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Andrk

Leica CL, M9, TL2 or Q?

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Hi guys, 

I am sure this topic is covered over and over again, but I can't help starting a new thread to help me out in a very difficult decision. It feels like a very difficult decision anyway. 

Some background: I have been photographing for the past 15 years, and for a few of those professionally. I have been a strong Nikon fan throughout (sorry for swearing in the church), but have also owned and used a lot of film cameras, such as Mamiya, Hasselblad 2000FCW, Canon and Nikon 35mm film cameras. I would say i am a fairly decent photographer with, maybe, a bigger passion and lust than talent. :)

Two years ago soon my son was born, and I just didn't bring the big cameras with me any longer, and I missed capturing those moments. I stopped all professional photography to make time for family and my day job. I sold all my other cameras, DSLRs and film alike to buy a new, smaller, more handy one. That I actually would bring with me everywhere and take photos. I never bought one, and now I miss I so much. So I started the hunt for the best camera for ME. 

I have been googling, foruming all across, and I just don't know how to drill it down any further and decide on the actual camera to buy. One thing I do know is that it is going to be a Leica. I just love Leicas philosophy, the picture quality, the "to the roots" thing, and I have decided once and for all that now is the time for me to finally own a Leica. 

I also know that I am on a budget. Coming in at a total of 2000 USD would be ideal - but if course, Leica is not cheap and there are many factors here. So anywhere between 1000-3000 USD is something I look at. 

For that money you could buy either a Leica CL kit brand new, Leica TL2 brand new, a used Leica Q, used Leica M9. 

I am not a rangefinder guy really, but I really like the concept. However, I will use the camera for many different scenarios such as travel photo, family photo, art works that I do, and just general hobby/art photography. 

I don't do any studio work any longer, so that I don't need, I don't do street photography in that sense, and I don't to long tele situation photography like concerts or sports. So basically, I do everyday photography and would like my photos to be nice to have, maybe frame them, and if I find time again start taking art work photos again. But let's focus on travel, everyday life typ photo. 

Now - what do you guys think? Where should I place my bets? I guess many of you have tried many of the cameras - which one do you believe I will be happier with?

Thank you so much! I appreciate all and any input!

 

 

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CL without doubt with the 18-56 being the most versatile with. Q a strong second but more expensive. Don’t hesitate to buy used from a reliable dealer. I don’t often give advice like this but in this case the choice is clear. 

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5 minutes ago, jaapv said:

CL without doubt with the 18-56 being the most versatile with. Q a strong second but more expensive. Don’t hesitate to buy used from a reliable dealer. I don’t often give advice like this but in this case the choice is clear. 

Thank you so much for that. You know, I have been on and off - and this gave me some courage in the decision. My only concern with the CL has been that is I a APS-C sensor, and the Q has the full format sensor. Maybe a bit more expensive, and it is also "older" - right? 

Ok, great! I think we might just have drilled it down to CL or Q. I wonder what I will be more happy with - the Q has a full frame sensor but you can't change lens, or the APS-C sensor with interchangeable lenses? What's your thought on that?

I think the above is the reason for the M9 in there - it is a full frame with interchangeable lenses. :) I don't know why I feel strongly about it, but maybe it is just my legacy. Maybe I just skip that thought and accept a APS-C sensor?

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Posted (edited)

I agree with Jaap.

"basically I do everyday photography" = CL

I have had film Ms, M9, M240, CL, TL2, SL, SL2, and still have the CL and SL2 (I still have the SL, but not for long - there are three bids in for it on ebay).

And I don't mean to imply that everyday photography is somehow lesser: the CL and native lenses are versatile, high quality, discreet, intuitive, and responsive.

I have never tried a Q/Q2, but I would not be comfortable with a fixed lens camera - you may be different. If you were doing just landscape or portrait photography, full frame and the higher resolution Q2 would be worth considering, but not otherwise IMO

Edited by LocalHero1953

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I was about to write in similar vein to Jaap. A CL with standard zoom could be all you need. If it works out well for you, you could consider adding a fast TL prime lens such as the 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) when funds allow.

As you will be new to Leica, if possible, build a relationship with a trusted Leica dealer, who will not only help you and advise you within your budget, but support you if you have problems. Do keep us informed of your decision. 

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Posted (edited)

Fantastic advice - much better and clearer guidance than expected - thank you so much!

Regarding my concerns, I read in another thread about APS-C and full frame, and it isn't that big difference as with other manufacturers in Leica, so yes - it makes total sense. I am so glad I posted the question :) My decision is clear. I will have to find out if I should buy it new or used. I will let you know once I got my new camera :)

Edited by Andrk

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I must admit my favourite single lens for the CL is the Summilux-TL 35 - an all-time Leica classic IMO! But it is not cheap and not commonly available used - owners value it too much.

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Enjoy. You are wise not to lose yourself in our forum nerdiness about APS-C and IQ, etc. Everything Leica builds will give you more than satisfactory results. I come from M240 and M9  and a long line of cameras, including MF - there is nothing left to desire from APS-C for general photography.

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I own/owned all the mentioned cameras. They are all tremendous and differ mainly in the ergonomics: not better/worse, but different.
APS-C vs. FF is not an issue, IMO.

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I have 3 leica cameras and the CL is my favorite, but I have an M8 and a film M3. The problem with the older digital Ms (M8, M9) is parts are getting scarce. My favorite lens on the CL is the 23 Summicron, I have several M lenses and an adapter for the CL. An 18-55 zoom would be excellent. The APS-C files are quite good, hit the exposure and they process very quickly. The CL doesn't operate like a DSLR but it is quite intuitive and quick to use. It is a camera to enjoy.

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