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View Poll Results: Leitz CL or Bessa R2- which to KEEP?
Leitz CL 15 53.57%
Bessa R2 13 46.43%
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Leitz CL vs Bessa R2
Old 07-27-2019   #1
d.dulin
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Leitz CL vs Bessa R2

I have both but the time has come for one or the other to go, the funds are needed elsewhere. Both are black, both have light meters that work and are accurate and both are M-mount cameras. The CL is special to me for its size, the Bessa has a much better viewfinder. Aside from obvious specifications I am curious what other forum members would choose to keep in this situation. Thank you for assisting in this choice!

PS: I hope this is the right sub-forum for this.
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Old 07-27-2019   #2
Deardorff38
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D, I have a soft spot for the CL... I used them hard for climbing & mountaineering in the '70s without a failure. I just scored a clean 50th anniversary a couple of days ago...
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Old 07-27-2019   #3
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CL is antique with electronic.
I prefer no batteries antiques.
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Old 07-27-2019   #4
d.dulin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
CL is antique with electronic.
I prefer no batteries antiques.
Are you referring to minolta CLE? The CL is mechanical aside from its meter, which is controlled by a battery, much like M6, M5, M-P, ETC.
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Old 07-27-2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
D, I have a soft spot for the CL... I used them hard for climbing & mountaineering in the '70s without a failure. I just scored a clean 50th anniversary a couple of days ago...
They have their own charm without a doubt, that front end shutter dial is a pleasure. congrats on your purchase.
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Old 07-27-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.dulin View Post
Are you referring to minolta CLE? The CL is mechanical aside from its meter, which is controlled by a battery, much like M6, M5, M-P, ETC.
I'm referring to the batteries.
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Old 07-27-2019   #7
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Ko Fe.... "They who live in glass houses, should not throw stones".... don't you use a Canon with batteries?....& a Leica 'M digital?.... Don't your phone, computer & car have batteries??
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Old 07-27-2019   #8
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Which one is easiest to replace? Sell that one.
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Old 07-27-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
CL is antique with electronic.
I prefer no batteries antiques.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
Ko Fe.... "They who live in glass houses, should not throw stones".... don't you use a Canon with batteries?....& a Leica 'M digital?.... Don't your phone, computer & car have batteries??
I think Ko.Fe is referring to the old mercury batteries that are no longer available.
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Old 07-27-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
Which one is easiest to replace? Sell that one.
They’re both readily available, CL is cheaper
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Old 07-27-2019   #11
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Keep the CL no question. It’s a bit more quiet even though not as quiet as an m. It’s smaller and feels better than the Bessa. The bessa prices seem to be going up for some reason so you’ll prob get a little more money for it over the CL. Last, it’s still a Leica. Even though it’s not made in Germany the build quality is still going to be better than a voigtlander.

Plus, isn’t everyone with a bessa just settling for the m mount camera they can afford, not the one they truly want? You’ve got the one you want already and it’s the CL!
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Old 07-27-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dourbalistar View Post
I think Ko.Fe is referring to the old mercury batteries that are no longer available.
There are adapters or diode additions for all those 'old' cameras that used mercury batteries....
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Old 07-27-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
There are adapters or diode additions for all those 'old' cameras that used mercury batteries....
Sure, there are workarounds, but some people view them as such.

I'm not opposed to them, though. Two of my older cameras (Leica M5, Olympus 35 RC) have had their meters re-calibrated to accept modern batteries by previous owners. I also have one of those MR-9 Schottky diode adapters, just in case:
https://schneidan.com/2015/05/19/the...nd-what-to-do/

At the end of the day, the CL would require an adapter, while the Bessa R2 takes a modern battery. That may or may not be a consideration for the OP.
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Old 07-27-2019   #14
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I've owned both, while the CL is a great little camera, the Bessa has more (and better) frame lines to it, making it far more versital
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Old 07-27-2019   #15
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In the last 40 years or so (ever since introduced) I've seen few CL's with working meters. Plus usually a host of other issues. Leica took a long time to introduce working "electronics" into their models. I'd sell the Cl and stick with the Bessa. Never understood the love of the CL compared to the CLE.
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Old 07-27-2019   #16
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Bessa over CL.

No one actually enjoys fumbling with those backs! Do they?
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Old 07-28-2019   #17
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Functionally the Bessa might be better. I would choose the CL for the Leica feel and the cool shutter speed dial. The finder of the bessa has a higher mag which is a plus for me. It might come down to 40mm vs 35mm.
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Old 07-28-2019   #18
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I'm in the same frame of mind as Lucadomi. I don't own a CL, but if I did, I don't think I could give it up. It's just too cool.
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Old 07-29-2019   #19
d.dulin
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The CL’s uniqueness makes it something worth keeping, for sure.
I’m wondering from other users how dim the viewfinder is on yours, mine is by and far significantly dimmer than my M2, it’s also fairly dirty.
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Old 07-29-2019   #20
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My newly acquired CL is just a tiny bit darker than either my M2 or M3, both of which are nice and bright.
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Old 07-29-2019   #21
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I'll let you know in a week or so when mine arrives from the seller.
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Old 07-29-2019   #22
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For me, Besa R2, no discussion. Sold mine because I used my M6 more, but great viewfinder and frame lines. No battery dependent and service readily available from bartender. Also, it comes in green color

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Old 07-29-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
Ko Fe.... "They who live in glass houses, should not throw stones".... don't you use a Canon with batteries?....& a Leica 'M digital?.... Don't your phone, computer & car have batteries??
Apples and oranges.
CL is something very old. And it costs fortune comparing to my Canon SLR.
Digitalis have nothing to do with cameras in this thread.
If I would choose film camera of similar style, like RF,
I would choose one without any battery. If battery is present, for whatever reason, I would choose newer camera and most common battery.
Any Bessa R is using most common, dollar store battery.
CL?
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Old 07-29-2019   #24
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Also, lets keep in mind R2 build quality is way better than Bessa R. Can't really find anything wrong with R2, besides being a little bit more noisy. Also, you get 35 framlines.

Regards.
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Old 07-29-2019   #25
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Opinions KoFe..... everybody has them. & preferences too which often inform their choices....
I used the CL hard in the high mountains for years in the latter part of the '70s & they never failed me.
The summicron 40 is a gem of a lens....on any body. There are lots of bodies on ebay for $250-350 for a camera with an M mount lens. i have a soft spot for them.
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Old 07-29-2019   #26
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Opinions? No.
Electronics age. Electronics from seventies are now well aged to have much more failures comparing to electronics from 2002.

Now to opinions. I had improved from 40 Cron lens. From optics to normal filter. I didn't get it . It really needs 40mm frames. Without it, it is just odd lens. And nothing really special. IMO.
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Old 07-29-2019   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
The summicron 40 is a gem of a lens....on any body.
I agree, mine (actually a M-rokkor) has been modified for 35mm frame and is my main shooter.. 40mm is very easy to guesstimate using 35mm frame lines, the CL 40mm lines are actually much smaller than actual 40mm coverage.. 40mm coverage is nearly identical to 35mm lines in M6 style viewfinders...

...maybe i should sell both of these cameras and get another M2, that would solve the problem of "which".

Another reason that the pros of the Bessa finder arent incredibly important, i have another rangefinder with the worlds best viewfinder- my M2 (:
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Old 07-29-2019   #28
d.dulin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
CL?
The battery for the CL using a mr-9 adapter is common enough to find at any drug store, similar to the battery for the Bessa. Also, while talking of batteries, the same single battery has been in my CL for well over a year and is still giving accurate meter readings.

Bessa takes 2 batteries
CL takes 1

Bessa batteries die around 6mo of use
CL battery still going after over a year.

However I understand your standpoint, old electronics fail, that is the reason i refuse to spend any large sum of money on a fully electronic camera of any vintage
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Old 07-29-2019   #29
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"it is just odd lens. And nothing really special."......
Better than a Jupiter ;-)


Bessa R..... https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...hreadid=163802
Think i'll stick with the CL
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Old 07-29-2019   #30
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The Bessa is more robust, simpler, and easier to repair. Better viewfinder. Intuitive handling. Meter always works, no gambling there, no expensive fixes. Price is on the rise, so now or never...
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Old 07-29-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
Price is on the rise, so now or never...
I have both, trying to sell one or the other (;
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Old 07-30-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post

I had improved from 40 Cron lens. From optics to normal filter. I didn't get it .
I can't figure out what you mean by this. I think language is interfering. Could you explain it a different way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
It really needs 40mm frames. Without it, it is just odd lens. And nothing really special. IMO.
The 35mm framelines in an M2, M3, and M5 will include more in the viewfinder than we will get in the picture, when using a 40mm lens. I'm sure that's what you meant here.

But the framelines in the M6, M7, and MP are smaller than in those in the earlier cameras. A 40mm lens comes closer to showing what you actually get on the negative, with those cameras, unless you are shooting at minimum focus.

On my M9, I get a little more in the picture than I see in the finder. So the 35mm frameline of the M9 is not so undersized as on M6/M7/MP.
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Old 07-30-2019   #33
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In my experience the CL! is more robust and build up to higher standards than any Bessa.
Think of the CL as of a meterless camera and its the best compact m mount camera ever made.
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Old 07-30-2019   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I can't figure out what you mean by this. I think language is interfering. Could you explain it a different way?
I think he is saying the lens has no special rendering and that it’s weird filter size is also annoying.
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Old 07-30-2019   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santino View Post
In my experience the CL! is more robust and build up to higher standards than any Bessa.
Think of the CL as of a meterless camera and its the best compact m mount camera ever made.
I've just got my CL back from the repair shop with meter 'fixed'. Inverted commas because it's out of calibration by 2 stops. At least it's consistent so eminently usable.

Regards the OPs query my use of a Bessa has been very limited. If I had another M camera I'd keep the CL for its tiny size and handling. If I didn't have another I'd probably keep the Bessa as it's better RF patch would win out over the CL's smaller size. The VF in my CL is beautifully bright but the contrast I never the RF patch leaves something to be desired. I bought the CL for £100 a couple of years ago over a similarly priced Canon P. All aspects of the CL's finder are way better than the P or Canon 7 for that matter.
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Old 07-30-2019   #36
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I find Canon 7's finder even more superior than some of the full-size M bodies. Heck, it even has slightly longer eye-point than M4's finder. It is very helpful for using the 35mm frameline.

The only downside of Canon 7's finder I experienced is that the RF patch is blur-edged.

I find the light meter needle bar on the right side of CL's finder rather ugly and distracting.

Neither of them can compete with Bessa's finder though.
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Old 07-30-2019   #37
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Just to harken back to the OPs original statement... he has both, both black, both meters work..... he's selling one.
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Old 07-30-2019   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I'm referring to the batteries.

The CL shoots just fine without its battery; I assume the Bessa does also. So there is always the option of going batteryless if so desired; lots of classic Leicas are the same way.
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Leica CL
Old 07-31-2019   #39
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Leica CL

Quote:
Originally Posted by d.dulin View Post
The CL’s uniqueness makes it something worth keeping, for sure.
I’m wondering from other users how dim the viewfinder is on yours, mine is by and far significantly dimmer than my M2, it’s also fairly dirty.
A 50 anniversary CL arrived yesterday morning, super clean and bright viewfinder. Don Goldberg will have the meter working in no time.
50th CL by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
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