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Leica R Bodies!
Old 06-14-2019   #1
wjlapier
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Leica R Bodies!

Lets have a discussion about the Leica bodies you use now or used to use. Myself, I'm relatively new to the R bodies. I've had several over a short time and finally decided I need to stick to one and actually use it, not that I didn't use the others--R3, R6, R6.2, and R-E. Now I have a R7. The only lens I have and maybe the only one I'll really need is the third version 35mm Elmarit-R. One of the sharpest lenses I've used on a film body. I'm pretty happy with the way the camera feels when I'm shooting it. I'm very pleased with the sharpness of the lens!

So, lets discuss and share. I'll start with one of my first from the R7.

Leica R7 w/ 35mm Elmarit-R Ver III--Kodak Pro Image 100.

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Old 06-14-2019   #2
Huss
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R7, Summicron R 50 (version before ROM), Fuji C200, Nikon Z7 scan, negativelabpro.com




100% crop from foreground:

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Old 06-14-2019   #3
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R9, 50 1.4 Lux, Kodak Portra 160, D850 scan

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Old 06-14-2019   #4
dof
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Here's one from the R6 and 50mm Summicron. I sure do love the close focus distance on this lens. This is Tri-X developed in D76.


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Old 06-14-2019   #5
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Leica R9, 35-70 f4 ROM, Fuji c200, D850 scan

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Old 06-14-2019   #6
giganova
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I bought my first camera in 1984: a R4 with a 35/2 lens. Absolutely loved it -- but in 2008 I sold it and regretted the decision ever since. I bought three R4s over the past few years, but none of them worked (electronic issues). I'm constantly thinking about getting an R6 (better luck with a mechanical camera?), but I can't justify spending $1k for a body and lens for sentimental reasons.

To me, the R4 was the best SLR ever built: the design was beautiful, the metering was superior to any other camera (you could switch between the selective metering while looking through the viewfinder), great film loading, it had the brightest viewfinder, was buttery smooth and super silent, and the leather strap on the winder was the best ergonomic I ever found on any camera. Boy do I miss it.
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Old 06-14-2019   #7
CharlesDAMorgan
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I've got an R4s and an R7 - love both but prefer the exposure information of the latter.

R4s with Summicron 50mm f2 3 cam on Kodak Portra

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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-14-2019   #8
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R7 with Summilux R 80mm f1.4 3 cam Kodak Portra 400

Aston Martin DB5 instrument binnacle

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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-14-2019   #9
HHPhoto
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The Leica R-System is indeed an excellent system. And a bit underrated in my opinion.
The former bodies - R3, R4, R5, R6 and R7 - are currently relatively cheap on the used market. Still cheap to be precise (prices will certainly rise in the future), therefore now is a good time to buy for those who want to start with this system.
R lenses are more expensive, but most of them are outstanding (with some lenses being real gems) and worth the money.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 06-14-2019   #10
CharlesDAMorgan
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I agree Jan - the lenses are superlative, and still much cheaper than the M mount equivalents. I use them about half the time on the R bodies I have and the other half on the A7s with adapter. The 100mm Macro Elmar f4 is a gem, and great value.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-15-2019   #11
analoged
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Well, I have had many R bodies and still do! My first was an R3 with 2nd version 50 Summicron, which honestly would probably have meet the majority of my needs. But GAS is a terrible thing, and you just don't really know until you've tried others! So, after selling the R3 I purchased and R-E, with 35 and 90 Elamrits. This made a great light weight kit, and with the Aperture Prioity and 2000th shutter speed of the R-E, it was very capable outfit. Anyway the R-E came and went, and I was R less for a few years. I had my M6 with a 35 pre asph Lux and thought the best companion would be an R6.2 with a Summilux 80, and boy was I right! Of course that lead to more R glass, next was the last version of the 28mm Elmarit with the square pull out lens shade. That lens lives up to its reputation bar none. Next the 100 APO Macro Elmarit, stunning! Then I wondered into the world of beautiful Leicaflexes, first a nice late black chrome SL, next a black chrome SL2, then an original Leicaflex in black paint, and last but not least a black paint Leicaflex SL MOT. Now if I hadn't got great deals on any of these cameras/lenses I wouldn't have gotten so deep, but $80 for that black paint original Leicaflex? Yes please! But I guess in the end if I had to keep one combo the R6.2 and 80 Lux would be the one.

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M6, 35mm Pre Asph Lux, 50 Elmar M

IIIasync, 5cm Summar, 5cm Sonnar, 3.5cm Elmar, 13.5cm Sonnar

Leicaflex SL, Leicaflex SL2, R6.2, 28mm Elamrit Ver II, 80mm Lux, 100mm Apo Macro Elmarit, 180 Elmarit, 400mm Telyt, 560mm Telyt

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Old 06-15-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
The Leica R-System is indeed an excellent system. And a bit underrated in my opinion.
I agree that the lenses in particular are underrated. The 28/2.8 with the e55 filter, the e60 50mm Summilux and the 80/1.4 made an awesome kit for me. But I really could not ever get the bodies I used at the time (in the 1990s) to behave reliably. I got an R6.2 a few years ago, which has been great, and still have my first R8, which behaves as long as I don't put the winder on it. If I do, all sorts of strange happenings ensue.

I really loathe the feel of the shutter release on the R3-5, RE and R7. I could never figure out if the travel was just very long and the feel of the release was uncertain or if the lag time was very, very long. Whatever the case I missed a lot of shots where timing was important when using those cameras. The R6 is much better and the R8 is very good.

Rachel, RE, 80/1.4, Neopan 400, Xtol 1+3.



Marty
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Old 06-15-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
I really loathe the feel of the shutter release on the R3-5, RE and R7. I could never figure out if the travel was just very long and the feel of the release was uncertain or if the lag time was very, very long. .
Use a soft release. It transforms the shutter release action on my R-E and R7. I used to hate it, now loving it.
My R8 and R9 do not need it.
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Old 06-15-2019   #14
Freakscene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Use a soft release. It transforms the shutter release action on my R-E and R7. I used to hate it, now loving it.
My R8 and R9 do not need it.
Thanks for the suggestion - I have tried it and still don't like the shutter release feel or travel. I also sold my R cameras apart from the R6.2 and R8 except an R5 I use as a back cap for my 80 Summilux.

In comparison to a Contax RX or Aria, which have short travel and a light but very definite feel to the release, the release on the R cameras is awful. The lenses, however, are sublime.

Marty
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Old 07-29-2019   #15
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Is the shutter release on the r6 that bad? Ugh, wish i picked up an 80 before the prices went nuts.

Which wides are worthwhile?
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Old 07-29-2019   #16
Freakscene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
Is the shutter release on the r6 that bad? Ugh, wish i picked up an 80 before the prices went nuts.
The R6 is pretty good. The R3-5, R7 and RE are the ones that are terrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
Which wides are worthwhile?
That depends on what you think is ‘worthwhile’ and what is ‘wide’. But they are all at least very good. The e55 28mm is incredible. The 35 Summilux is rightfully legendary, and the Mandler 35 Summicron is amazingly flare resistant, focuses very close and has very high coarse image structure contrast and high flare resistance. The 24/2.8, 19/2.8 and the 15/2.8 are excellent. The older lenses are all at least decent.

But remember that the newest of these lenses is nearly 30 years old, and lens design and construction have come a long way. None of the R lenses comes anywhere near the S lenses, for instance, or the best recent designs from other manufacturers.

Marty
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Old 07-29-2019   #17
farlymac
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I have the R3 and R7. The latter was a replacement for the former as it turned out the metering system was messed up (it only worked in Auto). I also had a bad light leak at the film canister window, and when I bought a set of seals, the seller didn't include one for the window. I never got around to putting the seals in before I came across the R7 for a good price.


Anyway, I really like the R lenses, it's mainly the reason I stuck with the system, and also paid to get the 28mm repaired when the focus ring broke on it. (My avatar was taken with the R3/28 combo)



Leica R3, Elmarit-R 1:2.8 28mm, Kodak T-Max 100

Signals by P F McFarland, on Flickr


When I got the R7, that's when I new I had a winner of a system camera, so I began to kit it out. I added the Summicron-R 2/50, Vario-Elmar-R 3.5/35-70, Macro-Elmarit-R 2.8/60 with adapter, Elmarit-R 2.8/90, and the Vario-Elmar-R 4.5/75-200 along with the motor drive + grip, and a Metz 32 CT3 flash for the top of the camera, plus the Metz 32 CT4 with the bracket grip. The RC Leica R remote control with intervalometer will come in handy, and I plan on getting a 35mm, maybe a couple of the Teleyt lenses, and a super-wide.


Leica R7, Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8 60mm, Kodak Ektar 100

Lichen Macro by P F McFarland, on Flickr


Now I just need to use it more often.


PF
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Old 07-29-2019   #18
CharlesDAMorgan
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I think I've found the perfect body for the R lenses. Just not an R body! The Leicaflex SL2 may be a little bit of a beast, but it has all that deliciousness of a mechanical system designed by Herr Professor Doktor Doktor Brainsturm of Wetzlar. But the R7 takes the second prize of those I've used, apart from the film advance which is like shaking hands with Uriah Heap, and yes the shutter press is a bit meh. You can't always get what you want!
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 07-29-2019   #19
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I've had a love affair with the Leicaflex SL since 1968 that was only consummated with a purchase in 2013. It was a superb camera then that did not in any way disappoint me when I finally acquired one 45 years later.

Around that time (2012-2014) R system lenses were going for so cheap I couldn't help myself and bought up an excellent dozen older prime lenses. I used them on a Sony A7, Leica M-P 240, and then the Leica SL as well as the Leicflex SL. I sold off a few of them in 2017 when I sold off the SL, but I kept the 15, 19, 28, 50, 60 macro, 90, 100 macro, 135, and 180. I later added an R6.2 body to the kit mostly because the Super-Elmar-R 15mm f/3.5 cannot be used on the Leicaflex SL, but the R6.2 is a great body in its own right and has the 1990s improvements with multiple metering patterns, its smaller/lighter than the Leicaflex SL without giving up anything in quality of feel, and I can fit a motor winder or motor drive.

I continue to use the R lenses on my current Leica CL (digital) and on the Leicaflex SL and R6.2. The Leicaflex SL body remains a favorite...


Leicaflex SL + Summicron-R 90mm f/2
Ilford XP2 Super
ISO 400 @ f/11 @ 1/250s

G
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
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Is the VF magnification larger on the R4-7 vs the R8? I remember the R8 having a tiny VF image (felt smaller than say, a Nikon F100)

Edit: I remembered incorrectly? They're all about .75ish
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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Don't got any Leica R bodies but Leica R lens are great on my Canon 6d. Elmarit 35 is one of the lens that is normally attached to it, as well as Summilux 50 and 90.

Great lens. Love the way they render monochrome on Canon 6d.

Marcelo
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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The R8 I had seemed about the same magnification as my current R6.2 and Leicaflex SL. all of them have a more comfortable eyepoint than my old Nikon F, FM2, and F2, closest to the F3 high eyepoint finder. None seem “tiny” to me.
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