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Old 02-14-2019   #41
Bingley
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Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
M2 every time. With the electronics in the CLE....you stand a chance of having an irreparable failure. The M2 is a rock!
This^^^^^ without a doubt. An M2 in good working order will last forever...
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Old 02-14-2019   #42
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The CLE is the better travel camera and is all around simple to use, a great to build a kit around.


HOWEVER as a first film camera, I would advocate for a fully manual body, one where you really learn the exposure with no AE kiddy wheels. The CLE lacks the crucial ability to hold exposure (AEL) as it doesn't have a half-press lock, and it also doesn't have a metered manual mode.


So from that standpoint, diving straight into the deep end, the M2 is a better long term investment in your learning process, and it's much easier to find service for.
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Old 02-14-2019   #43
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This thread lead me to this online article about the Minolta CLE.

Why I chose the Minolta CLE over any Leica M

Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion and should pick what they want for reasons that matter to them. The key thing that stood out to me in this particular article was that the CLE provides no metering information when shooting in manual mode. Even thought the CLE looks like an awesome little camera, that particular side note would give me pause. (As I noted previously, personally I do enjoy the use of built-in metering.) i don't know that I learn something new every day, but at least I do still pick up some new knowledge every now and then. I had never seen the Casual Photophile website before now. It looks like they have lots of interesting content.

Interestingly that site bought one of my CLEs that then had a career ending electrical failure.
Just before the one I kept failed.

Yah, glad I no longer have them. Age catches up to those electronics.
The thing I liked about the CLE was the best 28mm vf I have used. One thing I didn't like about it is the small body size meant I kept on accidentally touching/pushing the lens release button.

CLEs are nice additions to a real M. Given the choice of only 1, real M every time.
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Leica M2 or Minolta CLE as a 1st film camera
Old 02-14-2019   #44
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Leica M2 or Minolta CLE as a 1st film camera

Short answer: M2
Long answer: Check thread love my M2 In Tom Abrahamsson forum
https://is.gd/y3Tjwr


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Old 02-15-2019   #45
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Originally Posted by Guth View Post
... The key thing that stood out to me in this particular article was that the CLE provides no metering information when shooting in manual mode. Even thought the CLE looks like an awesome little camera, that particular side note would give me pause. ...
This has been mentioned by others as well... But, y'know, you can get effective metered manual by turning it to Auto, noting the suggested shutter speed on the VF diodes, then selecting that or some other shutter speed manually on the shutter speed dial... done, right?
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Old 02-15-2019   #46
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Strange! Not one mention of the CLE's dad; meaning the CL...

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Old 02-15-2019   #47
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Strange! Not one mention of the CLE's dad; meaning the CL...

Regards, David
Maybe not so strange, David, as the two cameras are scarcely even related, they're so different. My understanding is that the Leica/Minolta cooperation failed when Minolta wanted to redesign the CL and Leica wasn't interested. So the only remaining Leica connection in the CLE was use of the M mount. No other relationship to the CL, and even then the RF cam roller was of a different design.
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Old 02-15-2019   #48
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This has been mentioned by others as well... But, y'know, you can get effective metered manual by turning it to Auto, noting the suggested shutter speed on the VF diodes, then selecting that or some other shutter speed manually on the shutter speed dial... done, right?
That's exactly what I do and very quickly too. With any camera, it's just muscle memory and using it often to get it working in an instinctive way. The CLE can be a no nonsense tool if you stick with it. I love it so much more than a Leica M. I find the 40 incredibly versatile also.
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Old 02-15-2019   #49
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HOWEVER as a first film camera, I would advocate for a fully manual body, one where you really learn the exposure with no AE kiddy wheels. The CLE lacks the crucial ability to hold exposure (AEL) as it doesn't have a half-press lock, and it also doesn't have a metered manual mode.

So from that standpoint, diving straight into the deep end, the M2 is a better long term investment in your learning process, and it's much easier to find service for.
Thing is, in manual mode the CLE behaves EXACTLY THE SAME as an M2. Or M3. Or M4/-2/-P. Or M-A.
Perhaps the flip side of this argument is complaining that the M2 does not have an auto metered mode?
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Old 02-16-2019   #50
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Maybe not so strange, David, as the two cameras are scarcely even related, they're so different. My understanding is that the Leica/Minolta cooperation failed when Minolta wanted to redesign the CL and Leica wasn't interested. So the only remaining Leica connection in the CLE was use of the M mount. No other relationship to the CL, and even then the RF cam roller was of a different design.
Not so strange, surely? The choice was between a large mechanical camera without a 28mm frame and an all electronic camera with the 28mm frame but no 50mm frame. The CL being a mechanical camera with a built in meter and so, perhaps, a compromise; especially after all the comments about electronics.

Many would say that the CLE was a development of the CL; I would having owned and used both. And many would, perhaps, point out the lineage of the Leica SLR's as a "does it really matter" reason.

I also thought it strange that the CL was not mentioned as we usually suggest every model/make variation possible and some not so possible.

But let's not argue.

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Old 02-16-2019   #51
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And by now nobody remembers who is servicing what. One old tech from seventies does CL, another old from seventies does CLE. And how many parts left? If any.
People reading forum threads from 2007 and not realizing what now these cameras are next to single use, been obsolete for service.
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Old 02-16-2019   #52
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I can't say anything about the M2. I have a CLE with 40mm Rokkor as my main street and all-purpose camera. I love the CLE but it is not a small as you'd think and has weight and heft - I can't imagine carrying a larger and heavier Leica M all day. And the pictures are just as good as from any Leica.

How likely is it really for the CLE electronics to fail, at least the part used in manual mode (i.e., only the electronic shutter)? I don't think it is a complicated circuit. I have heard of the metering failing, but the shutter electronics shouldn't be dependent on metering in manual mode. This is a quite solidly built and robust camera, better built and cheaper for a pristine sample with lens than, say, a modern Fuji X100 series. It is not some failure-prone 90s Ricoh. No fragile LCD, for example.

I have to say A-mode on my CLE has been fantastic in teaching me to read light. It's a fantastic biofeedback learning technique to adjust the aperture until you get the required shutter speed. After a while you don't even need to look at the metering and then you have basically learned manual shooting without needing a meter. (It also has the equivalent of manual metering/exposure lock with the small workaround described above - though it is not spot metering.) Learning to read light this way is very analogous to using the rangefinder patch to focus until your finger will automatically focus for you using muscle memory without using the rangefinder patch, which happens very quickly.

Even if you get a copy that serves you for just a couple of years, that's still more bang for the buck than you could get from any FF digital camera of comparable quality you might buy today.

This page has a list of compatible/incompatible M-mount lenses, which may be of interest to the OP: https://www.cameraquest.com/cle.htm
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Old 02-16-2019   #53
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And by now nobody remembers who is servicing what. One old tech from seventies does CL, another old from seventies does CLE. And how many parts left? If any.
People reading forum threads from 2007 and not realizing what now these cameras are next to single use, been obsolete for service.
I guess we are lucky.
In Vietnam, more and more people are interested in film photography, including new tech men.
As I mentioned earlier , Leica M camera can be repainted here, other services are totally doable.

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Old 02-16-2019   #54
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Even if you get a copy that serves you for just a couple of years, that's still more bang for the buck than you could get from any FF digital camera of comparable quality you might buy today.
https://www.cameraquest.com/cle.htm
Arguably yes.... but $500-600 for a disposable camera doesn't make any sense to me. The legacy and charm of the 'real' Leica Ms (& the same can be said of the screwmount Leicas).... is their durability, & longevity.

I used Leica CLs and Minolta CLEs as my primary camera, mountain climbing all over the world...& at that time they were reparable & reliable. Now i use a 50 yr old M4....recently serviced and utterly reliable.

I travel and photograph quite a bit & reliability is at the top of my priority list.
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Old 02-17-2019   #55
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Arguably yes.... but $500-600 for a disposable camera doesn't make any sense to me. The legacy and charm of the 'real' Leica Ms (& the same can be said of the screwmount Leicas).... is their durability, & longevity.

I used Leica CLs and Minolta CLEs as my primary camera, mountain climbing all over the world...& at that time they were reparable & reliable. Now i use a 50 yr old M4....recently serviced and utterly reliable.

I travel and photograph quite a bit & reliability is at the top of my priority list.
True, but I use an almost 40-year old 80s CLE and a continuously owned 25-year old early 90s Olympus clamshell automatic P&S. Both have simple electronics and feel reliable to me, which is more than I can say for my 2 year old Ricoh GR whose firmware crashes often. Almost everything has happened to the Olympus (baked, frozen, kept in moist tropical conditions, dropped on hard surfaces multiple times) and it still works and takes beautiful pictures.

Admittedly the CLE I got was well-kept. It is my main working camera but it is also a jewel.

I think we today are rightly afraid of electronics failures because our modern devices (cellphones, computers, etc.) are so wretchedly unreliable. This doesn't necessarily apply to a well-made camera from 1980 (or 1991 for the Olympus). After early 1990s, yes, I would worry, but not so much before then.

FWIW, there is still a person who services Minolta CLEs in the U.S., known on this forum, in case one needs it.
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Old 02-17-2019   #56
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M2. It’s a thing of beauty. I never understood Leica until I just bit the bullet and bought one. There was a learning curve of about a month of shooting, developing, and assessing my exposures. All those things were really fantastic training tools in understanding how cameras actually work, which then translated into my digital and medium format work as well. The camera also FEELS so nice that it really begs to be shot. Another thing I love about it is that I love its history and the fact that we are able to use a camera from the earliest days of photography with a direct lineage to the very first small format camera. Simple choice in my mind.
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Old 02-17-2019   #57
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Would it be unreasonable to point out that Minolta, or rather the Minolta that made the CL and CLE, no longer exist as such?

Secondly, I've had these two on display like this for some time to point up the differences and cannot guess what it would cost to set up a test bench for them and then locate and replace the dud part. Then there's the problem of what to charge and getting others to repair and lower the cost...



Having said that I'll add that a lot of mechanical bits will probably fail first, like battery connections, condensers (tested by sniffing carefully), switches and so on. They can be mended or just cleaned and I'm in favour of it but feel sorry for the technician who has to charge for the striping down and so on; especially if the thing can't be repaired.

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Old 02-18-2019   #58
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Arguably yes.... but $500-600 for a disposable camera doesn't make any sense to me.
Not me (my phone is from 2011), but I might point out that people will pay more than double that for a disposable cellphone or disposable APS-C digital camera today. (Disposable meaning a typical 2 year obsolescence cycle in the context of our conversation.) I sure hope to get more than 2 years out of my CLE, though of course there are no guarantees, but I feel like it's already more than paid off what I paid for it in worthwhile pictures in the year I've had it. It is still much cheaper than comparable Leicas or Leica clones. Regards, O.
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Old 02-18-2019   #59
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I guess we are lucky.
In Vietnam, more and more people are interested in film photography, including new tech men.
As I mentioned earlier , Leica M camera can be repainted here, other services are totally doable.

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Maybe yours will figure out how to manufacture Leica parts as well. Or are they already?
One known UK based company is placing Nikon steel curtains in M and have they own (non Leica made) replacement frame mask for old M3, M2.

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Old 02-18-2019   #60
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O, you are absolutely right, however, cellphones do last more than 2 years....we've just been brain-washed into 'upgrading.' There are cameras that were standouts when new... (I'm thinking Contax T series, Hasselblad Xpan) that much as i like them, I won't buy. For me, the risk is too great. I guess one way to look at it is that a CLE (an electronic Minolta w an M mount) offers the perks of metering off the film plane & convenience in image making, while the Leica M2 offers mechanical reliability, and it's our choice to prioritize our personal needs.
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Old 02-19-2019   #61
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Thx guys
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Old 02-19-2019   #62
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Old 02-20-2019   #63
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Maybe yours will figure out how to manufacture Leica parts as well. Or are they already?
One known UK based company is placing Nikon steel curtains in M and have they own (non Leica made) replacement frame mask for old M3, M2. .
Oh yes they can make parts for Leica, good that you mentioned.
The guy in Saigon I met he cast the top plate of Leica M6 by brass to replace the zinc one.
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Old 02-20-2019   #64
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Oh yes they can make parts for Leica, good that you mentioned.
The guy in Saigon I met he cast the top plate of Leica M6 by brass to replace the zinc one.
That's quite remarkable!
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Old 03-12-2019   #65
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The M2 is more archetypal than the CLE. So if you’re wanting to own a cool object, then the choice is obvious.
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Old 03-12-2019   #66
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Consider these:





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Old 03-12-2019   #67
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The answer is obvious. Agfa Optima 1535. Here with my lesser cameras..



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Old 03-12-2019   #68
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Why not go for a Voigtlander Bessa, like the R2 or R3a?

It's slightly more expensive then the CLE, but far more versital and has a built in meter to boot.
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Old 03-18-2019   #69
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Why not go for a Voigtlander Bessa, like the R2 or R3a?

It's slightly more expensive then the CLE, but far more versital and has a built in meter to boot.
The CLE also has a built-in meter as well as aperture mode auto-exposure like the Bessa. (Also, the CLE exposure lock workaround has been described above but I almost never need it; I almost always use AE possibly combined with exposure compensation on the CLE.) I'm sure the Bessas are good cameras (I almost bought one before I got a really good CLE with lens for cheaper than a Bessa body only) but its functionality seems more or less equivalent to the CLE's. Sure, the Bessa has faster shutter speeds, but the 1/1000 shutter of the CLE is fast enough for me to completely freeze mid-jump skateboarders, for example, which is fast enough for me.

Something that hasn't been discussed much but is important to me personally: The CLE is by no means a small/light camera. It is solid and large compared to a P&S, and (I think) heavier and larger than, say, the Fuji X100 series cameras, but fortunately for me it is just below the borderline of a pain in the neck to carry (literally, I get neck/shoulder pain). The Bessas are pretty huge, and would definitely cause my neck/shoulder to act up.
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