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jamesthurley

Thinking of downsizing from an SL to a CL. Anyone else done this?

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29 minutes ago, CharlesL said:

I showed how Fuji colors and Leica colors can be interchanged by taking a grand landscape, processing it quickly, and putting before and after up side by side with a challenge to guess which was the original. Unfortunately, I violated copyright by using a photo on Flickr that was tagged with copyright. jaapv removed my post as is correct, so all I can do is assert that the interchange can be done.

I did see the two images (you can link to them if you like) and they are like chalk and cheese, especially the greens.

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I used to own the SL with the med Zoom. With it it’s too heavy to work as a travel camera. I played with my S lenses on the SL and the camera ruined the AF in  my new S100mm. The SL was very nice with the m lenses, but I like to use then on my M9 with the rangefinder. But it was some time ago, when there was no Summicrons  

I bought two TL lenses supercheep secondhand in December and a week ago also bought a new CL camera. Learning it now.  Feel relieved. 

 

Yevgeny 

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Morning everyone, I'm off to try some cameras today so thought I'd briefly revive this thread.  The discussion about Fuji was interesting and made me take a proper look at the entire APS-C camera market, which I've basically ignored it since moving to full frame over a decade ago.  I hadn't realised how out of the loop I was with what Fuji have been doing there.  Also Sony announced the a6400 with which includes their impressive new "real-time eye AF" system, which prompted me to take a closer look at their offerings.  There are some interesting videos here and here about that (after all, it doesn't matter how fantastic the quality of your camera system is if you've missed focus).

I didn't think I'd be interested in the Sony, but actually their APS-C cameras seem respected and the lenses have some very interesting options (along with plenty of mediocre ones).  On the other hand I was blown away by the range and apparent quality of the Fuji APS-C lenses (and that 56mm f/1.2 looks lovely).

About the Fuji colours, I came across this video which I thought was fascinating. On the other hand, I totally respect the experiences of the people on this forum, so I need to try editing some Fuji RAW files for myself.

Anyway, the upshot of all that is that I'm off to London today to try the CL, and hopefully the Fuji X-Pro2 or X-T3, and the Sony a6500 or a6400.  I'll have my SL with me to take reference photos to compare.  My plan is to asses how I like the cameras, how I like their equivalent to the SL 24-90mm travel lens, and to hopefully collect some raw files to let me do more detailed comparisons when I get home.  I'll report back if I manage to achieve all that.

Finally, I don't know if I'm allowed to say this (let me know if I'm not and I'll remove it), but I put my 35 summilux-m and 50 summilux-m lenses on ebay last weekend. They are ending tomorrow evening, and have no bids yet 😔. So if you know anyone who might be interested, please point them in my direction. I need the funds to finance my move to APS-C ☺️

Edited by jamesthurley
Typo

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Summary (um, short essay) of my trip if anyone is interested:

Leica

First stop was Richard Caplan on Pall Mall, where I tried the CL with the 18-55. My first impression of the CL was how small and light it was, more than I was expecting. It wasn't immediately obvious how to switch it to manual mode, but I think that's to be expected on a camera where most of the buttons are unlabelled and customisable.. it's not immediately obvious on the SL either. Apart from that it felt very familiar, to the point where using it was almost a non-event. It was like using a tiny Leica.

After I left, I realised I hadn't checked if it was saving the photos as JPEG or RAW to my SD card (it was RAW thankfully), so I decided to pop over to the Leica Mayfair store for a second round. This time I used it with the 23mm prime, and it had the hot shoe mounted thumb rest attached. I was surprised to find that the thumb rest was a bit in the way when accessing the left hand wheel, which didn't seem very Leica in design. It still all felt very familiar to shoot with though. I liked it.

Fuji

Next (after a lunch stop at Burger and Lobster in Mayfair, which is amazing!) I headed to Oxford Street. The closest camera shop was a Jessops so I popped in there. They had the Fuji X-Pro2, X-H1 and X-T3 all sitting in a row.  I'll get this out of the way: I'm not an immediate fan of the look of the Fuji hardware. They look better in photos than in reality. Dials on top of dials, dials inside other dials, buttons to lock and unlock the dials. It's cluttered compared to what I'm used to. The cameras and lenses are apparently metal, but finished in a way that makes them look a lot like plastic, which I don't like. I get it, it's a tool, the appearance doesn't matter, but it's hardly an inspiring look. Anyway...

I thought the X-Pro2 was the one I would prefer, so I picked that one up first. The first thing that struck me was how light it was. I expected a bit more weight like an M camera given it's size (it's bigger than the CL). However, I want a lightweight camera so I can hardly hold that against it. I was surprised that one of only two big dedicated dials on top was for exposure compensation.  As a manual shooter, that seemed like a shame.. a nice big prominent dial that I wouldn't use. The hybrid viewfinder is very interesting, and would be great in an M camera.  Other than that, it seemed fine, but I didn't like it as much as I expected.

Next I grabbed the X-T3 which had the 18-55mm lens attached. The X-T3 is larger than the X-Pro2, but to my surprise I preferred it. The layout seemed more logical. It has more dials, and while it does look cluttered I did enjoy being able to see so many different settings at a glance, without turning it on.  It still has a dedicated exposure compensation dial, sadly.  I took a few photos with it, and came away quite liking it. If only it wasn't quite as large.

Then I picked up the X-H1. What a difference a proper grip makes! That camera sat in my hand beautifully, and the grip gave me confidence. To hold, it was by far my favourite. And they removed the exposure compensation dial, and replaced it with a useful screen. Fantastic! However, I didn't spend much more time with it, because I wanted a small camera and I was now holding an APS-C camera that is physically larger than the full frame Sony A7R III, so I felt I was being led astray from my mission.

Sony

Next I popped over to the Sony stand and grabbed the a6500.  It has a really chunky grip, which made it a pleasure to hold (not as big as the X-H1, but much bigger than the X-T3). The camera is tiny, but still feels good and chunky to hold because of that grip.

It didn't have a lens on, so I grabbed an assistant to put one on.  He disappeared and came back empty handed, so I suggested he take one off the other sony camera on the stand.  Unfortunately everything is tied down in Jessops, including the lens which was attaced by a short cable to the camera it was on, so I ended up holding the a6500 while the assistant held the other camera a few inches away so the lens could be mounted. And the lens was awful. It had this power zoom thing, which meant as you twisted the barrel to zoom the lens lagged behind. Spoiler, the photos from it were bad too. I also couldn't figure out the camera controls properly. It seemed to have only the one custom dial, so in manual mode I couldn't work out how to change both aperture and shutter speed, and the stupid lens setup and busy store made me not want to stick around to find out. I left feeling very disappointed with the Sony. 

However, all is not lost, as I went a bit further to Park Cameras, with is a much better store. I advise anyone to go straight there next time and skip Jessops.  This time I got to handle the Sony with the Zeiss 18-70 f/4, which infinitely better than the power zoom one.  I realised that the direction pad on the back of the a6500 also rotates, giving a second cusomisable dial, so I could now control both aperture and shutter speed with dials. I took some more photos with it, and this time I actually liked it, and I think that once it's customised to your liking it's a very usable camera considering how tiny it is.  One thing I didn't like is that when you use the dials to change aperture/shutter speed the display animates the change, making it feel like the camera is lagging behind the dial (just like that power zoom!).  Minor I guess, but a strange UI decision, and makes it feel unprofessional.

Photos

I took photos with the CL, the X-T3 and the a6500, each with a decent travel zoom lens, and tried to take the same photos with my SL with the 24-90mm.  I'll discount the a6500 shots in Jessops as they were with the cheap travel zoom, and it really shows in the final photos. However that is a bit annoying as it means the photos from each APS-C camera are each in different stores, and so I'm totally reliant on the SL as a reference.  I don't want to infer too much from the photos as I don't think I did a good job generally.

What I can say is I don't see any one APS-C camera being significantly better or worse than the others.  Initially I thought all the APS-C cameras had noticeably more noise than the SL, but then realised that the only the SL photos were getting any luminance noise reduction applied in Lightroom by default. Once I corrected that, the CL really was remarkably close to the SL. In colours as well it is extremely close.  The Fuji and Sony seemed to have slightly worse noise, which was the opposite of what I expected, but it wasn't very significant and I would want to re-do the photos more carefully to be sure.

The SL seemed to render greens and reds more vibrantly than the X-T3 and a6500, but annoyingly I would need to re-visit the locations to see which is more accurate to my eye.  But I found it interesting that there was such a big difference there on the freshly imported RAW files. I admit I adjusted the greens in my SL photos too look more like the Sony and X-T3, not vice versa, slightly darkening and desaturating, and moving the green hue slider slightly away from yellow, which is something I've sometimes done with my SL when taking photos outdoors too. So that does make me think.

Also, there was also a surprising amount of chromatic aberration on the CL lens at 18mm, but clicking the "Remove Chromatic Aberration" checkbox in Lightroom got rid of it.

Conclusion

I have no idea. 

The CL looks great (physically, and in the resulting photos), the build quality seems typically solid for Leica.  But I feel like I have a bit of Leica price fatigue at the moment and I don't know if I can justify it. The lack of either IBIS or lens stabilisation in combination with the 18-55 being a stop slower than the equivalent SL lens puts me off given the price. I think for build quality, familiarity, and being a minimalist pleasure to use it wins.

I think the Fuji would grow on me, and from what I've seen the lenses are excellent (and most are stabilised) and the selection is fantastic. The bodies are bigger than I would like, but the lenses are still small, so maybe I can live with it.  I think as a complete APS-C system it wins, and there is a strong argument that that is the most important thing.

The Sony is great to hold with the large grip, while still being a really tiny camera.  Sony really seem to have a knack for cramming the latest technology into tiny cameras. The build quality seems good.  It has two customisable wheels, same as the CL.  It has IBIS in addition to some of the lenses being stabilised. The lenses are a question mark, but I think it has enough decent lenses to compete with the CL, if not with the Fuji. Sony are rumoured to be re-focusing on APS-C after a long time focusing on FF, with new lenses and a replacement to the a6500 coming very soon. It's tempting to wait a few months to see.

Edited by jamesthurley
Typos

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The Leica SL is for the UTMOST IQ, and with the futures SL Summicron-APO, it will be a different camera in use.

The pictures from the Leica CL are great, but - excluding using it with the TL 35 f/1.4 - IT IS NOT at the same level as the SL & Q!

Edited by Lins-Barroso

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Actually, providing you use a Super-Elmar 18, it beats the Q on all aspects except lens speed, due to newer sensor technology. But in any case the IQ differences between these three cameras are minor, negligible in daily use. The SL only wins out on the spectacular lenses -which are too large to make sense on the CL. Although... that 55-135 APO gives any lens in its range a benchmark.

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Yes, the differences are because of the SL Lenses and not between the cameras.

And they are big & heavy until we have an SL-Summicron-APO,... then it will be a new history.

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Another thread infected by Fujifilm posts! 😂😂

The original topic was about downsizing from SL to CL.

i bought an XT1 and later an  XT2 used with lenses because I like the idea of the traditional analog dial controls a lot. I almost never used either because I would rather use the Leica equipment I have. I did not use them enough to say if I thought the colour worked OK. I use LR. I actually felt the bodies were a bit small and felt very light and not as well constructed. You would think I would not repeat the same buying mistake. They were relatively cheap to try used of course and I sold them back.

As far as the different sensor technology, I didn’t make any comparisons and I think the factors involved are far too complex to say one systems results are superior to the other. Skin tones are by far the most important in my photography

The CL for me is much better to handle and use than the XT cameras. I have the thumb adapter and grip. My SL has been faultless since new. I hope that the SL2 is a more comfortable body shape for handling for extended shooting times. 1000 frames in when using vertically on a tripod meant a cramped and irritated hand. there are no L brackets I know of that work with the battery grip. Hand held with the 24-90 I find it tiring for a long session too. Trying the CL instead was a revelation in that regard. My impression at high ISO are that it seems better than the SL there. That is only anecdotal. Very different experience using SL and 24-90 against the CL with 23

Edited by hoppyman

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I wonder why, concerning high ISO, we can read that the SL is 2 stops better up to the CL is above the SL.

Is this such a subjective question or should it be possible to pass over just facts?

Edited by Alex U.

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2 hours ago, Alex U. said:

I wonder why, concerning high ISO, we can read that the SL is 2 stops better up to the CL is above the SL.

Is this such a subjective question or should it be possible to pass over just facts?

I admit that my subjective experience is that the CL is fairly close to the SL at high ISO. I'm not surprised by this because the CL is a more recent sensor by a couple of years.

I'm all in favour of facts, but I have neither the time nor inclination to spend a lot of time testing.

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8 hours ago, Alex U. said:

I wonder why, concerning high ISO, we can read that the SL is 2 stops better up to the CL is above the SL.

Is this such a subjective question or should it be possible to pass over just facts?

If you are referring to my comment , what I said was

 

14 hours ago, hoppyman said:

. My impression at high ISO are that it seems better than the SL there. That is only anecdotal. Very different experience using SL and 24-90 against the CL with 23

So just my anecdotal impression.  Perhaps a controlled test may show something different 

Edited by hoppyman

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I have both cameras. I use the SL round the house or on most of the very few commercial jobs I do nowadays and I take the SL on the overseas classic car rallies I do, due to its dust sealing. I will be taking it with me this autumn for a rally in Vietnam and China. For all other travelling, like India in March this year, I now carry the CL, as I can carry both the standard and wide zoom lenses for less weight than just the 24-90 (a wonderful lens) with the SL body. Given that I usually have a film camera with me as well (M7 or now an R9), the SL added just too much weight for travel. When I have written articles for airline magazines, the editors have looked at the 6K x 4K pixel size but not whether the sensor was FF or APS-C. The 18-55 is not as good as the 24-90, maybe because it lacks OIS. The 11-23 is excellent, where the absence of OIS is less of an issue. Apart from the convenience of size, IMHO, the 11-23 at 18mm is better than the 18TL pancake that I have. 

Wilson

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