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DAVIDMC100

Manual focus on CL with M mount lenses

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I'm ready to buy a CL to use with my 35, 50 and 90mm Summicron lenses. How tough is it to manual focus on a CL? I did it all the time on my M6 but it has rangefinder, so the CL has focus aids, correct?

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David, Welcome to the forum.

Ideally, you should try the combination at a Leica dealer. However that is not always convenient. I bought mine on the basis of user reviews and have been astonished by the ease of use, particularly with the medium and longer focal lengths (50mm, 75mm, 90mm and 135mm). In particular, I like to use the options available under Menu item Focusing>'Focus Assist'  - especially Focus Peaking. The results are startlingly good. You should have no trouble whatsoever.

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The CL has two different focus aids, focus peaking and image magnification. Focus peaking is more or less effective depending upon contrast, aperture and focal length of the lenses. Better way to nail focus is to trigger image magnification by rotating one of the top dials (aka "wheels") of the camera. Works with any M and converted LTM lens, 6-bit coded or not, provided one uses a Leica M - Adapter L or Leica M - Adapter T.

Edited by lct

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Hi David, all the above works. What I do also:

Set camera to DNG only, but set JPEG settings to B&W. This way you'll see a monochrome image but the red peaking lines will always be visible, how minor they would be, specially in very low contrast.

The files will still be in color, but nailing focus with peaking set to red makes it a lot easier. Try focus peaking  on a colorful subject and you know what I mean.

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i only use focus magnification with fast or long lenses wide open. Normally the viewfinder is good enough to nail focus, and a spot of focus peaking can be useful - if you are aware of the limitations.

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Given that the new CL is about the same size as the old CL, it would be a nice bit of irony to use the old 40/2 C and 90/4 C lenses on it, wouldn't it? I will just say though that when I couldn't afford the M9 I briefly used the Nex-7 with my Leica lenses in just that way and it worked, but the downside was that it was slower than the rangefinder because peaking required several forward and back focusing before I was satisfied I had the best focus I could get. In other words it slowed me down some. It worked though.

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+1. The digital CL is a bit bulkier (131 x 78 x 45mm, 403g w. battery) than its film ancestor (121 x 76 x 32mm, 365g) and the 40/2 and 90/4 C lenses have their focal lengths cropped to 60mm and 135mm on it. Both work  fine on the new body though. 

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Have a look in the image thread. A great - and compact- combination. :)

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The focusing aids, both peaking and magnification, are nice and useful when needed, but with most lenses longer than 35 to 50 mm or so, I don't find I need them very much. 

I don't have any native lenses for the CL, and don't have any problem focusing my M and R lenses. Like sigh anything else, it takes a little time and effort how to use the viewfinder system to best effect, but once you're there it's hard to remember that you might have struggled at one point or another.

 

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I find focusing M lenses on the CL to be amazing. It is not quite like the SL, but very close. Focus peaking is vastly better than on the M series in live view. 

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it seems easier to use the CL with M lenses as long as the focus assist features are utilized. a tip that if found somewhere in this forum - was to use white color for the focus peaking. it defies logic - but it actually works!

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