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Leica M -- Minolta CLE Minolta's electronic successor to the Leica / Minolta CL.

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In praise of the Minolta 40mm CLE lens
Old 04-01-2012   #1
jay_kay
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In praise of the Minolta 40mm CLE lens

I recently returned from 7 months travelling through South America from Argentina to Colombia with my kit of an M8 with a Minolta 40mm f2 CLE version as my main lens, and a 90mm I used occasionally.

For insurance reasons I was unable to take my more expensive lenses, so I settled on the 40mm Minolta after reading good things about it.

I have to WOW. This little beauty never missed a beat in 7 months.

Focus accuracy is amoungst the most accurate of all of my lenses, including my 35mm Summicron ASPH. The tab is easy to grab, has nice throw and the aperture ring is nice and snappy. Ergonomically was a pleasure to use for 7 months.

More important - optically this little lens is just brilliant. Properly brilliant.

Definitely a little soft at f2, but even by 2.8 it sharpens up a lot. Very very resistant to flare, even without a hood (unlike my 90mm which flares on cloudy days). It has a nice medium contrast look that stands up well when processed on digital. The bokeh can be a little busy sometimes, but it was rarely enough to be an issue.

It stood up to dust, ice, moisture and extreme altitude without any issue.

Honestly I barely missed my Summicron. The sharpness at f2 and slightly wider 35mm is the only real advantage that lens has over the Minolta.

My South America photos on Flickr (link in my sig) are probably 80% taken with the Minolta.

I think its definately a keeper for me, even now that Im home.
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Leica M2, M8.2
Zeiss ZM 25mm f2.8, Summarit 35mm f2.5, Jupiter-12 35mm f2.8, Minolta Rokkor CLE 40mm f2, Konica Hexanon 50mm f2.4 L, Konica Hexanon Titanium 50mm f1.2, Canon LTM 50mm f1.4, Elmar-C 90mm f4, Konica Hexanon 90mm f2.8, Nikkor RF 135mm f3.5
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Old 09-27-2012   #2
ed1234
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I had the same combo M8 and CLE! The 40mm is as good as my Cron IV, with 1/3 the price. The color is not as rich/deep, as the cron, but it has its own ground.
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Old 11-27-2012   #3
myM8yogi
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I have this lens too and love it. The only thing I changed was to remove the focus tab/knob and replace it with the more ergonomic finger tab as found on the 35'cron ASPH. I just prefer it ergonomically and it really speeds up focussing for me. I agree that optically there is little to complain about and much to praise. I find the IQ wide open to be perfectly acceptable, but do agree that resolution improves to pretty much "faultless" at f/2.8.
The lens itself is very small, and I love the focal length. It has become my preferred normal lens in a 21 - 40 - 90 travel set.
21mm is the ZM biogon f/2.8, and the 90mm is the elmarit-M f/2.8. All three lenses share a quite similar character in terms of flare resistance (very important to me), saturation and sharpness.
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Old 02-06-2013   #4
Brian Levy
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Owners of the Minolta CLE 40mm say it comes close to the Summicron-C 40 mm front eh CL. I love the Summicron-C and better than the Summicron 50mm I tried. The Rokkar 90mm for the CLE I demonstrably better than the 90 Elmar-C 90 from the CL. The only problem is the different filter thread sizes but I was willing to suffer that to have the better of each.

The problem I have with the 40 is I would never give It up but there is no other Microsoft body with 40mm lines. I can safely say I have more images from the 40 than any other lens of any system I own including the Bronica ETRS that is my main system camera and I've owned longer.
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Old 02-07-2013   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Levy View Post
Owners of the Minolta CLE 40mm say it comes close to the Summicron-C 40 mm front eh CL. I love the Summicron-C and better than the Summicron 50mm I tried. The Rokkar 90mm for the CLE I demonstrably better than the 90 Elmar-C 90 from the CL. The only problem is the different filter thread sizes but I was willing to suffer that to have the better of each.

The problem I have with the 40 is I would never give It up but there is no other Microsoft body with 40mm lines. I can safely say I have more images from the 40 than any other lens of any system I own including the Bronica ETRS that is my main system camera and I've owned longer.
Sounds like Microsoft has infiltrated your Brain, dude.
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CLE lens
Old 08-21-2014   #6
rickyc
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CLE lens

All of the talk here is about the Minolta CLE 40mm lens. Is it not the same as the Minolta CL 40mm lens?
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Old 08-21-2014   #7
raid
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CL and CLE have same lens. There is a 40mm Rokkor and there is a 40mm Summicron-C. The Rokkor supposedly has better coating than the Summicron. Else, they are identical. The C commands a slightly higher price. I once compared the C with a 43mm Pentax and both did very well.
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