Variants: black, gold
Camera Type: 35mm rangefinder system
Rangefinder: coupled, combined
Lens mount: Leica M
Shutter: focal plane
Exposure meter: TTL, SiO2 cell
Exposure modes: aperture priority, manual
ASA/ISO range: 25 to 1600
Shoe: fixed hot shoe, TTL contacts
X sync speed: 1/60
TTL Flash: Minolta TTL
Motor drive: none
Number produced: unknown
|with Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f1.5|
image by Marcello Sokal (Image rights)
Leica and Minolta signed a technical cooperation agreement in June 1972. One of its results was the joint development of the Leica CL, a compact rangefinder camera introduced in 1973 and discontinued a few years later. The CLE was a new rangefinder body resembling the Leica CL.
|with Voigtländer Nokton classic 40mm f1.4|
image by Ken Tsukamoto (Image rights)
The Minolta CLE has an electronic focal plane shutter to 1/1000, and a through-the-lens CdS exposure meter with aperture-priority automatic or manual exposure, and automated TTL flash exposure. None of these features would appear on any other body for M-mount lenses until the Konica Hexar RF of 1999 (which has all but the last). The viewfinder has projected frames for 28mm, 40mm and 90mm focal lengths.
The Minolta CLE is reputed to be reliable, but electronic faults would likely be unrepairable today.
Three lenses were made by Minolta specially for the CLE: the M-Rokkor 28mm f:2.8 wide-angle, the M-Rokkor 40mm f:2 standard and the M-Rokkor 90mm f:4 tele. The 28mm lens has some problems with the durability of the coating, and it is recommended to check the presence of white spots on the coating before buying.
|image by à Rebours (Image rights)|
The Minolta CLE was sold in black finish, except for a gold edition, limited to 300 and sold only in the Japanese market. The top plate is gold with black engravings. The bottom plate, strap lugs, hot shoe and lens release button are gold too, as well as the metal parts of the advance lever and shutter release. The shutter speed disc and lens rings have gold colour numbers. The set includes a standard lens with gold plated bayonet mount and a leather case with a plate marked CLE GOLD LIMITED.
- Francesch, Dominique and Jean-Paul. Histoire de l'appareil photographique Minolta de 1929 à 1985. Paris: Dessain et Tolra, 1985. ISBN 2-249-27685-4.
- Minolta CLE at Cameraquest
- Minolta CLE, Auto Electronflash instruction manual and CLE booklet in PDF format at Mr. Butkus' OrphanCameras
- Minolta CLE by Hitoshi Nishiyama at N. Maekawa's Manual Camera website
- Minolta CLE PDF in Japanese at OrphanCameras
|Minolta Classic Cameras|
|Vest (or Best) | V2 | SR-2 | SRT 101 | XE | XD | CLE | 7000 | 9000 | 800 si|