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Leica CL with dim rangefinder patch
Old 08-02-2016   #1
Laviolette
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Leica CL with dim rangefinder patch

I just bought a nice condition Leica CL with working meter, but the rangefinder patch is *very* dim, making it impossible to focus. There's no double image per se, just a very, very faint image when I try to focus on a high contrast object. I tried different lightings but all were pretty much the same.

Truth be told, I am used to the rangefinder of my M3 and M4, but even my Zorki 4 rangefinder was much brighter and very usable. As the camera's description wasn't saying anything about that, I contacted the seller to tell him about this. He offered an exchange, but also said that all CLs have a dim rangefinder, so the next one will probably not be better. I find that surprising, but will probably send it back anyway. What do you think?
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Old 08-02-2016   #2
David Hughes
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I've had mine for decades and don't think the RF is dim but it has been serviced a few times...

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Old 08-02-2016   #3
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Yeah, I have read that just cleaning the mirror could be enough. But it could be costlier if it needs a resilvering.
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Old 08-02-2016   #4
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The CL has a nice finder and should have a patch similar to an M4. Something does not sound right with yours.
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Old 08-02-2016   #5
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Just use it with a wide angle lens <35mm and scale focus.
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Old 08-02-2016   #6
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I agree something isn't right, though I have no techpertise to say how to diagnose/fix.
I've owned 2 CLs in recent years; both viewfinders/patches were decent compared to my M4/M5. The patch should be clear. If you google "CL Volkscamera" and go to the Finnish photographer's website, you can see a decent through-the-viewfinder image for comparison. Good luck.
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Old 08-02-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
Just use it with a wide angle lens <35mm and scale focus.
To use it with my 21mm Color-Skopar as a second body was my first intention, but I would prefer a fully working camera. It wasn't particularly cheap and it was advertised as fully working. :-(

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhl-oregon
I agree something isn't right, though I have no techpertise to say how to diagnose/fix.
I've owned 2 CLs in recent years; both viewfinders/patches were decent compared to my M4/M5. The patch should be clear. If you google "CL Volkscamera" and go to the Finnish photographer's website, you can see a decent through-the-viewfinder image for comparison. Good luck.
I wasn't able to find the website, but thanks anyways.
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Old 08-03-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laviolette View Post
I just bought a nice condition Leica CL with working meter, but the rangefinder patch is *very* dim, making it impossible to focus. There's no double image per se, just a very, very faint image when I try to focus on a high contrast object. I tried different lightings but all were pretty much the same.

Truth be told, I am used to the rangefinder of my M3 and M4, but even my Zorki 4 rangefinder was much brighter and very usable. As the camera's description wasn't saying anything about that, I contacted the seller to tell him about this. He offered an exchange, but also said that all CLs have a dim rangefinder, so the next one will probably not be better. I find that surprising, but will probably send it back anyway. What do you think?
It is easy to remove the top of a CL. Then you can clean the inside of the finder glass in the removed top. That is where my CL had most of its dirt. I guess it was dirt from the air, like smoke from cigarettes. The rangefinder mechanism was clean.

Clean first the finder glass. Check the result before you very carefully clean the rest.

After cleaning my finder become very clear. The smudge was only on the finder glass in the top.
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Old 08-06-2016   #9
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Very first thing to try is to clean the rangefinder patch illumination window. Its the tiny little square one towards the centre of the front of the camera on the top cover. Because this thing is so tiny and with years of use people rarely get a decent clean out of it. I have seen noticeable improvement on every CL I have cleaned this tiny window. If this doesnt achieve any results then unfortunately its time to professionally have the rangefinder cleaned of any possible haze or re-silver the mirror internals
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Old 08-06-2016   #10
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Not all, maybe all his.

Return for cash or ask if will pay for service, in advance.

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Old 08-12-2016   #11
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Thanks for all the inputs. Since I was looking for a reliable user camera, I ended up returning the CL and buying a M4-2 instead. I hope this one will be fine!
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