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Which CL? Leica/Leitz-Minolta/Minolta
Old 07-15-2013   #1
msbarnes
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Which CL? Leica/Leitz-Minolta/Minolta

I'm thinking of picking up a CL + 40mm. I want to get whichever is cheapest and dead meters are OK with me.

Does the CL serial/version matter? According to Stephen Gandy's website, the CL underwent six internal design changes and I believe that the "minolta" ones were made last but I'm not sure.

As for the lens, everything that I read indicates that they are essentially the same quality but the Rokkor has easier to deal with filter threads and late ones are multi-coated.

Also, were the "Leica" CL's and "Leica" Summicrons made in Germany?
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Old 07-15-2013   #2
Godfrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
I'm thinking of picking up a CL + 40mm. I want to get whichever is cheapest and dead meters are OK with me.

Does the CL serial/version matter? According to Stephen Gandy's website, the CL underwent six internal design changes and I believe that the "minolta" ones were made last but I'm not sure.

As for the lens, everything that I read indicates that they are essentially the same quality but the Rokkor has easier to deal with filter threads and late ones are multi-coated.

Also, were the "Leica" CL's and "Leica" Summicrons made in Germany?
It's better to get as good condition, fully functional a body as possible at this late date. A partially broken body may well have other problems which simply haven't surfaced yet. A good working, clean one is more likely to remain reliable.

I don't know about the CL revisions. I haven't checked serial numbers on mine yet. Got it in terrific shape from another RFF subscriber in Amsterdam. Just checked .. Mine was made in '74-'75. All CLs were made in Japan and finished QA in Wetzlar.

Regards the lenses, the Summicron-C and M-Rokkor 40s are really the same lens optically. The Summi was made by Leica in Wetzlar, the M-Rokkor by Minolta in Japan. The M-Rokkor is a little lighter weight. The gen 2 M-Rokkor was OEM on the CLE, same design with multicoatings. It is what I use on my CL.

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Old 07-15-2013   #3
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CLs have been going dirt cheap on ebay. I've seen scratched up ones with dead meters but otherwise functional go for $130 or less as sold by reputable sellers. Average is probably $300 in excellent condition with functioning meter, $200-250 if the meter is dead. Heck, CLEs are down to $350 part of the time.

If you are thinking about a lens, try to grab them together if you find a nice pair. With lens, they're often in the $450-550 range.
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Old 07-16-2013   #4
Pablito
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Avoid the CLE, which is electronic, battery dependent and has a plastic battery cover that falls off easily sending the batteries flying all over at the most inopportune moment. Otherwise a nice camera.
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Old 07-16-2013   #5
lam
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I second the condition over serial number, ideally later serial and mint..
but as mentioned you can get them for $250-300 body only, for $450-500 with lens.

I have owned/used many Cron-C and Rokkor's and yes the later CLE Rokkor with MC is genuinely the best, but I stick with my Cron-C for most of my use since it's so utterly cheap, and IQ is really good for it's size.
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Old 07-16-2013   #6
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If I recall correctly, my current CL cost me about $320 for the body (including shipping from The Netherlands to the USA) and the M-Rokkor 40mm f/2 gen II cost me somewhere around $400 in truly mint condition. Got them both either late in 2011 or sometime in 2012.

(I also have the M-Rokkor 90mm f/4, which is a twin of the Elmar-C 90/4. At least the early ones like mine were designed and built entirely by Leitz in Wetzlar on the same production line, differing only by the filter mount and the brand/lens name on the bezel. It's nice to have both of these lenses as M-Rokkors as they both take 40.5mm filters with standard JIS thread.)

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Old 07-16-2013   #7
mike rosenlof
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I think one of the CL design changes was to change the plastic clip on the takeup spool into some metal bits that grab the film leader end.

The plastic clip thingy will break unless you're very careful. I've got one of them. It's missing a tooth.
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Old 07-16-2013   #8
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I have the complete CLE kit. I do not have any complaints concerning the camera. Any and all of the reported problems have proven to be inaccurate in my case. It is a lovely kit. The lenses are beautiful and produce stunning images.

Get a clean and functional camera. Get it CLA'd and it will give many years of service.
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Old 07-16-2013   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike rosenlof View Post
I think one of the CL design changes was to change the plastic clip on the takeup spool into some metal bits that grab the film leader end.

The plastic clip thingy will break unless you're very careful. I've got one of them. It's missing a tooth.
All three of mine have been plastic. One, that was whole, turned out to be a total pain to load. One, with a broken clip, was easy to load. The current, with a whole clip, is also easy to load.

So I can imagine that a revised, all metal clip might be an improvement. But it must have been a change in the final year run of the cameras, as I'm pretty sure that all of mine were from the first and second years.

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Old 09-03-2013   #10
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Both my Leica CL and Leitz Minolta CL have plastic take up spool, on Leica it starts to crack even though I'm trying to be gentle and quite often the film slips of when loading. Minolta's spool is partly broken (one segment is missing) but I didn't notice any trouble to load the film. Minolta has also slightly dimmer RF and sluggish slow speeds; it's overall in bad shape. Needs CLA.

Cron 40 is must for CL so why to buy separately? I got CL + 40 + 90 for about 500€. Cron alone often costs 300-400€, CL 150-200€ and Elmar 100-150€.
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Old 09-03-2013   #11
GaryLH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
Avoid the CLE, which is electronic, battery dependent and has a plastic battery cover that falls off easily sending the batteries flying all over at the most inopportune moment. Otherwise a nice camera.
I have been told that the electronics can be canibilized from Minolta slr bodies of that era.. When I used the CLE, I had two bodies, never had a problem w/ the battery door.

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Old 09-03-2013   #12
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I still have a Leica CL and a Minolta CL. I can't tell any difference in the two... Save some money and buy the Minolta. I prefer the 40f2 from the CLE though.

I bought a CLE kit (all three lenses) first followed by a second CLE body before I ever bought my first CL. I like the CL setup much better then the CLE. The three lenses (28-40-90) are used on my CL even today.

Gary
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Old 09-03-2013   #13
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I learned something reading the Leicaflex SL manual that I didn't know about loading. The SL has a take-up spool similar to the CL, with the plastic gizmo on the bottom. According to the SL instruction books, you're supposed to engage the film in the tang before you put the film cassette into the feed chamber, essentially sliding it in and getting it snug before bending it around the drive sprocket.

I tried it on the CL yesterday: it works much more easily when done that way.

Don't know if anyone else was trying to load them the way I was, but I never had a CL manual (or never read the loading instructions, one or the other...).

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Old 09-03-2013   #14
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Hmmm... I have done it both ways. Never knew there was a preferred way.

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Old 09-06-2013   #15
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No way! that is funny that putting it in the plastic teeth deals first is the "correct" way. I just started doing it that exact way maybe a week after I bought the CL (my first), probably on about my 3rd roll, because when I put the roll in first it was such a pain! I had no idea that was the "right way"

Well. I am somewhat impressed with myself then...

Good to know! Thanks
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Old 03-11-2015   #16
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I have a complete Minolta CLE kit with 28, 40 & 90mm lenses, flash, remote chord 5m and a host of filters that I plan to sell. Is it better to try to sell the complete kit or should I sell it body only and three lenses?

I have had no problem with battery covers either so I think the poster was probably unlucky.
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Old 03-11-2015   #17
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If you want to go nuts, you could go this route

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LEICA-CL-MOU...item461d22ccdb
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Old 03-12-2015   #18
David Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Reading View Post
I have a complete Minolta CLE kit with 28, 40 & 90mm lenses, flash, remote chord 5m and a host of filters that I plan to sell. Is it better to try to sell the complete kit or should I sell it body only and three lenses?

I have had no problem with battery covers either so I think the poster was probably unlucky.
Hi,

Welcome aboard.

In your shoes I'd sell the body and 40mm with the ERC if owned and the other two lens on their own. A lot of people might like the 90 or 28 to go with an existing kit and, perhaps, more might bid for them.

I'm guessing you are after a good price. If not, then you might want them to go to a good home - in which case start an "it's not Christmas but... " thread. ;-)

Regards, David
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