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Minolta CLE Body


Here we have the amazing Minolta CLE rangefinder camera. It is fully functional, and comes with a body cap (may be a 3rd party body cap) and new batteries installed. 

This 35mm film camera was developed by Minolta in the 1980's as an M-mount rangefinder to be compatible with Leica lenses (as well as Minolta's own M mount lenses, of which they made five varieties of three focal lengths). 

This example is in excellent condition, with no damage or problems. The viewfinder is clean and clear. The frame lines are perfect. The LEDs work perfectly. The rangefinder patch is bright and contrasty. The body itself shows very little use. All dials, knobs, and lever click into their detents with exacting precision. The lens mount is tight and perfect. The electronics, self-timer, and metering system all work flawlessly. Essentially this is a perfect camera, ready to produce another lifetime of photos. 

For those unfamiliar with the CLE, this camera was Minolta's interpretation of what the Leica M system had been working toward for decades; that is, a small, technically proficient, high quality rangefinder camera. 

In truth, Minolta made a far more capable and practical rangefinder than Leica ever had up to that point in time. This rangefinder is more capable than the M3, M2, M4, and any other contemporary to its time Leica. 

The reason being that the CLE is capable of through the lens metering and aperture priority shooting. Select the lens aperture and the camera does the math and automatically sets the appropriate shutter speed, resulting in a perfect exposure. 

In addition, this camera has the ability to exposure compensate by +/- 2 stops. 

It uses an electronically controlled cloth plane shutter, which is unbelievably quiet. 

This camera makes less noise than a Leica, is smaller than a Leica, is far lighter than a Leica, and comes in black. In essence, this is a better street photography camera than any other Leica. 

For a long time before this camera was engineered and built, Minolta and Leica had enjoyed a long partnership in which they shared patents, technology, and full designs. Mostly, Leica used Minolta's designs. This is widely considered to be because Minolta was simply the best camera engineering company in the world, and had been for over two decades. In fact, it is rumored that this camera ended the partnership between Leica and Minolta due to Leica's irritation that Minolta was making such a far superior camera to theirs. People were buying the CLE instead of the Leicas, and Leica couldn't have that. 

To be frank, this is one of the best 35mm cameras I've ever used. It's an incredible machine in every way. I prefer it over the M3. If it were up to me, Minolta would be alive and well today, still making the most advanced cameras of the day, like they did for over 50 years. 

This camera will be carefully packaged and shipped immediately.

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