Saturday, February 28, 2015

Some Love for the Leica CL

Symposium, by Reed A. George
Leica CL, Minolta Rokkor 40mm f2 Lens
Ilford HP5+ Film
I own several Leicas, including a digital rangefinder M9. I own two CLs, the little Leica that came from a fling, if not a marriage, between Minolta and Leica in the 1970s. The CL is not the top of Leica's offerings. It has some drawbacks, primarily the short rangefinder base length, which makes ultra-precise focusing difficult or some would say impossible. Yet, it has some real great features as well. Smaller than other Leica M models, with a built-in meter, the CL is a powerful little tool. And, the lenses designed for use with the CL - the Leica/Rokkor 40mm f2 and Leica Elmar C 90mm f4 are both just wonderful. The 40mm is one of the very best lenses I have ever used. Both lenses are compact like the CL body, and are great for travel. I've never gotten to try the Rokkor 28mm f2.8 that came with the CLE. The CL doesn't have 28mm framelines, so the 40 and 90 are the most often-used lenses.
The CL gets little love from the photographic crowd. That's okay. I love mine.
(Click Here) to take a look at a 1973 catalog for the CL on The Online Darkroom. Be sure to look at the comments as well. Again, no love for a great little camera.