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CL to Q2 anyone?


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For those who have switched from CL to Q2 (not Q), what are the differences they notice most, and what do they miss?

It was only a week ago I posted in the CL forum that I would keep my CL and 11-23, 35 and 60 TL lenses till they failed, since they continue to produce photos of a good enough quality for what I use it for. That is still true. But......

  • I have come to realise that for social/family and tourism, which is what I use the CL for most, I increasingly rely on one lens, the 35TL. There are times when I want to use the 11-23 (building interiors, dramatic landscapes, street/urban) and 60 (the latter partly for macro), but I like the simplicity of the CL + 35.
  • My camera family has more than doubled in the last two years (😬), with the addition of a second 4x5 and four film Leicas. Simplification would be good!
  • I have a SL2-S for portraits, events etc, a Sigma fp for video alongside the SL2-S, and renewed interest in film photography for creative interest.

I know some of what I will gain and lose from the Q2:

  • image stabilisation, weather proofing, macro, full frame, fast flash sync.
  • enough pixels to get me to 75mm by cropping, but not the 90 equivalent of the 60TL.
  • an excellent 28mm lens; for many years 28+75 was my standard carry on the M240, and I still prefer 35 to 50 (yes, I know the 35TL is a 50 equivalent).
  • I would lose the ranges 16-28 and 90.
  • I would not like the large files; my PC is fast enough for processing, but I don't want to have to upgrade my main hard drive, the backup hard drive, and my portable hard drive sooner than I expected.

What else would I gain or lose?

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Have you ever had the SL2 (not S) Paul? Because the Q2 is like the SL2 with a fixed 28mm lens. The biggest differences being a smaller, lighter body, less secure grip and a somewhat worse EVF. Your mileage will vary on cropping, but for me personally it is not something I really like that much. I would rather have a longer lens (35mm or 40mm). I think the quality is good on cropping, but past 35 or 40mm and you start to really lose resolution. It of course depends on what you want to do with it. The Q2 lens is rather wide for a 28mm (the lens is likely 24 or 25mm before correction, but still seems wider than other 28mm lenses corrected), so you might have to crop in a bit more than you expect. If you like the 28mm angle of view as a baseline, you will likely love it, especially if you liked the sensor character of the SL2 (which I love, personally). But if 28mm is always too wide for you, it may not be as satisfying. In that case, you might set it up to start at 35mm (the raw will come pre-cropped to 35mm, but the full 28mm will be there), but you may find that if you have to do further cropping, you will run out of space fairly quickly. If your standard was 50mm on the CL, it seems like that might be hard to replicate. It is a spectacular camera though.

Have you considered one of the light lenses like the Sigma 35mm or 45mm for your SL2S? That might bring down the size and weight enough for you on the SL2S to make it more manageable. But it is not going to compete with the CL for size and weight at all then.

Personally, I have the Q2 and a Ricoh GRIIIx, and the GRIIIx is the camera that I use when I just want to have a camera with me. The tiny size and weight, combined with the sharp lens in the correct focal length for me make a big difference. I use the Q2 when I am out more purposefully to take pictures, and basically use it as the wide angle lens for my SL2 setup.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, Stuart. Useful things to think over.

I had a SL2 for a few months before trading it in for the SL2-S, in a vain attempt to keep my camera pixels all at 24mp (the SL2-S was better in low light as well) - I have no need for more in a normal image (though I can see the use of them in a cropping camera like the Q series). I guess I'm fighting a losing battle here and will have to accept more pixels.

I also would rather have the right lens for the job rather than crop, but in my carry around camera I'm willing to make compromises if other things work. I am sure I can live with 28mm (I have a 2.8cm Nikkor on a Leica Standard at the moment). Although I keep the 35TL on the CL most of the time, that is for the wider aperture than the 23TL and the stunning quality (better than 18 or 23 TLs IMO). If there had been a Summilux-TL 18 or 23 (in AF), I would have taken it. 

I wonder if the Q3 will go down the M11 route of having both digital zoom (like the Q2) and in-camera downsizing.

I used to have a Ricoh GRD4. I liked it very much, but sold it partly because, if I'm going to have a truly pocketable camera, I haven't yet found anything more pocketable than a smartphone! I also found that the sensor size (1 inch, I think) was limiting, the moment I started to enlarge the image. I realise the GRIII is a real APS-C. Finally, the interface, though good, was sufficiently different from Leica's that I had to keep relearning things - with more use I'd get over it. In the end though, if I'm not looking for a pocketable camera, the GRiii doesn't offer much more than the APS-C CL. If I'm going to clear out a body and three lenses, I'd rather have some of the other advantages of the Q2.

I will measure up and weigh (virtually) the SL2-S with a small Sigma lens, but I suspect the Q2 would have the edge. I am expecting the Q2 would have a better EVF than the CL, but not as good as the SL2/2-S - is that fair? 

Edited by LocalHero1953
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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Alan Friedman said:

The Q2M might provide more separation from the other cameras you own, if you have interest in monochrome output. I’m finding the SL2-S + Q2M a very good pairing with their common battery and similar menu/button operation. I’ve kept the Fp-L but am using it less. 

Thanks, Alan - I've just realised the Q2 has the same battery as the SL - another plus. I use my Sigma fp purely for video now (so I would have to hang on to my spare CL batteries!)

I would find it hard to forego colour. This is what I am used to using the CL for.

Edited by LocalHero1953
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Dear Paul,

I was in your situation a few months ago.

I sold my CL + 18 + 11-23 in January to buy a Q2 (reporter edition).

I liked my CL, but it got very little use, as I use my M10M for most of my pics. But I wanted to keep a light and easy to use color camera. I found myself less and less changing lenses with the CL.

 

My aim with the CL and now Q2 is precisely family / social

What I like with the change :

. FF, and thus, high iso capabilities

. A much better 28mm 

. A more responsive camera (AF is great)

. IBIS (including for videos) 

. The same battery as my SL (601)

I shoot @28mm and crop later if needed. Apart from testing, I don’t use the 35/50/75 frames.

 

What I miss / dislike :

. the opportunity from time to time to put a M-Lens on the CL (the CL +18mm + summilux M 50 asph maïe for a great travel kit), though this kind of use was rare for me.

. The huge files that put more strain on my M1 pro MacBook.

 


All in all I am happy with the move to the Q2 :) 

 

Didier 

 

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I have both the CL and a bunch of lenses, and a Q2. Both get used in rotation depending on where I’m going and what I think I might shoot. Technically there’s lots of overlap in terms of perspectives, but the two cameras represent different challenges which I continue to enjoy figuring out.

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I have the SL2S, M10M and M-A. You would think I would be totally set. Same issue as you - for family, light travel, I always find I am seeking a simpler lighter option. Was wondering whether it would be better to have a CL that can play with my M and SL lenses, or get a Q2 that shares the battery and some of the newer features. I tried looking back at past travel photos and find that most are wide angles with occasional close up details. Seems to come down to the flexibility of lens choices on the CL versus full frame, stabilization, weather dealing on the Q2. My first instinct was to lean towards the CL as more flexible. But now that I think about it, if I were in the mindset of switching lenses, I probably would be ok with the SL2S for that. So maybe the Q2 would help me to relax and enjoy the vacation more! Hope my rambling helps!
 

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I have a wedding and driving vacation in England this fall, so trying to decide between CL + 11-23 + Sigma 56 vs. Q2. Thinking currently is CL as old cities like York and Lincoln with narrow streets need wider angle lenses.

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7 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

Thanks, Alan - I've just realised the Q2 has the same battery as the SL - another plus. I use my Sigma fp purely for video now (so I would have to hang on to my spare CL batteries!)

I would find it hard to forego colour. This is what I am used to using the CL for.

Interesting (and lovely) example... I often find the "costume" of children bring details and colors that are a distraction to the image. Monochrome sometimes allows for (and forces) a different type of family picture. 

I've not owned a color Q or the CL but for me the Q2 was not different enough from the FP or SL2-S to warrant adding. The Monochrom's resolution (sans bayer filter) and performance at high ISO was the draw for me - also that I was finding myself desaturating most of my shots with the Fp-L. I just slipped away for a week of solitude at our house by the water. I brought the Q2M and SL2-S. I expected to give them each equal time, but I never let go of the Monochrom - even at sunset. Just my .02...

 

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I traded in my CL & three lenses + about $800 on a brand new Q2.  The CL was fine but I wanted the bigger full-frame 47mp sensor & the Summilux lens.  The CL was perhaps a little more versatile with being able to change lenses, but the images out of the Q2 are outstanding.  I love the macro feature, although I would call it more of a close-focus than true macro.  Regardless of that, I find I'm using it a lot.  Even the 35-50-75 zoom is pretty good.  Having auto-focus is nice when you need it.  

I got it mainly to use as a travel camera and backup to my M10-R but this Q2 is giving the other one a run for its money.  For what I use them for, I think they complement each other pretty well.  Each one does things the other can't do and I often bring them both along on outings.  

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1 hour ago, LocalHero1953 said:

The decision was made. The CL + 3 lenses was shipped out yesterday to a dealer, and the Q2 Reporter has just arrived.

Thanks everyone, for your considered and helpful advice, even if I haven't taken all of it!

Paul, I am pleased you found  a solution. Time will tell.

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13 minutes ago, wda said:

Paul, I am pleased you found  a solution. Time will tell.

Indeed. No camera is the perfect solution. I have a dynamic equilibrium of several camera/formats: the SL ecosystem, the Sigma fp (video), the smartphone (in my pocket), film cameras (old Leicas) and a travel/social camera (was the CL ecosystem, now the Q2). A change in any one of those changes the position of all the others. In this case, acquiring the film Leicas changed the position of the CL for what I might call experimental or creative photography. The Q2 then made sense as a smaller 'system' with a narrower range of functionality. 

Such pretentious waffle can't hide the basic fact that I'm thoroughly enjoying playing with a new camera!

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Posted (edited)

I shall add some comments here on my first reactions to the Q2 as a (now former) CL user.

  • Size and weight: whatever the specs say, I don't notice a significant difference between the Q2 and the CL + 35TL or 11-23TL, my most common combinations. The battery (from the SL - I now have 5) takes up a disproportionate amount of volume in the smaller body. My wife, who is sensitive to such things, found it well balanced in her small hands.
  • EVF: my immediate impression was the Q2 EVF was smaller, and so less clear in detail. Once I discovered the diopter adjustment button, the clarity question disappeared. It is still the case that, if you are to use the Q2 as intended, and shoot it as if it is also a 35, 50 or 75, the view remains that of a 28, whereas the CL always shows the view of the actual FL. An obvious point, but one I will have to adapt to. I would lay bets on the Q3 having an EVF that shows the crop view in full.
  • Interface and menus: immediately usable by anyone familiar with modern Leicas. I set it up without looking at the manual. It's nice to have real-world aperture and shutter speed dials but, for me, not of major significance. Two new buttons to get used to: the one that shows frame lines; and the one that turned out to be a diopter adjustment! The compass dial on the back is smaller than I like, and the main control dial (exposure compensation etc) is less accessible than the CL, but I'll get used to it.
  • Shutter: a barely perceptible sound. I had to check that I'd switched off the electronic shutter.
  • AF. To be checked when shooting in anger, but functions as in the CL. A pity it doesn't have the iAF of the SL2/SL2-S, which I like very much.
  • User profiles: 6 available. As always, I wish Leica would provide more, but I can't be sure how many I'll need till I use the camera in different situations. 

 

Edited by LocalHero1953
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Some more comments from a newbie Q2, ex-CL owner, perhaps of interest to CL owners.

I wondered if the frame selection (to 35, 50, 75 equivalent focal lengths) had any practical effect on a raw image other than to tell LR how to make its initial crop. (I already knew that the full size image is stored in the raw file.) The answer is, it does has a practical effect:

  • Exposure measurement occurs only within the selected frame. I pointed the Q" at a scene with sky in the corner; as I 'zoomed' in, cropping-out the sky, the indicated exposure increased.
  • Focusing: AF only occurs within the frame. If you select point or field focus, for example, you can only move the focusing zone within the frame, not outside it. If you select face detect, it won't see faces outside the frame.

This could be annoying if you forget you have selected a smaller frame but actually want to use the whole scene. I was getting frustrated that face detect wasn't working, till I realised why.

The combination of full frame, 47mp, image stabilisation and the superb lens produces stunningly sharp and detailed images. Zooming in to the 75mm frame still gives you great images, not for exhibition printing at big size, perhaps, but easily good enough for family portrait prints at A4-A3.

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Hi Poul, thanks for your description of Q2.  I want to read with interest.  I am also an APSC user and as you know quite disappointed there will not be a new CL3.  But the only camera from Leica Jef has thought of is also Q2 or Q3 when it comes.  I have Canon R3 which is therefore not Leica SL.  
Maybe the combination of Q and Canon is not so bad.  I also have M

But thank you for writing about your transition from CL to Q2.  I read with interest.

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  • 1 month later...

I confess:  Leica T to TL to TL2 to CL to Sigma FPL and now to my Q2.  Although I've aged over this span, the path has led to success.  For me the Q2 is the best fit.  Not to mention the previous 40 years with almost everything else.  Some of us are slow learners :>}  

Or to quote Henri Cartier-Bresson:  "Color, in photography, is founded on a basic prism; for the time being, it cannot be otherwise, because we do not yet have the chemical processes that permit the complex breaking down and reconstitution of color ..."  ...  "For me, color is a very important medium of information...".  1958 in The Mind`s Eye page 43.

I agree with Henri and with the Q2, feel like I've arrived.

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