should I get a Leica CL?
OK so in 35mm I have/use an M2, M3, 35mm Summaron, and 50mm Summicron. (I actually have more cameras...but I am probably selling them but that is besides the point).
My most recent 35mm camera is a Rollei 35 (Tessar) and I absolutely love it. When the light is good, I'd much rather use that thing because it is so portable and liberating (guess focus and guess exposure...well I guess exposure). I've used it indoors but the results are a hit/miss at close distances.
I thought of maybe adding a Rollei 35s + external rangefinder but the Leica CL + Cron seems like a more logical choice. (I'm not interested in folders or Leica IIIc's...I want the best viewfinder I can get). What I like about the CL compared to M's is that it is way cheaper, and it is lighter and smaller (I'm not sure if it feels THAT much lighter/smaller in use).
Overall, what are your thoughts with the CL and perhaps with respect to the M? Part of me feels that it doesn't shave enough bulk to make it a worthwhile purchase, but I am unsure. How do you use it compared to your M's (if you have both)?
And just to clarify, I'm not interested in using any other lenses outside of the 40mm f2 rokkor/cron.
The CL feels nimble and small with the 40 - maybe the measurements are similar to an M camera, but it feels much smaller. Go for it and if you don't like, you got it out of your system and can move on.
Just wondering, any reason to go the CL over one of the Bessas?
I was looking at a CL/CLE, but the Bessas beat it for rangefinder EBL, viewfinder brightness (apparently), the -A versions have aperture-priority, and the metering is a lot more long-lived. Finding CLs second-hand, most of them seemed to have dead-meters (or "untested" on the fleabay description is as good as writing "dead"). For a decent working one with a guarantee they still go for more than a lightly-used Bessa R-series.
I suppose the CL beats them for size though, and it's got the Leica nameplate (at least, half of them do).
If you can aford it - go for CL or CLE. You can always sell it later for same money +- some small amount :).
I can't see much point in getting a CL and 40mm given what you already have. I doubt there's too much of a difference weight-wise in actual practice between the CL and an M. Given that, why would you choose to go out shooting with the CL in preference to an M3? If it's purely for the 40mm then I've heard that you can use that lens quite successfully on the M3 by using the 35mm framelines. As you're probably aware, the Leica frame lines are quite conservative, showing a good bit less than you're actually going to see on film. This means that the 35mm framelines are a reasonably accurate guide to what you could expect to get shooting with the 40mm.
I appreciate that this isn't what you're asking but might I suggest picking up a Hexar AF? It's well made, has a really superb 35mm lens, a very good viewfinder (probably not as as good as an M's but good enough) and will set you back less than the cost of a CL body alone. I have one and, despite not being a rangefinder-type of guy, I can't bring myself to sell it because the lens is so good. You can see a few black and white landscape pics I've taken with it here.
The Hexar, unlike the CL, gives you something you don't already have - an auto exposure, AF rangefinder-type camera. You might not want to shoot like that all the time but sometimes it's nice to have a change!
I'm looking for broken-metered CL's which can go for less than $150. There are other differences between the two but the main reason for going CL is because of the size. Im not sure if the differences in EBL and viewfinder brightness are apparent enough to seriously consider. Another reason to go CL is that the shutter is mechanical which I prefer.
Originally Posted by Dr Croubie
Thanks for your advice.
Originally Posted by Bruce Robbins
Why CL over M3?
I like to carry a 35mm camera in all lighting situations/scenarios and smaller/lighter cameras are simply more practical. The M3 is too large/bulky. I feel that the Rollei 35 is much more portable than the M and hence I use it more but adding the CL might superflous because it isn't as portable as the Rollei 35 and not much smaller than the M. I don't know though...maybe this is something that I have to try. This has nothing to do with 40mm framelines/lens. I like 40mm FOV but I wouldn't buy this camera JUST to use this lens or anything like that.
In general, I'm trying to get by with the least number of cameras. Not even because of money but because I want to be minimal with my equipment. The issue for me, and many people, is where to draw the line...
Thanks! I've thought about the Hexar too. I actually sold mine a few months ago because I preferred using my M2 but I have considered buying one back to fill in this void. I did appreciate it's size and ease of use. I might just go back to it...
Untitled by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr
Nice Hexar pic, Michael. That's where it excels - low light and fast film. In the UK it's just about impossible getting hold of Diafine just now otherwise I'd have TriX at 1260 ISO in the Hexar all the time.
Part of me thinks that the Hexar is simply a better compliment...not sure. The decision for a complimentary camera is basically a Hexar AF and a Leica CL. The only pro of the Hexar is price and the real minor con is batteries (to me). I doubt that the differences in build and viewfinder are enough for me to care (the Hexar AF is good in these regards) and the FOV is close enough for me not to care. AF is the real difference but I don't consider that a pro or a con. AF is fun sometimes and the Hexar worked well 90% of the time but it isn't like I nail focus on my own 100% of the time anyways...I might grab that again because I think it provides a unique enough experience in my current suite of cameras.
not much difference in weight between an m and a cl? Huh?
My CL is my standard traveling camera for that very reason -- smaller, lighter, quicker to use, dead-on metering, spot metering makes it very versatile, and it uses my 16mm Voigtlander and 25mm Canon lenses very neatly as well. The only camera i've found as good for travel is an Olympus XA, so usually I carry both.
The Rollei 35 is fun but, lacking a rangefinder, is hard in poor light and, frankly, the square shape makes a painful bulge in my pocket while the XA is rounded nicely.
The CL has one huge advantage over the M-series -- being small and black it is less visible and, frankly, doesn't make people think you're really seriously taking pictures, so it is very good as a candid camera.