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TheEyesHaveIt

Sony user contemplating CL

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Hi all,

I currently have an A7RII with a couple of Loxias and a couple of Sony lenses. It is a fantastic camera and I really see no reason to upgrade to an A7RIII or something.

However, I used to own a Leica Q and honestly, that was the most enjoyable shooting experience I’ve had. Also, the files out of that were perfect to me - didn’t even need post-processing. I did however feel limited on a few occasions with just the 28mm lens and felt the price was quite high for a fixed lens camera.

The CL is appealing because it is interchangeable and thus the lenses will outlive the camera body. It is compact (the A7RII with even a Loxia 35 is pretty heavy - with my 24-105, it isn’t a grab and go camera). And it seems to have Leica’s refined shooting experience and output (though I haven’t tried one yet). I think something like a 18-23-50 kit would be relatively small and push me in a new direction of photography, which I want (not trying to replace my Sony which is handy for technically-focused shooting like standard landscapes).

Anybody own a CL as a companion to their Sony kit? What’s the best place to get one second-hand?

Cheers!

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As someone who moved from (a) Sony (7II) to Leica (CL) I might be able to shed some light on what may lie ahead, should you complement (or replace) your current A7RII. And in true Internet fashion, I"ve put together a list!

Things I didn't enjoy about the Sony:

  • The weight. I left my Nikon D610 and Sigma lenses behind seeking a kit that would not cause my herniated disc to act up. And while the cameras in the A7 lineup are quite light, the lenses are not. Which brings me to my second point...
  • The ergonomics. While my D610 kit was big and heavy, I felt no pain in my hands because it is a balanced system. In the Sony world, however, small camera + big lens = an imbalanced system where all but the pancake lenses cause serious nose-dive.
  • The interface. My job is that of an interface designer. I've been doing this for over a decade. So it's not just a layman's opinion when I say it's one of - if not the most - clumsiest, unintuitive and sometimes infuriating user interfaces I've seen in a digital camera.
  • The colours. There's nothing inherently bad about Sony's colour science (as the kids call it these days) but it was always a struggle to get the colours (subjectively) right, in post.

Having made the move to the CL last year, here's a list of things I enjoy about this little black box of imaging goodness:

  • The weight. It basically weighs nothing. The heaviest TL lens (APO-Vario-Elmar-T 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH) is only 500g - and I'm including the upcoming APS-C Sigma trio in the count.
  • The ergonomics. With none of the (TL) system's lenses being too heavy or too large, the whole thing feels very nicely balanced - no doubt by design. No wrist pain, no fatigue, just a nice, comfortable experience. And to drive that point further home, I slapped my Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 on the CL via the Novoflex M42 > L adapter and it still doesn't feel odd.
  • The interface. At face value, the CL's label-less dials and mode-dependant dial function sounds confusing. In practice, I found it to be instantly intuitive. This was one of the few occasions where I not only didn't need the manual, but I didn't even want to read it. It literally took me 5 minutes in the store with it to decide to purchasing it.
  • The colours. It's a Leica, through and through. You could stick the bottom of a jar in front of the CL instead of a lens and it'd still output beautiful colours. Subjective, I know. Your mileage may vary and other such cliches.

The only two things I miss about the Sony is the IBIS and being able to do long exposures over 30s.

Both of these I could get via the new pair of Panasonic S cameras or possibly the upcoming Sigma Foveon camera.

Hope this helps!

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Thank you! That was helpful. I remember the Q also had a max shutter time of 30sec when I had it (not sure if they increased that) - wish Leica wouldn’t put that artificial constraint on things. However, this is where my Sony will be handy - while the CL will be used when I’m not doing super long exposure photography.

Does the lack of IBIS bother you with the extended ISO range? I have a small tripod when I need things absolutely still.

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I'm generally not fussed about noise creeping up; which means I sometimes find myself pushing the little CL in the 6400 ISO.

The lack of IBIS doesn't really bother me in terms of noise as much as stabilising what I see through the viewfinder when using long lenses.

And much like yourself, I too run with a small tripod for when shake must be avoided.

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I use a Kolari mod A7s and a digital CL with Leica M lenses mostly. Different beasts. The Sony is my best FF mirrorless and the CL my best APS mirrorless as well. I use both the same way basically but 3200 iso is the limit for me on the CL so 6400 & 12800 iso are for the Sony only. 

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37 minutes ago, lct said:

I use a Kolari mod A7s and a digital CL with Leica M lenses mostly. Different beasts. The Sony is my best FF mirrorless and the CL my best APS mirrorless as well. I use both the same way basically but 3200 iso is the limit for me on the CL so 6400 & 12800 iso are for the Sony only. 

What do you use each for in terms of photography situations / intentions?

Anybody know a good place to pick up a used CL?

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16 minutes ago, TheEyesHaveIt said:

What do you use each for in terms of photography situations / intentions?

A7s mod for low light, fast lenses, macro and proxy photos. CL for compactness and short telephotos. None for longer than 135mm lenses.

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7 hours ago, TheEyesHaveIt said:

What do you use each for in terms of photography situations / intentions?

Anybody know a good place to pick up a used CL?

I believe Leica Store Miami have one at the moment.    https://leicastoremiami.com/collections/new-arrivals

No affiliation other than a very satisfied customer.  I walked into their store last December with no clue what I was looking for and after an hour they'd set me straight on the CL and 35 f1.4 lens.  They could easily have sold me an M and a couple expensive lens but after discussing my general needs they sold me what I was looking for but didn't know it.

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I was also going to mention Leica Miami and if you are contacting them, call and talk to Josh. He has always taken great care of my needs.

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1 hour ago, Ricard0 said:

I believe Leica Store Miami have one at the moment.    https://leicastoremiami.com/collections/new-arrivals

No affiliation other than a very satisfied customer.  I walked into their store last December with no clue what I was looking for and after an hour they'd set me straight on the CL and 35 f1.4 lens.  They could easily have sold me an M and a couple expensive lens but after discussing my general needs they sold me what I was looking for but didn't know it.

 

1 hour ago, Bill W said:

I was also going to mention Leica Miami and if you are contacting them, call and talk to Josh. He has always taken great care of my needs.

+1 Josh sold me my used CL last week. Great people; great service, even though I'm also loyal to the Boston store.

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Josh sold me my CL too, but new. Someone should start a thread focused on the greatness of Josh!

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I have a A7RIII with the 4 bests lenses possible and a  CL with only the 23 Summicron TL and will certainly buy the 35 summilux TL
I never take the Sony with me when I have not to work, I have no fun in using it, I am not sure to keep my A7 very long if Leica release a SL2

The small Leica CL iOS app  is easier to use than Sony PlayMemories (what a stupid name !)

Edited by cirke

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On 2/19/2019 at 6:41 PM, raadoo said:

The only two things I miss about the Sony is the IBIS and being able to do long exposures over 30s.

I am missing Image Stabilization too ... it will come with CL 2 I hope

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