Any Leica Digital CL users ?
Old 07-24-2018   #1
helenhill
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Any Leica Digital CL users ?

I have seen some photos online that I really liked
by the CL

Anyone here on Rff have One...
your Thoughts & Photos would be greatly appreciated
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Old 07-24-2018   #2
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Helen, Cal has one. I wish I had one, but ... I don`t like the 35mm 1.4 option.
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Old 07-24-2018   #3
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Hello John

I had no idea ... Cool Cal has One... he seems to have One of Everything !

but with an adapter You can use any M lens ( Yes?)
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Old 07-24-2018   #4
Jamie Pillers
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I spotted some talk about it in the Leica X/T/Q thread. I think it was Huss that was testing one.
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Old 07-24-2018   #5
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Thanks Jamie & John
will look for Huss & Godfrey's posts
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Old 07-24-2018   #6
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I bought a CL body two weeks ago and have been mostly testing and experimenting with it since. It's proving to be a fine camera, in every way that matters to me.

I've tested it with all my Leica M and R mount lenses, as well as the last two Nikkors I own. It works beautifully with all of them. I mostly prefer using the R system lenses on the CL ... they give me the handling and ergonomics I prefer and are kick-butt lenses anyway. My kit to work with this camera are the Elmarit-R 19, Elmarit-R 28, Summilux-R 50, Summicron-R 90, and Elmar-R 180.

I bought the CL because I've sold my SL ... found I wasn't using it enough to warrant having all that money tied up in it and its lenses, basically ... and still needed a TTL camera for macro and tabletop work. So in addition to the above, I have the Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm and Macro-Elmar-R 100 with the Focusing Bellows-R. This provides nearly anything I could want in terms of macro capabilities.

I don't own, and am not really interested in, any of the native AF lenses. Not because they aren't excellent, simply because I have no particular need or desire for them. My use of a camera is pretty simple and generally best done with manual control. If I buy any of them, the first one I have my eye on is the Vario-Elmarit-TL 11-33: I understand it's a superb lens.

For my specific needs, the CL actually outperforms the SL. Which is surprising but it's simply a really good camera, in every way. The right size, the right weight, versatile, completely compatible with my lenses, and less than half the price of the SL body..

I can answer any questions you have about the CL, minus info about the AF functions since I don't use them. Just post here or drop me a PM.

G
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Old 07-25-2018   #7
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I have had a CL since February. I love it. Have a 18mm and 23mm native autofocus lens which work great. Also have adapters for my M and Nikor lenses which also work well and are easyTo manually focus. It has re-awakened my interest in photography. Still have my
M7 and M8 and plan to use them but haven’t picked them up since CL arrived.
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Old 07-25-2018   #8
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CL here since early this year. I use it with my small set of M lenses, no experience with the "native" autofocus glass. I like its small size and handling a lot. Manual focus on the CL is surprisingly good, either with or without focus peaking. Image quality at high iso isn't as good as full frame, which I expected, but the files still clean up pretty well. At low to med iso, the files are really nice & excellent to process. I plan on keeping it as my everyday camera, so easy to carry in a small bag. Only drawback for me is lack of a good, modestly fast, manual focus wide lens due to the crop factor (I don't have anything wider than a 28/2). With the 18 TL, though, that problem is easily solved.

Quote:
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My kit to work with this camera are the Elmarit-R 19, Elmarit-R 28, Summilux-R 50, Summicron-R 90, and Elmar-R 180.
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Old 07-25-2018   #9
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Helen,

I bought a CL and it has been kidnapped by "Maggie" my fashion blogger gal. She bought the AF 23mm Cron-TL lens.

Originally I purchased this camera for my use with mostly these three lenses: a 50 Lux-SL; a 50 Lux-R "E60;" and a 58/1.2 Noct-Nikkor.

With the crop factor a 50mm lens becomes a 75mm, and the Noct-Nikkor becomes this insane 87mm F1.2. Basically this was a cheap way to have 75mm and 87mm fast portrait lenses and using the glass I already own.

I like using the zoom in for nailing the focus. Magnification works best for me.

The 28 Cron-M is an interesting lens on the CL because you get a 42mm, and this is like the original CL with a 40mm. This is a fast shooter. The focus is a bit vague, especially stopped down, but if at F5.6 I use it as a point and shoot, again with glass I already own.

Right now Leica has a special. Buy a CL and get the Leica M-adapter for free with the camera. This adapter costs over $300.00 (I think I paid $359.00 for mine).

Understand that the Noct-Nikkor has this wonderful OOF and bokeh, but unlike a Noctilux the corners don't have the light fall-off, instead the resolution gets soft in the corners. The center sharpness is very-very high due to a hand ground ASPH first element.

On the CL the soft corners get cropped away and only the "sweet spot" is utilized. So all these great normal lenses become more perfect, and their smooth balance of sharp and soft becomes more exaggerated in a great way. Pretty much with the Noct-Nikkor I replicate the new 75mm Noctilux with a bit extra reach.

My problem is that Maggie loves my CL. It is smaller than the "Q" and I find it a fast shooter.

The ugly is that the battery capacity is smallish. It is one of those cameras that you can switch on and by the time you raise it to your eye it is ready. Walking with the camera on depletes the battery rapidly.

With the 28 Cron, and without the grip it is lightweight and tiny. Really elegant.

With the 50 Lux-R "E60" the rendering is very much like a Noctilux, meaning wonderful. I use a Leitax "Almost Auto Aperture" Nikon "F" mount adapter along with a "F" mount to "M" mount adapter, even though I own a "L" to "M" Leica adapter. The Almost Auto Aperture has this spring loaded lever that in use allows me to fully open the len's iris for critical focusing, and upon release stops down the diaphram to my pre-set for exposure.

This eliminates the vague focus when stopping down.

Understand that the adapters and the all the glass is stuff I use on other cameras, and gear I already own.

For a tiny camera I can always mount my black Canon 28/3.5. The coolest thing about the CL is in using it. The controls are a bare minimum, and I find using it in "A" mode and using the left dial for exposure compensation is faster than using manual exposure.

BTW as a portrait camera with my glass the results are beyond stunning. The CL is also a fun camera. I may have to buy another one. For me it does not or could not replace my SL, but it is a very strong compliment.

Cal
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Old 07-25-2018   #10
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My interested is piqued.

Anyone care to post some color images?
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Old 07-25-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
I see that until September 30, Leica is offering a free M adapter with every CL purchase. The adapter sells for $395! I expect there will be many knock-offs coming soon.

John
John,

The expensive Leica adapter is the way to go. Because I also own a SL I already had bought the Leica adapters. I believe I only paid $359.00 for my "M" to "L" adapter. LOL

The big deal are the Leica lens profiles, especially if you shoot with Leica glass.

On my Noct-Nikkor I use the Noctilux F1.2 profile.

Cal
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Old 07-25-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
I see that until September 30, Leica is offering a free M adapter with every CL purchase. The adapter sells for $395! I expect there will be many knock-offs coming soon.
Since I already had the M Adapter L, the dealer allowed me to obtain a spare battery and the Leica Protector half case with my CL body free of charge. There are plenty of*less expensive adapters available for Leica L mount already, however none of them have the electronics required to give you access to the Leica lens profiles for M and R mount lenses.

The CL actually does a better job for me doing film scanning than the SL did. The reason for this is that it is a smaller sensor with the same resolution ... at the low ISO settings required for this type of work, it has all of the same dynamic range and gradation of the FF sensor and requires less magnification to do the job properly. Also, my R lens macro setup with the bellows doesn't vignette on the CL the same way it did on the SL given the two-adapter stack I use (R Adapter M stacked onto M Adapter T). I've had this setup for mounting R lenses since I first bought the SL in 2015, long before the R Adapter L was released, and it remains my preference because of the removable tripod mounting foot, which isn't as tall or large as the one supplied with the R Adapter L.

The Summilux-R 50mm lens indeed produces a superbly "sharp yet soft" and beautiful 75mm equivalent portrait rendering when wide open, and is razor sharp when stopped down to f/4-f/5.6. The Summicron-R 90mm lens does the same with a FOV equivalent of 135mm, as does the Elmarit-R 19mm v1 at the other end of the spectrum (albeit it's a rather large lens!). The Elmarit-R 28mm lens nets a look and feel that is very "correct" with less of that beautiful glowy feel of the faster 50 and 90 lenses, but I can also use an ancient Nikkor 28mm f/2 if I want that sort of look—it's amazing how nice these old lenses are on the camera!

When I want to go as compact as possible, I pull out a Color Skopar 28mm f/3.5 and M-Rokkor 90mm f/4 ... kind of replicating the film Leica CL experience with 40 and 90 mm lenses in a sense. The native TL18mm lens would complement them nicely for a very compact wide ... I haven't bought one yet. All three of these lenses plus the body and two or three batteries fit easily into my smallest camera bag, with lots of room to spare.

For my uses, the CL is without a doubt the right TTL body. It works well alongside my M-D, and will get much more use than the SL body and the two SL zoom lenses did in my hands now. Those were great when I was actively still taking assignments and needed what they could do, but became too much to manage after I retired and stopped doing that kind of work.
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Old 07-25-2018   #13
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Quote:
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My interested is piqued.

Anyone care to post some color images?
108 pages of images so far.
I quit on page two.
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Old 07-25-2018   #14
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Quote:
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108 pages of images so far.
I quit on page two.
There is also the CL group on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/leica_cl/

Note that the group was started way back in 2006 so it has transitioned from film CL to digital CL. But nowadays its overwhelmingly digital CL.
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Old 07-25-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
Yeah, but $395 for the adapter?! I feel alienated.

John
John,

Currently free until September 30th.

Leica glass is worth the premium IMHO. Best used with the profiles Leica made for the lenses.

Cal
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Old 07-25-2018   #16
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Guess I was looking for images shot by folks here on the RFF.

I'm fairly proficient in the Google.
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Old 07-25-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
Yeah, but $395 for the adapter?! I feel alienated.

John
I bought a $15 Chinese adapter just to test the principle of it. Bottom line, because of the lack of the electronic contacts the majority of functions are hobbled. You cannot set lens profiles, and more importantly, you cannot zoom in and/or use focus peaking (it's been a while so I forget).
I mentioned it on my write up on this site. So I gave the adapter away for free.
You need the real one, unfortunately.
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Old 07-25-2018   #18
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p.s. in my tests the colour from the CL was much better if you process the RAW files, than if you shoot jpegs.

From camera's jpeg:



From dng file:

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Old 07-25-2018   #19
Calzone
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I should try my 50 Rigid on "Maggie's" CL.

I bet using the sweet spot wide open would make this a killer portrait rig. Also smaller than the three lenses I mentioned above.

Remember a 50mm becomes a 75mm.

Cal
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Old 07-25-2018   #20
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Here are two that're handy, taken at iso 6400:


20180324-206-web by Mike Tuomey, on Flickr


20180323-150-web by Mike Tuomey, on Flickr

Not bad higher iso performance for aps-c, to my eyes.
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Old 07-25-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
p.s. in my tests the colour from the CL was much better if you process the RAW files, than if you shoot jpegs.

From camera's jpeg:



From dng file:

really? was the light really that cool? the jpg is too warm, i think, but the RAW conversion to me seems to go too far the other way.
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Old 07-25-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
really? was the light really that cool? the jpg is too warm, i think, but the RAW conversion to me seems to go too far the other way.
Yes, the cyan highlights in the hair are much worse than the slightly yellowish skin tone.
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Old 07-25-2018   #23
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Quote:
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really? was the light really that cool? the jpg is too warm, i think, but the RAW conversion to me seems to go too far the other way.
If you have it set for AWB, it's just doing the best it can.
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Old 07-25-2018   #24
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Put together a little bicycle ride report for my bicycle list frames, with photos from the CL taken en route.

---
It was time for my regular bi-weekly doctor appointment at Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, down at the south-west end of San Jose where it meets Los Gatos, and where Highway 17 and Highway 85 cross. This is about fourteen miles away by bicycle and the path there and back wiggles through some lovely neighborhoods as well as runs a good stretch of Gazos Creek Trail, alongside the creek. The round trip distance generally runs 25 to 30 miles depending on exactly what paths I take.

I decided to see if my new Leica CL with my two 'standard' lenses would be a carry-able proposition on this kind of bicycle ride. First positive indicator was that the camera fitted with the mount adapters, half case, and Elmarit-R 28mm lens fits neatly along with the Summilux-R 50mm lens into my Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L bag ... my usual bicycle carry ... and is not overly heavy.

So off I went. It was a pretty warm day ... I started when temps were around 85°F and as I rode along they ran up as high as 96°. But it was nice riding with light wind and a fun route.

I don't stop too often when I'm on a ride, but I made an effort to stop and take a couple of photos while running along Gazos Creek Trail as I approached the crossing which take me over the creek itself and then over Highway 17, near the Hospital complex.

So here's a rather pretty little winding uphill just before I reached the creek crossover:



Gazos Creek Trail is nicely maintained and pretty heavily used. I was lucky to be on it at an hour where few others were using it, so no traffic at all!

Next I had to cross the creek from south to north to manage the Highway 17 underpass. Here's a view from that bridge down into the creek.



Under this vantage point, what you can't see is a bit of a steep little falls as the creek bed is managed to flow over a concrete abutment and fall about 40 feet down ... Thus the windy and steep uphill in the previous photo.

Next, I've negotiated through the park area of the trail, where there are lots of facilities and a couple of small man-made lakes for recreational use. Next we cross the creek again, this time over a steel and wood bridge. Here I'm in the mid-span of that bridge and you can see Highway 17 running alongside the creek.



Looking straight down the span, you can see the trail pavement wiggle around and in the distance the highway walking/biking bridge overpass. A bicyclist popped into view just in time for some scale...



I stopped mid-span over the top of the bridge and snapped a couple there. This view shows Highway 17 below, looking west to the Santa Cruz Mountains.



This view gives you an idea of the crossover bridge ... they guard carefully against people throwing things down on the road below, as well as keeping people from falling, with high wire-link fencing.



Finally over the bridge, you're in a nice little cul de sac of suburban homes. All the roads in this little neighborhood are themed as the names of composers. I thought this intersection would be a nice place for a musician or music lover to live.



From there, I had to wiggle around a bit and find the path over to the next little community, scoot across the busy South Bascom Avenue, through another nice little neighborhood, over yet another bicycle crossing bridge to the hospital complex.

My route home went on surface streets a little to the east of the trail. I stopped to see whether my 'other favorite' bicycle shop had moved yet—they have, I'll have to visit the new store in Cupertino soon—and back up to my neighborhood via my usual route. Temps had gotten quite high and I was feeling both dry and hungry, so I stopped at a local sandwich shop for lunch and a LOT of water. Snapped a photo of FCC while I was eating my sandwich:



Looking great, running great ... I turned 1120 miles on it since April today. Tires still have meat, new chain fitted about 70 miles ago.

Home was another four miles on from there. I went inside, stripped off my wet bicycle gear, pulled on my swim trunks, and jumped into the pool for a refreshing swim. Then inside, a quick shower off, and a half hour nap.

BTW: The camera worked flawlessly and was not an issue to carry... The Elmarit 28mm makes an excellent, versatile normal lens that is compact and not too heavy. I never did get a moment to change lenses, but eh? so what?

onwards,
G
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Old 07-25-2018   #25
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Yes, the cyan highlights in the hair are much worse than the slightly yellowish skin tone.
The kid had black hair, not brown hair. And his skin was not yellow. Nor was the camera he was holding dark brown. And the dood to the right had a dark blue shirt, not a grey shirt.

So yes, the DNG is much better than the jpeg.

Unless of course you were there and saw the scene differently.
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Old 07-25-2018   #26
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Some more CL test shots. I think any camera looks good in bright sunlight - iphones to DSLRs to disposables look great there. It is how they handle mixed lighting or interior lighting that differentiates them.










The CL is a really nice camera. Much more expensive than the equivalent Sony but much nicer to hold and use, so you want to use it more which makes it worth it! But I couldn't bring myself to buy one as getting a D850 made much more sense for my work and what I needed. Plus I pretty much don't want to have to deal with Leica NJ ever again if/when things go wrong.
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Old 07-26-2018   #27
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A couple of portraits taken this morning at the cafe where we do Thursday Breakfast. :-)


Leica CL + Summilux-R 50mm f/1.4
ISO 160 @ f/2 @ 1/100



Leica CL + Summilux-R 50mm f/1.4
ISO 250 @ f/2 @ 1/100


Enjoy!
G
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Old 07-26-2018   #28
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Quote:
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p.s. in my tests the colour from the CL was much better if you process the RAW files, than if you shoot jpegs.

From camera's jpeg:



From dng file:

Big difference between the JPEG/RAW files. Have not seen that before.
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Old 07-27-2018   #29
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I've had one since early April. I bought if because 1) I wanted a live view interchangeable lens camera that could take my rangefinder lenses without colour issues and 2) in Leica terms it's a bargain giveaway (sad to say).
However, it's been tough for me getting used to an EVF, to a crop sensor and to assignable dials and buttons. Also it's only slightly less heavy and bulky than my M9.
There's no doubt it's a very capable camera but for me it was a mistake to buy it.
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Old 07-27-2018   #30
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There's no doubt it's a very capable camera but for me it was a mistake to buy it.
Sorry to hear that... perhaps cut bait before you lose too much.
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Old 07-27-2018   #31
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I've had one since early April. I bought if because 1) I wanted a live view interchangeable lens camera that could take my rangefinder lenses without colour issues and 2) in Leica terms it's a bargain giveaway (sad to say).
However, it's been tough for me getting used to an EVF, to a crop sensor and to assignable dials and buttons. Also it's only slightly less heavy and bulky than my M9.
There's no doubt it's a very capable camera but for me it was a mistake to buy it.
Used M240? Close in price to a new CL, I think.
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Old 07-27-2018   #32
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Big difference between the JPEG/RAW files. Have not seen that before.
It didn't actually bother me as I only shoot RAW with Leicas, as I have never found their jpegs to be any good.
Cameras made by companies like Nikon, Fuji, Olympus seem to have much better jpeg engines, as does Apple's iphones.
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Old 07-27-2018   #33
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CL jpeg


CL DNG (raw)
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Old 07-27-2018   #34
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I was downtown in San Jose for a walk and afternoon coffee yesterday, carrying the Leica CL fitted with the Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8 v1 lens, testing this lovely old Walter Mandler design lens out on the new body, essentially.

I made nine photos in my short walk around the neighborhood, mostly playing with shapes and spaces, objects and people:



















The Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8 v1 lens has a rather bulky front element, but proves to be reasonably easy to handle and work with on the CL body despite that. It focuses quite close and gives a field of view approximating that of a 28 to 30mm lens on a FF format camera on the CL's APS-C sensor. For this lens, I found myself using focus peaking and magnification quite often to obtain accurate focus.

Perhaps the new TL18mm lens is a lot smaller, a lot lighter, and all that ... it would certainly be less to carry. But I like shooting with this old R lens quite a lot regardless.

enjoy,
G
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Old 07-27-2018   #35
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MCToumey, I had an M240, for about a year. Now that was a camera that I just could not like. I kept my M9s and bought an M9 Monochrome and those are my full frame cameras. I love those cameras to bits/bytes.

Jsrockit, I'll keep the digiCL because its EVF and live view are useful for copy work, macro and telephoto, but really for day-to-day stuff the GR suits me better. PS: how come so much fewer photos of Chile, John? I miss them.
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Old 07-27-2018   #36
jsrockit
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Location: Santiago, Chile
Age: 45
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Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
PS: how come so much fewer photos of Chile, John? I miss them.
I've been taking a lot... just haven't been posting them here. You can see them at:

https://www.facebook.com/john.gellings/photos_all

If you want top PM me your e-mail... I can send you a PDF of my last book.
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Old 07-27-2018   #37
pyeh
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Thanks John, very kind of you. PM sent, as well as FB request.
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Old 07-29-2018   #38
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I do. Love it. All of these shot with Summilux-M 35mm and adapter.

L1000035.jpg by Jim Crutcher, on Flickr

L1000077.jpg by Jim Crutcher, on Flickr

L1000093.jpg by Jim Crutcher, on Flickr

L1000104.jpg by Jim Crutcher, on Flickr

L1000107-Edit.jpg by Jim Crutcher, on Flickr

L1000099.jpg by Jim Crutcher, on Flickr
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http://www.rbcphotographs.com

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rootbeer2004/
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Old 07-29-2018   #39
farlymac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I bought a CL body two weeks ago and have been mostly testing and experimenting with it since. It's proving to be a fine camera, in every way that matters to me.

I've tested it with all my Leica M and R mount lenses, as well as the last two Nikkors I own. It works beautifully with all of them. I mostly prefer using the R system lenses on the CL ... they give me the handling and ergonomics I prefer and are kick-butt lenses anyway. My kit to work with this camera are the Elmarit-R 19, Elmarit-R 28, Summilux-R 50, Summicron-R 90, and Elmar-R 180.

I bought the CL because I've sold my SL ... found I wasn't using it enough to warrant having all that money tied up in it and its lenses, basically ... and still needed a TTL camera for macro and tabletop work. So in addition to the above, I have the Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm and Macro-Elmar-R 100 with the Focusing Bellows-R. This provides nearly anything I could want in terms of macro capabilities.

I don't own, and am not really interested in, any of the native AF lenses. Not because they aren't excellent, simply because I have no particular need or desire for them. My use of a camera is pretty simple and generally best done with manual control. If I buy any of them, the first one I have my eye on is the Vario-Elmarit-TL 11-33: I understand it's a superb lens.

For my specific needs, the CL actually outperforms the SL. Which is surprising but it's simply a really good camera, in every way. The right size, the right weight, versatile, completely compatible with my lenses, and less than half the price of the SL body..

I can answer any questions you have about the CL, minus info about the AF functions since I don't use them. Just post here or drop me a PM.

G

Good to hear it works well with R lenses, Godfrey. I should go looking for a 19mm sometime.


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Old 07-30-2018   #40
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One aspect the CL clearly has over much of the competition is lens quality. Many people like having a full-frame and smaller cropper with the same mount. The crop sensor Sony lenses are pretty weak apart from a few of decent primes. Sony is just not quite there; Leica is priced like, well, Leica. The CL body alone is pricey, but not unreasonably so even when doing spec-sheet comparisons.
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