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Leica CL value in 2020

woodleica

Member
The Leica CL bundle is $2995 with an 18mm lens today. This is actually less than the price of the camera alone! I was wondering if this is now a good value for the CL and good time to jump in and get one. There is the potential for a CL2 announcement of course which would impact it. But at this price it seems to be commensurate with used prices on eBay if one wants that lens and depreciation shouldn't be too bad. If an announcement doesn't happen, this value is almost too good to pass up. I can't see the CL changing much except having a sensor with more resolution but I'm very happy with 24mpix even for full frame. I doubt they could add IBIS to such a small body.

I have an SL and a 240 that I love but still haven't found a good small lightweight set and my increasingly bad eyes often need autofocus. The SL is just too large and I mostly use it for M lenses and love it for that. I still don't have the native SL autofocus lenses - price and weight is keeping me away. Perhaps when the L-mount alliance comes into full promise there might be more choices ( I know Panasonic has announced a 1.8 line up but who knows the size/weight? ). I had the T and loved the size but it wasn't ready for primetime. The CL looks like the right ergonomics for me personally compared to the TL2. Kind of in between the futuristic touch interface and the analog M and the built in EVF makes it better in size and convenience.

After being away from photography for a bit for many reasons some soul searching reminded me that I find inspiration through the Leica gestalt. I've tried the Fuji system and it was far from inspiring and gave up on it. I've tried Sony and same thing. All these forays are from a desire to save money and always fail me. :)
I have a Nikon d800e and find it useful for specific kinds of applications but inspiring isn't a term I'd use. It's the right camera for function in specific situations.

My biggest inspiration comes from Leica and I can't deny it - some people scoff at this including some friends but they just don't get it. It's not just about technology. Reading and catching up on the CL makes me think it's sensor is actually good enough for serious photography as compared to earlier APS-C sensors. The Q is great but I'm not a 28mm kind of guy. So I'm thinking the CL and a 18, 23mm setup as my light weight kit that I can have while mountain biking, hiking and certain travel ( which is non-existent right now - we can dream though! ). I can supplement it with my M lenses for specific focal lengths. I already have a M-T adapter, the 18-56 zoom from my T purchase so would just need the 18mm kit and the 23mm. Very tempting....

Thanks for any input.
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
The CL is a terrific camera especially for someone that generally uses Leica gear . Watch the REDTUBE Youtube video on it by Leica Miami and you will know more than you need to about it . My wife Carolyn uses a CL and has the zoom and the 35/1.4 which is a good travel set . She uses the zoom in good light and takes the fast summilux for evening shooting . I normally am shooting with an M10 and soon the m10R . I have had a Q and now the Q2 ..so I have plenty of files to compare .

Generally the APS C sized files from the CL are more than adequate in decent light ..they do not hold the shadows or perform at higher ISOs like any of the Leica FF cameras . if you are shooting at ISO 400 in daylight ..you can produce excellent files its when you need to use ISO1600-3200 that you would notice the difference .

i find the Q2 a better choice for me. I use the camera set to a 35MM FOV and work to a cropped capture . Its very nice to be able to reframe in post processing from the captured 28mm FOV so if I clip something or want to clean up an edge ..its simple . At 47MPS the file quality matches the SL2 and short of the S3 and maybe the m10r/MONO is the best Leica has ever had . Files has massive DR and can be worked really well in either LR or C1 . The Q2 has better AF and I can use it easily wide open at F1.7 .

I photographed a car event in bright FL sun last winter and found no differences between the Q2 and the SL2/35SL . I think the SL2 would be better if I inspected these like a landscape for large printing but at normal viewing on a 5K iMac they appear the same .

In the CL range the 35/1.4 summilux is the very best lens and its noticeable comparing to the zoom .

Handling.size weight,manual and auto focus are all important considerations . I use the files but don t have enough experience actually using the camera to comment .

You can easily find used CL bodies below $2000. and yes if the CL2 comes out it will be worth less than $1500 . I would skip the kit ..find a good used body and work with your existing lenses .
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
When I was still taking jobs and assignments, the SL with either of the 24-90 or 90-280 zooms, supplemented by my Leica R lenses, was almost the perfect camera. Once I was out of the business of taking jobs, I wanted something smaller and went to my M-D 262 all the time, hardly used the SL at all. I sold it and realized that I no longer had a camera for the close up, tabletop, and macro work that I do. Since I have a full complement of M and R lenses, I bought a CL body-only. Within a short time I realized that it was much more useful than just the closeup-tabletop camera I bought it to be and it completely obviated the M-D. That was in 2018, and I have not missed either the M-D or the SL since.

If a CL2 comes out, I will be interested in it if and only if it includes a port to allow use of a wired remote. That's the one thing I really really wish the CL included. Using Leica FOTOS from my iPhone serves as a good remote in a pinch, but it's nowhere near as convenient or as immediate as just having a wired remote handy. If/when the CL2 arrives and it doesn't have a remote port, I won't buy it since I don't really need much other than what the CL has.

I find it curious that you would pick the 18mm other than for being compact and AF, however, because it is indeed the equivalent of the Q with its 28mm lens in FoV terms. My most used lens on the CL for general purpose photography is a favorite old Summilux 35mm f/1.4 V2 from 1972 ... a superb, fast normal lens on this format. I'm sure the TL version has improvements everywhere, but the old 'Lux is very compact and a typical Mandler design when it comes to rendering. One of my all time favorite lenses for a hand-held camera. :)

G
 

woodleica

Member
Thanks for the input Roger. That makes sense. I'm debating between getting the new kit and a used one. The 18mm makes a really nice small pocketable package so is attractive from that point of view. I would go for the Q/Q2 if I was even a 35mm person, but my favorite focal length is 50mm. So the CL seems to be a better fit. I already have the 35 M summilux.
 

woodleica

Member
I find it curious that you would pick the 18mm other than for being compact and AF, however, because it is indeed the equivalent of the Q with its 28mm lens in FoV terms. My most used lens on the CL for general purpose photography is a favorite old Summilux 35mm f/1.4 V2 from 1972 ... a superb, fast normal lens on this format. I'm sure the TL version has improvements everywhere, but the old 'Lux is very compact and a typical Mandler design when it comes to rendering. One of my all time favorite lenses for a hand-held camera. :)

G
Thanks for your input Godfrey. Yes, the 18mm is mainly for being pocketable in situations where I don't feel like carrying a bag and the camera is just there to click non serious stuff. My main focal length would be 50 ( 35mm lens ). I also like 35mm so would likely pick up the 23mm as a secondary focal length and to have AF.

I have newer 35mm summilux but I hear you on those old lens renderings. That's cool on the old Summilux.

Do you have any of the AF lenses?
 

Geoff

Member
Since getting the CL, the M240 sits idle. Its either medium format or the CL. Its that good that it can take the place of the everyday walk-around shooter. I often am still suprised, but open up those files in C1, and wait till you see what can be recovered. I use the 18-55 for walk around, the 55-135 oddly for closeups and wildflowers, and the 23 for super-compact.
One of the advantages of the 18-55 is that you crop with the zoom, so you get the full sensor, instead of cropping from a fixed focal length lens and losing MP. The full size CL shot will print very nicely up to 17x22, no larger. Use up to ISO 1600 typically, the higher ones only in a pinch.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Thanks for your input Godfrey. Yes, the 18mm is mainly for being pocketable in situations where I don't feel like carrying a bag and the camera is just there to click non serious stuff. My main focal length would be 50 ( 35mm lens ). I also like 35mm so would likely pick up the 23mm as a secondary focal length and to have AF.

I have newer 35mm summilux but I hear you on those old lens renderings. That's cool on the old Summilux.

Do you have any of the AF lenses?
No, since I have all the focal length choice I want in M-mount (Leica and Voigtländer) and R-mount lenses from 10mm to 360mm, I've felt little need to purchase any new lenses for the CL. I'm content and happy with manual focus... :)
 

woodleica

Member
Thanks for all the input, I've decided to hold out for a used one and skip on the 18mm lens - more reading told me it's too substandard for a lens to have "just in case". Will acquire the 23mm but use my 35 M Lux with it to start with. No hurry, mostly stuck at home in the pandemic. :)
 
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