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Minolta CLE – Better than Leica

The Minolta CLE is a small rangefinder made in the eighties (started in 1980). Product of the technical cooperation between Leica and Minolta. It’s also considered one of the best rangefinder camera’s ever made. It’s shorter and lighter than the Leica M6, has automatic and manual exposure, has an electronic shutter and supports M-mount lenses. The framelines however are set for the special developed set of Rokkor lenses coming with the introduction of the Mionolta CLE. The lens set contains a 28mm, a 40mm and a 90 mm and shows corresponding framelines. Being a M-mount camera you can use all kind of M-mount lenses and it works great. I bought myself a 35 mm Leica Summarit last year, which gives great results on the Minolta CLE, but looking through the viewfinder, which is big and clear, gives me a 28 mm frameline, so beware of that. I truly like the combo of this small Minolta CLE with the wide-angled Voigtlander 15 mm. I’m shooting primarily Black & White these days and it’s good fun shooting. It’s almost as smooth as a Leica M6, but with automatic exposure it’s really easy to produce great images. It won’t work without batteries, so take a spare set with you and enjoy!

Scheveningen pier

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