If the Leica M2, M3, M4, M6, and MP have a noble and elegant temperament, then the Leica CL seems somewhat ambiguous, with a charm that attracts bees and butterflies. It turns out that a camera can also have a story. With a rangefinder viewfinder, coupled focusing, and the LEITZ logo, the Leica CL is palm-sized and does not require a strap, fitting perfectly in your pocket.

Although the Leica CL has a short focusing base and is not accurate enough for f/1.4 aperture lenses, nor as sturdy as the M5, and its viewfinder is small, it eventually came out on top thanks to its gentle touch and graceful figure.

If the CL’s workmanship and precision were improved to elevate its temperament, perhaps it would not lose to the Leica M. However, in reality, Leica and Minolta went their separate ways. The short-lived Leica CL left behind a beautiful story, which is more talked about than its successor models, the M4-2 and M4-P.

The Leica M3 is widely regarded as the best rangefinder camera ever made by Leica, while the Leica CL holds the title of the smallest rangefinder camera ever made by the brand.

Leica’s information states that the Leica CL has a shorter focus baseline, making it less suitable for lenses with apertures larger than f/2. It is recommended to use f/2.8 or smaller apertures with this camera.

Despite its limitations, the Leica CL is still a worthwhile purchase due to its affordability, durability, compact size, and aesthetic appeal. The camera’s design is impressive and feels comfortable to hold.

Interestingly, the Leica CL is rumored to have negatively impacted sales of the Leica M5, resulting in its discontinuation after only three years of production.

Film photography is quite different from digital photography. In the film era, the camera body played a relatively minor role in image quality. The Leica CL, which was also produced under the Minolta name and came with a 40mm f/2 lens, is a testament to the fact that the lens is often the most important factor in capturing high-quality images.

LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
LEICA CL + summicron 40 f/2
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Leica CL Film Camera