Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/05/07

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Subject: [Leica] Ten years behind? I think not.
From: gregj.lorenzo at (GREG LORENZO)
Date: Fri May 7 09:24:05 2004

Hi Douglas,

I was hoping that Leica would be updating the R6.2 when they brought out the R9 two years ago. They minor changes between the R8 and the R9 (weight, lockup, etc.) were just not worth the price differential between the two of them.

The R8 last a number of advantages over the R7 to me: The shape fits my hands like a glove, the incredibly bright viewfinder and the meter is the best meter in any camera I've ever used. I really like to use the R8 the most when in the studio. You can shoot from full Manual mode to Full AE. I generally use manual or Aperture Priority with the R8.

The only downside to me is the weight. It is one heavy camera for a long hike in the woods.



PS: I found the prices you mention astronomical for CLA's. I use Kindermann Canada and Gerry Smith and I have never paid more than $275 (Canadian) for an Leica M or R CLA/Repair.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas M. Sharp" <>
Date: Friday, May 7, 2004 9:47 am
Subject: Re: [Leica] Ten years behind?  I think not.

> Greg,
> I agree with you on the feel of the R8/9, I found that my fingers 
> just 
> fall into place to turn twist or press whatever they should,
> BUT  , after using  Leicas from IIIG through M2, M6 , all the SLs 
> and 
> all the Rs except the R4, for ME  it is the ugliest brute of a 
> camera 
> I've ever laid eyes on.
> The SLs looked and felt as like really  serious bits of 
> engineering, 
> The R3 was ok and the rest of the Rs were light, compact, quite 
> ergonomically built and a dream to use whilst retaining  the 
> combination 
> of precise workmanship, stability and all the other factors 
> contributing 
> to what the Germans call "Wertigkeit"
> If you look at the basic shape of the R8 it seems to be a retro-
> design 
> harking back to the body shape of the Exaktas, and when you put 
> the 
> motor-drive
> on it's shaped like an army water canteen. (I think the people 
> from 
> Leicas binocular design group must have been  in on the design 
> process 
> too.)
> A camera doesn't  NEED to be the size of the R8,  with the 
> advances in 
> micromotors and micro-electronics available at the time Leica 
> could have 
> reduced its size and weight by a third without any loss of  
> stability or 
> function. Contax started going in the right direction with the 
> 137MD - 
> compact, motorised and  running
> on AA batteries, but unfortunately didn't follow up on this design 
> trend.I was on a tour of the factory in Solms a couple of years 
> ago, just 
> after the R8 came out. From what the users had to say about its 
> bugs 
> Leica should
> have waited a bit longer before releasing it :  flash 
> problems,electronics, scratched films, a weak tripod bush and 
> various 
> other teething troubles. To me it was a confession on the part of 
> the 
> constructors that the R9 was released,considering a typical Leica 
> timeframe, such a relatively short time after the R8.
> Don't  get me wrong, I love my Leicas and wouldn't do without 
> them, I 
> only wish they could have packed the new stuff into an R7 body.
> My real complaint about Leica is that for pretty basic repairs,CLA 
> or 
> whatever you pay nearly the price of a mid-range SLR of any other 
> marque 
> you'd
> like to name. (example : general service and adjustments plus a 
> little 
> bit of electronics on an R4mot electronic would have cost me over 
> 600 euros,
> 100 euros more than the price I had intended to pay for it s/h)
> Douglas
> BTW to those of us out there who took the plunge and bought the R8 
> or 9 
> -- what real advantages did you get from it ? how often do you use its
> extra functions ? do you feel that it's helping you to record 
> better 
> images ?
> GREG LORENZO schrieb:
> >I don't know any R8 users who don't like the feel, layout and 
> features of the R8. I believe some people on the list who 
> purchased an early R8 had some electronic gremlins which Leica 
> seems to have dealt effectively with. (I've never had a single 
> problem with mine.)
> >
> >
> >  
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Replies: Reply from brad at (brad daly) ([Leica] Ten years behind? I think not.)
Reply from kitmc at (Kit McChesney) ([Leica] Ten years behind? I think not.)