Vintage Camera Review: Leica CL (Leitz Minolta CL, Minolta CLE)

Years ago, I owned a Leica CL when I was getting into photography. Trying to balance an understanding of both film and digital, I toted this around with my old school Olympus E-510 DSLR. They were perfect together for a college student. But then I needed money, and unfortunately had to sell my Leica. Very recently though, I took the plunge before my 30th birthday and bought myself another one. You see, the Leica CL is the same camera as the Minolta CLE and the Leitz Minolta CL.

Some consider it not a true Leica because it wasn’t made in Germany. Instead, the Leica CL was a collaboration between Minolta and Leica. It was a camera that sold very well and perhaps too well. In fact, it’s rumored that sales were so good that they discontinued the camera because it ate into the sales of the Leica M5.

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Vintage Camera Review: Fujifilm GW690 III (6×9 Medium Format)

When Fujifilm announced their medium format digital camera, a whole lot of people really wanted it to be something along the lines of the Fujifilm GW690 III camera–also known as the Texas Leica. This rangefinder camera shoots in the 6×9 format–which is one of the largest formats to use 120 film. For many years it was used by hobbyists, travel photographers, landscape photographers, and even a few portrait shooters. Due to its 90mm lens equivalent, you’re getting around a 38mm f1.2 equivalent when it comes to field of view converted to full frame.

When I purchasef this camera, I genuinely thought it would be the perfect medium format rangefinder for me, doing pretty much everything the Mamiya 7 II is capable of sans interchangeable lenses. But with more experience, I learned that I was wrong.

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Review: Leica 40mm f2 Rokkor (Leica M Mount)

Most affectionately known as the lens that comes with the Leica CL, the Leica 40mm f2 Rokkor is also a bit of a hidden gem. To this day, it’s one of the sharpest Leica lenses ever made and perhaps a lens that has held its value so well vs many other options on the market. Due to it being Leica M mount, it’s easily adaptable to many mirrorless cameras. If photographers who own Fujifilm, Sony, or Micro Four Thirds cameras are looking for a solid manual focus lens that is also compact it’s very hard to invalidate what the Leica 40mm f2 is capable of.

That, and it’s crazy affordable price point.

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Fujifilm Tells DPReview That a Medium Format Digital Rangefinder Camera is Possible

The Fujifilm GFx 50S Next to the Fujifilm GW690 III.

DPReview recently spoke with Fujifilm reps at a recent event, who told the publication that there is totally a chance that a medium format digital rangefinder style camera is very possible. Why would this even be considered? Sure, Fujifilm has had the X Pro 2, but if you’ve been shooting photos for a while then you’re probably aware of the company’s very solid rangefinder cameras during the film days.

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Review: Leica M10

The Leica M10 has to be one of the worst kept secrets from Leica in a while. Perhaps it’s because it generated a whole lot of excitement, and indeed it’s worth the hype. For the purist photographer, this is bound to be a tool that they’ll closely look at. With a 24MP CMOS full frame sensor, this camera is the company’s smallest M digital camera and this was done by creating a camera that more or less is super densely packed. It’s around the same size as the company’s film M cameras.

We’ve been playing with the Leica M10 for a while now, and in truth, we really like it.

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Konost Digital Rangefinder Will Have A Custom Image Sensor; Release Q3 and Q4 2017

Following up on our recent posting on the development of Konost, Konost has revamped their website and provided an update on their latest situation. They missed their initial deadline of taking pre-orders by the end of 2016 with delivery in 2017 and the founder, Bob Lian, has written a long explanation about the delay and challenges they are facing and how they plan to move forward.

The biggest piece in the news update is the mention of switching to a custom image sensor: one which is designed and manufactured specifically for Konost cameras. Bob claims that by doing so, this allows the business model to be more cost effective, increasing their profit margins, and able to provide a more competitive pricing of their camera.

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Konost Digital Rangefinder Project Will Be Updated By Year End

Back in early 2015, we covered a promising start up project called Konost that aimed to create a full frame digital rangefinder. Konost has been silent with their development status ever since, with intermittent social media postings. Recently they posted an update on their official website stating they will revamp their website and have news on their current project status by the end of this year.

Based on the original project descriptions, the promised Konost digital rangefinder camera shall have a full frame sized image sensor directly compatibility with Leica M-mount lenses, high resolution electronic viewfinder, full manual control similar to the rangefinder shooting experience, and a body made of aluminum construction.

In a nutshell, Konost wanted to make a Leica-esque camera that is fully digital and, of course, at an affordable price point.

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