Leica CL and lenses

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Toni H., Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Toni H.

    Toni H. Member

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    Hello

    I am planing to buy a leica cl body, but I'm bit confused about what lenses to seek for it and which works with it. Have someone used succesful some leica m39 screwmount lenses with an adapter in cl? I'm specially interested in Former Soviet Union Lenses like Jupiter-12 35mm f/2.8 and Jupiter-8 50mm f/2. I don't have money yet to buy leica's own lenses.

    Thanks
     
  2. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Minolta made Rokkor M lenses in 90mm, 40mm and 28mm for the Leitz/Minolta CL and the Minolta CLE.
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    The Jupiter-12 35mm f/2.8 will almost certainly not fit (interference with the large rear lens element). When I get home tonight, I will check it out.

    Neal gave good advice, look for the Minolta Rokkor M lenses.
     
  4. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Toni,

    the J12 won´t work on the CL/CLE. IIRC the CLE meter reads the light reflected from the shutter blinds and the rear element of the J12 will cover that.

    The others (but the 20mm Russar) will work just fine with the CL and CLE... usually you´ll get the Summicron/Rokkor 40mm in a kit with the body, it´s a nice and compact lens.
     
  5. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    Using an LTM adapter shouldn't be a problem. I mostly use Canon screw mount lenses on my M2. As others have said the large rear element probably will interfere with the metering. Too bad because the Jupiter 35/2.8 is a nice lens. You can probably pick up a used VC lens for a reasonable price and use the Jupiter 50.
     
  6. Toni H.

    Toni H. Member

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    Thanks for everyone. I now know basicly what I will buy for a normal lens, but how about the wide angle? Could someone recommend a cheap but good lens between 28mm and 35m.

    How about collapsible lenses. Is there some that works wiht the cl. It would be nice to be able to carry my leica in pocket.
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I can't speak for the Russian lenses, as they're hard to come by locally, even though I've been looking at the photo swaps.

    I have been using the Cosina-Voigtlander 15mm f:4.5, 21mm f:4, 75mm f:2.5, and a Hektor 135 f:4.5 with the CL (and CLE) with no interference with the meter arm, all of them on screw mount to Leica M adapters. The CLE meter reads off the shutter, so some deep lenses may interfere with the meter seeing the shutter, even though there's no meter arm to hit.

    The CL is a very nice, quiet, small camera, and I love its metering. You might want to also look at the Minolta CLE for more clearance on deep lenses, although I don't like that its meter doesn't operate when you set exposure manually. The Cosina Voigtlander R3A is also worth looking at. Pretty well built (not to Leica M standards), a 1:1 finder, which I love, and both aperture priority autoexposure and manual with good metering indications in the finder. But the R3A has a louder shutter. These are similar, but not necessarily equivalent cameras. They each have their own quirks and features, and I like them all. However, the CL is best at being quiet and metering selectively, and the R3A has a more accurate rangefinder on a longer base and 1:1 finder. The CL uses the now defunct mercury 1.35V 625 cell, and doesn't read correctly with the modern 625 alkaline. The R3A uses two 76 cells, or a CR 1/3N.
    IIRC, the CL operates on shutter speeds between the marked speeds.

    If you haven't spotted it yet, read: http://cameraquest.com/leicacl.htm

    Hope this helps,
    Lee
     
  8. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    The Rokkors are great lenses. My 90mm f/4 is marked "Made in Germany by Leitz". It's a Elmar with a 40.5 filter ring. The Japanese 40mm is a wonderful lens too.
     
  9. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Yes, they are. Although in my experience, the Minolta 28mm M-mount is pretty soft wide open. The 40mm Summicron is superb, and left an unfilled niche that C-V has again filled with the 40mm f:1.4 Nokton. The test shots I've seen show that to be an excellent lens as well.

    As far as less expensive, I don't know the Russian lenses from experience. The Cosina-Voigtlander 35mm f:2.5 "classic" and their 28mm f:3.5 get excellent reviews, and can be had new for between US$225 and US$290, about the same as a used 40mm Summicron. There's also an estimation focus C-V 25mm f:4 right in that price range with unique click stops at three distances so that you can focus by feel. You can find the C-V lenses used as well, but they seem to hold their value. They're also not speed demons, so not suited for extensive low light shooting.

    Lee
     
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I have the 90/4 Elmar-C version of the lens Flotsam mentioned. It is truly an excellent lens and relatively inexpensive for a Leitz. It also "kind of" uses the 39mm filters of other Leitz lenses. I say "kind of" because they will fit but not screw in all the way due to a difference in the thread pitch.

    The 40mm Leitz and Rokkors are both considered as good as the 35mm Summicrons of the same period. They also are relative bargains.

    Another possible wide angle is the 35/2.5 Voigtlander Color Skopar. I have used this lens and can vouch for its capability.
     
  11. r-brian

    r-brian Member

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    Why buy an expensive body and put cheap lenses on it? The lens takes the picture, not the body. Buy a cheap body and put expensive lenses on it, you'll get better pictures. I've seen this over and over. People buy a top end SLR body and put cheap consumer lenses on it; people buy a high end stereo receiver and hook up a cheap set of speakers and then wonder why it doesn't sound great.

    I feel if you want to shoot Russian lenses, buy a Russian camera. I have nice FED 3b for my J-12 and J-9.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2005
  12. Toni H.

    Toni H. Member

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    I can get a leica cl for about 200€. I have also decided not to buy russian lenses although some of them are a really bargain. Some of the russians seems to suffer some incompatible with leicas.

    I'm now considering these lenses:

    VOIGTLANDER 35MM F2.5 CLASSIC SKOPAR
    Leitz Leica Summaron 35/3.5 (bit too slow)
    Canon 50mm F:1.5 (too fast in wide open for cl, but I'm planing to buy a "real" leica or bessa r3 in future if I fall in love with these Rf cameras.)
    LEICA LEITZ SUMMICRON C 40MM (obvious choice, but bit dull. Also I have understood that there aren't many rangefinders with a frameline for 40mm so this would limit the use of this lens when I get more bodys. (there lives a small collector inside me even I buy cameras to use them.))

    Any comments? I'm specially interested in the skopar because they seem to be relatively cheap and I would like to have a 35mm. I haven't realy found any information about this one so I would be glad if some one could comment this one. I could perhaps buy both the canon and the skopar.
     
  13. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    My first choice would be the 40mm Leitz or Rokkor. Second choice would be the Voigtlander 35/2.5. Actually, it's a toss up among these lenses and I would just find whichever is the best deal.
     
  14. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Here's my experience with the CL. I love them and they do not attract attention from potential thieves.
    I have a Rokkor 40mm which is superb, but it has a tiny spot of fungus on an edge. Cannot be easily cleaned because the two front elements are spun together.
    Meter cells in both mine started to die so I would have that checked before buying. Up to a few months ago meter cells were available.
    Most collapsible lenses will foul the meter arm.
    If I wanted a 40mm I would seriously consider the new Voigtlander 40 f1.5

    Mark
     
  15. Toni H.

    Toni H. Member

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    Huh. This is getting damn difficult. Before I was sure that the body would be the leica cl but I just realaised that I can buy a new bessa R1 with the 35mm skopar at the price of a cl with same lens. Which one would you choose?

    CL
    + It's Leica
    + Small
    + Better build (?)
    + M mount
    + more silent than the bessa
    + Looks better IMHO
    - They are getting quite old.
    - Risk of getting a dead meter/shutter etc.
    - Viewfinder

    Bessa
    + New
    + Better metering?
    + Much better viewfinder (?)
    - Not as well build
    - "Only" m39 mount
     
  16. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    There have been one or two CL vs. Voigtlander threads here in the past.
    Obviously no solid conclusions butyou might find the various opinions interesting and helpful.
     
  17. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    How 'bout a Bessa R2? I've never owned one (or even held one) but they are reported to be better made than the original R. It has an M-series lens mount, too.

    I think both the R and R2 have been discontinued but may still be available new from some dealers.

    The original 35/2.5 Color Skopar classic lens was made in a Leica thread mount so you should budget a thread to M-series adapter if you get that lens with an M-mount body.
     
  18. Toni H.

    Toni H. Member

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    I have decided to go with the cl. The cheap look and the plastic parts of the r scared me away and theres just something about the cl that fascinates me. There aren't also any proof how durable the R is because it's so new camera. R could be more easier to shoot but it just doesen't have that something.

    Have someone used 35mm lens in cl. I have heard that the the outer lines in cl's viewfinder are aproximately 35mm. How hard it is to compose the picture with 35mm lens. The 40mm f:1.4 Nokton someone suggested seem's to have quite ugly bokeh so I'm considering the 35/1.7 Ultron. Karen Nakamura seem's to use 35mm in his cl.
     
  19. Toni H.

    Toni H. Member

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    Got one!

    After losing numerous auctions in ebay I finally won one. You can find the auction from here

    I allmost bought a m2 in one stage, but I'm glad I didn'd because I would have any money left to buy lenses. :rolleyes: But I have to get one of those M's in someday because I realy fell in love with the m2 when I tried it in one local shop.

    I ended up getting the cl with the orginal 40mm, so no more trouble at choosing a lens. I think it was the best solution.

    I also ordered a new skin for it from the aki asahi. It is going to look so good!
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    That is great, I'm sure that you'll enjoy it.

    I have a small, light fanny pack in which I carry my CL, 40 and 90mm lenses, a Gossen Digisix light meter, a small flash, filters, a tabletop tripod, cable release, extra film and a few small essentials. I can just grab that pack when I'm going out the door and I never have an excuse for not having a camera with me. And this with absolutely no compromise in picture quality over carrying my bigger, bulkier systems.