Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/01/18

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Subject: Question about R series and 28-70 Vario-Elmar f/3.5-4.5
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 97 23:39:50 +0100

I recently joined this list since I am an aspiring Leica owner. I have two 

1) It seems that most of the comments on this list refer to the M series and 
not the R series. While the M series Leica's are certainly beautiful 
machines, for the time being I think that I would be more comfortable using 
an SLR system. Are the R bodies not considered true Leica's? I notice that 
the R6.2 and R7 were apparently designed by Minolta but are built by Leica 
(although the R8 is apparently a Leica design). Are the R6.2 and the R7 
designed and manufactured up to the same quality standards as the M series?

2) Leica is offering a package of the R7 with the 28-70 lens at about USD 
2,500 (through B&H in New York), presumably to clear out R7 inventory as 
they ramp up sales of the R8. I would prefer the R6.2, but could live with 
the R7 at the lower current price. This lens seems to be a versatile way to 
enter the Leica lens system (I would certainly buy some prime lenses over 
time as budget allows), but I heard that the lens is produced by SIGMA of 
Japan! Now, I am sure that Sigma can manufacture lenses to very high 
specifications if they want to (I have some of their lenses in Nikon mount), 
but somehow it seems difficult to think of the words "Sigma" and "Leica" 
together. Question: How does the 28-70 zoom compare to other Leica zooms 
(like the German-made 35-70) and all of those fine Leica prime lenses? Does 
this zoom use the same glass as the Leica R primes made in Germany? Or 
should I avoid this lens in spite of the current promotional price as a 
starter lens?

Thanks in advance for any advice. BTW, this list is fascinating reading and 
clearly a great way to become knowledgeable about the Leica system (and 
certain developer formulas too...)

// Timothy A. Rogers
// Singapore