The Leitz Minolta CL is a great camera. For one, it's a compact rangefinder that was designed by both Leica and Minolta. It's lightweight, stylish, and it equally carries nice features like its M mount, through the lens and true spot metering that goes along well with its Leica heritage.
This particular camera comes with an interesting backstory. Apart from its shared history with Leica and Minolta, the CL was actually manufactured for just three years (from 1973 to 1976) and was discontinued shortly after. The Leitz Minolta version was sold in Japan while its Leica CL version was still being sold in the market. It was sold in three different versions — the Leica CL, Leitz Minolta CL, and Minolta CL. All of these versions are basically the same with little iterations in body markings. Given the short time it was produced, it's easy to say that the CL is a rare camera. The rarest version was the 50th Leitz Anniversary model, of which only about 350 units were made.
Feature-wise, the CL carried a lot of neat tricks. Some are quirky for other photographers' taste like the unconventional placement of the camera straps. One stand out feature of the CL was its ASA/ISO dial that is located at the upper right-hand side of the camera that lets users change settings without having to take their eyes off the finder. It also has a removable film back that makes film loading and unloading quite convenient.
When it comes to style, the Leitz Minolta CL is no slouch. How could it be when it has Leica roots? The CL features a sleek black body with minimalist markings. It looks finished and refined and that goes along well with its compact size.
Photos Taken by Our Community
Standard Lenses: Leitz Summicron-C 40mm f/2 (standard) and the Leitz Elmar-C 90 mm f/4 tele-lens
Minolta CL: Minolta M-Rokkor 40 mm f/2 and Minolta M-Rokkor 90 mm f/4
Mount: M mount bayonet
Shutter: 1/2 to 1/1000 second, Bulb mode (works even with a dead battery)
ISO/ASA: 25 to 1600
Aperture Control: manual dial
Flash: X synch at 1/60th of a second, hot shoe (no PC connection)
Film Type: 35 mm film
Winding Mechanism: rapid winding lever
Film Rewind: manual, with removable film back
Dimensions: 121 mm x 76 mm x 32 mm (4.8in x 3.0in x 1.3in)
Viewfinder: bright line view projected parallax corrected frame lines for 40 mm, 50 mm, and 90 mm lenses
Weight: 365 g
Explore our collection of Lomopedia articles from the Lomography Archives to learn more about films, cameras, lenses, and accessories!