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Minolta CLE

First Impressions

The CLE (Compact LEICA Electronic) is much smaller than I thought was one of the first thing that went through my mind when I held her in my hands for the first time. And she is definetly a child of the 80ies. A very boxy design that reminded me of the first (point and shoot) camera I got as a birthday present from my parents when I was 11 or 12.

I expected something of the size of my Leica M6. Especially since the CLE is actually a Leica, just with a different label. But the size is something that eventually turned out to be an advantage because it fits easily in the pocket of a jacket or the bag I usually carry around.

Photos of my Minolta CLE


The Minolta CLE is just as easy to handle as my Leica. You get everything you need and nothing else. The viewfinder (and coupled rangefinder) is bright and clear, the coupled light meter works easy and fast. The chosen exposure time show via LED and the winder works easy and smooth. It has an M-Mount so there is no lack of lenses. The CLE are cheaper than the Leicas but exactly the same quality.

The only two points I don´t like are the switch to turn the lightmeter on and off (on the right hand side at the front) is a bit fimsy to use (nothing that really matters) and the only true downside - if the battery is dead, the camera is dead too. But in a nutshell: it is very easy to shoot and produces great photos.

Photos taken with my Minolta CLE

Relevant specifications

  • Film: 35mm

  • Production Time: 1981 - 1985

  • Viewfinder: Speeds, over and under exposure are marked with LEDs from 1/2 to 1/1000

  • Frame lines: for 28-mm-, 40-mm- und 90-mm lenses

  • Coupled exposure meter (no meter on manual exposure)

  • TTL-Flash Metering (flash sync. 1/60)

  • Coupled rangefinder

  • Shutter speeds: 1 second to 1/1000th plus B

  • Film speed: ASA 25 - 1600 (

  • Power supply: 2 x A76 or LR44

  • Size: Length 124,5 mm , Widths 32 mm, Hights 77,5mm

  • Weight: 380,1 g

  • Price I payed: (EUR 240 for body, original bag and two flashes)

Manuals (PDF)

Interesting Links

Helpful videos

#RangefinderCamera #AnalogueCamera #Camera #MinoltaCLE

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