Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/28

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: R8 design, Erwins design review
From: Alex Hurst <>
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 10:38:18 +0100

Christian wrote:

>Seems Mr. Giugiaro knows some things Mr. Meinzer should learn. The R8
>design is awfull, the most ugliest piece of photographic equipment I've
>ever seen. It reproduces some of the Leicaflex outlines, but in no way
>the beauty of the M. The R8 design was in fact the reason I bought an F5
>- and now have to build up an N equipment (I didn't wanted). In german
>(because  Solms may understand better):
>Das R8 Design ist grobschl=E4chtig, beinahe brutal. Die hohen Schultern
>wirken durch die Anschr=E4gung h=E4ngend, die gesamte Form wirkt plump,
>entspricht weniger einem technisches Ger=E4t als einem zu grossen
>Kieselstein oder nicht zuende bearbeiteten Tonklumpen. Feinheit und
>Unaufdringlichkeit der fr=FCheren R4-R7 sind verloren.

Christian - thanks for a new German word for my vocabulary!
'Grobschlaechtig' is a great one.
What sort of stone is a 'Kieselstein'?

I'm not particularly keen on the R8 design myself, but love the Leicaflex
SLs I've recently acquired - everything falls quite naturally to hand just
like the M, and mechanically they have an 'M feeling' about them. The only
problem is that they are very heavy, but that makes for extra steadiness
when they're hand-held.

Can't say I agree with you on the R4-R7. They're fine pieces of machinery,
but wouldn't win any beauty contests IMHO. The R8 follows directly on from
the SL/SL2 tradition in terms of form, but adding the extra bells and
whistles hasn't done much to retain the purity of the original design.

I suspect the M wasn't designed to be beautiful, but to be practical. The
beauty just followed on from its superb functionality in all respects.

Again the M6 is a long way down the road from the elegance of the original
M3. I'm sure its just as functional, but it's developed a middle-aged
spread that certainly wasn't there in the original.

Just my two pfennigs' worth.



Alex Hurst
Cork Florists
19 Winthrop St, Cork
Republic of Ireland
Tel: +353 21 270 907
=46ax: +353 21 271 248
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