Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/04/23

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Subject: [Leica] R8 focusing method
From: John McLeod <>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:53:36 +0000

LUGgers -

As some of you know (too well by now), I have been thinking about moving to
the R8 for some time now.  I like everything about the camera except one
thing -- it's not comfortable in my somewhat small hands.  While I love the
feel of my R6's and M6, as well as the Nikon F5, the R8 feels like a chunky
football.  My right hand ends up too near the top and my right arm gets
tired quickly.  I'm not alone in this assessment, yet there are many who
love the ergonomics of the camera (e.g. Ted, Harrison, Donal, and Eric). 
I'm trying to figure out why some love it and some don't.  Unlike many
cameras, the ergonomics of this camera are controversial.

I have an idea that I'd like to test.  Though I was always told to focus
with my left hand resting UNDER the camera and supporting the body, I have
always focused with my left hand to the left of, and slightly, above the
lens and my left elbow flying out to the side.  The former approach cradles
the camera in a more stable manner, but my ("incorrect") method allows for
possibly quicker focusing and racking of the lens.  I have a theory (clearly
of earth-shattering importance -- the world awaits the findings) that those
who like the ergonomics of the R8 cradle their focusing hand under the lens,
and that those who don't like the feel of the camera focus the way I do.

I would greatly appreciate hearing from any and all R8 users out there, or
former users.  E-mail me privately if you consider this question too boring
for the LUG, or too personal  ;-)

John McLeod