Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/03/11

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Leica R8: angel crashed and burned
From: KK Hui <>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 17:01:36 +0800

In reply to Guido, Ted Grant wrote:

>As frustrated, mad and peed off as you are about the R8s you have had in
>hand. It is without question a million to one odds that it would happen....
>......but trust me >get another one as you'll never regret it when you have 
>one in your hands and sing the film through.

>My very good fortune has been nearly 16 months of flawless operation with
>the camera having many many days of hard labour in all kinds of weather.
>And with the winder now attached, the work will be increased for the beast!
>Beauty actually!:)

>There are others on the LUG who have had similar good fortune. So I urge
>you not to cast it aside in disgust as you'll be sorry, honestly. You will
>have a wonderful time when you finally get one in hand that works flawlesly
>and without question you'll be just as much a champion of the R8 as you are
>of the M6.....

Now are we talking about luck and fortune here when buying Leica
stuff??! I wish I was as luck as you are.
I too have had a painful experience with the R8 and R-lenses, in
particular, my 280/4 R-Apo-Telyt. This is my third R8 I have. The first
one had its system/shutter locked up in mid-roll and could not get it
reset by taking out & reinstalling the batteries; this was in the middle
of a photo session! Local agent in Hong Kong exchanged a new one for me
after contacting the Leica engineer who happened to be the area at that
time. This second one has problem with the back LCD display; some
segments does not come on. My currently one is not perfect either, first
with film scratch (things improve to almost disappearing after running
thro about 5 or 6 rolls of 36-exp film) and then the back does not close
properly without interference at the lower bottom left part where it
meets the body. I'm putting up with this one.
My new 280/4 had to be sent back to Solmn to have it cleaned. I have
never seen a lens that dirty in side; I discovered this by accident when
looking through bright tungsten lighting. It took me over three months
to get it back! Also, I was once trying to buy a 50/2, but was put off
by the amount specks in all of them (went thro three). We're talking
about Leica new lenses here!
Frankly, I regret getting into the Leica R system at all. I've with me
now a R8, 35/2, 100/2.8 Apo, 180/3.4 Apo & 280/4 Apo but find myself
getting to use them less and less. The poor quality control is not what
I would come to expect of Leica - 'superb' German engineering? After all
we paid a premium price for them being Leica, right? Put it simply, I do
NOT have confidence in Leica anymore...