Reviews

My interest in 35mm lenses has remained unfettered since I first got into ‘serious’ photography more than four decades ago. I have written elsewhere of my fondness for this focal length and it’s ability to capture slightly wider angles with little in the way of distortion. It was a long time before I purchased my first 35mm, as before this I have used zooms and often composed images on or around this angle. Seeking a lighter alternative, I soon latched onto the fact that I could have a fast prime - much faster than a zoom - minus the heft. When I first discovered Leica Camera’s it was via the X1, as it had a 35mm equivalent lens built in, albeit not particularly fast. Not many years after this I was lured into purchasing the X Typ 113, thanks to its much faster 35mm prime. I still use that camera today and the results I can get from it are sublime.

At the penultimate Photography Show in Birmingham, held before the pandemic changed the way we live our lives, I had been attracted to the Tenba stand by their DNA range of shoulder bags. At the time I was looking for something very small that I could use to house my X113 (or TL with 1 additional lens), charger and spare battery as well as travel documents for city breaks. Its purpose was nothing more than this, and meant I could keep weight to a minimum as there was no room for ‘accessory creep’. The DNA 8 was my choice but I loved the style and quality of Tenba’s other products.

I stumbled upon Eddycam just a couple of months ago, driven by a web browsing session, the cause of which was some surplus cash burning a hole in my pocket. Since the purchase of my blue skinned CL I had looked on and off for a similar coloured strap, but without success. Quite why Leica didn’t produce matching straps for their awesome range of different coloured leathers beats me.

These words come very late to the party as far as the Leica CL’s lifespan is concerned. After all, it was released in November 2017, almost four years ago at the time of writing. There is certainly not much I can add to the many reviews and tests that are available on the web, so it would be very easy to let this slide into obscurity. But I am of the opinion that if you take information from the internet, you should contribute something back, however small.

ONA are a brand I have been aware of for years and often admired the luxurious finish of their products. But for some reason (probably cost related) I had never considered adding one to my ever expanding collection of camera bags for every occasion. Things changed recently when I received a Leica CL with custom deep blue leather finish, for a birthday present. This is a seriously beautiful camera that begged to be showcased in something equally individual. The original plan was to get a ubiquitous semi-hard case, something I tend to purchase with every new camera. But the CL was too nicely finished to be covered by something as functional as this. It was at this point I considered a small bag that was also suitable to be used as a permanent camera case.

Towards the end of last year, Ethan and myself attended an in-store day held at the Leica Camera Store, Manchester. The purpose of the visit was to get our hands on the newly announced Leica SL2 and see how it compared to the original SL. I have always been fond of the SL after trying one out at 2016’s camera show in Birmingham. However it was the T system that I brought into, comfortable with the fact that it shared the L mount with the SL. While slowly building my T system I kept an eye on the gradual evolution of the L system.

Coming from a traditional film background, I enjoyed the large bright viewfinders of Olympus’ original OM System and it was one of the attributes that made the OM1 so successful back in the 1970’s. My migration path over to digital eventually saw me drop the viewfinder concept altogether, as I embraced Leica's X1, X113 and T cameras. Generally speaking I was happy composing pictures on the camera’s rear screen, but it does have limitations.