Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Paul Smith Leica CL Special Edition: The colourful alternative

Paul Smith Leica CL Special Edition: The colourful alternative


Would you prefer to own a plain black or silver SL or go all colourful with the new Paul Smith edition? At least there’s a choice and, if ocean blue is your thing, this could be for you. Since it’s one of my favourite hues I need to take a balanced view of this particular special.

This is the second Paul Smith Leica edition, following the orange-hued X2 of 2012, and it is definitely aimed at the extrovert. I can’t make up my mind whether I like it or hate it, but I am sure all 900 sets will be snapped up around the world. At least I prefer this blue to orange.

The camera is identical to the run-of-the-mill CL other than the cosmetic changes, and the 18mm pancake lens is standard fare. The edition costs £3,500 (a £500 premium over the black or silver kit) and is available from Paul Smith stores as well as Leica boutiques, including Red Dot Cameras. But with only 900 to spread around, they will be pretty thin on the earth.

The last Paul Smith edition from 2012, the Leica X2


  1. It’s a shame Leica does not do more with its LE’s. From a marketing perspective these LE’s reward existing owners who add one more camera. Nothing wrong with that but you could make them more desirable.

    Take the Bauhaus LE – the package could have included the designer talking on film about the connections and the influences of Bauhaus on the CL design. There could have been a book showing the evolution of Leica’s design principles. Instead buyers got a cheaply embossed leather cover and a different strap.

    Paul Smith is an amazing designer, but where’s Paul talking about design and what went through his mind designing “His” CL? Buyers look for authenticity. In both cases Leica missed reinforcing that.

    Leica could do a better job of creating an LE “umbrella” to give prospective owners a sense of a series of collectibles as opposed to one-offs. Leica’s Artist Series featuring (Camera model) by (Artist) would be a much stronger proposition. It would also create anticipation and reinforce the idea of Leica as a tool that inspires artists.

    Lots could be done, but I don’t know whether Leica positively choose not to do more, or whether they simply can’t be bothered to make the effort.

  2. Is the blue bit made from left over stickle bricks? (remember them).

    I cannot think of a reason to walk around with something that looks like a plastic toy camera. But I get why they make them, to keep the cash rolling in and keep themselves healthy as a company.

    When is the Lenny Kravtiz version coming out? or will it come gift wrapped in a Lenny champagne bottle.

  3. I think the colour works if you think of it as a piece of outdoor gear to take with you on your hiking / climbing adventures, especially with the included ‘rope’. I’m really holding out for the purple one with silver accents “Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth” special Edition. Come on Leica!

    • The, er, “Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth” special Edition already appeared in 1954, Stephen, but wasn’t done out in any special finish (apart from her name on the top), ditto the EIIR M6 in 1986. That’s, er, 33 years ago. Do catch up..!


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