The Leica CL continues to receive very positive reviews despite the odd quibble about lack of weather protection and stabilisation. Leica owners aren’t phased these aspects but they are appreciating the small size and handling of the camera — some say it is the “mini M” that everyone expected at the launch of the X-Vario.
My friend Patrick Leong in New York has published a very detailed and impressive CL review on his Finding Range blog which you should check out. He’s a long-standing Leica aficionado and is especially fond of the SL. Says Patrick:
“As a Leica user, this is one tempting little camera. I keep saying to myself that this would make a great companion to my SL. In so many ways, the CL draws its strength from many other Leica cameras because a lot of the best qualities from other Leica cameras are incorporated in the CL. You can call it a mini M but in many ways, it can be a mini SL or an updated X. For those who love the X, pop the 18mm or the 23mm on this baby, and the CL becomes an X on steroids.
“The electronics feel light years ahead. Furthermore, the CL not only has the built-in viewfinder we always wanted in an X, it has an absolutely outstanding one. For those who like the M but have issues focusing it or just want autofocus, I feel the CL can be a great alternative for some. In addition to having autofocus lenses, the CL works absolutely great with M lenses. I can actually focus faster, and get more consistently in-focused shots thanks to the focus peaking and quality of the EVF. If you’re lugging around an SL like I am, and want a sidekick to it, the CL is also a great choice. It shares a lot of similarities not just in design but it can also share the same lenses without an adapter.
“To me, the CL is not just a fantastic Leica, it’s a fantastic camera when compared to its peers as well. It’s a much needed camera in the Leica system that should’ve been out a long time ago if you ask me. But as they say, better late than never, right?
After nearly three months with the CL I couldn’t agree more with Patrick’s thoughts.
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