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

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minolta cle?
Old 07-30-2003   #1
back alley
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minolta cle?

anyone own or use this camera?
i had 2 complete outfits years ago, including minolta filters on the 3 lenses.

i still regret selling those little gems. i wish i had kept at least one, but i swore off 35mm and it seemed like a waste to just hold on to them.
even today, i most likely would consider digital before 35mm, but i do miss that little cle.

joe
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Old 07-30-2003   #2
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I wish I had one of those... Oh, well, so far, I'm doing fine with mine.
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Old 07-31-2003   #3
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what are you shooting with now?
i assume it's a rangefinder of some sort.

did you come visit from the pop photo site? your name looks familiar.

joe
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Minolta CLE
Old 08-02-2003   #4
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Minolta CLE

Hi,

This is my first post to this forum because I couldn't pass up a chance to comment on my favorite camera among entirely too many rangefinders. The CLE is the one that goes with me most of the time, generally with the 40 on the camera and the 28 and 90 in my pockets. Good size, good lenses and I've never had a badly exposed slide. I can't conceive of selling it and live in dread of having it need a repair which requires parts.

gerry
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Old 08-02-2003   #5
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i was a fool to sell mine.

i discovered the mamiya 6, liked the square format and loved working with a bigger negative. not so much for artisic reasons but rather failing eyesight and arthritis in my hands, the bigger neg is just easier to handle.
but i do miss the cle.
i hope you can hold onto yours for a good long time.
it was a 'perfect' camera.

joe
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Old 08-03-2003   #6
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Joe, I have a Mamiya 6 also and that along with a Fuji Gs645 folder is my travel kit because you just can't beat that big negative for big enlargements. But the CLE is always with me and I've used it enough that it's beaten up enough so that no one would buy it from me. My problem is not enough time and too many cameras.

By the way, my solution to failing eyesight was a more powerful loupe.

Gerry
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Old 08-03-2003   #7
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By the way, my solution to failing eyesight was a more powerful loupe.
gerry, tell me about it!
i'm starting to use an old lupe for reading things like instructions on small bottles, tv dinners etc.

joe
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Old 08-26-2003   #8
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Backalley, yes, I'm a regular at the PopPhoto forum, where I started the (in)famous thread "In Praise of the Canonet"... so that'll tell you what I use now as my main RF. I also have used a Konica S2, a Yashica GMS and a Contax G1. However, my favorite is the Canonet. Man, that's some piece of equipment...!

But I'm salivating for a Leica now. I did contemplate getting a CL at one time, but I got my Contax kit for less than they ask for a Leica/Minolta CL...
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Old 08-29-2003   #9
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the cle was a better camera than the cl, at least from what i have read.
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Old 08-29-2003   #10
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This is anecdotal so take it for what it is worth. Many years ago I worked for a while in photo retail. The store at which I was employed carried Leica and we sold a number of CLs. Almost all of them came back for warrantee service.
Later, when Leica gave up on the CL and Minolta produced the CLE, there was no further trouble with returns. Both Leitz and Minolta lenses for CL/CLE were great, rivaling those for the Ms.
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Old 08-29-2003   #11
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znaps, that anecdote leads me to conclude that Leica's supervision wasn't exactly at the level of their standards while they were partners with Minolta, and that after they split and the CL/E became a Minolta product, the quality levels went up.

Not too encouraging for someone considering a Leica M6...
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Old 08-29-2003   #12
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not necessarily so, francisco.
leica wanted things done a bit differently than minolta did and wanted their camera different than the minolta. theirs was a bit more complicated and the mechanisms a bit more fragile in a very small body. minolta was more into the electronics and i think their design was simpler, thus less likely to break down.
take all this with a grain of salt as it was a long time ago and i don't remember all the details.
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Old 08-29-2003   #13
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I've owned both, and like the CLE better for all around use. I didn't have any problems with either and the CL was almost pocketable for just waliking around but the CLE framelines are for a much better range of lens focal lengths and the AE is very useful for street photography and hip shooting.

My CL was a Leitz Minolta and after I bought it I sent it to Sherry Krauter for a CLA. Over the phone she didn't recognize the serial # because I just called a CL. When I told her that it was a Minolta her response was that I got one of the good ones.

I also have an M5(I guess I have a thing for cameras that rewind on the bottom) but the CLE gets the most mileage put on it.

Gerry
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Old 10-12-2003   #14
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The major difference was that the Leica CL was a mostly Leitz, mostly mechanical design. The CLE was a completely Minolta, and mainly electronic design. And the CLE happens to be, in my humble opinion, STILL the best autoexposure camera ever designed for the M-mount. Yes, that means better than the Hexar RF and better than the Leica M7. In fact, if the Minolta CLE had metered manual mode, it would be as close to perfection as any camera could be.
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Old 10-12-2003   #15
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There is no doubt the CLE is a sweetie of a camera; I got mine new 20 years ago and it's given great service. I remember shortly after walking into a camera shop with it over my shoulder, and the clerk rushing up gushing over how wonderful the camera was! Nice to see such enthusiasm!

At the time I already had a 90 TeleElmarit so didn't get the Minolta 90. The 40 Rokkor was so very useful I "forgot" to get the sometimes troublesome 28 Rokkor... but I recently favored it with a Voigtlander 28/3.5 which is also a great little lens.

I haven't used the Minolta as much the past couple of years as I concentrate more on MF, like Flinor: Fuji GS645, Bronica RF645, and just got a GA645Wi to see how I like AF and motors and such. Big Pentax on the SLR side of things. There is certainly something intriguing about the MF negs!

But I know I'd regret ever selling the CLE, and I admit to worrying what I'd do if it broke irreparably. I hear a Minolta XG-something SLR used the same electronics...
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