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justbananas

How many of you would skip the CL and go straight to the M

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Posted (edited)

After a few days with a rented CL, I enjoy the camera.  

A big part of me though wonders... should I invest in the CL system or should I pass it by and head straight for the M10 and a Lens.

From owners that own both, if you could only have one, which would it be for you

Edited by justbananas

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You cannot answer this question without using a M camera enough to know if you

enjoy the experience. I have both a M7 and a M8. I have used neither since I received my CL. Using M cameras is definitely something you have to enjoy. 

I could have bought a M10 for what I have invested in TL lenses and adapters 

for the M and Nikon lenses I already had. I am very happy I went with the CL

even though I plan to occasionally use the M7 and M8. 

Dan

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Actually I skipped the M10 for the CL... Sold my M240 and kept the MM1 and M9. Couldn't be happier.

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If I'd had the money, I'd of gone straight for the SL - I'm a really big lad so the heft of the thing doesn't bother me. Saying that, having used the CL for over a year now I'm glad I didn't, it does everything I need and more 

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I've had Ms since the early '70s. Always liked them. In the film era, I always had Nikon SLRs alongside. Once the digital era arrived, I had a bevy of DSLRs and compacts, bought another film M and then an M9 when it became available. I bought the SL the day it was released (actually, two weeks before; I had the first one, locally) and loved it. The M9 went for an M-P240 when the sensor went bad, and the M-P is a far better camera IMO. I switched to the M-D 262 when it came out ... much more what I like in an M. 

A year later the M10 came out and I compared it against the M-D. Still liked the M-D more. After I retired, the SL started being left home and I carried the M-D all the time. Decided to sell the SL and its two zooms because if I'm not going to be using it, that's an awful lot of money sitting in the closet doing me no good. I bought the CL to do the niche things that are simply impractical with an M-D ... macro, long lenses, table top, etc. And great use with my R system lenses (I bought into R system because I'd always wanted a Leicaflex SL, and the lenses worked beautifully on the SL). 

The CL has since become my standard and most used (digital) camera. It does everything well and I use it with all my R and M lenses. When I shoot film these days, I'm more likely to choose a medium format camera than either the M or the R cameras, or an instant film camera. I was interested when the M10-D came out, and would buy one of them if I didn't have the CL for the use with my R lenses and the macro/tabletop work ... but I have the CL and it's better at that. The M-D hasn't gotten much use for a while, which makes me question whether it's time to unload it and pull back a lot of money, maybe buy a Q2 for that utter simplicity of one-lens, one-camera ... but the M-D is so right for my M desires I'm loathe to let go of it even if I don't use it all that often. My all-time favorite Leica M, for sure.  I'm trimming down my lens kit for it ... a couple of expensive lenses I almost never use can go. 

And the CL keeps going, keeps making most of my digital captures now. It's what I use to capture my instant film and film frames to digital too. Yeah, if I could only have one body, it would be the CL without a doubt at this point. Perfect? No, not really. Nothing ever is. But it's just right for most things that I do, and that's all that matters. :D

 

"Equipment is transitory. Photographs endure."

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I'm very curious about how M lens do in the the real world on the Cl. I'm sure the photos are great, but is the use of them fun and practical.  I believe the magnification still works with the manual M lens upon focusing yes?

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The (right) wheel controls the focus magnification. I am more than happy with the performance of my M lenses on the CL.

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Posted (edited)

I started with an M10, and added a CL after finding a mint condition used one in AMS. I travel constantly and always try to pop into the usual suspect camera stores looking for opportunities. One of our layover hotels has a Leica store in the hotel. This has had a dramatic influence both on retirement fund and my photography gear inventory. I bought the CL with the M lens adapter, and intended to shoot it with M lenses as a backup or quick change (New York reload for those who are familiar) to the M10. That lasted only for a couple of months, until I found a great deal on a TL 23mm during my travels (see Leica store in hotel).

Love both cameras. The CL is very light and versatile. I was surprised at how well it does in street photography using autofocus, even shot from waist level when necessary. First time out with the CL, I brought along a 21mm Elmarit with adapter to try side by side with the TL23mm Summicron. On the street, I can't tell the difference in sharpness, etc, but I would say that the M10 colors are slightly more appealing out of the camera. That really isn't an issue shooting RAW, or as soon as they are in Lightroom. It's just an observation that doesn't matter, should you notice. Used the latter with zone focusing and the former with autofocus. Manually focusing the M lens is a snap, and unless you are pretty open, just using the EVF without any aids works very well. The diopter in the EVF is excellent. One of the strengths of the M is that you have the four exposure controls at your fingertips at all times. The CL is almost as handy using the two control wheels on top of the camera. That was a welcome surprise. 

If I will be shooting in low light or challenging conditions (good aurora forecast over the North Atlantic, etc) then I bring the M, otherwise, the CL has been finding its way along on my trips more and more, especially with Daylight Savings Time giving us an extra hour of daylight during our 24 hour planetary revolution. ;) 

Just found and added a TL 60mm Macro, which should tell you how much I enjoy the CL. It's handy, cheaper, and easier to deal with financially if that is a consideration (it's always a consideration). 

If I could only have one, it would be the M10 for the RF experience and ability to cover low light situations, but the CL offers easier use and wide flexibility with more bang for the buck, all things considered. You could grab a CL and use it with M lenses that you add over time, and pick up either a used M10 or new M11 when the time comes. 

Edited by Foxtwo

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You do want the original one. The third-party ones are limited in function.

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2 minutes ago, jaapv said:

You do want the original one. The third-party ones are limited in function.

👍

 

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1 hour ago, jaapv said:

The (right) wheel controls the focus magnification. I am more than happy with the performance of my M lenses on the CL.

I am of the same idea i own both CL and M (digital and film) and decided to use only M lenses on CL. Never been so happy. I use M10 only when i need wideangle picture or extreme conditions where i need strong hardware. All other situation CL cover 1000000% of the attitude.

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Posted (edited)

You were wise to rent the CL to get a better sense of whether it fits your needs and preferences.  If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you rent or demo an M to see if you bond with it and the rangefinder experience; some do, some don’t.  I don’t see a natural progression from CL to M, or vice versa.  They are different tools, which potentially serve different needs and styles.  

I’ve used Ms since the 80’s, always using the RF, and never for focal lengths beyond 28 to 90 (and frankly mostly 35-50).  I’ve had complementary film systems to serve other purposes.  I’ve been seeking a digital complement for awhile now, but still have not bonded with the EVF experience, even with the SL, which I like in many other ways, and prefer over the CL (sensor size, weather sealing, etc), except for size and weight of the lenses.  Can’t have it all...

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

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As dfdan said, if you haven't used a rangefinder extensively before, you need to rent one and use it a lot, before deciding. It's not even apples and oranges. It's apples and lettuce, or something.

Of the digital cameras Leica currently produces, to my taste nothing beats--because no digital kit still references a film aesthetic so well as--the M10 with the Summicron 35 or 50. One of those lenses is in my future, to be paired with the CL (along with everything else).

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, justbananas said:

I'm very curious about how M lens do in the the real world on the Cl. I'm sure the photos are great, but is the use of them fun and practical.  I believe the magnification still works with the manual M lens upon focusing yes?

M lenses work fine on a CL. Focus magnification is a useful aid, but isn't really necessary most of the time. Focus magnification is easiest to use with the M Adapter L mount adapter rather than third party adapters because it is automatically mapped to the right hand wheel. '

For non-Leica mount adapters, you need to use the arrow buttons to turn on focus magnification, which proves a little clumsy IMO. 

Personally, however, I prefer using R lenses on the CL over most M lenses. They are more consistent in size, shape, and have controls that are more ergonomically designed for a TTL camera. 

Edited by ramarren

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While I love the idea of owning an M10 or a used previous body, the truth is the CL is a delight to use, costs less, is smaller.. but one day, I will venture into the land of M cameras...

To me, the "rangefinder experience" sounds awesome.  I would love to experience that.

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53 minutes ago, justbananas said:

While I love the idea of owning an M10 or a used previous body, the truth is the CL is a delight to use, costs less, is smaller.. but one day, I will venture into the land of M cameras...

To me, the "rangefinder experience" sounds awesome.  I would love to experience that.

Right. If your eyes are young enough, it is certainly not an either/or. If you decide to get an M or R mount lens to go with your TL lenses for the CL, it would be easy to pick up a used digital M some day. In 5 years, a nicely maintained M10 will cost ~$4000 or less.

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1 hour ago, ramarren said:

Personally, however, I prefer using R lenses on the CL over most M lenses. They are more consistent in size, shape, and have controls that are more ergonomically designed for a TTL camera. 

An interesting observation: thanks! What R lenses have you used on the CL? 

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I am another happy CL user. I use M lenses only from 24 to 90mm because I still had them from my analog days (I only added the 24mm lens recently to get the equivalent of a 35mm lens again). They are a joy to use with the CL. And there is no hassle with focus shift, rangefinder calibration etc. For these reasons alone, I will never buy a rangefinder-based digital camera. Also, I really like the small size of the CL, a perfect fit for my modestly-sized M lenses from the late 90s.

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15 hours ago, justbananas said:

I'm very curious about how M lens do in the the real world on the Cl. I'm sure the photos are great, but is the use of them fun and practical.  I believe the magnification still works with the manual M lens upon focusing yes?

Yes but in a manual way only. On digital M cameras, focus magnification is triggered by the focus cam of the lenses but this cam is useless on the digital CL so you'll have to turn a top dial or press an arrow button to trigger focus magnification depending upon the chosen adapter. Reason why the CL is slower to focus than M cameras if you need focus magnification. Now M as well as LTM lenses work very well on the CL provided they don't protrude too far into the body. I use them exclusively on the CL because autofocus is not my cup of tea and my R lenses feel too bulky on this compact body but to answer your opening question, rangefinders and mirrorless cameras are different beasts actually, let alone if they have different formats. Comparing them is like apples to oranges, just a matter of tastes if you ask me.

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