Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica SL: Taming of the joystick at last — but CL still...

Leica SL: Taming of the joystick at last — but CL still out in the cold

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  The latest 3.2 firmware update for the Leica SL introduces a menu setting to disable the joystick, thus allowing the focus point to be fixed (in the centre as many wish) without risk of inadvertent movement. Now we need a similar update for the CL which is even worse than the SL for uncalled-for setting adjustments via the four-way pad (Image Leica Camera AG)
The latest 3.2 firmware update for the Leica SL introduces a menu setting to disable the joystick, thus allowing the focus point to be fixed (in the centre as many wish) without risk of inadvertent movement. Now we need a similar update for the CL which is even worse than the SL for uncalled-for setting adjustments via the four-way pad (Image Leica Camera AG)

Top of the list of improvements in the new 3.2 firmware version for the Leica SL is the ability to deactivate the joystick from the menu “to prevent inadvertent changes to settings while the camera is in use.”

This is big news for Macfilos since we’ve been campaigning for just such a setting ever since the introduction of the SL. The problem of the wayward joystick was most annoying because it could easily move the focus point around the frame. Those of us who like to fix the focus in the centre of the frame and shoot by focus-and-recompose went unheeded. Indeed, Leica implied that we were being pernickety and that there was no call for a method of fixing the focus point. Das Wesentlich, apparently, forbade more tinkering.

  Last December we asked why it is not possible to deactivate the CL
Last December we asked why it is not possible to deactivate the CL’s four-way pad to avoid inadvertent changes of settings while shooting — in particular the tendency to move the focus point around the frame. We were told the was no demand and that Leica preferred to keep things simple. But now they have introduced a solution for the SL’s joystick there is no reason not to update the CL firmware in the same way

We have exactly the same problem with the CL. But the four-way pad on the CL is even more mischievous than the joystick of the SL because it is more susceptible to movement caused by the ball of the right thumb. The resulting peripatetic focus point is a constant irritation which I have highlighted time and time again. No one wanted to listen, apparently, and I’ve been told that Leica wishes to keep things simple and that there is no demand for fixing the focus point. 

It appears, though, that someone has been listening, at least as far as the SL is concerned. Making the change wasn’t so difficult, after all, despite all the protests of “not necessary” and “no demand”. And it certainly doesn’t complicate the camera. On the contrary it enables users to make the camera more simple and more easy to control.

Can we now expect a similar menu option to paralyse the four-way pad when the next CL firmware is produced? I certainly hope so because, for me and others like me it will transform the handling of this camera. At the moment, for centre-focus-point shooters, the CL is lacking.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Do you remember, Mike, there was a similar problem with the X Vario? I devised an ugly hard foam pad to raise the thumb out of the way, and when this had proved its practical value made a much slimmer little angle pad in aluminium which looks as though it belongs to the camera. So, if Leica don’t oblige…………

    • I do indeed remember. This problem is endemic to all Leica models from the X and X Vario onwards (except the M of course). Yet until now, with the SL joystick, the factory has failed to listen. Instead they have said that it isn’t a problem, that we are just being difficult. I dare hope that the message has a last got through.

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