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justbananas

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

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It really is a personal preference. I've used M's for >30yrs and for most settings prefer using the M10. My wife comes from a SLR background and much prefers the CL. As for M vs TL lenses on a CL, I started with the CL body only. While M lenses work fine optically on the CL, in actual use, the CL use experience is better with TL lenses.

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Posted (edited)

Why I let go my M10 for the CL :

- Weird colour (too saturated)

- Focus limit to 70cm 

- Same IQ between CL and M10, so why bother. 

- Too heavy at 660g. That’s almost 80g heavier than M9 or M7.

- stupid huge plastic not fantastic Visoflex 

- my wife never like the rangefinder. But she is able to easily manual focus the CL, with focus peaking and no magnification. She loves it.

- you can teach focus peaking to anybody in 10 seconds time. But you need at least an hour for rangefinder. 

So guess what ? M10 is let go for the CL  

 

By the way : best M cameras IMHO are

- Digital = M Monochrom (original)

- Film = M6 + SF20 flash  (yes feel free to use flash with film, it is way more beautiful than digital high ISO) 

 

 

 

Edited by nicci78

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Once you lose the wife, you're done! ;)

Interesting assessment. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 3:42 PM, bags27 said:

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

Super-Elmar-R 15mm f/3.5, Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8 v1, Elmarit-R 28mm f/2.8 v1, Summilux-R 50mm f/1.4, Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm f/2.8, Summicron-R 90mm f/2, Macro-Elmar-R 100mm f/4 with Focusing Bellows-R, Elmarit-R 135mm f/2.8, and Elmar-R 180mm f/4 (with and without 2x Extender-R). Essentially, my entire R lens kit. :D

I've used my entire M lens kit on the CL as well (WATE, Color-Skopar 28/3.5, Summilux 35/1.4 v2, Pentax-L 43/1.9 Limited, Summicron-M 50/2, Summarit-M 75/2.4, M-Rokkor 90/4, Hektor 135/4.5). They all image very nicely, but the only one of them I use with any frequency is the Pentax-L 43/1.9 Limited. That lens is just about a perfect match to the CL for all around shooting, for me, with only one disadvantage—it only focuses down to 1m distance. I find a surprising amount of picture opportunities where I'm hitting the close focus limits with only .7 to 1m focusing limits, which is part of the reason why R lenses work better for me in general. 

The WATE vs the Super-Elmar-R 15mm (SER15) is an interesting comparison. The WATE is much smaller and more compact, it focuses down to about 51cm, has an interesting zoom range (it's a "true zoom"), and is sharper at edges and corners on FF than the SER15. However, the latter issue is gone on APS-C format, the SER15 focuses more crisply even wide open, the SER15 focusing ring and aperture ring are handier and easier to work, it focuses even closer (down to about .16m, a 65mm object fills 80% of the long axis in the CL viewfinder) and I just prefer the SER15's rendering qualities—despite that it's twice the size and weight, I find myself always picking the SER15 over the WATE for the CL when I want a wide-angle lens.

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On 4/5/2019 at 3:41 PM, bags27 said:

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.

I'm not sure what you're saying (bolded). My eyes are 65 years old: I can see more than well enough to focus either comfortably, quickly, and critically. And I've never had the greatest eyesight, been wearing glasses since I was in third grade of grammar school. ??

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I recently demo’d an M for a weekend and took it out side by side with the CL along with some Leica M and TL lenses. The CL is much faster to operate and to capture the moment - for me anyway - with it’s fast start up and AF lenses. 

The CL’s EVF is also big and bright.  There are good - and bad points about having frame lines with the M. It’s tough to see facial expressions when the image is contained to be within only a small part of the M’s otherwise excellent RF viewfinder when you’re using a 50 or longer lens.

I keep my left eye open to look outside the frame on the CL - it serves the same effect as the M’s frame lines for me.

Using manual glass on the CL is a delight too, especially with focus peaking and magnification. Although the focus collar travels more on TL lenses and doesn’t have “fixed stops” at the minimum focus end and at infinity.  This can sometimes make MF slower on the CL - but I rely on AF when I need speed.

At the end of the day for me, I’m now content to invest in the TL AF zooms and primes rather than Leica M glass, for the zooms’ wide and long reach and great IQ and AF, although the R lenses are a great value and are great performers.  I have a few of those on my personal lens road map.

I’m also thoroughly satisfied with Leica’s APS-C IQ and don’t have enough Gear-Acquisition-Syndrome any more to yearn to upgrade to full frame.  Rather, the APS crop factor serves as an advantage to keep the lenses small and the tele reach farther, while providing high IQ. Leica upped their game with lens resolution on the TL lenses to compensate for the smaller sensor.   Computer correction has also helped here and keeps the costs more reasonable.   

This all combines to make the CL a more versatile system camera for me than an M.  I’m not knocking it- but think the M definitely limits you with tele reach (important for shooting kids on a stage).   It also makes the CL system a relative bargain in Leica land.  

Do you live close to a Leica dealer or boutique? You can test drive all of this there if it’s convent to get to.

I hope this is helpful.

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Posted (edited)

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On 4/6/2019 at 4:43 AM, justbananas said:

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

Two quite different systems:

  • AF - the CL & TL2 are principally autofocus, whereas the M cameras are not (I know you know this)
  • Focal range - the M system is best in the 28mm - 90mm range.  You can use the EVF and go wider and longer, but it is not where the camera shines.  The CL goes natively wider and longer.
  • APS-C v Full Frame - again, a statement of the bleeding obvious, but it makes a difference.  If your lenses are all full frame, you suddenly find everything is longer on APS-C format by a factor of 1.5 compared to what you're used to
  • Price - the TL lenses are a lot cheaper and lighter (and the CL is also lighter than the M10)
  • EVF v Rangefinder - fundamental differences between the two, but you get used to either.

They are very different systems.  I have a TL2 (the 11-23 zoom and 35 Summilux-TL) which I use as a compact choice and 3 M cameras (film, monochrome and M10-D with a clutch of M lenses of varying focal lengths and speeds), and they serve different purposes for me.  If I were to chose one, it would be an M camera, with two or maybe three lenses (28 Summilux & 50 Summilux, with a 21 SEM as a third lens) - I love the direct control and simplicity of the M system, but it's not for everyone.

If it was one lens, probably the latest 35 Summicron-M ASPH - I'm not a 35mm shooter by preference, which is why I would go for a 50-28 combo; but a 35mm can be paired with a 75mm lens at a later date, and a 21mm subsequently if you wish to go wider.

Edited by IkarusJohn

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I gave up my M8.2 for the CL. I also have the Q. I never thought I would fall in love with a camera as much as I’ve fallen in love with the CL. I use it all the time now. I barely even pick up the Q.

Yes, I would love to have an M back in my life, but when that happens, it will be to augment my CL, not the other way around. The M is special, and beautiful in its own way and the lenses are unsurpassed.

But for me, the total package offered by the CL is pure joy. I have every lens except the 11-23 and 55-135. Those will come eventually. 

The combination of light weight, gorgeous EVF, the fact that I can see the whole frame with glasses on, and the superb image quality make the CL a great family and travel camera.

Image quality equals my Q and exceeds my M8.2 (when I use the 35mm 1.4 or 60mm 2.8). 

The colors are pure Leica. Beautiful straight out of camera. I use Lightroom CC and it handles the DNG files very nicely.

Oh and the CL costs less to purchase and less to own - because of potential rangefinder maintenance on the M.

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I think at the end of the day, the call to at least try out an M is too great.

I rented a CL for a week, and it was a pleasure in a lot of ways... but if I don't at least spend some time with an M, I'll always be wondering.....

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On 4/5/2019 at 4:01 PM, Jeff S said:

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.  

 

To repeat this.

Jeff

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On 4/8/2019 at 6:17 PM, DGP said:

I recently demo’d an M for a weekend and took it out side by side with the CL along with some Leica M and TL lenses. The CL is much faster to operate and to capture the moment - for me anyway - with it’s fast start up and AF lenses. 

The CL’s EVF is also big and bright.  There are good - and bad points about having frame lines with the M. It’s tough to see facial expressions when the image is contained to be within only a small part of the M’s otherwise excellent RF viewfinder when you’re using a 50 or longer lens.

I keep my left eye open to look outside the frame on the CL - it serves the same effect as the M’s frame lines for me.

Using manual glass on the CL is a delight too, especially with focus peaking and magnification. Although the focus collar travels more on TL lenses and doesn’t have “fixed stops” at the minimum focus end and at infinity.  This can sometimes make MF slower on the CL - but I rely on AF when I need speed.

At the end of the day for me, I’m now content to invest in the TL AF zooms and primes rather than Leica M glass, for the zooms’ wide and long reach and great IQ and AF, although the R lenses are a great value and are great performers.  I have a few of those on my personal lens road map.

I’m also thoroughly satisfied with Leica’s APS-C IQ and don’t have enough Gear-Acquisition-Syndrome any more to yearn to upgrade to full frame.  Rather, the APS crop factor serves as an advantage to keep the lenses small and the tele reach farther, while providing high IQ. Leica upped their game with lens resolution on the TL lenses to compensate for the smaller sensor.   Computer correction has also helped here and keeps the costs more reasonable.   

This all combines to make the CL a more versatile system camera for me than an M.  I’m not knocking it- but think the M definitely limits you with tele reach (important for shooting kids on a stage).   It also makes the CL system a relative bargain in Leica land.  

Do you live close to a Leica dealer or boutique? You can test drive all of this there if it’s convent to get to.

I hope this is helpful.

What the man or woman said. I could have written it exactly, but not as well!

I've owned M cameras since around 1980, but sold my M240 last autumn - after owning the CL since launch, the M just wasn't getting used. If I want a bigger sensor and faster AF I use the SL with its native zooms, but for day to day use - family, leisure and travel - the CL does it all.

There's a bit of mystique about full frame cameras - even the name implies that it is the ne plus ultra (real men use full frame). Remember that when Oskar Barnack launched the first Leica it was a "miniature camera"; the 'full frame' of the day was what we now call 120 roll film. I am sure the same derogatory remarks were made about that Leica and 35 mm film as are now made about APS-C and MFT. There is a spectrum of sensor sizes, and some of their performance characteristics are on a similar spectrum - you just have to pick the one that allows you to do what you want with respect to (e.g.) depth of focus, dynamic range etc. The negative characteristics of cameras with bigger sensors follow a spectrum as well: increased weight, size, cost etc.

The way I rationalise it is: it is rare that I need the tighter depth of focus control I get with bigger sensors, and the IQ of modern small sensors is now more than adequate for my photography, so I am happy to stick with the CL - the ur-Leica of today.

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Fascinating discussion. I've just traded my M9 with sensor corrosion for an M10, but the CL looks tempting. Main reason for sticking with the M was I already have the lenses. Yes, I could use them on the CL but it's really optimised for the TL series -- which look very versatile. 

I'm puzzled by people saying rangefinder focussing takes a long time to learn compared with focus peaking, since for me, rangefinder focusing is easy -- but then my first serious camera was  rangefinder and I like it. I like the clear M optical viewfinder but could probably get used to an EVF.

One thing I really like with the M (also found on X and Q cameras) is the good old analog shutter and aperture dials. I tried the CL out, and sorry, found the unlabeled dials and tiny LCD rather fiddly. I'd probably get used to them.

As for IQ, I am sure both are excellent.

 

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I sold my M240 after the M9 and got a CL and will certainly never go back to a M, I’d like a CL full frame

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I love my Q but bought a CL a couple of months back and now have to remind myself that I also own a Q and that it needs attention. I think the Q's photos are different--some would say better--than the CL. I don't think they're better: they are denser, richer, certainly sharper. But that's just further along the aesthetic curve of digital photography. It has the "wow" factor. (The Q2 has that big, big time, and, frankly, sort of turns me off.) I'm gradually moving away from that and appreciate that the CL walks the middle road with reference to film. I often love the IQ of M10s especially with older lenses, but sometimes think the photos are overly saturated. I recognize a lot of that is produced or fixable in post. I guess 24 mps produces the limit of what I currently enjoy, though I bet I'd buy a smaller form 47 mps SL2 in a heartbeat.

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Thanks for all the words. I’ve rented an m10, will be here tomorrow. 

At the end of the day, the choice is so individual that I simply must discover for myself. 

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20 hours ago, Jeff S said:

I think that would be called an SL.

Jeff

The SL and lenses is too big

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because it is full frame...

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4 hours ago, cirke said:

The SL and lenses is too big

Too big for what?  It's as big as it needs to be to achieve what Leica wanted.  There have been numerous size and weight comparisons on this website, and in all honesty, I don't think either the camera or the lenses could be any smaller for what they do ...

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Let us know once you compare the CL vs M. I have loved an M6, M8 , and M 9. Fantastic cameras. But not as compact as the CL. I have a friend who has an M10 and a CL and the CL gets the use.

I can skip the full frame argument because when getting really serious I use an S (007) which is why an M or SL would be stuck in the middle, and not used much.

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