Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Leicas and other Leica Mount Cameras > Leica M Film Cameras

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Leica M2 or Minolta CLE as a 1st film camera
Old 02-13-2019   #1
twotroy
Registered User
 
twotroy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 14
Leica M2 or Minolta CLE as a 1st film camera

Hi guys - I have an opportunity to get either a Minolta CLE or a Leica M2 for a few hundred more. I have used a digital Leica before so I'm familiar with the rangefinder system. I will be using a 28mm summicron and a 50mm Zeiss lens. I'm ok with no metering on the m2.

Apart from the lighter size, light meter on the CLE - is there any reason why it would be wise to get it instead of the m2? I just wanted to check to make sure I'm not missing anything.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #2
Deardorff38
Registered User
 
Deardorff38 is online now
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 677
M2 every time. With the electronics in the CLE....you stand a chance of having an irreparable failure. The M2 is a rock!
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #3
twotroy
Registered User
 
twotroy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
M2 every time. With the electronics in the CLE....you stand a chance of having an irreparable failure. The M2 is a rock!
Great point! I overlooked that major factor
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #4
gb hill
Registered User
 
gb hill's Avatar
 
gb hill is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: North Carolina
Age: 59
Posts: 5,871
I agree with Deardorff38. My vote is with the m2. Years to come the m2 will still give you good service.
__________________
Greg
flickr
Bessa R & L
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #5
Goody
Registered User
 
Goody is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 57
Also M2 has a much more accurate rangefinder!
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #6
bayernfan
Registered User
 
bayernfan is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 715
M2. you'll need an external VF for that 28mm.
__________________
M_V instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #7
Sarcophilus Harrisii
Brett Rogers
 
Sarcophilus Harrisii is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goody View Post
Also M2 has a much more accurate rangefinder!
These things are relative of course. Much better than the CL, yes. Considerably worse than the M3 and not even withing cooee of a Contax.

Viewfinder magnification can help a lot of course, but the highest quality rangefinders derive the greatest accuracy by virtue of a long physical base length and by the relationship between beam deflection and changes in focus distance. How much these points matter in the real world is another issue of course. Perhaps not much at all or a great deal depending on focal length used, subject distance etc. etc.
Cheers,
Brett
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #8
Doug
Moderator
 
Doug's Avatar
 
Doug is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pacific NW, USA
Posts: 12,988
I have two CLEs and an M2... The CLE will be great for 28mm, and its whole VF window approximates 24/25mm framing. But it has no 50mm framelines, just the 40 and 90. The electronics are very reliable, and components are discreet (not an integrated circuit board) so parts can be replaced if ever necessary. I'm very fond of the CLE...

The M2 is a great camera too. Its framelines are more accurate than on the M6 etc but that means they are farther out toward the edges of the visible VF. I have never been able to see the whole 35mm frame at one time even without glasses. Goggled 35mm lenses to the rescue! 28? forget it! You'll want an external viewfinder for that.
__________________
Dougís Gallery
RFF on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #9
splitimageview
Registered User
 
splitimageview is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,973
The chance of failure is very small with the CLE. And it’s repairable. M2s can also need service... how many topics are there on this forum about CLAs for M bodies?

The RF accuracy only matters with speedy lenses which usually aren’t a good fit on the CLE anyway.

For a comparison of RF accuracy across different lenses, click here.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #10
WJJ3
Registered User
 
WJJ3's Avatar
 
WJJ3 is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Hakuba
Posts: 673
Quote:
Originally Posted by twotroy View Post
Hi guys - I have an opportunity to get either a Minolta CLE or a Leica M2 for a few hundred more. I have used a digital Leica before so I'm familiar with the rangefinder system. I will be using a 28mm summicron and a 50mm Zeiss lens. I'm ok with no metering on the m2.

Apart from the lighter size, light meter on the CLE - is there any reason why it would be wise to get it instead of the m2? I just wanted to check to make sure I'm not missing anything.
Hi, interesting dilemma! I would suggest the M2, only because there is nothing like an old Leica. I got an M3 as my first rangefinder (well, I briefly had an Oly XA before the M3, but it swung into the door jam of a car just as I was closing the door, and that was the end of that) and cherish those first couple years shooting with it as my only rangefinder, before I got a metered Leica.

If itís clean and in good working order get the M2. It will be great memories in the future.
__________________
Happy Shooting!
~Will

Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #11
Ngyuen Khoa
Registered User
 
Ngyuen Khoa's Avatar
 
Ngyuen Khoa is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 3
M2, and you can give it to your grand grand children and they still can take photo with it! Another reason is that M2 is so beautiful compared to CLE
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #12
Ko.Fe.
Kostya Fedot
 
Ko.Fe.'s Avatar
 
Ko.Fe. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MiltON.ONtario
Posts: 7,201
28 is the luxury. Skip both and wait for M6 to match.

Or you could smash your nose in Winogrand style with M2.
CLE is just like Panasonic with Leica label, IMO. Better camera, but no cigar.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #13
Deardorff38
Registered User
 
Deardorff38 is online now
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 677
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
The chance of failure is very small with the CLE. And itís repairable. M2s can also need service... how many topics are there on this forum about CLAs for M bodies?
here[/url].
CLA is service clean lubricate adjust. The CLE was introduced in 1980 and is an electronic camera. I had one & used it & it was way ahead of its time. But circuit boards are scarce....

Google problems with CLE..... they're not uncommon.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #14
splitimageview
Registered User
 
splitimageview is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,973
I am very familiar with CLEs, having had several. They have an electronic gremlin that is easy to rectify, but as a rule are very reliable and unlikely to fail. Just acquire a well-cared-for body. There is little risk, and if it does end up failing getting another one is not a huge expense.

What I’m saying is that this shouldn’t be a factor in the decision; rather, it should be the feature set of each camera that should be the deciding factor. For example, if auto exposure or easy loading is a priority, or classic mechanical feel, or 28mm frames, or whatever. Those are personal preference decisions.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #15
Contarama
Registered User
 
Contarama is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 1,248
Hard to say not checking out the cameras or knowing your sort of photography. I can see where I would like to have both.

Bigger question imo is glass
__________________
Art is the ability to make something...even if it is a big mess...
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #16
lynnb
Registered User
 
lynnb's Avatar
 
lynnb is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sydney
Posts: 8,440
If you've used a digital M before then the M2 would be a familiar form factor and handling, as far as heft, VF and focus goes.. OTOH the CLE is lighter, more compact and probably better suited to people with small hands or who want something "small". Also the CLE offers aperture-priority shooting. So choose based on what suits you better.
__________________
Lynn
happiest when shooting 35mm and 120 film
RFF Gallery
Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #17
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,513
I had two perfect condition CLEs, and they both had electronic failures. One after I sold it (so then not my problem but still), the other - it worked fine, I removed the batteries, put it away in a dry box. A few months later I pulled it out to use it, it jammed. Some electrical issue. I could only find one person to work on it (I will have to look up who it was , first name was Dave!) and it took months before I got it back. I sold it immediately because I didnt want to have to deal with that again.

Get the mechanical camera - the Leica. If you want to use a 28mm and 50mm lens w/o an external finder for the 28, get an M4-P. (or much more expensive M6, MP, MA, M7)
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #18
aizan
Registered User
 
aizan's Avatar
 
aizan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Torrance, CA
Age: 37
Posts: 4,578
Since you're a 28/50 guy, I would recommend a 0.58 Leica M6 TTL as the expensive, less risky option and a Konica Hexar RF as the inexpensive, more risky option.
__________________
Ugly Cameras
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #19
Sarcophilus Harrisii
Brett Rogers
 
Sarcophilus Harrisii is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,607
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
The chance of failure is very small with the CLE. And it’s repairable. M2s can also need service... how many topics are there on this forum about CLAs for M bodies?

The RF accuracy only matters with speedy lenses which usually aren’t a good fit on the CLE anyway.

For a comparison of RF accuracy across different lenses, click here.
EBL is the lowest common denominator method of assessing rangefinder accuracy and leaves a bit to be desired. Useful as a rule of thumb of course. But leaves much unsaid.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #20
twotroy
Registered User
 
twotroy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
M2. you'll need an external VF for that 28mm.
Yes - The CLE would have been great for the 28mm but can live with it for a short while. Might swap out to 35 at some point
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #21
mcfingon
Western Australia
 
mcfingon is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,105
I recommend the M2 as your first film camera. It is such a classic to use. It will give you the pleasure in use from using a well-designed, simple but sophisticated film camera. I have owned a Cl and an M2. I sold the CL, but passed the M2 on to my son so he could have that traditional rangefinder experience when I bought an M6.
John Mc
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #22
twotroy
Registered User
 
twotroy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 14
Wow - I really appreciate everyone's feedback here. I'm leaning more towards the M2 as a result of the many reasons described here. As great as the CLE sounds - I'm a little bit hesitant on getting it purely because of its electronics albeit that might not be a major issue. I might also consider swapping out my 28mm summicron for a 35mm if I do go with the m2.

Would love to jump into M6 but it's beyond my price range at the moment.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-13-2019   #23
Fraser
Registered User
 
Fraser is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,715
I know its not on your list but maybe if you are patient and have a good look an M4p could be within budget as it has the 28mm framelines if not you can't go wrong with the M2.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #24
nickthetasmaniac
Registered User
 
nickthetasmaniac is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,093
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
M2. you'll need an external VF for that 28mm.
You really donít... The full M2 viewfinder is a very close approximation for 28mm. I use a VM 28mm Ultron extensively on mine, own the Voigtlander brightline finder, and never use it because the lens works so well with the built in VF.
__________________
Ricoh GRII | Pentax SV, SP-F, MX & LX | Leica M2 | Olympus Pen F + 35RD | Minolta Autocord | Hasselblad 500cm + SWC/m

Instagram @other_strange_creatures
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #25
Mute-on
Registered User
 
Mute-on is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 288
M2. The simplest and best made Leica M film camera IMHO.

I’m sure ŗ CL… is fun to use, but I wouldn’t get one before an M2 (or MP, M4, M6). Anyway, it’s a Minolta
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #26
leicapixie
Registered User
 
leicapixie is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Toronto.Canada
Posts: 1,585
The CL and CLE are not reliable cameras..
I care not about those using and loving them.
There are those using Praktisix 6x6 that are happy..sigh
Get the M2 but they are old..as is mine.
Get a M6 due to being "younger".
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #27
Rob-F
Likes Leicas
 
Rob-F's Avatar
 
Rob-F is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: The Show Me state
Age: 78
Posts: 5,946
The CLE might be a good second camera after the M2. But I'd rather use my M2 as a "first" camera.
__________________
May the light be with you.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #28
splitimageview
Registered User
 
splitimageview is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,973
Every camera can fail at one point or another, requiring repair. This doesn't mean they aren't reliable.

Pick the features you prefer, and go with that. The assumption is that neither the M2 nor the CLE have been abused, and are in full working order.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #29
Guth
Observational Documenter
 
Guth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 140
I own a Minolta XD-11 from the same era as the CLE. Both cameras came about as part of the collaborative efforts between Minolta and Leica at that point in time. The XD-11 is a great camera, but I did have issues with the metering system long ago (repaired at that time). I wouldn't mind owning a CLE but not at the prices they command these days.

If you plan to keep shooting with the 28mm lens then I could see the benefits of the CLE. I myself can't imagine not having a 35mm lens as an option and in that case the M2 seems like a likely choice (although not for me as I do have a preference for built-in metering). I can definitely understand and appreciate why so many are drawn to the all mechanical M2. Whatever you decide I hope that the outcome is a positive one for you. Good luck!
__________________
My RFF Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #30
Steve M.
Registered User
 
Steve M. is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,382
Yep, these sort of things are relative. My first real film camera was a Canon AE-1 w/ the usual FD 50 1.8 lens. Paid $13.50 for it in a Savannah thrift store about 30 years ago. I have prints on the wall that look great, so it's not about the gear. If you can. see if you can find a way to hold both cameras and look thru the viewfinders. One camera is big and heavy w/ a big viewfinder, and the other is tiny and light w/ a much smaller viewfinder. Myself, if these are two cameras you are focused on, I would get a Leica/Minolta CL. Same small size, cheaper, and more reliable (except for the meter, and if you are OK w/ handheld then it doesn't matter). You won't have any trouble focusing the lenses you mentioned w/ either a CL or CLE. Problems might come in w/ a 90 lens, but I never experienced any w/ my CL.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #31
Steve Bellayr
Registered User
 
Steve Bellayr's Avatar
 
Steve Bellayr is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,942
Repair parts on the Minolta are difficult to come by. M2 is much simpler to repair. But, if you need an external viewfinder for the M2 for the 28mm that will add to the cost. Why not just go for the M6. It is more money, yes, but more readily available in better condition. The M6 has the framelines and the meter. IMHO
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #32
twotroy
Registered User
 
twotroy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 14
Again - thanks everyone for all the great suggestions and feedback which swayed me to go for the M2 at the moment. I decided to get a 1965 model with a rapid film loader - I should have it in my hands within the next 24hrs - hopefully the rangefinder calibration and shutter is accurate. I wear glasses so I might have a disadvantage for seeing the 35mm frame line on the m2 - (this had me consider looking at the Bessa for a moment but didn't like the build quality)

As far as the CLE I certainly prefer the 28mm lens for street photography and the small size + lower cost but also thinking about swapping out for a 35mm lens in the future so I don't have to deal with an external viewfinder.

Hoping to keep the m2 for the long haul....m6 is great but was a bit out of reach for me at the moment in terms of budget.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #33
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,413
Hi,

I've a scan of the label and instructions for the Quick Load, just in case they are missing but a PM might be a good idea in case I forget this post...

Regards, David
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #34
twotroy
Registered User
 
twotroy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 14
Thanks David - I appreciate it. I will PM you once I get it and check it out.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #35
Deardorff38
Registered User
 
Deardorff38 is online now
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 677
Quote:
Originally Posted by twotroy View Post
I wear glasses so I might have a disadvantage for seeing the 35mm frame line on the m2 - (this had me consider looking at the Bessa for a moment but didn't like the build quality)
Troy, the M2 was the first Leica I ever bought. The 35mm quickly became my standard view of the world. I also wear glasses & i adapted to the framing just fine. I'm naturally left eye dominant.....but i've shot with and w/out glasses with both eyes, successfully. You'll appreciate the cleanliness of the viewfinder. I've owned & used M6, M4-P and MP and the number of framelines just got in my way. Lately I traded off the MP for a bp M4 and life is visually simple & happy. Best of luck with it.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #36
madNbad
Registered User
 
madNbad's Avatar
 
madNbad is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 650
If you use the entire M2 viewfinder, it will give you fairly accurate framing for your 28. I have worn glasses most of my life and found the M2 viewfinder to be the best. Just get into the habit of letting your eye wander to the corners. Good luck with your M2!
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #37
oldwino
Registered User
 
oldwino is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 134
The entire viewfinder on the M2 is pretty close to 28mm. Try it, and see if will work for you. If not, you can always pick up an external VF. I like using mine. Not only does it look cool, but with a 28 at f8, you really don’t need to focus every shot, so you just use the external VF and go! Very quick!
__________________
wandering the Earth with an Leica I conv, M2, M-D, a bunch of old lenses, and occasionally a Mamiya-Six or Isolette III.

beckmeyerphotographs.format.com
current stuff https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #38
Papercut
Registered User
 
Papercut's Avatar
 
Papercut is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Westchester county, NY (and Chongqing whenever I can get there)
Posts: 1,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by twotroy View Post
Hoping to keep the m2 for the long haul....m6 is great but was a bit out of reach for me at the moment in terms of budget.
You made the right choice. And honestly, don't fret the M6. I enjoy using my meterless M4 far more than my metered M6. Handheld incident meter or learn to estimate exposure (I use the Exposure Mat: http://expomat.tripod.com ) and, with just a bit of experience, you won't miss the simple M6 meter at all.
__________________
-- Kevin

=========
Only connect.
=========

flickr photostream
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #39
Iestrada
Registered User
 
Iestrada is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 236
I owned both at the same time.

The CLE was alway a pure joy to use. Specially when doing street photography. Never had an issue with it. Sold it to avoid the risk of electronic failure. I have missed it terribly ever since. I still have the M2 and also love it. From a photographic experience point of view, you can not go wrong with either. But, ( and it is a big but) if you are like most of us here, there is only one way to cure for the longing for an M camera.

If you buy the CLE, don’t be surprised to be adding an M camera to your collection down the road. If you buy the M2, you might end up adding a second M body.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-14-2019   #40
Guth
Observational Documenter
 
Guth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 140
This thread lead me to this online article about the Minolta CLE.

Why I chose the Minolta CLE over any Leica M

Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion and should pick what they want for reasons that matter to them. The key thing that stood out to me in this particular article was that the CLE provides no metering information when shooting in manual mode. Even thought the CLE looks like an awesome little camera, that particular side note would give me pause. (As I noted previously, personally I do enjoy the use of built-in metering.) i don't know that I learn something new every day, but at least I do still pick up some new knowledge every now and then. I had never seen the Casual Photophile website before now. It looks like they have lots of interesting content.
__________________
My RFF Gallery
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:04.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.