7 has known problems with RF lenses, which is why I opted for the 6. But both are old cameras. The current A6xxx series is improved. How much compared with the CL, Idk. As I said, an EVF camera will always be an emergency backup for me, just in case both M240s bite the bullet on a trip. So as long as the NEX6 exceeds the capability of my iPhone (which IMO it does) I'm ok with it.

My Nex6 is still workhorse for me along M240. Cameras (almost all from various manufacturers) exceeded my need 6 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started with Q, added an M262 and just now a Sony Rx100 vi for the zoom.

 

The Q for me was very close to how I take pictures with the M, except that the 28 is not my prefered lens. I do find that zoom and autofocus provide a very different shooting experience which I am not that into.

 

I guess it all depends what kind of shots your taking.

 

I think a combo like M together with something like the Sony will cover a broad range of shooting situations. If you can swing the M and are into the slow carefully composed artistic shots do go for the M. That was a move that got me hooked taking photography from occasional shooting to a hobby that I pursue newly everwy weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...