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karateisland
01-01-2019, 09:10
Hi all--

I've been circling a Leica purchase for a number of years now, and figure 2019 will be the year I finally go for it. It won't be a film camera--my Contax G2 and Rolleiflex are scratching that itch--but a digital.

I have been eyeing the CL, and seeing some wonderful results from it (Sara M Lee's "Tender are the Nighthawks" series is stunning), but the only question I have is this: If I mount a manual focus lens on it, will it feel like a "real" Leica? Will buying into a CL system mean that I am missing out on what makes a Leica special?

This question is about as subjective as they come, and there is probably no simple answer. But I thought it couldn't hurt to ask!

Sub-question: If you had to start buying Leica TODAY, would you invest in an L-mount camera?

Other points, just in case they come up:
* The M9 feels like a risky buy if I want to develop my own color-processing style, the M240 is too bulky for my taste, and I simply can't afford an M10.
* The Rolleiflex suits me perfectly when I'm in the mood for slow, deliberate shooting.

ptpdprinter
01-01-2019, 09:19
I have been eyeing the CL, and seeing some wonderful results from it (Sara M Lee's "Tender are the Nighthawks" series is stunning), but the only question I have is this: If I mount a manual focus lens on it, will it feel like a "real" Leica?
I'll let others with actual CL experience answer the broader question, but will note that it has an APS-C crop sensor, so your manual lenses will not feel the same; they will have 1.5x their marked focal length. Also, I've never quite taken to focus peaking as a focusing aid, so I rarely feel confident relying on it using my collection of Olympus manual focus lenses on my Fuji. You may find the 18-56mm CL lens a better option than a raft of MF primes. Best try it in person.

karateisland
01-01-2019, 09:34
I'll let others with actual CL experience answer the broader question, but will note that it has an APS-C crop sensor, so your manual lenses will not feel the same; they will have 1.5x their marked focal length. Also, I've never quite taken to focus peaking as a focusing aid, so I rarely feel confident relying on it using my collection of Olympus manual focus lenses on my Fuji. You may find the 18-56mm CL lens a better option. Best try it in person.

Currently, no manual focus lenses in my stable. Had a CLE with a Summicron-40 but never really got on with that lens, preferred a 50, so I sold the whole kit.

I would be totally OK buying into the L-mount lenses (even the 35mm 1.4 doesn't look too big for my taste), but I keep hearing that the system as designed doesn't have the feel of a real Leica. I can't tell if that's a bunch of hogwash from traditionalists (I am not one) or a true fact.

Your suggestion that I try it in person makes a lot of sense. I'm wondering why that never occurred to me...

kshapero
01-01-2019, 09:38
I think you mean that it doesn't have the feel of a Leica M, because the CL is also a real Leica.

karateisland
01-01-2019, 09:46
I think you mean that it doesn't have the feel of a Leica M, because the CL is also a real Leica.

That's why I used the scare quotes around "real," since we all know that it is, no matter what people say, a real Leica.

Since I hope not to get sidetracked by semantics, here's my reasoning for phrasing it as I did. I didn't want to ask if it feels like an M, because some writers I have checked out use the Q as a point of comparison, saying that the CL doesn't have the Leica feel that the Q offers. In other words, apparently there is some ineffable quality common to Leicas, and some think the M and Q have it, but the CL lacks it.

ptpdprinter
01-01-2019, 09:57
Nothing is going to feel like a Leica M; not CL, not Q, not SL, not S. It's the whole rangefinder gestalt.

a.noctilux
01-01-2019, 09:58
I don't use CL because I do love M with "manual everything".

My own thinking is if your other cameras are Contax G2 and Rolleiflex that you may like the opposites: G2 can be auto-everything and the other manual everything.

To that logic, if you buy CL and don't have any Leica lens, go for one (or two?) TL lens.
I think that aps-c format bothers only people owning Leica lenses already.

Give CL a try, if you are not happy with CL, you may want "real Leica M" by then.

aizan
01-01-2019, 10:01
It doesn’t feel like an M because it has an EVF. If you actually want an EVF, I’d recommend the SL because then you don’t have the crop messing things up. If you want a reverse Galilean viewfinder and don’t mind the crop, I’d recommend the Fuji X-Pro2 instead of the CL. If you want an EVF and are ok with the crop, then I’d recommend the Fuji X-E3 because of the controls, which are more Leica-esque. If you don’t want the traditional controls, the CL is for you!

Timmyjoe
01-01-2019, 10:16
Currently, no manual focus lenses in my stable. Had a CLE with a Summicron-40 but never really got on with that lens, preferred a 50, so I sold the whole kit.

If you didn't get on with the CLE (I know you say it was because of the lens), but a CLE is 90-95% the "real" Leica experience. Not exactly a Leica M, but probably as close as one can get. Regardless of the 40mm lens, if you didn't get on with that set up, not sure you're going to be missing anything going with the CL or some other digital Leica variation.

Best,
-Tim

Huss
01-01-2019, 10:29
"Does the digital CL feel like a "real" Leica?"

No. It feels like a really nice APS-C camera, a step above what Sony makes.

If you want to scratch that 'real Leica' itch, you need to get an M. And the M240 is the best used deal going. While it may feel a little bit bulkier than an M9 (I've owned both), the shutter on the M240 (and M10) is so much smoother and more responsive and quieter that shooting it feels far more like shooting a real (film) M camera.
The M9's shutter release is notchy, gritty feeling (you need to try one to see) with an imprecise release in comparison, plus then the shutter cocking action is loud and drawn out. Kinda bizarre really.

Another downside of the CL, as others have mentioned, is if you want to adapt manual M lenses. Everything gets cropped. So a 35mm lens becomes a 48mm. If you have a 28, it actually becomes a 42mm lens. You need to go to a 21 or wider to have a regular wide angle lens, then you're dealing with either a slow lens, or a huge lens on the small CL.
I have a bunch of adapters for my M240, Oly M43 and Nikon Z camera. And the cold reality is once the novelty has worn off, the native lenses are so much better for the cameras.

The CL is a fantastic camera. Just not what you are looking for if you want that 'real Leica' feel.

Godfrey
01-01-2019, 10:38
...
I have been eyeing the CL, and seeing some wonderful results from it (Sara M Lee's "Tender are the Nighthawks" series is stunning), but the only question I have is this: If I mount a manual focus lens on it, will it feel like a "real" Leica? Will buying into a CL system mean that I am missing out on what makes a Leica special?

...
Sub-question: If you had to start buying Leica TODAY, would you invest in an L-mount camera?
...


Yes, the CL feels like a camera ought to. I work with mine exclusively with Leica R and M mount lenses. It also makes images that render the way Leica lenses and bodies do.

The CL body is essentially the same size as a Leica M-D body but is 200g lighter. There is very little difference between the size and weight of an M9, an M-P 240, and an M-D ... Yes, I've had them all, still have the M-D (and M4-2, and R6.2 ...). Fitted with the same lens (and M Adapter L mount adapter), the CL and the M-D each take up about the same amount of space in my bag.

I don't "invest" in photographic gear because I expect no return on my camera purchases, other than the enjoyment of using the gear to make the photographs I want to make. One should never consider buying cameras as an investment. Buy what works to do your photography and just use it: that's what it's all about.

G

"It's a new year. Do epic [email protected]!"

Ko.Fe.
01-01-2019, 10:44
Any Leica made camera feels special. Even re-branded Panasonic and Fuji feels special with Leica logo on them.

As for EVF camera to give same feel as RF camera... forget it.

Heavy sensor crop makes many good manual focus lenses as useless tele.
So if you want cropper camera with AF get its native lenses with it.

But what this Leica feel has to do with your pursue of been special in color?
For digital it is all about post processing. More special you want to be on colors, less dependent it on sensors and optics.

kshapero
01-01-2019, 10:52
I am a must have OVF person.

karateisland
01-01-2019, 11:59
If you didn't get on with the CLE (I know you say it was because of the lens), but a CLE is 90-95% the "real" Leica experience. Not exactly a Leica M, but probably as close as one can get. Regardless of the 40mm lens, if you didn't get on with that set up, not sure you're going to be missing anything going with the CL or some other digital Leica variation.


A very, very fair point. Just looked through some of the pictures I had been taking with the camera earlier in 2018, and they look great. So, it was probably not the lens.

And I had hoped you would respond, Godfrey, that's very reassuring. The CL seems like just the right amount of Leica for me.

sepiareverb
01-01-2019, 12:10
A trip to Montreal or Boston seems in order. Handle one.

jlphoto
01-01-2019, 12:24
When I received my CL this summer, I took the M-4 I've used since 1974 out of the bag and put in the CL with M adapter. I use the same old Mandler M lenses with a couple of Voitlanders. To me, the camera feels like a Leica - small, solid, intuitive. The viewfinder is far superior to a SLR, not a rangefinder, but very fine. I do not have a desire for autofocus or zoom lenses so far. The files are great.
Maybe I'll return to the rangefinder some day, but this unit is what I like now.

JimL

css9450
01-01-2019, 13:00
It has a Leica logo on it, so I suppose it does feel like a real Leica. Not sure what else you're looking for... It has an EVF and crop sensor, so its really up to you if its "real" or not.

MCTuomey
01-01-2019, 14:45
I shoot a CL primarily with a 50 lux. It feels like shooting a leica, film or digital M, to me. I have the profiles set to focus either by magnification or peaking, as needed. The EVF is excellent, magnification alone works very well (my eyesight is sub-par). Optical RF focus is not critical to me.

The camera is small but dense, handles well, produces excellent files even to iso 3200-6400 and works nicely with my small set of M lenses. I use it to its strengths, normal to short tele focal lengths, due to the 1.5x crop sensor. What Godfrey said re rendering like a Leica is accurate for me with my M lenses using the L-adapter.

YouAreHere
01-01-2019, 15:34
If you're willing to tolerate a cropped sensor and need to have the Leica "feel" then buy an M8.

Doug
01-01-2019, 17:20
Yes, a Leica M8 would be a good inexpensive test to see if the "real" Leica rangefinder experience is what you like. The sensor has a 1.33x crop factor rather than the 1.5 or so for the CL but still gives you a feel for that side of the experience as well! Many users admire the "look" of its CCD sensor, and the 10Mpx is "adequate".

colker
01-01-2019, 17:25
If you're willing to tolerate a cropped sensor and need to have the Leica "feel" then buy an M8.

A cropped sensor is no big deal. Just pick a 40mm to use as a 50mm.
If one is crazy about ultra wides, a cropped sensor may give some grief otherwise it´s just math.
What matters is the image, your vision translated to picture, If it´s made w/ a 35mm or a 28mm, does it really matter? :eek:

Emile de Leon
01-01-2019, 18:26
For almost 3K...you better really like it..as there are so many less expensive options..

Duane Pandorf
01-01-2019, 19:08
Hi all--

...

I have been eyeing the CL, and seeing some wonderful results from it (Sara M Lee's "Tender are the Nighthawks" series is stunning), but the only question I have is this: If I mount a manual focus lens on it, will it feel like a "real" Leica? Will buying into a CL system mean that I am missing out on what makes a Leica special?

This question is about as subjective as they come, and there is probably no simple answer. But I thought it couldn't hurt to ask!

....

First of all I don't own a CL. But I have considered buying one as I like the size being very pocketable with the right lense. Since I prefer the 35mm focal length my thoughts if I were to buy the CL, I would start with the Leica Summicron-TL 23mm f/2 ASPH. I think that would be the perfect kit. Unobstrusive and quiet.

jaapv
01-02-2019, 04:23
I have been using M cameras since 1976. Yes, my CL feels like a "real Leica" with M lenses, but an EVF, good as it is, is quite different from a Rangefinder-Viewfinder. For me no problem at all, but that is a personal matter of preferences.

The cropped sensor argument is neither here nor there IMO. I have never seen anybody able to display "better" photographs based on sensor size.
24x36 is no full frame, it is as much a miniature format as APS. Full Frame is a camera that is used for contact prints. Like an 18x24 view camera.

The whole term is an invention by Canon Marketing when they brought out the 1D. Nothing more...

https://petapixel.com/2017/10/03/full-frame-vs-crop-sensor-shootout-can-tell-difference/

ptpdprinter
01-02-2019, 04:47
The cropped sensor argumenty is neither here nor there IMO. I have never seen anybody able to display "better" photographs based on sensor size.
The crop sensor is clearly "here or there" for manual focus lens selection.

Out to Lunch
01-02-2019, 04:56
Someone lend it to me one for one day. A fantastic camera with a Leica feel, at least as far as luxury is concerned. If you have M-lenses and do not mind buying the M-adapter for an extra $ 395, perhaps a rangefinder alternative for you. Not for me: I have a few rangefinders and too many digital cameras as we speak. This said, I agree with jaapv...the crop/sensor size does not stand in the way of making good pictures.

Ko.Fe.
01-02-2019, 04:58
I have been using M cameras since 1976. Yes, my CL feels like a "real Leica" with M lenses, but an EVF, good as it is, is quite different from a Rangefinder-Viewfinder. For me no problem at all.
The cropped sensor argumenty is neither here nor there IMO. I have never seen anybody able to display "better" photographs based on sensor size.

Nobody told it is better photos. Some, including me, wrote it is not giving M FOV.
Honestly, then 21mm lens gives 32mm it far from good.
If your are wide in vision, crop sensor is nothing good for wide M and other FF lenses.
If you are 50mm and tele then crop is fine.

karateisland
01-02-2019, 05:16
My big surprise in this thread is that there are so many different views on what makes a "real" Leica.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to VF. If the EVF refreshes quickly enough that I can snag a split-second expression, then it's good enough for me. I'm in my early 30s and I grew up looking at screens, so an EVF doesn't bother me. Besides, if I want a magical viewfinder experience, I'll just break out my Rollei! Nothing like it.

As for the FOV issue with APS-C sensors, I'm mostly a 50mm+ kind of guy, and rarely need something wider. Have been using an X100F for about a year, and most of the reason I started looking for a new camera was because the 35mm equiv lens on that camera feels too wide for the way I see.

I am also coming at this decision from an unusual position, at least for this forum: I currently own no M-mount lenses.

dfdann
01-02-2019, 05:32
I own and use a M7 and a M8. Love them. But my CL with tl 18 and 23mm ln addition to
my M and Nikon lens is by far my preference. Really prefer the EVF. Waiting availability of
tl 55-135. Have used CL for almost a year.
Cheers, Dan

colker
01-02-2019, 05:42
The real Feel comes from looking at the VF(whatever VF, optical, electronic, plastic, german, chinese, japanese, portuguese..) and taking the shot.

it´s all that matters.
Anything else is baloney.


PS: but the best feel of all comes from developing your film and printing your pictures.

jaapv
01-02-2019, 05:43
The crop sensor is clearly "here or there" for manual focus lens selection.

Only if you are hung up by numbers. The field of view is what you make of it by your own framing - the angle of view depends. And if you want to go wide - does 15 mm equivalent suffice? - There is a very nice Voigtländer 10 mm.

jaapv
01-02-2019, 05:45
My big surprise in this thread is that there are so many different views on what makes a "real" Leica.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to VF. If the EVF refreshes quickly enough that I can snag a split-second expression, then it's good enough for me. I'm in my early 30s and I grew up looking at screens, so an EVF doesn't bother me. Besides, if I want a magical viewfinder experience, I'll just break out my Rollei! Nothing like it.

As for the FOV issue with APS-C sensors, I'm mostly a 50mm+ kind of guy, and rarely need something wider. Have been using an X100F for about a year, and most of the reason I started looking for a new camera was because the 35mm equiv lens on that camera feels too wide for the way I see.

I am also coming at this decision from an unusual position, at least for this forum: I currently own no M-mount lenses.
The EVF is close to the SL one which is arguably the best on the market. Yes, you can catch any impression in good light :)

leicapixie
01-02-2019, 05:46
The CL is a digital camera with built in obsolescence..
A new model all the time, battery availability another means,
of killing a model. If your income has no problem with digital Leica prices, go for a full frame Leica..An M.
Lenses will be what designed for..
Film is alive and well and very competitive..
I love the slowness (no longer doing pro assignments),
the tactile feel of holding an image..
Only you the buyer can decide what you should do!
I have looked at the 28mm 1.7 summilux camera,
that never opens aperture more than f2.4 ?..
A cropped image at higher views..
The CL can never be a Barnack!
Those old cameras are unique and all the mods cannot compare!
I have used them, the results very interesting with old lenses..

jaapv
01-02-2019, 05:46
Nobody told it is better photos. Some, including me, wrote it is not giving M FOV.
Honestly, then 21mm lens gives 32mm it far from good.
If your are wide in vision, crop sensor is nothing good for wide M and other FF lenses.
If you are 50mm and tele then crop is fine.
Please define "far from good".

colker
01-02-2019, 05:48
Honestly, then 21mm lens gives 32mm it far from good.

Because...?

This is myth. If there is any difference is in more depth of field and if you are shooting a 21mm you don´t want less depth of field.

colker
01-02-2019, 05:52
The CL can never be a Barnack!
Those old cameras are unique and all the mods cannot compare!
I have used them, the results very interesting with old lenses..

The more people buying expensive cameras for bad reasons.. the more pristine good cameras on the used market.

Yeah: buy a Leica M10, ME, MP, MA!!!

colker
01-02-2019, 05:55
Only if you are hung up by numbers. The field of view is what you make of it by your own framing - the angle of view depends. And if you want to go wide - does 15 mm equivalent suffice? - There is a very nice Voigtländer 10 mm.

NOt to mention a cropped angle gives usually the best sharpness of any lens.

Otoh.. the more baloney around the M8, the cheaper it becomes. More power to shooters.

Out to Lunch
01-02-2019, 05:58
All of this hardware talk doesn't mean a thing. What matters is what you have captured...either with film, or digital, with a cropped or full frame sensor, or with a phone.

colker
01-02-2019, 06:00
All of this hardware talk doesn't mean a thing. What matters is what you have captured...either with film, or digital, with a cropped or full frame sensor, or with a phone.

This ^^^^^^^^^:D

ptpdprinter
01-02-2019, 06:12
A fantastic camera with a Leica feel, at least as far as luxury is concerned.And it has a red dot.

Ko.Fe.
01-02-2019, 06:12
Please define "far from good".

In other words it sucks if you need lens to act as wide lens, not tele.

karateisland
01-02-2019, 06:13
And it has a red dot.

For me to cover with black tape...

jaapv
01-02-2019, 06:20
In other words it sucks if you need lens to act as wide lens, not tele.
If you want a wide lens, use a wide lens. The number on it is irrelevant...

https://youtu.be/PHYidejT3KY

colker
01-02-2019, 06:27
In other words it sucks if you need lens to act as wide lens, not tele.

M8 has a 15% increase in focal length only if i am not mistaken.
It does not convert a wide to tele.
I worked w/ a Nikon D100 and D200 for years, w/ more cropping than that and did everything i wanted out of my lenses.

As I see it Leica should have a line of cropped sensors w/ better prices just like Nikon does... If it´s a CL, more power to them. Big sensors are much more expensive.

jaapv
01-02-2019, 06:50
The CL is a digital camera with built in obsolescence..
A new model all the time, battery availability another means,
of killing a model. If your income has no problem with digital Leica prices, go for a full frame Leica..An M.
Lenses will be what designed for..
Film is alive and well and very competitive..
I love the slowness (no longer doing pro assignments),
the tactile feel of holding an image..
Only you the buyer can decide what you should do!
I have looked at the 28mm 1.7 summilux camera,
that never opens aperture more than f2.4 ?..
A cropped image at higher views..
The CL can never be a Barnack!
Those old cameras are unique and all the mods cannot compare!
I have used them, the results very interesting with old lenses..
Well, you have a choice - buy an up-to-date camera which will become obsolescent or buy an old-tech one which already is...:D

Ko.Fe.
01-02-2019, 06:55
If you want a wide lens, use a wide lens. The number on it is irrelevant...

https://youtu.be/PHYidejT3KY

FoV of 21 wide lens is 31 on CL.

Here is nothing what could be done, this is why it is called as the crop.
Even some YouTube video will not fix it. :)

karateisland
01-02-2019, 07:01
FoV of 21 wide lens is 31 on CL.

Here is nothing what could be done, this is why it is called as the crop.
Even some YouTube video will not fix it. :)

No, but as I understand their point--just buy the lens that gives you the angle of view you want (thanks Jaap), and your problem is solved. I don't have any Leica lenses in my stable at the moment so this seems like a very reasonable approach to me.

jaapv
01-02-2019, 07:12
FoV of 21 wide lens is 31 on CL.

Here is nothing what could be done, this is why it is called as the crop.
Even some YouTube video will not fix it. :)
Hang on.. You're a photographer -right? You see the shot, you select your gear - you take it. You are not going to take a 35 mm equ. lens when you need a 21 mm equ. are you?

And it is not field of view - it is angle of view. Field of view incorporates the subject distance.

Huss
01-02-2019, 07:25
Does the digital CL feel like a "real" Leica?....
My big surprise in this thread is that there are so many different views on what makes a "real" Leica.


If you can, go to a dealer who has the CL, M etc in stock so you can handle them. Then it's up to you.

karateisland
01-02-2019, 07:28
If you can, go to a dealer who has the CL, M etc in stock so you can handle them. Then it's up to you.

All other arguments aside, this is my plan--I am learning that no one else's opinion is as important as my own experience. I'm going to Boston for the weekend soon, and I'll see if I can't test drive one of the cameras for 24 hours to see if it clicks or not.

(Or is the test drive only for the SL now?)

ptpdprinter
01-02-2019, 07:32
I'm going to Boston for the weekend soon, and I'll see if I can't test drive one of the cameras for 24 hours to see if it clicks or not.
LensRentals:

https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/leica-cl

Don't forget a lens.

Ko.Fe.
01-02-2019, 07:36
Hang on.. You're a photographer -right? You see the shot, you select your gear - you take it. You are not going to take a 35 mm equ. lens when you need a 21 mm equ. are you?

And it is not field of view - it is angle of view. Field of view incorporates the subject distance.

Thank you, Jaap. I'm just calling it wrong, I guess.
This is what I'm trying to say here from day one :).
Here is no M 14mm lens made by Leica, I guess, to have similar to 21mm Leica made lens result.
But maybe OP doesn't mind 50mm lens to be 75mm.

Personally, I like how 35mm 35usd Jupiter-12 gives me same images on film and digital M :)
Otherwise I would already own Epson R-D1.

jaapv
01-02-2019, 07:44
I use the Voigtländer 15, no problem :), besides, the wide zoom for the CL is 11-23, with plenty of Leica quality built in :)

Ko.Fe.
01-02-2019, 08:01
Exactly! I like how Leica zoom renders on my Panasonic P&S :).

css9450
01-02-2019, 08:28
Hmmmm, my Sony A6000 has an APS-C sensor, can use M-mount lenses (with an adapter), and costs a tiny fraction of what a digital CL might cost. But it doesn't "feel" like a "real" Leica. Better probably, because the Sony has a useable handgrip which makes handholding infinitely more comfortable and secure than the usual bar-of-soap shape Leica is forever married to for all its cameras.

colker
01-02-2019, 08:34
All other arguments aside, this is my plan--I am learning that no one else's opinion is as important as my own experience. I'm going to Boston for the weekend soon, and I'll see if I can't test drive one of the cameras for 24 hours to see if it clicks or not.

(Or is the test drive only for the SL now?)

It will click or not over the counter. Hold it, press to your face, shoot. Three times. You either feel the love or don´t.
You may dislike it in 6 months which i highly doubt.
If you have the cash, buy a high end small digital. They are wonderful.

Sonys were mentioned... Sonys have confusing menus. Leica opts for simplified menus. It´s their take on digital and it´s great.

jsrockit
01-02-2019, 08:45
I think the CL has that Leica build quality. It’s feels good in the hands. I’d buy the lenses that are made for it though. If you want to use ff MF lenses, there are better options. I’d stay clear of the SL though. Those are for diehard Leica fans only imo. For full frame Leica M lenses, nothing beats an M.

jsrockit
01-02-2019, 08:46
Hmmmm, my Sony A6000 has an APS-C sensor, can use M-mount lenses (with an adapter), and costs a tiny fraction of what a digital CL might cost. But it doesn't "feel" like a "real" Leica. Better probably, because the Sony has a useable handgrip which makes handholding infinitely more comfortable and secure than the usual bar-of-soap shape Leica is forever married to for all its cameras.

You do realize that grips are a preference right? I hate grips, so long live the soap bar!

Godfrey
01-02-2019, 08:47
All other arguments aside, this is my plan--I am learning that no one else's opinion is as important as my own experience. I'm going to Boston for the weekend soon, and I'll see if I can't test drive one of the cameras for 24 hours to see if it clicks or not.

(Or is the test drive only for the SL now?)

Ah, you're changing the basis of your decision process on us. :D

Seriously, the SL is a rather different order of fish from either the M or the CL. Do take a look at it, it's a lovely machine, but it's not directly comparable to either the M or the CL.

I had an SL for three years. It's a superb camera. The body is a nice size: about the size/weight/shape of a Leicaflex SL give or take a little. Its native SL series lenses are superb performers, but they tend to be rather bulky and heavy. It, like the CL, performs well with most of the M series lenses (M Adapter L necessary) and with all of the R series lenses (either M Adapter L + R Adapter M or R Adapter L mount adapters necessary ... to get all the lens profiles). The EVF is likely the best, or at least one of the best, in the business. And the control layout, etc, is superb ... if utterly and completely different from an M camera.

But I found that when I retired and closed my photo business for good, I didn't want to carry it any more. It's a tool that met my every need for professional jobs, but it's not a camera that I want to carry casually for my own photography.

I replaced the SL with the CL because I still needed a TTL camera for purposes like macro, copy work, long telephoto work, etc. And I still have all my R lenses. And I find the CL is great to have around for much more than those niche purposes. The CL handles much better with Leica M lenses—its smaller size and lighter weight balances better with them—and still performs brilliantly with the R system lenses and accessories. For my specific niche needs, it actually does a better job than the SL ... given the same resolution sensor for copy and close-up work, with the same lens as the SL, I don't need to work with such long extensions on the bellows or such a tall copy stand position, with means fewer problems with vibration, etc.

In the end, the only opinion that matters is your own. Go to a Leica dealer and handle all three, for sure. They are all superb cameras, and all superb lenses. Pick whichever one tickles your fancy, then go out and make photos.

G

"Equipment is transitory. Photographs endure."

css9450
01-02-2019, 09:01
You do realize that grips are a preference right? I hate grips, so long live the soap bar!

Yes, obviously. It is pretty much a thread full of our opinions and preferences, after all.

Emile de Leon
01-02-2019, 09:25
A lot of us older guys consider the CL..as it has the Leica vibes...ie..luxury..
..but w/older eyesight going south.. the M focusing gets less use...and weight issues as well... as in...who wants to carry a brick around..
..I definitely considered the CL for awhile..but no flippy screen..no deal..as I do a lot of low angle shots and don't want to strain my back..

aizan
01-02-2019, 09:41
This thread might point to the unmet demand for a full frame M-mount camera with a rangefinder-style EVF. Beside the mechanical simplicity, it would probably sell in greater volume and cost less as a result.

colker
01-02-2019, 10:15
This thread might point to the unmet demand for a full frame M-mount camera with a rangefinder-style EVF. Beside the mechanical simplicity, it would probably sell in greater volume and cost less as a result.

"Full frame sensor" and "cost less" should not be in the same paragraph.

Full frame goes well w/ full wallet.

jsrockit
01-02-2019, 10:25
This thread might point to the unmet demand for a full frame M-mount camera with a rangefinder-style EVF. Beside the mechanical simplicity, it would probably sell in greater volume and cost less as a result.

Keep dreaming about it costing less...

ptpdprinter
01-02-2019, 10:31
"Full frame sensor" and "cost less" should not be in the same paragraph. Full frame goes well w/ full wallet.There are a number of FF mirrorless cameras less expensive than the CL. Canon, Nikon, Sony and others make them. Making a FF EVF M mount at a price lower than the CL is certainly possible. It won't come from Leica though. They are not interested. They target a different market segment. There have long been rumors of an M mount Q. One was rumored to be released last June, but that obviously didn't happen. It won't be cheap when it does arrive.

Huss
01-02-2019, 10:40
Hmmmm, my Sony A6000 has an APS-C sensor, can use M-mount lenses (with an adapter), and costs a tiny fraction of what a digital CL might cost. But it doesn't "feel" like a "real" Leica. Better probably, because the Sony has a useable handgrip which makes handholding infinitely more comfortable and secure than the usual bar-of-soap shape Leica is forever married to for all its cameras.

I’ve used both the Sony 6300 ( i think) and the CL and the CL is so much nicer to hold and use with much better haptics that there is no comparison from the luxury viewpoint. The CL was just a pleasure to use while the Sony was just a tool to use. Whether that matters is down to preference and budget.
But it should be like this as the CL is so much more expensive!

aizan
01-02-2019, 10:41
Less than a rangefinder M, maybe even less than an SL, more than a CL. You know what I mean.

Ko.Fe.
01-02-2019, 10:44
This thread might point to the unmet demand for a full frame M-mount camera with a rangefinder-style EVF. Beside the mechanical simplicity, it would probably sell in greater volume and cost less as a result.

Something like Fujifilm did with thier digital MF cropper.
First they came with SLR style EVF and later on with EVF slapped into the corner.
Since Leica has camera which looks like Sony A7, they could do the same.
Both Sony and Leica. Oh!: And Canonikon. Canon could even call it as RF. :).

css9450
01-02-2019, 10:54
I’ve used both the Sony 6300 ( i think) and the CL and the CL is so much nicer to hold and use with much better haptics that there is no comparison from the luxury viewpoint. The CL was just a pleasure to use while the Sony was just a tool to use. Whether that matters is down to preference and budget.

Yeah, I wasn't very impressed with the Sony zooms. I'm convinced I get better results from almost any MF lenses I put on my A6000 vs. the Sony zooms.

raid
01-02-2019, 11:31
I don't get annoyed or even excited about specific camera types or brands. Can your camera get you images that you find acceptable? This is really what matters (to me). The Leica CL digital camera is a modern digital Leica camera. Most likely, it is an excellent camera. I have never used a digital CL. The film CL felt less solid to me than my M3, so I sold it years ago.

tifat
01-02-2019, 11:50
A few background comments:

I have and use a number of nice mechanical film cameras including an M4 (since 1990). I'm fine with rangefinder focusing but I'm not as enthusiastic about it as some people.

I use normal prime lenses (35, 50 and 75eq) exclusively.

I only shoot BW (other than with a phone).

I prefer manual focus.

I'm very good at simple arithmetic (that is, I can both multiply and divide by 1.5).

I'm old enough to know that life is too short for cameras with too many buttons and convoluted menus.

With that said, I have a digital CL and use it with M lenses. I have a 35 and 50 and am working on getting a 21. I really like this camera. The finder looks great in BW. It's very easy to focus very accurately. Manually setting ISO is easy. Aperture priority works great. Exposure adjustments work great. It's the first digital camera I've had that feels completely natural. If "completely natural" is what "Leica" is about then, for me, this is a Leica.

As far as investing in TL, I feel like a CL with M lenses is a nice hedge. It seems like things a heading full frame. EVs are still getting better. I'm hoping for a CL/M/SL love child that's full frame, about the size of an M (maybe smaller) with an absolutely stunning EV. I think the odds are in my favor. (But I guess those odds would get a bit worse if I make it Monochrom without a screen).

I don't know if Leica Boston gives loaners but if you bring a memory card and spend a couple hours with the CL and an M and TL and M lenses, I think you'll get a good idea. That's what I did, they were a big help and it worked out great.

Calzone
01-02-2019, 12:43
My CL was kidnaped by my fashion blogger gal. She bought the 23 Cron TL.

I liked it as a fast shooter, love the ergonomics of the controls. The second dial for exposure compensation enhances using auto. The joystick for single point focus and exposure works for me. Pretty much all I need.

For manual focus I used the zoom function rather than focus peaking. I found zooming to be more accurate.

Now imagine mounting a Noct-Nikkor and the 58/1.2 becoming an 87/1.2 utilizing the sweet spot of a legendary lens. My 50 Lux-R "E60" is another magic lens for 75mm FOV.

Know I own a SL so I purposely bought the CL for portrait work, but my gal took ownership of the camera. Kinda reminds me of that GMC SUV commercial where the woman says, "I love it," and the guy says, "I like red."

Cal

FrozenInTime
01-02-2019, 12:54
When I saw that the SL lens roadmap was aiming for optical perfection and not going to compromise in order to reduce size, I decided the TL system was the way to retain the compactness of Leica M with the convenience of AF and zooms.

Loved the TL2 style and UI, but in practice the external EVF only really works for me with the 11-23 at all other times, it catches on the bag, so the tilt angle is not worth the size increase. The focus peaking on M lenses was also too weak for LCD only use. I still use the TL2with the 18 and 23 as a Ricoh GR replacement.

ost recently I bought a CL and use it as my main camera with a 28mm M lens or 18-56 plus 35 TL.

I do feel the CL sympathetically evolves the spirit of the original LTM/M camera and lenses better than anything else on the market.
That said a M series body with EVF only would also be on my wish list and of more interest than a M11 with optical RF when it comes time to upgrade fro:the M10.

Landberg
01-02-2019, 13:03
It does not feel like a Leica M. It feels like a mirrorless camera with good build quality. When i tested it with the 23mm the AF felt slow compared to other mirrorless systems. They may have fixed that, I hope they have.

traveler_101
01-02-2019, 21:49
It does not feel like a Leica M. It feels like a mirrorless camera with good build quality. When i tested it with the 23mm the AF felt slow compared to other mirrorless systems. They may have fixed that, I hope they have.

Also no internal stabilisation - which should make using MF lenses more difficult.

Landberg
01-03-2019, 02:09
Also no internal stabilisation - which should make using MF lenses more difficult.

Why? Leica M don’t have IS, but only MF lenses.

karateisland
01-03-2019, 04:54
Most recently I bought a CL and use it as my main camera with a 28mm M lens or 18-56 plus 35 TL.

How do you find the 35TL? It looks like a gorgeous lens, but somewhat on the bulky side. I'm intrigued, but since I'm used to my X100F and G2, a lens that size seems like it would make the camera more of a pain to carry, and less stealthy when I'm taking candids.

jsrockit
01-03-2019, 05:55
How do you find the 35TL? It looks like a gorgeous lens, but somewhat on the bulky side. I'm intrigued, but since I'm used to my X100F and G2, a lens that size seems like it would make the camera more of a pain to carry, and less stealthy when I'm taking candids.

Yep, I’m a 50mm user and the fact that that lens is so big keeps me away from the CL. Thankfully, I like the xpro2 with 35mm f2. So close to your G2 in my opinion and pretty cheap used now.

Calzone
01-03-2019, 06:16
I do feel the CL sympathetically evolves the spirit of the original LTM/M camera and lenses better than anything else on the market.
That said a M series body with EVF only would also be on my wish list and of more interest than a M11 with optical RF when it comes time to upgrade fro:the M10.

FIT,

The CL with a 28 Cron-M is a 42mm. Two clicks on the right dial and I get the magnification I need to focus fast and accurately. At tap on the shutter and I get full framing.

Rigged with a 28 Cron it is very much like a film CL with a 40 Cron. Also is sized like a LTM IMHO.

What makes the CL a great camera is that it is fun and easy to use.

BTW the 28 Cron with the limited scalloped metal hood looks evil on the CL.

Cal

JohnP1
01-03-2019, 06:42
When I was considering a camera purchase this time last year I compared the CL and the Fuji X-E3. As a Fuji owner already (X-T2) the choice seemed like a foregone conclusion, especially considering the price. However side by side in the hand the Fuji felt like a toy whilst the CL felt hewn from a solid block of metal. One deep breath later I became the owner of a CL plus 23/2 Summicron. I have since added the 18-56 & 11-23, and have not regretted my decision for one minute.

Regarding M mount lenses and others, just about anything is possible with the correct adaptor. I have used several Leica M lenses, a 60/2.8 macro R, a Voigtlander 28/3.5 and some Olympus OM's. My experience is none of these lenses work particularly well at or near full aperture, but some are better than others. Best of the bunch are the Voigtlander 28/3.5, Leica 60/2.8 and Olympus 200/4. I think of manual focus lenses on the CL as a bit of fun. Best by far to use native lenses. Whilst the argument over crop factor goes against wide angle lenses, it works in favour of longer focal lengths. My 200/4 OM makes a very handy 300/4 at negligible cost.

Regards

John

Calzone
01-03-2019, 06:53
Regarding M mount lenses and others, just about anything is possible with the correct adaptor. I think of manual focus lenses on the CL as a bit of fun. Best by far to use native lenses. Whilst the argument over crop factor goes against wide angle lenses, it works in favour of longer focal lengths. My 200/4 OM makes a very handy 300/4 at negligible cost.

Regards
John

John,

Plus one. Longer lenses do very well. In my case a Noct-Nikkor and 50 Lux-R make truly great short fast telephotos. The crop factor utilizes only the sweet spot for high IQ.

Cal

Ko.Fe.
01-03-2019, 16:21
Also no internal stabilisation - which should make using MF lenses more difficult.

No Phase Detect and dust clean, either. While dust clean is available for ten+ years already.
So, CL does feel like true Leica, because it is hard to image any other manufacturing without sensor dust clean. I mean, regular cameras manufacturer.

Dust bunnies is Leica sensor unique signature. It is so M-E. :D Joy of M lenses at its poor experience. Oh, wait M-E has shutter in front of the sensor. CL - full dust exposées.

On the positive note, I opened BH mirrorless page sorted from rich to just working.
Here is how first pages top $$$$ cameras looks like:

M10 - nice.
Sony something - ugly.
M240 - nice.
Sony something - ugly.
Panasonic something - ugly.
Sony something - ugly.
Fuji something - ugly.
CL - so cute.

CL is for Cute Leica.


https://media1.tenor.com/images/1387d1744cd920bd07ecd4fc24639ff3/tenor.gif?itemid=6484587

https://tenor.com/view/give-me-gif-6484587

Ronald M
01-03-2019, 21:00
Leica M is what makes a Leica. The rest are just expensive cameras.

Mirrorless should be tried b/4 buying. There is a refresh lag between what the lens sees and eyepiece which is very difficult to me. Ok for landscape and subjects that do not move, well sort of, but impossible to time sports or dance shots. That is why they fire off 10 frames trying to get one good.

Lss
01-04-2019, 03:03
Dust bunnies is Leica sensor unique signature.
I get pretty much the same amount of dust bunnies on Leica and Sony despite the latter having a bunny shaker. Still, it's a feature that is sometimes actually useful, and Leica definitely should try to find a way to adopt it this century.

FrozenInTime
01-05-2019, 08:29
How do you find the 35TL? It looks like a gorgeous lens, but somewhat on the bulky side. I'm intrigued, but since I'm used to my X100F and G2, a lens that size seems like it would make the camera more of a pain to carry, and less stealthy when I'm taking candids.

The 35 TL Summilux is not a whole lot bigger than the 18-56 so it’s not difficult to get used to.
The lens rendering is very neutral wide open, which where I use it 90% of be time.
Bokeh is smooth both in front of and behind the plane of focus.
CA around bright light sources seems fully corrected.

However, I do still prefer the M 28mm/2 for angle of view and size when walking about town, so my 35TL usage has mostly been indoors.
The 18-56 I’ve found ideal when hillwalking or for grab shots from the car when pulled over by the side of the road.

FrozenInTime
01-05-2019, 08:36
FIT,

The CL with a 28 Cron-M is a 42mm. Two clicks on the right dial and I get the magnification I need to focus fast and accurately. At tap on the shutter and I get full framing.

Rigged with a 28 Cron it is very much like a film CL with a 40 Cron. Also is sized like a LTM IMHO.

What makes the CL a great camera is that it is fun and easy to use.

BTW the 28 Cron with the limited scalloped metal hood looks evil on the CL.

Cal

Yes great lens, seeing more use on the CL than it did on the M.
With the CL EVF/LCD seeing flare is easy, so I go for compact and do not use a hood instead use my hand as a shade when needed.

robert blu
01-05-2019, 09:08
...CL is for Cute Leica.


Love this :)
robert

karateisland
01-05-2019, 09:32
Yes great lens, seeing more use on the CL than it did on the M.
With the CL EVF/LCD seeing flare is easy, so I go for compact and do not use a hood instead use my hand as a shade when needed.

A 42 WOULD be awfully close to the 45 AOV I love so much on my Contax G2. Sounds like a great day-to-day shooting lens.

sepiareverb
01-05-2019, 09:53
Anyone that would need image stabilization on a camera that can shoot at iso 12000 must have some crazy shakes.

Ko.Fe.
01-05-2019, 10:27
Anyone that would need image stabilization on a camera that can shoot at iso 12000 must have some crazy shakes.

I believe what cameras with similar 400 and 12800 ISO do not exist.
I'd rather use IBIS or IS, f8 , not amplified, low ISO and hint of flash to balance 1/30 with ambient light.
A'm this shaky?

Doug
01-05-2019, 14:19
A 42 WOULD be awfully close to the 45 AOV I love so much on my Contax G2. Sounds like a great day-to-day shooting lens.
The Contax/Zeiss 45mm Planar G is further from 42mm than would appear going by the nominal focal length, as it's actually more like 47mm according to the specs...

Focal length: 46.9mm
Angle of View 50 Degrees
Elements/Groups 6/4
Dimensions 56 x 38.5mm (2.2 x 1.52 in)
Film-to-flange distance 29mm
Weight 190g (6.7 oz)
Filter Size 46mm
f/Stop Range 2.0 to 16
Minimum Focus Distance 0.5m (1.7 ft, 20 in)
Specs show abt 1% barrel distortion.

ptpdprinter
01-05-2019, 14:26
Is the difference between 42-45-47 even a full step forward or back?

MCTuomey
01-05-2019, 15:44
This thread might point to the unmet demand for a full frame M-mount camera with a rangefinder-style EVF. Beside the mechanical simplicity, it would probably sell in greater volume and cost less as a result.

Yes, agree. I use a CL because there isn’t a sufficiently compact full frame EVF M camera for my needs.

jsrockit
01-05-2019, 20:18
Is the difference between 42-45-47 even a full step forward or back?

To me, the 42mm is closer to a 40mm, and the 47mm is closer to 50mm. With that said, a 40mm feels like a tight 35mm. I prefer 50mm and am very sensitive to focal lengths due to perspective changes between a 40 and a 50mm.

Photon42
01-06-2019, 03:34
Yes, agree. I use a CL because there isn’t a sufficiently compact full frame EVF M camera for my needs.

Hello Mike ... :D

Sort of the same here. And for me it is not a bad replacement for the Q. the 2/23 focuses fast enough. Other lenses are happily adaptable and the package is small, when used with MF lenses of reasonable size.
With respective adapter it is a nice companion to a film camera, if the crop factor is not killing it.

MCTuomey
01-06-2019, 06:31
Hello Mike ... :D

Sort of the same here. And for me it is not a bad replacement for the Q. the 2/23 focuses fast enough. Other lenses are happily adaptable and the package is small, when used with MF lenses of reasonable size.
With respective adapter it is a nice companion to a film camera, if the crop factor is not killing it.

Thanks again for the lovely lens! :)

Fine recap of the CL’s utility. Similarly pleased with mine, happy to pay the Leica premium for a body that plays better than other makers’ crop mirrorless alternatives because the CL plays so much better with M glass.

johannielscom
01-06-2019, 09:37
"Does the digital CL feel like a "real" Leica?"

No it does not. The real Leica is a Leica II and that feels totally different.

karateisland
01-06-2019, 10:11
"Does the digital CL feel like a "real" Leica?"

No it does not. The real Leica is a Leica II and that feels totally different.

I would hope that the CL doesn't feel like a camera released in the 1930s!

Calzone
01-07-2019, 06:41
I would hope that the CL doesn't feel like a camera released in the 1930s!

K,

It has for me the screwmount compactness over a M-body.

I think with a 28 Cron-M it is really close to being like the original film CL.

Cal

ptpdprinter
01-07-2019, 06:59
I think with a 28 Cron-M it is really close to being like the original film CL.
Except that the Leica film CL didn't have 28mm frame lines, just 40, 50 and 90.

Godfrey
01-07-2019, 07:25
Except that the Leica film CL didn't have 28mm frame lines, just 40, 50 and 90.

Of course, the digital CL doesn't need or use frame lines at all. What Cal was getting at is that the digital CL fitted with a compact 28mm lens presents just about the same FoV and is about the same physical size and weight as the film CL.

So much palaver over this. Sheesh. It's a nice, sensibly sized camera with a quality feel, with good controls, and it is well optimized to use with a huge range of new and existing Leica lenses of three different types: TL-, R-, and M-mount. It produces a 24 Mpixel image with outstanding color, dynamic range, and acutance. Because of the excellent TTL viewfinder, it can be configured to do a much wider, more versatile range of things than any rangefinder camera can approach. And it has the same quality feel as other Leica cameras. It is NOT an M, a film CL, an S, an R, or an SL camera. It's not a T, TL, or TL2 either ... different control design. And it has interchangeable lenses so it's not a Q, X, or any other fixed lens camera either.

What's not to like? If you don't like it, don't buy it: move on. Whatever.

G

dfdann
01-07-2019, 11:41
Thanks. I could not have said it better. Amazes me when someone disses a camera
they do not have.
Dan

Bill Blackwell
01-10-2019, 17:27
... If I mount a manual focus lens on it, will it feel like a "real" Leica? Will buying into a CL system mean that I am missing out on what makes a Leica special? ...

... If you had to start buying Leica TODAY, ...?

Other points, just in case they come up:
* The M9 feels like a risky buy if I want to develop my own color-processing style, the M240 is too bulky for my taste, ...
It really depends on your perception of what makes a Leica "special".

If I were entering the Leica world today, I'd be shopping for a clean M9 with a factory replaced sensor. The color renderings I got from my M9 were far superior to those from my M-P 240.

And FWIW, the dimensions (height and width) on an M240 are identical to that of an M9.

jaapv
01-15-2019, 15:55
But the M240 is a full 0.5 mm thicker than the M9. Enough to start an Internet myth, it appears.:rolleyes:

Bill Blackwell
01-16-2019, 18:04
But the M240 is a full 0.5 mm thicker than the M9. Enough to start an Internet myth, it appears.:rolleyes:
That 0.5 mm is the small thumb bump on the back of the camera which has a dial in it.

Otherwise the dimensions of an M240 are identcal to that of an M9.

However, the M240 is about 90 grams heavier - just in case you want to go there.

jaapv
01-18-2019, 02:15
0,5 mm? The bump is a bit more than that... :lpl:

half a millimeter is the actual thickness difference :D

Emile de Leon
01-18-2019, 07:51
half a mm is a lot...to the sensitive...person...lol..

Bill Blackwell
01-19-2019, 12:19
0,5 mm? The bump is a bit more than that... :lpl:

half a millimeter is the actual thickness difference :D
I've held them side-by side - it's the thumb bump.

https://www.apotelyt.com/compare-camera/leica-m9-vs-leica-m-typ-240