Which M Body best for Minolta CLE 40mm

Rich1950

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My favorite lens is a Minolta 40/2. Does using the entire frame of a M3 work as well as a M6 .72 finder with the 35mm frame selected?
 
So I thought you were asking which M body would be the best for the Rokkor 40. The obvious answer for that is the Minolta CLE. But it looks like you want to use it with an M3. What frameline does that bring up? I think Stephen has a discussion of this at his Cameraquest site.
 
My favorite lens is a Minolta 40/2. Does using the entire frame of a M3 work as well as a M6 .72 finder with the 35mm frame selected?
I've heard people doing either, though the 0.72x finder of any Leica M with 28mm frame lines (the M4-P, M6, MP, M7) will do equally as well as the M6.

You could also look for a Voigtlander Bessa R3 (or variant thereof) which has 40mm frame lines and a 1:1 finder. Or just use an external viewfinder.
 
To be clear I was thinking forum members would compare using a M3 or M2/4.

I had a CL but due to its short base it’s not on my list.

Is it with practice more accurate or easier to imagine the 40 frame line outside the M2/4 50 frame or more accurate to use the entire finder of the M3?
 
To be clear I was thinking forum members would compare using a M3 or M2/4.
From what I've heard, the M2, M4, M4-2 and M5 have 35mm frame lines that are more accurate than the later .72 finders that have the 28mm frame lines. That inaccuracy, combined with the fact that they're set to be most accurate at MFD rather than 1, 1.5 or 2 meters, make them more suited to a 40mm lens.

To be clear, I've never shot with a Leica M firsthand, only repeating what I've read elsewhere. My 40mm rangefinder lenses are mated to Canonet and Olympus fixed lens compacts.
 
I use a Voigtlander 40mm with my CLE, M4 and now the M11. Works great! However, when using it with either of the two Leicas, all I do is flip the frameline preview lever over to 35mm and it gives me enough of an idea of where the 40mm line might be that it all works out. It's not exact, but it's close enough..
 
Its the .72 viewfinders with the shrunk 28mm frame-lines where a 35mm frame works best with a 40. But I’m wanting to buy a M3 and asking if its whole frame works as well as a M4P/M6/MP/M7 35 frame-line for a 40.
 
I own a CV 40mm Nokton f/1.2, which has become one of my favorite lenses.

I recognize the 50mm framelines are tight for the lens, but it works. I simply guestimate for the extra image around the lines. On an M3 - so much the better. Simply be looking just outside the 50mm framelines (which fill the screen on an M3) instead of just inside when using a 50mm lens.

It's not rocket science. You'll figure it out pretty quickly.
 
I own a CV 40mm Nokton f/1.2, which has become one of my favorite lenses.

I recognize the 50mm framelines are tight for the lens, but it works. I simply guestimate for the extra image around the lines. On an M3 - so much the better. Simply be looking just outside the 50mm framelines (which fill the screen on an M3) instead of just inside when using a 50mm lens.

It's not rocket science. You'll figure it out pretty quickly.
This has come up before, and people have said they can just use the full width of the finder, ignoring the framelines (it will bring up the 50mm frame). I suspect the lens covers a bit more than the full finder width; but you can just "think outside the box" (outside the viewfinder edges) just a little bit, as Bill suggests. I have done this with a 24mm lens, using the finder edges of my M6 .58 finder. One develops a sense of what a lens covers until it becomes instinctive.
 
I used to shoot an M3 with a 35mm lens, using the entire viewfinder of the M3. It required moving the eyeball around to the edges of the viewfinder, which was somewhat uncomfortable on my eyes, and the end result was more on the film than in the view.

I don't have an M3 at the moment but would guess that the entire window would be close enough to approximate a 40mm view.
 
To be clear I was thinking forum members would compare using a M3 or M2/4.

I had a CL but due to its short base it’s not on my list.

Is it with practice more accurate or easier to imagine the 40 frame line outside the M2/4 50 frame or more accurate to use the entire finder of the M3?

I had Summicron-C 40/2, M-Rokkor 40/2, and M-Rokkor 40/2 II back in the day. Also Nokton 40/1.4 MC and now Pentax-L 43/1.9 Special. I've used them all on many bodies. The 40mm M-Rokkors and Summicron-C bring up the 50mm framelines on the M. I can't remember what the Nokton 40 brings up. With the 43mm (an LTM lens), I fitted a 35mm LTM->M-bayonet adapter.

The only M body I've never used any of these lenses on is the M3 ... I only owned the M3 for a short time, didn't like it much for various reasons, and traded it off. That was 35 years ago. ;)

BUT, I always felt that these focal lengths should choose the 35mm frame lines on the M body. The 50mm framelines nip off a good bit of the periphery of what the lens sees, even with the 43mm, and I find it much easier to just "shoot tight" with a 35mm view selected than try to imagine accurately what's well beyond the framelines with a 50mm. On one of the 40mm M-Rokkors, I filed the cam on the lens flange to bring up the 35mm frame lines instead, which is why I chose the 35mm adapter for the Pentax 43mm.

I don't know what the total view outside the frame lines of an M3 amounts to in practical terms, but 35mm framelines on a .72x viewfinder works beautifully for all of them. Just "shoot tight (fill the 35mm frame lines with the most important part of your subject) and the little extra image you get allows for leveling and minor framing errors nicely.

For an explicit example, here's a composite of three shots I just made ... 50, 43, 35 from top to bottom.


FOV Comparison - 50, 43, 35 mm

That should help you estimate what you'll be seeing.

G
 
I have a Rollei 40mm 2.8 Sonnar LTM that I use with the M4-P, and because it is LTM all I had to do was buy the right LTM adapter to bring up the 35mm framelines. I did a bit of test shooting with walls and hard lines to figure out roughly how accurate it was, and anything beyond 1.5m was as close as makes no difference in framing. I would second the earlier opinions on finding a later 0.72x body with the 28mm framelines.
 
Bill, which method seems the most accurate. Using a M2/4 50 frame to estimate or the entire frame of a M3.

Is it when you shoot at the near focus you risk not getting all the image on film?

Most of my subjects are focused at 10 ft if that helps with which body is recommended.
 
There several suggestions to use bodies with a 28 frame. Solid advice. But I have been there and my journey is working backwards to the original M.

I used my CLE Minolta M-Rokkor 40/2 with a now sold MP and as others have said its perfect using the 35 frame on bodies with a 28 frame line.

My current body is a M5. I got it 3 years ago partly as they are a good value and I thought I would use the 50 M-Hex the most. Now I want lighter weight and I prefer the 40 which in the past was my most used lens.

I located ex+++ 1956 DS whose year of manufacture matches my mint collapsible summicron. My 35/2 type 2 is seldom used. So I’m trying to talk myself into my last film M experience with 3 lenses and than one…a 40/2.
 
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Bill, which method seems the most accurate. Using a M2/4 50 frame to estimate or the entire frame of a M3.

Is it when you shoot at the near focus you risk not getting all the image on film?

Most of my subjects are focused at 10 ft if that helps with which body is recommended.
IMHO, you're spending far too much energy on this.

No framelines, regardless of the "matching" lens you use, is completely accurate all the time (even those with parallax correction). That's something we all live with using rangefinders. You get a sense of these things - camera and lens - over time. Some people have their 40mm flange adjusted to bring up 35mm framelines; in this case you have the opposite problem (too much frame).

My advise is to simply use your 40mm lens with 50mm framelines, regardless of which M camera you're using; you'll get it over time. Frankly, if you simply use the 50mm framelines, knowing full well you'll have some extra image around the edges, you'll relax about it.

Just chill and shoot!
 
I have not actually shot my 40mm Heliar on my M3, as I have a CL…but just now looking through the M3 viewfinder and comparing it with the CL’s, I would say, yes the entire M3 view is roughly equal to 40mm.
 
I have used the Rokkor 40/F2 for the CLE with an M3, and an M6 with a 0.85 viewfinder. Neither one gave perfect framelines with the 40mm--but here's Leica's dirty little (not-so-)secret: you won't even get perfect framelines with Leica's regular lineup of lenses. Some are better or worse at it, but if you're thinking you're going to get a *perfect* indication of your framing from any Leica camera with any lens at practically any distance, it's just not going to happen. If you want exact framing, buy you a (for example) Nikon F3 or F4 or something, with a 100% viewfinder.

I probably got the *best* results by using my M3--and putting a small piece of gaffer tape over the frameline illumination window to erase the 50mm frameline. Since an unmodified 40 brings up the 50 framelines on any Leica, doing that will give you an entirely uncluttered view, and reasonably good if not precise framing by using the whole viewfinder.

On my M6, I hated using the 50mm framelines--and the 35mm framelines were quite a bit better with the 40, although they did show more than was on the negative. I had a "solution" for the problem that the 40mm Rokkor triggered the 50mm framelines...but it's what actually ended up causing me to sell the Rokkor and buy a Version 2 35mm Summicron. Here's the deal:

I read somewhere that if you cut a pie-shaped segment out of an Ilford film cap (black, so it blends in with the color of the M6), you could insert it under the frame selector lever and jam it into the 35mm position. If I was shooting all day with the 40--which I actually quite loved for the images it made and its compact size--that worked great. But if I were frequently switching lenses, it became a bit of a pain, including the need to keep track of my little frame selector stop wedge.

One day I was outside London Bridge station and a phalanx of several men was abseiling up the side of the Shard, which was under construction, to check out the windows. I quickly pulled out my 90mm and swapped it for the 40mm. Afterward, I couldn't find my little plastic wedge, and I figured I must have dropped it. I found later, however, when I developed the film, a nice pie-shaped blank area on each frame of film I shot. The wedge had fallen into the body when changing from the 40 to the 90, and fortunately had fallen back out of the camera and apparently onto the ground when changing back to the 40mm. (At least it didn't fall into the shutter.)

At that point, I got tired of the whole kludge of using gaffer tape on the M3, or the other thing on the M6. So I traded in the 40mm Rokkor toward the Summicron.

While I was really fond of the 40mm CLE Rokkor, and would love to have another one some day, it's probably at its very best with the CL or CLE, or with a Bessa with 40mm frame lines. If you *are* going to use it on a Leica M, then I vote for the M3 with gaffer tape over the frameline illumination window, as mentioned above, as *overall* that's the most convenient way to use it. And if you're not swapping lenses, it's actually a pretty nice experience.
 
I have not actually shot my 40mm Heliar on my M3, as I have a CL…but just now looking through the M3 viewfinder and comparing it with the CL’s, I would say, yes the entire M3 view is roughly equal to 40mm.
Yes I said that earlier, and @Bill Blackwell is also spot-on…framelines are never accurate in all situations, all distances.
 
I shoot 40mm lenses regularly on my M3, using the entire VF to frame. Works pretty well. To me, 40mm is a tighter 35mm focal length, so don’t see a problem w having a 40mm and a 50mm in my camera bag.

I filed down the bit of the bayonet mount on the Rokkor 40mm f2.0 CLE to bring up the 35mm framelines. This is supposed to work well w the M6 VF 35mm framelines, which are supposedly tighter than the 35mm framelines on the M2. We’ll see… There’s an M6 headed my way that I’m looking forward to using w a 40 lens that way. In the meantime, a 40 on the M3 works fine.
 
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