Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/12/08

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Opinions on the R8
From: Mark Rabiner <>
Date: Sat, 08 Dec 2001 12:05:55 -0800
References: <>

"Robert W. Clark" wrote:
> Hi all:
> I've thinking about acquiring an R8 plus the 28-70 Vario-Elmarit.  I want a
> longer focal length to complement my M system (M6, 35 2.0 ASPH & 50 1.4).
> Doesn't have to be a Leica but I'm leaning that way.  My previous SLR was an
> AE1P with a variety of non-Canon lenses.  I had the opportunity to inspect
> one down at Carolina Camera in Greensborg and was exceptionally pleased with
> the ergonomics of the's design really appeals to me.  I also
> like the depth of field control, the ease of changing the shutter speed when
> your hand is in shooting mode, and the information in the viewfinder.
> And..of course, it is a Leica.  Perceived autofocus.  I've
> seen the work of many R users so I know talented people can use any SLR but
> I want to know what people think of the R8..especially those who have
> employed it in different situations...amateur work, journalism, travel, etc.
> The price is dropping and I've been greatly pleased with the prints and
> negatives from the lenses and my M6.  Of course, I have always coveted an
> FM2 but never bought one.  Mostly, I do travel photography along with
> family, rural small towns, and seascape/landscapes.
> Robert Clark
> Lancaster, PA

Robert! A longer lens to compliment your M system would be a 180 R.
You forgot to explain why you've decided that half the Leica arsenal:
the 75, 2 90's and the 135 3.4 apo plus all older non current versions
are not tenable.

The Leica M system goes from 21 to 135 if you don't count the 12 and 15
third party lenses or Viso lense on the long end.
Dont cut us off short!
Many Leica shooters have their 90 as their favorite lens. Ralp Gibson as
of late.

The best long end compliment in my opinion to an M system is a 180.
It's a different ballgame from a 135 and still very much needed.
And the R 180s are super classics blowing Nikon and Canon stuff out of
the water.

I don't thing a 28-70 Vario-Elmarit compliments an M system. 
I think it thoroughly insults it. (sorry folks - you know me)
Get a prime lens for your R8 making the transition from M to R seamless.
And a lens which does something your M does less well. Or at least is a
less obvious candidate for:
or longer than 135
The 100 macro even as you cut off your M system at 50. 
It's got two kinds of reach the M's don't obviously have. 
It's on the long side. And the close in side.
Two kinds of grabbing power!
And It's only one of the most astounding pieces of glass in the history
of optics.
Better than some dumb big heavy slow complex zoom. Do everything = do nothing.

Mark Rabiner
Portland, Oregon USA
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In reply to: Message from "Robert W. Clark" <> ([Leica] Opinions on the R8)