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  1. #1

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    Zeiss 25 or 28mm on a cle body

    After an outing with a QL17 and a Hexar, i have finaly decided what will fit my needs.

    Basically I want a M body of some sort, with the new zeiss 25 or 28mm, 50mm, and 90mm lenses.

    I am almost certain I would like 2 bodies and one of them should be a CLE due to the 28mm frame lines amd its small. The ikon also has 28mm frame lines so I guess that is still an option also but a lot more $.

    My question is will these lenses even work on a cle ??

  2. #2
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Troy,

    These are the weaknesses of your proposed system as I see it. The CLE has no framelines for your proposed 50mm, only 28, 40, and 90. It has a short rangefinder baseline, which is a problem only if you shoot with fast lenses wide open.

    The number one shortcoming for me is that the meter doesn't work at all in manual mode. You have to meter in automatic mode, then remember the reading and reset the shutter speed dial, which requires that you depress an awkwardly placed release button to unlock the shutter dial. Using a separate light meter is faster for me than using the internal meter on manual mode. There is no exposure lock button in autoexposure mode. You do get +/- 2 stops of compensation on the shutter dial in 1/2 stop steps, but you have to push the awkward release button to get it. If the battery is gone, you have no camera. Luckily the batteries are the still-common SR-44 (or 357, etc.).

    If you plan to use the camera on autoexposure over 90% of the time, or with an external meter, it will probably work well for you.

    I haven't tried it, but I'd expect no problem with the Zeiss 28mm on the CLE. The only potential problem I can see is that the recessed lens parts might block the light meter cell in the floor of the camera from reading the shutter / film plane. I was going to suggest that you try asking Steve Gandy at cameraquest.com about the Zeiss 28mm on the CLE, but it appears that Zeiss has taken back distribution from Hasselblad, and he can't get the cameras and lenses anymore.

    I'm not trying to run down the CLE. It's a very nice, quiet, discrete camera that can fit excellent optics. The viewfinder is excellent. My father bought this CLE after he had cataracts and detached retinas because he could see through it clearly and focus it better than anything else he could find reasonably priced. For flash and autoexposure shooting it's great, and I'm keeping mine. I just don't often work the way the CLE is designed to work.

    Lee

  3. #3

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    I would opt for the CLE with the two Leitz lenses it was designed for and get the Zeiss 25mm. 25, 40, 90 sounds like a very handy combo to me.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #4
    Trask's Avatar
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    I use my CLE with the 90 Rokkor, 40 Rokkor, and a 21mm Voigtlander. Somehow I've never really cottoned to the 28mm focal length -- it always seemed that I wanted something a bit wider. Of course that means using the external viewfinder, or just using the 28mm in-camera finder and understanding that I'm going to get a bit more than what I see.

    I understand the criticism that it doesn't meter in manual, but then neither does an M3, M2, M4, etc So you can turning your thinking around and see the glass half-full -- it's an M camera that has the extra of allowing you to using it in aperture priority. And I do use it that way, often, especially when photographing in a crunch situation when you just don't have time to adjust shutter speeds in manual. It's a very nice camera.

  5. #5
    Lee L's Avatar
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    My take on the CLE is colored by the fact that I used a CL for a couple of decades before I inherited my dad's CLE. So I was used to a manual spot metering M-mount body (not a meterless M), which better suits my shooting style better than the CLE.

    For the last couple of years, I've tended to use mostly the C/V 21, a 40 Summicron, and a C/V 75mm, so the Bessa R3A with the 1:1 finder has become my body of choice.

    Lee

  6. #6

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    Hi Troy,

    I'd second that you check with Stephen @ Cameraquest or someone who can actually try the lens on a CLE for you first.

    Also, keep in mind that multiple framelines will be visible with some of your lenses so you might find it a bit distracting, but if you will mainly have a 28 or 40/50 on there the CLE might work well.

    The CL's seem to have quite a bit of meter failures, but I think the CLE's might have more reliability.

    For original 28 and 40 lens, be sure to get ones that weren't modified, otherwise they may not bring up the proper lines on a CLE. A lot of M body users have modified 40mm CL/CLE lenses rendering them useless for CLEs.

  7. #7

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    another thing to think about is the size of the zeiss 28 or 25 on the smaller cle body. the original rokkor 28 is very small but the zm lenses are not.
    the zm 25 is big on my cl body.
    it works ok and is usable but you lose the benefits of a small body & lens combo.

    just a thought..

    joe

  8. #8
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ampguy
    The CL's seem to have quite a bit of meter failures, but I think the CLE's might have more reliability.
    I've heard of two kinds of meter failure with the CL. The first is caused by the pad on which the meter needle rests becoming sticky with age, so the needle sticks if you don't use it for a while, and won't move. The second is with the CdS cell or perhaps wiring in the moving meter cell arm. The bezel that holds the CdS cell in my CL came lose at about 15 years of age. I had that fixed, and they also replaced the needle pad at the same time as a preventative measure. Been good that way for 20 years now.

    If you need work on a CL, see Sherry Krauter (google). IIRC, she was the person that went around the world for E. Leitz training people to work on them.

    I solved the CL battery issue with a CRIS adapter. You need the edge contact, so the insulating spacer fixes won't work with the CL.

    Lee

  9. #9
    Helen B's Avatar
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    I also found the CLE's lack of manual metering and especially the lack of an AE lock frustrating. It would have been so simple and so useful to have had an AE lock. The CLE came out after the M5 and CL, and the coupled MR meters were available for the other Ms (I had an M2 with MR-4 at the time I bought my CLE). Otherwise it is a very fine camera.

    Best,
    Helen

  10. #10

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    the 28mm is the smallest zm lens. it should still balance pretty well on the cle, and costs the same as an m-rokkor that isn't plagued with white spots.

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