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I've had my CL for a year now. That's a long time for me to keep a camera.

It's been all over the place with me, and I've put together a nice little kit with the 23, 18-56 and 55-135 which work very nicely together indeed. I've written up my thoughts, plus also the pros and cons versus the M10 (which I sold after I bought the CL). Enjoy - lots of pics if you don't like reading 🙂

http://tobinators.com/blog/2018/11/gear-and-kit/leica-cl-lenses-1-year-on/

Edited by Tobers
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Nice review.

I, too, prefer dedicated buttons/dials on top of the camera - much like the X series Leica cameras had been designed.  Switching between cameras without similarly functioning controls can get frustrating.

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Appreciate the series of reports.

A month ago, your original set persuaded me to try the 18-56 zoom, a uneasy move for a died in the wool M prime user. I’m liking it a lot.

 

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vor 3 Stunden schrieb Tobers:

I've had my CL for a year now. That's a long time for me to keep a camera.

It's been all over the place with me, and I've put together a nice little kit with the 23, 18-56 and 55-135 which work very nicely together indeed. I've written up my thoughts, plus also the pros and cons versus the M10 (which I sold after I bought the CL). Enjoy - lots of pics if you don't like reading 🙂

http://tobinators.com/blog/2018/11/gear-and-kit/leica-cl-lenses-1-year-on/

Thank you very much for your write-up. I also very much appreciated your previous postings. I have been using the CL since December 2017 and ended up with the same lens setup - starting with the 23 mm Summicron TL - which I am using the least now, plus an already existing 90 mm Summarit-M (instead of your Summicron).  The 55-135 is a real gem. I am still having the same issues with the multi-purpose dials/buttons, and yes, what I am missing most is a dedicated one-trick exposure compensation wheel. It has been said by many that the image quality equals (or almost equals) the M or SL. Yet I am having issues with excessive noise (fine-grained but very obvious) and lacking sharpness sometimes even starting at 320 ISO. So I cannot quite agree as it comes to a comparism with the M 240 or the Leica Q. How do you judge brilliance? I wonder whether I am just imagining it, but I feel that images from the CL appear flatter. I really miss image stabilization and often end up at 1000 or 1600 ISO. The images are usable, but things could be better.  What is your experience? Is it my special copy? I feel that images from the CL need more processing while the FF DNG files often shine right from the start.

Edited by EUSe

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Good points there. 

I didn’t have image stabilisation on the M10 so don’t really miss it. I’m not having issues with noise myself. I basically ignore ISO these days when shooting handheld. From my own comparisons with the M10 there’s really little difference noise-wise. I usually shoot DNG and process in Lightroom - just wondering if you’re doing the same, or you have a different raw converter perhaps?

I think there’s a definite difference using, say, a Summulux-M 24mm on full frame compared to the 23mm TL lens on the CL. There’s a reason one of them costs 3x the other, and maybe that accounts for the missing “sparkliness” from your pictures. The M lux lenses are rather special and they really shine on the M10, but I ended up selling mine as they are better IMHO on full frame than crop (the 24 lux is a total dream lens).

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Actually I find that  M lenses perform better on the CL than on the M240. Not really surprising, as they get cropped to the sweet spot.

IMO there is no difference in "sparkle" (whatever that may be) but I do find that the CL images benefit by an slightly higher setting of the clarity and dehaze sliders. Also they clearly have a higher DR, which makes a different postprocessing needed, mostly by pulling up the midtones a bit in curves and a shadow lift. In other words, the difference noted is more due to postprocessing than to the camera.

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vor einer Stunde schrieb Tobers:

Good points there. 

I didn’t have image stabilisation on the M10 so don’t really miss it. I’m not having issues with noise myself. I basically ignore ISO these days when shooting handheld. From my own comparisons with the M10 there’s really little difference noise-wise. I usually shoot DNG and process in Lightroom - just wondering if you’re doing the same, or you have a different raw converter perhaps?

I think there’s a definite difference using, say, a Summulux-M 24mm on full frame compared to the 23mm TL lens on the CL. There’s a reason one of them costs 3x the other, and maybe that accounts for the missing “sparkliness” from your pictures. The M lux lenses are rather special and they really shine on the M10, but I ended up selling mine as they are better IMHO on full frame than crop (the 24 lux is a total dream lens).

I am shooting in DNG + JPG with Auto-ISO limited to 1600 and using Photohop CC for processing, so there should be no difference when using Lightroom. I did not test it systematically, though. It could be worthwhile. I also have Capture One, but only use it for M and Q files occasionally. I am using Topaz Denoise for denoising occasionally and resharpen using layers in Photoshop - if I am getting better results, which is not always the case. When shooting handheld, the camera is usually set to 1/4f in order to avoid motion blur, which of course quickly results in high ISO. No need to do this with the M or Q, I am using 1/2f there.

My own experience with M lenses on the CL is not homogenous. While I really like the Summarit-M 90 mm f/2.5 on the CL, I found that the recent Summilux-M 35 and 50 mm lack contrast and deliver poor colour, especially reds are smeared. Of course part of this can be fixed in post. I really like these two lenses on the M 240 and I really like the Summicron-R 90 on the CL - maybe a bit on the heavy side, but a wonderful character. Generally, I prefer the genuine TL lenses by far on the CL. Unfortunately my eyesight has degraded and I can no longer use a rangefinder without focussing issues. The scew-in correction lenses don't do the job for me any more and I am not willing to have new glasses made for rangefinder photography only. The CL EVF still works nicely for me, the same goes for the Q and SL (as far as I can say, I have tried the latter in the shop, but do not own one).

As Jaap says, the higher dynamic range of the CL makes a different postprocessing neessary, but whatever I do, I am not totally convinced by the results. You may call this a feature - a more subtle and natural rendering. This is a very personal thing, but I can make out the difference in most CL shots even on the forum. It is not about curves and contrast only. In search of the sparkle 😃!

I have shared DNGs and TIFFs among (experienced) friends and seemingly I am not alone with my verdict. The noise problem still remains. And what's the point of getting a beautiful out-of-focus area when the smooth background is noisy. Of course the latter is also a matter of magnification, but I feel that 50 % often is the maximum I like to see on an 27 inch 5K iMAc. Not so with the M or Q. Yes, I confess, I am a pixel-peeper. Not good for happiness!

 

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vor einer Stunde schrieb jaapv:

Actually I find that  M lenses perform better on the CL than on the M240. Not really surprising, as they get cropped to the sweet spot.

. . . . .

See: Start at 2 minutes 40 seconds

 

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So he is banging the "light gathering" drum again. The Internet is a wonderful place for spreading disinformation... 😡

The speed of the lens is exactly the same on a crop sensor. A 2.8 lens does NOT turn miraculously into an 4.2 one; the focal length of the lens does NOT change (how could it?) The only thing that happens is that the smaller sensor crops a smaller part of the projected image, so that the final image is magnified more.

If you move out to retain your field of view, the logical effect is that DOF shrinks and you will need denser pixels to retain resolution The lens must be able to match the higher pixel density in resolution. That is all. The rest (like this video) is just obfuscation, smoke and mirrors. Especially if you base your argument on sensors of different resolution.

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"Multiply the aperture by the crop factor". I stopped watching there. Reminds me of the so-called "equivalence" between 50/2 on FF and 35/1.4 on APS-C. Or is this the same theory?

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vor 4 Stunden schrieb jaapv:

 

vor 4 Stunden schrieb jaapv:

So he is banging the "light gathering" drum again. The Internet is a wonderful place for spreading disinformation... 😡

The speed of the lens is exactly the same on a crop sensor. A 2.8 lens does NOT turn miraculously into an 4.2 one; the focal length of the lens does NOT change (how could it?) The only thing that happens is that the smaller sensor crops a smaller part of the projected image, so that the final image is magnified more.

If you move out to retain your field of view, the logical effect is that DOF shrinks and you will need denser pixels to retain resolution The lens must be able to match the higher pixel density in resolution. That is all. The rest (like this video) is just obfuscation, smoke and mirrors. Especially if you base your argument on sensors of different resolution.

. . . Even though he says that a lens "behaves as" . . . He does NOT say that it changes focal length nor speed.  He knows that too and is far from being dumb. Instead he speaks of same DOF and P-Mpix. Plus he take DxO measurements. I do not think that this should just be put under the carpet. Basically it is here about the question whether a lens that was built for FF is as good or better (sweet spot) on an APS-C in any circumstances compared to a lens that was originally built for APS-S. And the answer is evidently: NO. The video is about equivalence which is not the point here.

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Yes, but he is comparing Canikon standard zooms on sensors of different resolutions, not high-resolving M lenses on sensors of equal resolution. 

As I said, the resolution demands of smaller sensors are higher, but M lenses, in general, still meet them.  Peter Karbe did mention, BTW, that the CL lenses are built to a higher specification. I think the main difference is whether an M lens is significantly higher resolving in the centre  or is sharp into the corners  That explains, for instance, that this is the reason the Summilux 24 is so good on the CL  It has quite a bit of corner falloff on full frame  

 

I’m not saying that he is basically wrong, I’m saying that he is feeding the prevalent misconceptions. 

However, the main failure of his argument is that he is using DXO' invention of "perceptual megapixels", which is complete baloney, lumping unrelated measurements into a meaningless number. And he still introduces this "light gathering "nonsense. A lens produces a number of photons PER SQUARE SURFACE UNIT. Whether it projects this onto a large surface or crops it onto a smaller surface makes not one whit of difference per surface unit.

 

Let me quote one of the comments on Petapixel.

 

Quote

If you have trouble interpreting an MTF chart, you probably have no business using a nonsensical statistic chosen by DxO as a basis of comparison between lenses. Instead, I would advise that you actually, um, take the time to *learn* how to read and interpret the MTF chart itself. After all, there is a reason why the lens manufacturers publish them, rather than some meaningless "perceptual megapixel" number.

I've been saying this for a very long time--DxO's summary statistics are rubbish. They attempt to distill completely different aspects of imaging performance into a single number and then purport to claim that this number has some kind of relevance to the overall performance of the system. What they publish is no less absurd than a statement like "5.47 + oranges = 2.9 rocket."

To critique this specific measure they have created, I need only point out that the most obvious failure is that they have averaged the performance of the lens as a function of image height, f-number, AND spatial frequency. Those are things you simply can't lump together and summarize with a single number. If I say Lens A has an overall performance of, say, "83%" and Lens B has an overall performance of "78%," what in the world does that tell ANYONE about how the lenses compare in terms of their center performance, corner performance, wide open, stopped down, or at high and low spatial frequencies? Yes, DxO can provide the measured MTF charts, but then, why bother to devise a bogus summary statistic of that data in the first place? It only serves to mislead the reader

 

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After all I believe in mathematics. E.g. 1.096865524567451+ 4.9875z35dret576= ln.867dfe54667

Everybody should accept that.

Edited by Alex U.
Corrected the formula :-)

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On 11/17/2018 at 3:47 AM, jaapv said:

So he is banging the "light gathering" drum again. The Internet is a wonderful place for spreading disinformation... 😡

The speed of the lens is exactly the same on a crop sensor. A 2.8 lens does NOT turn miraculously into an 4.2 one; the focal length of the lens does NOT change (how could it?) The only thing that happens is that the smaller sensor crops a smaller part of the projected image, so that the final image is magnified more.

The last 5 words are what cause the confusion among FF and crop sensor discussions. The final image is NOT magnified more in the APS-c camera. It CAN be magnified more in post processing. The image circle from the lenses is identical in both cameras. The APS-c sensor sees a smaller area of it, it is therefore referred to as a cropped sensor. The mechanics of the lenses does not change when you attach them to the camera.  The only "advantage" of the crop sensor is that it has (in Leica's cameras) a higher density of pixels. In FF, you have 24 million pixels, in APS-c you have 24 million pixels. The pixels in the APS-c are about 30% smaller and you have about 30% more of them in a given area. As a result, you can enlarge the smaller image from the APS-c more than the same image if cropped from the FF.  The final APS-c image can be magnified more in post processing without showing signs of pixelization/ digitalization (or whatever term you prefer to use).

Is one better than the other? Depends on what you choose to shoot. Portraits? FF is better. Birds in flight with a long lens? Currently APS-c has the advantage because when you crop the FF image, you end up with fewer pixels. I say currently based upon the availability of native lenses. Take a couple long R lenses with teleconverters and you can get some amazingly detailed long range photos in FF. Once the SL has long native lenses, the advantage of smaller pixels with more dense pixel count of the APS-c will be replaced by the better performance of the larger pixels used in FF.

If you compare a 24M pixel APS-c to a 50M Full Frame sensor, the APS-c ends up the loser in all areas other than cost and weight of the lenses.

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21 hours ago, jaapv said:

I’m not saying that he is basically wrong, I’m saying that he is feeding the prevalent misconceptions. 

However, the main failure of his argument is that he is using DXO' invention of "perceptual megapixels", which is complete baloney, lumping unrelated measurements into a meaningless number. And he still introduces this "light gathering "nonsense. A lens produces a number of photons PER SQUARE SURFACE UNIT. Whether it projects this onto a large surface or crops it onto a smaller surface makes not one whit of difference per surface unit.

 

You adding to the confusion. The lens does not crop anything. It projects the exact same image onto FF and cropped sensor. The sensor size means that the sensor can only see a given area. Think of a projector displaying an image on a wall. The imagine a piece of paper taped on the wall in the middle of the projected image. The paper does not alter the image at all. The image projected on the wall has not changed. The paper itself is merely illuminated by a smaller portion of the image. Same happens in any cropped sensor camera. The lens projects the image on the back wall in the camera. The sensor is illuminated by the image. How much of the image is determined by the sensor size. The term cropped is used to describe these cameras because the sensor CUTS OFF/ crops part of the image.

Edited by Brian C in Az
typo

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On 11/17/2018 at 3:10 AM, EUSe said:

My own experience with M lenses on the CL is not homogenous. While I really like the Summarit-M 90 mm f/2.5 on the CL, I found that the recent Summilux-M 35 and 50 mm lack contrast and deliver poor colour, especially reds are smeared.

 

As Jaap says, the higher dynamic range of the CL makes a different postprocessing neessary, but whatever I do, I am not totally convinced by the results. You may call this a feature - a more subtle and natural rendering. This is a very personal thing, but I can make out the difference in most CL shots even on the forum. It is not about curves and contrast only. In search of the sparkle 😃!

 

I agree that some of the newer lenses are more sterile in their image. I compared the DNG files of pictures shot with my SL 24-90 and the same shot with my R 70-180 f2.8. There was a noticeable difference in colors, both in saturation and accuracy. The R lens also pulls details out of the shadows and shows them better with less noise.

I think the Summilux lenses you mentioned may be optimized and brought to market for the typical M user that prefers B&W. There are different needs and requirements of a lens that is designed primarily for B&W than for color. There is a topic in the M section comparing shots taken in B&W vs those converted later in post processing. 

Summilux-M 35 image

Edited by Brian C in Az
Added B&W image from SL topic for example

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22 minutes ago, Brian C in Az said:

You adding to the confusion. The lens does not crop anything. It projects the exact same image onto FF and cropped sensor. The sensor size means that the sensor can only see a given area. Think of a projector displaying an image on a wall. The imagine a piece of paper taped on the wall in the middle of the projected image. The paper does not alter the image at all. The image projected on the wall has not changed. The paper itself is merely illuminated by a smaller portion of the image. Same happens in any cropped sensor camera. The lens projects the image on the back wall in the camera. The sensor is illuminated by the image. How much of the image is determined by the sensor size. The term cropped is used to describe these camera because the sensor CUTS OFF/ crops part of the image.

That is obvious. The sensor crops the image thrown by the lens. Better?

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