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  1. #1

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    Leica M CLE or what

    Okay, now I am after a Leica M_, Leica CLE, Minolta cle or a bessa, etc. I dont mind spending some $ as I realize good glass is expensive, but I dont want to spend a 8G on a 35mm camera and one lens.

    I will be shooting some sort of micro film like copex or gigabit, and a pan film like efke 25. I would like to have a lens that could resolve at least 80lp/mm with one of the above microfilms at around F4. Dont know if that is even possible though.

    So i want a 35mm RF camera, superb meter, super film flatness with 35-40mm lens, like the sharpest lens ever made.

    On the Leica models, I am a bit confused. Is the M series different from the CL or is the CL and CLE within the M family ?? I was under the assumption that the CL was a joint effort between Minolta and Leica, CL CLE for both, but i found an add the had CLE and M in the same ad.

    I want one super duper sharp 35-40mm lens. That will probably be the only lens i will buy as I have a lot of other cameras.

    I have read that the Rokkor 40mm F2 is right up there with a Leica lens.

    I have also read that the latest Leica 35mm F2 summicron lens is one of the sharpest lenses ever made.

    thanks in advance for any cost conscious sharp advice.

  2. #2
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Leica M6 w/ .85 magnification viewfinder

    new 35 summicron


    easy.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  3. #3
    Lee L's Avatar
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    A lot of questions.

    See http://cameraquest.com/classics.htm for a list of the Leica models and information on them, including the CL and the Minolta CLE. It will clear up most of your questions. The CL was a joint venture between Leitz and Minolta. The CLE was Minolta's "improved" version after the CL was discontinued, with an electronic shutter and auto-exposure, but I'm not a big fan because it's not very useful for metering in manual (as in: you have to switch to auto-exposure, meter, note the settings, then switch back to manual, set the shutter speed, then shoot) and it lost the CL "spotmeter" for an averaging meter. The meter on the CLE doesn't operate in manual mode. If you want auto-exposure and good flash performance, the CLE is the one to get. Neither has the build quality of a standard M body, but both are well built by any other standard. The 40 Summicron-C is a fine lens, but a newer design will surpass it. The CLE and CL have shorter rangefinder baselines than the M bodies, and can't focus with the accuracy needed by the fastest lenses wide open at closer distances, so their 90mm is an f:4, etc.

    I have and love using the Bessa R3A because it has a 1:1 finder. It's well built, but not to M standards. According to reports, the R3A rangefinder may be a bit easy to knock out of vertical alignment, but it's also adjustable without removing the top plate. If you want a 35mm lens, the R3A finder will fall short (or perhaps I should say not short enough) as the widest frame in the R3A is for 40mm. That would mean an R2A for 35mm lenses, and a reduced magnification finder and shorter effective rangefinder baseline.

    All that said, Don's advice is very good.

    Gotta tuck the kids in. Hope this helps.

    Lee

  4. #4
    highpeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    Leica M6 w/ .85 magnification viewfinder

    new 35 summicron


    easy.
    Right on and the set up going to cost you around 3G.

    Leica M is very different with leica CL, they have different lens mount, and the range finder focus on M is much better than the one on the CL.

    Leica is now offering some sort of "test drive", you can contact your local dealer and arrange to use some leica gears to see if you like them or not.

    Alex

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    Leica M6 w/ .85 magnification viewfinder

    new 35 summicron


    easy.
    With the .85 mag you would have difficulty seeing the entire 35mm frame. I'd recommend the .72 finder, an absolute necessity if you wear glasses.

    I own the 35mm Summicron ASPH lens and it is really the sharpest lens I've ever owned. Shooting with Fuji Acros the results are at least as good as with Tri-x in my medium format Contax.
    Take care,
    Tom

  6. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    One of the sharpest lenses I ever tested (32 years ago) was the Elmar 50mm f/2.8. It beat out a couple of Summicrons.

  7. #7
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highpeak
    Leica M is very different with leica CL, they have different lens mount

    Alex
    Alex, can you clarify? Both are Leica M bayonet mount bodies. In what way do you consider the mounts different?

    Lee

  8. #8
    highpeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L
    Alex, can you clarify? Both are Leica M bayonet mount bodies. In what way do you consider the mounts different?

    Lee
    Lee, My bad, clearly I were thinking about Leica CM. Sorry.

  9. #9

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    Troy, you have a lot of research to do before deciding on a new camera.

    I'm curious about the slow, high resolution films you mentioned that you want to use. Your purpose appears to be to produce photos of the highest technical quality. If that's the case, I would suggest you bypass 35mm altogether and go to medium format. For the ultimate, go to large format.

    I'm not knocking Leica at all. I have and use a couple of M6's as my main 35mm cameras. They are superb. But the fact is--under any given circumstance, on any given day, with the same conditions applied--I can produce pictures with better print quality from my beat-to-hell Mamiya TLR equipment.

    Leica is a great choice for 35mm. But no matter how you slice it, it's still 35mm and size does matter.

  10. #10
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Hi Troy

    Getting back to the 'why' of picking an M6.... plentiful supply, recent design.

    The Cl and CLE aere neat cameras in their day. Which is past.

    I'd go for an M7 were I starting out, but you can save a lot of money buying a good used M6

    The .85 finder is perfect for MY 35mm lens, even with glasses.

    And the best reason to have a fine 35 is shooting when a 4x5/5x7/8x10 can't take pictures.

    OH, for a meter, I love the Pocket Spot.

    good luck.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

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