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howiebrou

Leica CL substitute for Leica Q?

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I am going to post this in both leica Q and Leica CL forums and hopefully I can negate the bias of each type of owner!

I am looking for a replacement for my Sony RX1MkII which had a 35mm F/2 Zeiss lens and served me well for a number of years. I need a smallish camera to carry around and the Leica Q is at the top of the list but the CL with a 35mm TL summilux f/1.4 or 23mm F/2 TL lens seems, on paper at least to be a possible alternative. Yes the CL is APS-C but apparently it is also of high quality. My question is; is this comparing apples with oranges. The Q has a lot to brag about: great IQ, great handling and a great lens but i am not insistent on a 28mm lens either and the 23mm f/2 TL lens is the equivalent of a 35mm which many Q owners seem to want as well. The CL has the added advantage of being able to change lenses (although that is not what I need right now but it does keep my options open) and the 18mm is bang on the same as the Q lens in terms of focal length, if not quality or max aperture. 

Given that the Q is a few years old and the CL is basically brand new and a CL with 23mm or 35mm is not much larger (if at all) than a Q, would that make more sense now?

p.s. let's ignore the costs for this comparison

Edited by howiebrou

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The Q would be my clear choice (based on your parameters).  

Superb low light performance, stunning IQ and lens, and full frame. (The Q also gives the option to shoot at 35mm and 50mm, with fewer pixels, and apsc sized).  As good as the CL may be, its only advantage is the versatility of using different lenses.

Rob

Edited by ropo54

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You might ask yourself which you would prioritize as most important and which would be second. IQ? Or Versatility?

Personally I'm not sure it's a rational decision, but that's just me...

Edited by Le Chef

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18 minutes ago, Le Chef said:

You might ask yourself which you would prioritize as most important and which would be second. IQ? Or Versatility?

Personally I'm not sure it's a rational decision, but that's just me...

I am looking for a camera that i would take out with only one lens. The CL allows me to go out with different lenses each time but my Sony had a fixed lens and that was not an issue. If i want to bring several lenses i will probably use my MP-240. So let's say, for argument's sake that versatility is not a priority (more a bonus). Would the IQ really be that different?

Edited by howiebrou

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I came close to purchasing a Q just before my CL. I had a good price on new open box for 3500 but still passed it up. I guess I just couldn't come to buy a point and shoot camera for that kind of money and that is not weather sealed. I have heard and read many problems with dust on the sensor with the Q. That was the turn off for me. I couldn't clean the sensor and to have it done would require me sending it away. Not a big fan of that. The CL came into sights and I did some research on it and its pretty darn close to the Q if not better with its dynamic range. I need to be able to pull shadows and lights out of the image easily. I have a Canon 6D and it can do that easily but noticed the CL would out perform my 6D and the Q .So that is what I bought. The CL was just what I wanted - smaller than my 6D, image quality equal to or better than my 6D ( its better) and able to clean and maintain it myself. Its perfect for me. 

Edited by sfowler

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31 minutes ago, sfowler said:

I came close to purchasing a Q just before my CL. I had a good price on new open box for 3500 but still passed it up. I guess I just couldn't come to buy a point and shoot camera for that kind of money and that is not weather sealed. I have heard and read many problems with dust on the sensor with the Q. That was the turn off for me. I couldn't clean the sensor and to have it done would require me sending it away. Not a big fan of that. The CL came into sights and I did some research on it and its pretty darn close to the Q if not better with its dynamic range. I need to be able to pull shadows and lights out of the image easily. I have a Canon 6D and it can do that easily but noticed the CL would out perform my 6D and the Q .So that is what I bought. The CL was just what I wanted - smaller than my 6D, image quality equal to or better than my 6D ( its better) and able to clean and maintain it myself. Its perfect for me. 

Well this puts a different perspective on things. I have no knowledge about the Q issues you mention but it seems worth researching. Thanks for the comments.

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Traded my Q for a CL + cash. 

I have the 23 F2 which lives on the camera most of the time. I added the 18-56 to have a standard zoom when I want versatility. 

I LOVED the Q... but the ability to change lenses, and the fact that once the Q2 comes along, the price will drop like a stone pushed me to the CL. 

Edited by Donzo98

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31 minutes ago, sfowler said:

I have heard and read many problems with dust on the sensor with the Q. That was the turn off for me. 

I wonder: many, how many? I do not believe this is an issue at all but I would not argue at this place // better place is the Q section itself. From a practical point of view, and not overheard rumours but rather a real life experience, I have not seen a single dust specle on images produced by my friend's Q. Having said that I do not own a Q myself, and I do own a CL (and an SL) as it is important for me to attach different lenses to the bodies. As for quality of Q, CL, SL ... all are unsurpassed in my opinion.

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I never really looked at the Q at all ... It came along when I was still happy with the X 113 and was transitioning back to the M instead, and then the SL came along and that was my main camera for several years. The X went when I realized that I preferred the M-D + 'Lux 35 to it, and I was done with fixed lens cameras. 

When I sold the SL (because my work and needs had changed, not any fault of the camera) and I still needed something to do macro and other specialty work with using my R lens kit, I looked at the CL, bought a body, and find it stunningly good for broad spectrum photography was well as for what I bought it to do. So much so that I brought it on my six week travel excursion instead of anything else. I carried two lenses (Elmarit-R 28 and Summilux-R 50) and never felt a moment's lack with it. 

On the way home, I met another guy who had a Q with him and finally had a look at one. It's just about the same size and weight as the CL and my 28mm lens (netting a 42mm eqFOV on the smaller format). The CL's viewfinder is a bit crisper, I prefer the CL's controls, and, well, simply the fact is that the CL is a much more versatile camera if you want it to be would sell me on it over the Q. But the Q is quite nice for a one lens shooter, providing you like a 28mm FoV. 

So I can't really advise you on what you'd like. The cameras are quite comparable in most ways that matter, both produce superb results, and you should go to a Leica Store and handle them both side by side to see what satisfies you most.

The prices are high for either, and what does that matter anyway? :D

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23 minutes ago, ramarren said:

The prices are high for either, and what does that matter anyway? :D

The price for a Q and for a CL with 23mm or 35mm are pretty much the same as to be irrelevant to me. Choosing the one that i won't be disappointed for and loose money trading it in for the other is very relevant!

Edited by howiebrou

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No dust on my sensor issues after 3 years.

I prefer the EVF on the Q to the CL.  I also prefer the simplicity of the Q's user interface. 

I'd forgotten to mention the Q also allows for macro shooting.  

 

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3 hours ago, howiebrou said:

The price for a Q and for a CL with 23mm or 35mm are pretty much the same as to be irrelevant to me. Choosing the one that i won't be disappointed for and loose money trading it in for the other is very relevant!

Can't help you there.

As you can see, there is a diversity of opinion between different photographers as to which of the two they like (want) more. You have to decide that for yourself. Go to a dealer and handle both, together, and see which appeals to you more.

You can hardly make a bad choice with this pair of cameras, no matter what. :D

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3 minutes ago, ramarren said:

You can hardly make a bad choice with this pair of cameras, no matter what. :D

That sums it up nicely! It's a good position to be in.

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The Q and CL have been extraordinarily popular.  At the moment, there are fewer CL pre-owned deals to be found, but, I'd suspect you would lose about $1K depreciation in USD once you walked out the store and a somewhat similar amount were you to do the same with the Q.  If saving the initial cost of investment is the issue, find a pre-owned unit of either.  I think one can find Qs for $3000-3500, so if that's your starting point you should be good for the next couple of years. Same with the CL, find one for $2000-2200, pre-owned.

Even if there is a Q2, the Q's photos are going to remain spectacular.  That should keep the market fairly strong. The CL will also be quite viable as a camera moving forward.  

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11 hours ago, Donzo98 said:

Traded my Q for a CL + cash. 

I have the 23 F2 which lives on the camera most of the time. I added the 18-56 to have a standard zoom when I want versatility. 

I LOVED the Q... but the ability to change lenses, and the fact that once the Q2 comes along, the price will drop like a stone pushed me to the CL. 

CL

I have an 18-56 for bokeh and variety. 

I have a TL 35 mm 1.4 for everything else. 

Changing lenses is a joy. 

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I had a Q and I currently have a CL and M10. I love the CL and it is great when I need autofocus. While the Q is a fantastic camera I just didn't like the limitation of only one focal length. Although it is very personal, I like the interface of the CL over the Q. YMMV  Like others have said, you will have a great camera with either the Q or the CL. 

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I owned the Q and CL at the same time and very quickly determined that the CL was by far my favorite so I sold the Q. The image quality is very comparable in my opinion, with a slight edge going to the Q in very high ISO situations. I very much like the smaller size of the CL when carried with the 18mm, which makes it nearly identical to the Q focal length. Another big plus for the CL is having the ability to use M lenses on it via the M to L adapter. The new alliance Leica has formed with Sigma and Panasonic will greatly multipliy that advantage. Some of the Sigma Art lenses are incredible and cost a fraction of what Leica glass  costs. The Q is a great camera but the CL just offers so much more versatility due mostly to the ability to change lenses. It's also a pleasure to use.

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I still have my Sony Rx1RII. If they made it in a 50mm I'd use it every day. And Leica won't make me a 50mm Q. So I never really considered one seriously although the handling is sublime. I see the world in 50mm so the choice, for me, is easy. The CL with a 35mm.

There's a big difference between 28, 35 and 50mm. Choose your preferred focal length and then choose the camera that suits it, would be my suggestion. Cameras are all fine. The only poor choice is a camera you don't want to use.

Gordon.

 

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I personally would think that the body gets technologically outdated after a few years whereas the lenses will live much longer. This would be a point to go for CL. Comes to it the excellent IQ that everybody reports. 

You did not disclose your preferences in what you shoot with your camera. If you have it mostly in good lightening conditions then I see another argument that points to the CL.

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I've owned both (I own only the CL now along with an M10). Here are some thoughts;

When I first tried the CL, I was horrified by the results. I complained but eventually tried another and the results are pretty darn good to be honest.

Q - nice that it is full frame but the sensor in the CL is so good that it is very close. The Q (and I had owned a couple of them) always gave me fits with certain kinds of subject matter. There is a tendency for moire to rear its ugly head. I THINK it may have to do with the lens out resolving the sensor. I think that camera really needs a 30+ mp sensor for its lens. 28mm takes some getting used to if you normally use a 35mm, and you just may never like it. Some do, some don't. I got used to it when I owned the Q but to be honest I would much rather that the Q had a 35 instead. I never really loved the EVF in the Q. It may have been ground breaking in its time but now, it has been surpassed and frankly the CL EVF is much better. The Q is also a bit big for what it is, especially if you are used to the Sony. Positive for the Q is its manual focusing, probably the best by far of any mirrorless camera out there.

CL - Just cannot be replaced by the Q in terms of changing lenses. You may not think you need nor want ithat, but once you have it, you won't want to go back. Plus, it plays extremely well with an adapter and some Nikon lenses (I have the 55 micro and the 180 F2.8, both superb on the CL). The CL is a very nice size, even with the grip which I highly recommend and can be carried in a coat pocket if only the 18 is on it. Can't do that with the Q. The one fairly large drawback to the CL the way I see it is that the zoom lens max apertures are kind've slow. But I suppose that is why I own the 2 primes that I do.

I did a comparison with the 35mm F1.4 TL lens and the 50mm summilux on my M10. With 11x17 prints I really see very little if any difference. Both lenses are superb when shot wide open. I also own the 11-23TL, 23TL and 55-135TL. No complaints about any of them, and I am very finicky when it comes to lens performance. Aside from the 50 summilux, I also own the 35 summilux and 21 SEM for my M10.

I struggled with my original decision to go to the CL and sell my Q, and at first I regretted it. But once I tried a second CL body and got used to it, I have not looked back. If I were to do it all over again, I would not even consider the Q. The CL is just too versatile.

Edited by jay968

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