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Leica CL

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Specification

Production details
Announced:1973
Order No.:10700
Also known as:LEITZ minolta CL
System: Leica CL (1973)
Rangefinder and Viewfinder
Rangefinder:Built-in, combined with viewfinder
Viewfinder:Built-in, combined with rangefinder
Finder magnification:0.6x
Actual rangefinder base:31mm
Effective rangefinder base:18.6mm
Bright-line frames:40mm & 50mm, 40mm & 90mm
Parallax compensation:Yes
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica M [27.8mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Shutter
Type:Focal-plane
Model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Manual
Physical characteristics
Weight:365g
Dimensions:120x75x32mm
Accessories
Body cap:14195

Manufacturer description #1

Compact measuring-viewfinder camera. Brightline measuring viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation. Automatically superimposed image frames for 40 and 50 as well as 90 mm focal length. Quick-changing lens bayonet as in LEICA-M models. Built-in CdS exposure meter for selective light metering through the lens. Vertically traveling focal-plane shutter from 1 to 1/1000 sec. and B. Accessory-shoe contact for electronic flash units. Onesided camera suspension. Entire camera back can be pulled off for convenient film insertion.

Rapid film change.

Serial No. from 1300001.

Manufacturer description #2

LEICA CL - The smallest rangefinder camera featuring a LEIGA bayonet lens mount and selective through-the-lens exposure metering

For all who look for maximum photographic quality at minimum cost

The new small LEICA is compact and handy - the lightest LEICA ever. That's why it's the ideal constant companion. Straightforward and easy to use, it has a proven coupled rangefinder. At a glance through the finder you instantly view the subject and all exposure data. Its selective through-the-Iens exposure metering copes with any subject, any brightness distribution. And it has a precision focal plane shutter and interchangeable lenses.

Last but not least it combines maximum optical and engineering precision in the smallest possible space. That is why the LEICA CL helps you shoot fast to capture those fleeting photographic moments in sharp, clear pictures - the LEICA way.

Creative subject control with interchangeable lenses

A fixed lens imposes limitations - interchangeable lenses overcome them. That is why the LEICA CL offers the proven LEICA bayonet lens system. With two specially developed lenses - a 40mm SUMMICRON-C f/2 and a 90mm ELMAR-C f/4 - the new CL ideally meets all needs of creative picture control with minimum effort. More than 90% of all pictures are taken with medium-focus lenses. Hence the 40mm and 90mm lenses offer the most useful practical focal length combination. Both lenses are coupled with the LEICA CL view- and rangefinder. On fitting either lens the appropriate brightline frame automatically appears in the finder.

Features and technology of a modern camera

The new LEICA CL is the last word in styling and functional technology. World-famous LEITZ engineering, based on intensive research and development and nearly half a century of LEICA experience in precision optics and mechanics, unparalleled know-how in the design of high-quality optical instruments - all these factors guarantee top photographic performance and quality in this up-to-date compact LEICA.

The reliability of LEITZ products is world famous. It stems from a tradition of meticulous attention to every detail, stringent testing, expensive special materials, constant production monitoring and final quality control by expert LEITZ engineers.

All this makes the LEICA CL unique for optical and engineering precision. And wherever you go - the LEICA name is backed by the LEITZ inter-international guarantee with world-wide servicing.

1. The precision bright-line view- and rangefinder.

The bright-line view- and rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation shows full view when wearing spectacles. The CL features at-a-glance control settings: brilliant image frames for the 40, 50 and 90mm lenses, central rangefinder field for focusing, selected shutter speed, meter needle and zero index, battery test signal. It has a finder image scale 0.6 x and a 31 .5mm rangefinder base length.

2. Up-to-date exposure metering

Selective through-the-Iens measurement with free choice of aperture/speed combination. Meter needle and zero index visible in the finder. CdS cell of 7.5mm diameter; covers approximately the rangefinder field with the 90mm lens. Measuring range: 16 EV steps from 0.5 to 32,000 cd/sq.m with f/2 lens.

Film speed settings: Adjustable from ASA 25 to 1600 (15 to 33 DIN). Power source: Interchangeable MALLORY PX 625 button cell, 1.35 volts. Lasts about 2 years with average use.

3. The silent focal plane shutter

The newly designed focal plane shutter runs vertically down the film aperture, making for maximum camera compactness. An extremely soft and vibration-free release plus the smooth shutter movement insure shake-free exposures to make the most of the famous LEITZ lens performance. Shutter speeds from 1/1000 to 1/2 sec., intermediate settings usable except between 1/30- 1/60. B setting for time exposures of any length. Automatic hot shoe flash synchronization up to 1/60 sec. with electronic flash and 1/30 sec. with flash cubes.

4. The famous LEICA bayonet lens mount

The LEICA CL uses the LEICA M bayonet mount for life-long precision . This also allows the use of numerous other LEICA lenses as well as rapid and easy lens changing.

All-metal compact body. Tough leather-type textured plastic covering. Glare-free matte black anodized top cover, front panel and camera base. Camera back fully removable in one piece with base. 1/4 inch tripod bush. Film type indicator and rewind crank in base. Carrying strap eyelets at side. Rapid film loading system, takes all standard commercial 35mm film cartridges with or without trimmed film leader. Accessory shoe with hot-shoe X contact.

Size: 4 3/4" x 3" x 1 1/4" (12 x 7.5 x 3.2 cm)

Weight: approx. 13 ozs. (365 g)

Optimum picture quality by precise focusing and exposure

To make the most of LEICA lens performance you must focus and expose exactly.

With the LEICA CL you do both instantly as you look through the finder. The precision focusing system of the LEICA CL is based on the time-proven combined double-image and split-image rangefinder.

Selective and precise exposure metering through the lens is the second outstanding LEICA CL feature. You read the correct exposure individually for every subject. You measure just the subject portion that matters and ignore misleading overbright or overdark portions. This selective metering approach permits precise "close-up" readings even at a distance.

Fascinating scope within the full LEICA system

The small LEICA CL is a worthwhile acquisition even if you already own an M-series LEICA. This is because the CL takes numerous lenses of the LEICA M range, offering a highly useful second camera body.

Even old screw-based LEICA lenses can be fitted via the bayonet/screw adapter.

If you have an old LEICA, the new LEICA CL body brings your outfit up to date - and can utilize the selective through-the-Iens exposure metering with your own LEICA lenses.

From the editor

A smaller version of the LEICA M5 with similar TTL exposure metering system. The camera was designed in Wetzlar but manufactured by Minolta in Japan. Production ceased in 1976 after only 3 years.

In Japan, the camera was marketed as LEITZ minolta CL and supplied with two Minolta lenses manufactured in Osaka: M-Rokkor 40mm F/2 and M-Rokkor 90mm F/4.

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Copyright © 2012-2022 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

14195

Protection cap, for camera body with LEICA M bayonet mount.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.