A Cold Sunday With The Leica CL

A Cold Sunday With The Leica CL:

Hey everyone!  Check this out: I have the new Leica CL on loan to review.  It’s been with me a little while now, and you probably know I’ve had it already, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook.  This is my first post with it but I will definitely be talking more about it over the next couple of weeks.  Right now, I thought I’d start off by sharing some photos I took last weekend, and my overall experience with it so far.

So, we’ve been experiencing some seriously cold weather in NYC over the past few weeks, and last weekend was definitely no exception.  I was out there on Sunday morning, and I think it was in the teens!  At night, it supposedly went down to the single digits.  I actually like the cold but I’ve had enough lol :).  Anyway, I decided to walk around downtown because I figured if I was too cold, I could always run into the Oculus, the Brookfield Place or even a great little Japanese noodle shop I know around there for some tasty ramen.

↑ The CL feels about the size of the first Leica X camera.

↑ I still have the sticker on the display in this photo.  Sorry about that; I had just taken the camera out of the box, and decided to take some quick snapshots of it.  I love the clean design of the Leica CL.  All the important functions are available at your fingertips.

↑ The CL isn’t much larger than an Olympus Pen-F.

I brought along the bare essentials with me.  I had the Leica CL with the 18mm Elmarit.  I also brought along the Cravar Rana 15, which is oversized for my kit but I’m currently reviewing it, and therefore, I want to use it as much as possible.  I urge anyone who likes leather cameras bags to take a closer look at it because it is absolutely beautiful.  Plus, it has a slot for my laptop, and I brought it along with me as well to do some work on the bus ride home.

Anyway, the Leica CL has been fantastic to shoot with so far.  I’m actually surprised at how much I enjoy using it.  It’s typical Leica in many ways.  The build quality is fantastic, and quite frankly, this little camera feels very solid.  It may not be up to the solid feel of an SL but I can’t remember a camera in the APS-C category that I’ve tested recently that feels this solid and one piece-like.  The thing is, it’s also a light camera, and easy to carry around all day.

To top it off, the overall handling of the camera is great.  It’s so straight forward, and easy to use. It’s not unnecessarily complicated, which is a hard thing to achieve these days.  There are not a million buttons, and it doesn’t have a bunch of functions that you don’t need.  The menu system is also typical Leica design in that its very easy, and fast to navigate through.  In my opinion, Leica menu systems are top notch, and I’m glad to see it is the same with the CL.  The EVF is also excellent.  It’s clear, sharp, detailed, and with a 0.74x magnification, it’s very easy to see through it.

I have to say, it also handled the cold like a champ.  It was seriously freezing out.  My hands were cold even with gloves on.  I normally hold my camera in my hand, and wrap the neck strap around my wrist when I’m out shooting but it was so cold out that I ended up just hanging the camera around my neck the entire time.  I was out from around 9am to about 4:30pm (of course, I went indoors for a couple of hours for food, and warmth), and the CL had absolutely no issues.  Keep in mind that throughout the whole time, it was hanging around my neck, and exposed to the cold.  The battery life, which is supposedly one of its weaker areas, since it only lasts about 220 shots, didn’t die. I took a little over 200 pics, and I still had some juice left in the battery.  Oh yes, I almost forgot; I was a little worried this camera would be difficult to handle with gloves on since it is so compact.  However, because of it’s uncluttered design, and lack of unnecessary buttons and knobs, I had no issues shooting the Leica CL with gloves on.  I was very happy about this :).  I was not only able to shoot, I had no issues making adjustments to exposure or navigating through the menu system.

Anyway, If I don’t stop now, I am going to go on and on, and end up writing the review, so I’ll leave you now with the pics.  As you can tell I’m a big fan of the Leica CL.  Stay tuned for the review, and thanks for stopping by!

Check out the Leica CL at B&H Photo if you want more info or to purchase it.

6 comments… add one
  • inthedarkroom

    Looking forward to more detailed information — this has been the best no-BS Leica blogs for years. Keep up the fine work.

    • Patrick

      Hi inthedarkroom,

      I really appreciate the kind words! Thanks! My review is coming soon,

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Mahesh

    Hi Patrick, thanks for the review. There have been such mixed reviews of this. One thing is true that evf of this is brilliant, I did have a look at that. Sadly, I wish the lenses were smaller. E.g. the 35mm is great but quite big. I wish they had just kept this m mount manual camera.

    • Patrick

      Hi Mahesh!

      Great to hear from you as always, and thanks for your input! For me, this comes closest to what I wanted to see from Leica in the APS-C category. It’s not perfect but no camera is; however, I genuinely love using it. This is what I would’ve wanted instead of the TL2. Lens wise, the zooms are pretty compact but I would like to see more primes. They have a 35mm f1.4, which being a 50mm guy, I would want. But I’d like to see an ultra wide and a short fast tele. I imagine Leica is probably working on new lenses as we speak, so who knows, maybe will see those soon. Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by, and leaving a comment!

      Best,

      Patrick

      • Mahesh

        Of course Patrick, your blog is one of the few I visit almost everyday to see if there is a new review 🙂
        I like your writing style and also the pictures. Haven’t seen..is it Kopi ? for a long time

      • Patrick

        Thanks Mahesh!

        I really appreciate your kind words. It means a great deal to me! I’m seriously always glad to see you around here. I apologize for the lack of posts lately; I’ve just been busy, which is a bad excuse lol but it’s true :). I will have some stuff coming soon in addition to the CL review though. I’m buying the 90mm APO SL lens, so there’s definitely going to be a review on it but I’ll also finally get down to review some of the other SL gear. I’m also thinking about maybe a Handevision lens for the Fuji system…maybe a portrait lens. So, I’m hoping to fill my blog during the month of February…March too since I’m going to Tokyo.

        Kopi is getting older, and to this day, she still does not like pictures unless I bribe her with a treat haha. But even with a treat, she does not stay still for long :). I’ll see if I can get a few more pics of her haha.

        Best,

        Patrick

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