Out with the CL and Lumix S 70-300mm under heavy clouds this afternoon, I had a chance to refresh my impression of the camera after spending a lot of time with two bodies that have topnotch autofocus features. Sure enough, it was disappointing.
Of particular interest was the 1:2 closeup capability of the lens. The good news is that the lens is spectacular on any subject matter whenever it’s focused correctly. The bad news is that the CL had less than a 25% hit rate for critical accuracy, trying both AF-S and AF-C. Eighty-one shots over two hours completely drained one battery and took two of three bars on another.
The impression I came away with was that the lens deserves a better camera than any of the DFD bodies it must be paired with. The CL is at its best shooting native lenses short, and with manual lenses at 135mm or longer.
The takeaway is that my one remaining CL body, a “Bauhaus” limited edition (limited editions being Leica’s sole claim to fame nowadays) will go into semi-retirement, as if it hadn’t been already. Hopefully there’ll eventually be a compact L-mount body with better autofocus that can breathe new life into the superb L-mount lenses.