Wide angle lens for a Minolta CLE RF?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by ellisson, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. ellisson

    ellisson Subscriber

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    What are my best options for a quality wide angle (21-28mm) lens for a Minolta CLE RF? I just otained this camera, along with a M-Rokkor 40mm lens, but I often use a wide anlge lens. The used 21-28 Leica Ms are expensive. Do any of the Zeiss lenses work on this camera? The cameraquest site had some suggestions, but I wonder what others have had success with. Suggestions appreciated! Thanks! Gary
     
  2. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    The Voigtlander 28/3.5 is a fine lens, and small so it won't throw things out of balance with a small body like the CLE. You'll need an M mount adaptor, though.
     
  3. Trask

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    I picked up a 21mm Voigtlander to use with mine. It's great little lens. Mine is silver and looks cool on the camera, too. Or course you've got to be willing to use an external viewfinder, but the one that comes with the lens is very clear and gives a good view.
     
  4. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    If you want to use framelines then the CV 28/3.5 would be a fine choice. The CV 28/1.9 is brilliant but a little big. For wider, the CV 21/4 and 25/4 are good choices. The older 25/4 wasn't RF coupled, but that isn't that big a problem. I used a Zeiss 25/2.8 for a while and it was a gorgeous lens, but the Zeiss lenses are more expensive than CV.

    Shots I made with the CV 21/4
    Shots I made with the Zeiss 25/2.8
     
  5. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Hello,

    Is no one going to suggest the M Rokkor 28mm, f/2.8 that this camera was designed to be used with?

    The Rokkor 28mm is an awesome lens - I would put it up and over anything Cosina has put out. Many say, "It's just a Minolta," but that's the snobbery in us coming out. Your camera, the Leica / Minolta CL and the lenses for each were designed in conjuntion with Leica and are phenonemal pieces of gear (don't take my word for it, read it on Gandys site: www.cameraquest.com)

    Just make sure you get a Rokkor 28mm that has been "re-engineered" by Minolta. The original design / coating produced tiny white spots on the lens after a few years. Minolta had everyone send their lenses in to be recoated, but a few out there on the used market never made their way back to the dealerships. The spots don't effect the image of the lens (I'm told - mine has been re-done), but it's better safe than sorry.

    Your CLE, which is probably my favorite RF after the M5, is perfect for this - or any other 28mm lens.

    Also, be sure to take advantage of the magnificent TTL flash technology on your camera. Forget the so-hard-to-find-it's-rare little bitty flash Minolta sold with the CLE, it's big brother the 360PX is amazing on the camera. With TTL flash, bounce, swivel and a seriously high GN (I forget it at the moment, but you can use the 360PX to shoot night sports) all for the cost of going to the movies (these flashes once sold for BIG bucks, back when the dollar was worth something). When I use mine for flash, I typically mount it on the Minolta PG-II flash bracket, which allows for additional power (no changing batteries during an event) and an elevated off-to-the-side illumination.

    Welcome to Minolta RF! You're going to love it.

    BTW, make sure you know the cameras restrictions. There are a few Leicas that will not work with the CLE, including one of my favorites, the Summicron DR 50mm, f/2. I'm told it can do some ugly stuff to the inner workings if you put this or a few others on it, so beware. I think Stephen Gandy's site has the compatability list on it - or just Google it.

    Good luck and let us know which lens you pick!

    Jeff M
     
  6. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    One more thing - if you want to see some photos with the Rokkor, you are welcome to view mine on my website.

    I am out of the country and the computer I'm on won't go to flickr so I can't send you a link, but if you go to

    www.flickr.com and do a search under "PBJ - Photos By Jeff " and under sets browse through Route 66, West Texas and Disney 2007, most of those images (and many of the other sets as well) are made with the CLE and the Rokkor 28mm, f/2.8.

    If you have any questions about the CLE, it's usage, what Minolta accessories work well with it, etc., feel free to ask.

    Again, good luck and let us know what you decide.

    Jeff M
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I have a Minolta CLE with the original Rokkor 28mm. Nice combo! However, for WA lenses, I strongly prefer the CV 21mm f4 and the CV 35mm 1.2 Aspherical NOKTON.
     
  8. Trask

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    I suggested the 21mm Voigtlander only because I bought one when I couldn't find a Rokkor 28mm that didn't have white spots. I've looked a lots of these lenses all over the world, in the US, Singapore, Europe, and I've yet to find a clean one that didn't have the spots. It's my strong experience that there aren't just a few left that weren't fixed, but that nearly all that are now available have the spots.

    If someone has a clean one they'd like to sell on, I'm interested, as might the original creator of this thread, of course! I'll get in line!
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    As I mentioned, I have a Rokkor 28mm for my CLE (not for sale, BTW). I also have the 28/3.5 Color Skopar with "M" adaptor whose performance meets or exceeds that of my 28mm Rokkor.

    If I was interested in another 28mm lens (which I'm not) I'd consider the Zeiss Biogon 28mm f/2.8 ZM or the CV 28/2 ULTRON M mount lens.

    But, the 21mm focal length lenses suit me better - I don't consider the 28mm lenses to be Wide Angle - just Slightly Wide, Normal lenses.
     
  10. ellisson

    ellisson Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone for these excellent suggestions. I am leaning towards the wider (21 or 25mm) length. From what I have read, a viewer attachment in the same length would be needed to assure that the framing is accurate. Is this essential, or can I get by without it? Gary
     
  11. Trask

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    I think you'd want it, in my experience. Sure you could estimate based on the 28mm lines in the finder, IF you use an LTM-M adapter that calls up the 28mm lines. Given that you can (but may not need to) focus the lens through the Minolta finder, using the Voigtlander accessory finder means shifting your eye from one to the other. In the heat of taking multiple pictures, you could use the 28mm lines and just accept the extra brought in by the 21mm. Certainly, IMO, the Voigtlander finder is so nice and clear that it makes using the lens that much more enjoyable.
     
  12. ellisson

    ellisson Subscriber

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    The CV 214P color skopar has my attention, and does not require the screwmount-bayonet adapter. The Gandy site also notes that an accessory finder is not sold with this lens, and is not required because it 'calls up' the 28-90 lines in Leica M cameras. I am confused about this, as I thought you need to have the lines appropriate to the focal length of the lens. The screwmount version of this lens -CV21 4 - does come with the viewer. Can one set of lines be used for multiple focal lengths?
     
  13. ellisson

    ellisson Subscriber

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    I think I see the answer: the 214P was designed in particular for the Bessas, and can be used without the viewfinder for these models.

    Boy, the Zeiss 21/2.8 looks so nice, but at three times the cost with the viewfinder....
     
  14. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    With the 21/4 P you will need to buy the finder separately unless you are using it on the Bessa R4 which has 21mm lines built in. The screwmount version comes with a finder. I'd go for that.
     
  15. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes. that is what I did - bought the 21/4 screw mount version (same optics as the P) and added an M adapter.
     
  16. ellisson

    ellisson Subscriber

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    Is there one particular type of M adapter for the 21/4 and CLE combination, or a just one type for all lenses and focal lengths?
     
  17. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Adapters bring up particular framelines on M bodies, but the thread is the same. Since no M body has a 21 frameline, any adapter will do - it'll just show the frameline it's designed for.
     
  18. butterflydream

    butterflydream Member

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    28mm f5.6 Summaron. Perfect size for CLE.
     
  19. Trask

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    I'll just mention here the one issue that can arise with using a screw-bayonet adapter is that in some of my Leica M cameras, the camera's lens mount grabs the adapter tightly to the extent that sometimes the lens will unscrew from the adapter rather than the lens-adapter combination turning enough to be removed (if you get what I mean).

    I then use the three prongs on the back of the rear lens cap to engage the three cutouts in the rim of the adapter and remove it manually, and put it back on the lens.

    I have resisted putting Loctite on the adapter to better adhere it to the lens because I also have a lot of LTM cameras I use the lens with. If anyone has found a workable solution to this small issue, I'd like to hear it.
     
  20. ellisson

    ellisson Subscriber

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    I use the LEE gel filters (4x4 with the adapter) for for my 35mm SLR and medium format cameras, but this system will be bulky on the CLE and lens. I have avoided buying individual glass filters (other than polarizer). Is there a filter system designed with these smaller lenses in mind? Many thanks again to all for this valuable information. Gary
     
  21. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Normal round filters work best, but because I mostly use rangefinders for off-the-cuff street shooting, I rarely use filters. That is more for on the tripod shooting when I have time to consider a scene.
     
  22. ellisson

    ellisson Subscriber

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    Many thanks, all. I have ordered the CV 21/4 screwmount with viewfinder and adapter, and look forward to using this and the M-Rokkor 40/2 with the CLE. Will post images. :smile:
    Gary
     
  23. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    " ALL of the various Cosina Voigtlander Leica mount lenses 12mm to 90mm will work on the CLE, with TTL metering. Add the Leica screw mount to bayonet adapter to the screw mount lenses." Thus spoke Stephen Gandy's
    Camera Quest. www.CameraQuest.com/cle.htm

    Why not go all of the way, Get a 12, or 15 mm lens, which is hyperfocal focused. This eliminates having to couple the lens to the rangefinder & you can take advantage of the Aperture Priority & Flash TTL Metering.
     
  24. tenezledroit

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    Hi Jeff - you mention the 360px flasghun as a good gun for the CLE - would any gun from Minolta with the 'PX' branding (e.g. 280PX) afford the ttl facilitation you mention? Many thanks in anticipation!

    Alan
     
  25. Diapositivo

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    Frankly I don't know if Minolta branded as "PX" other flashes besides the two ones which were created for the X-700.
    But I tell you that the TTL protocol is the same for the X-700 and the CLE.

    So besides the Minolta flashes which were dedicated for the CLE and the X-700 you have full TLL operation with a flash supporting the SCA standard, with the "SCA 331" adapter.

    The SCA standard was adopted by a number of German flash makers: Braun, Metz and Osram being the better known.

    That means you can have TTL flash exposure with many flashes. I use the X-700 with an old Metz 32 CT7 (1989) still working perfectly.

    The SCA modules are not difficult to find. You can buy any flash SCA-compatible and then put an SCA-331 module on it. You can also have a SCA "extension cord" so as to maintain TTL reading in macro operation with the flash away from the camera, or to use a "torch" flash.

    Fabrizio