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mpaniagua
09-02-2016, 14:22
Currently got some R mount lenses. Never tried a Leica R before, only the M's.

Which model should I get? Im mostly interested in getting a manual camera for my lenses in a good condition. Looking at R4 and R6 or probabli Leicaflex.

Any suggestions?


Thanks.

Charlie Lemay
09-02-2016, 14:56
R6, unless you need 1/2000. I've had 2 for years. Their dependable, ergonomically suited for R lens shooting, and quite cheap right now.

mpaniagua
09-02-2016, 15:03
Looking at a silver one on the bay. Looks great. Does it need battery to run? Dont expect to used much of the electronics.

Beemermark
09-02-2016, 15:04
SL2. Else the SL

mpaniagua
09-02-2016, 15:10
SL2. Else the SL

I suppose you mean Leicaflex SL or SL2 right? Seems like a solid camera. Somehow it remind me about the Miranda cameras (not a bad thing, kinda a Miranda fan).

nikonosguy
09-02-2016, 15:21
make sure your cams match up --- certain lenses use 1 cam,2 cams, or 3 cams --- you never specified your lenses...

mpaniagua
09-02-2016, 15:26
make sure your cams match up --- certain lenses use 1 cam,2 cams, or 3 cams --- you never specified your lenses...

whoa didt knew that. Will check the lenses. I got them as a gift actually so really dont know much about them. Got Summicron 35, Summlux 50 and one other that escape my mind. Any clue as how to identify the cam?

nikonosguy
09-02-2016, 15:31
yeah, you should be good with most any system --- there's a lot of articles on the cams --- some of the more modern lenses won't work on the leicaflex... i use an r5, it's a tank

**** -- you've been given some awesome and expensive lenses... spend $200, get an r5... am very jealous, especially being an r shooter

Tejasican
09-02-2016, 15:34
I liked the Leicaflex SL but when I got rid of most of my film equipment (Nikon, Oly, Canon, & Leica) the one body I really couldn't see letting go of was, oddly enough, my R4.

Freakscene
09-02-2016, 15:34
http://www.apotelyt.com/photo-camera/leica-r-mount

The R cameras apart from the R6 and R6.2 have horrible, long, vague shutter releases. The Leicaflexes are old but once you get on working they are amazing, and the viewfinders are incredible.

Marty

Benjamin Marks
09-02-2016, 17:35
R4 and R4s had shutter/magnet problems . . . I have an R4 and had to have it worked on. R6 or R6.2 were the best of the bunch in terms of reputation. My second was an R5. I also have a Leicaflex. I disagree about the awesomeness of the finder. It is just a finder. I would take an R5 or R6 instead . . . just my opinion of course.

If I was doing it all over again, I'd go with the R8.

mpaniagua
09-02-2016, 17:37
Seems it sum down to R6 or Leicaflex SL. Been reading that R4 with 16xxxxx serial numbers are more reliable. Know anything about this?

x-ray
09-02-2016, 18:05
I also have a Leicaflex. I disagree about the awesomeness of the finder. It is just a finder.

I agree the SL finder was had for me to focus. It was bright for its time but the microprisms in the center spot were so fine it made it hard to determine when the subject was critically sharp. It could be the combination of screen and my eyes but I found it hard to focus.

I bought three SL's when they were new. One was a MOT and two regular SL's. I had reliability issues with them. The meter and shutter in two of them required service. Its a personal thing but I hated the shape and found them awkward to hold. I liked the lenses but just couldn't warm up to the bodies.

It's my understanding the SL is difficult and expensive to repair.

In the end I went back to Leica M's and Nikons. This was in the 70's and to this day I'm still using my M's and Nikons.

Godfrey
09-02-2016, 19:04
Currently got some R mount lenses. Never tried a Leica R before, only the M's.

Which model should I get? Im mostly interested in getting a manual camera for my lenses in a good condition. Looking at R4 and R6 or probabli Leicaflex.

Any suggestions?

To pick the right body for your lenses, you need to know which lenses are compatible with which bodies. This page details the different lens mount cams (there are five: 1-cam, 2-cam, 3-cam, R-only, and ROM) and shows how to identify what's what:

http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/Lens-R.html

3-cam lenses are the most common, because the others came out later and many of the 1 and 2 cam lenses were converted ages ago. Late model (1998 and later) were mostly ROM lenses for the R8 and R9. From the chart there, you can see that 3 cam lenses are compatible with all bodies.

I have two Leicaflex SLs and an R8. I've never had any of the R3 to R7 models, so I can't judge them.

The Leicaflex SL is one of my all-time favorite SLRs. It's a brick, but beautifully made and wonderful to use. Very smooth operation, very nice viewfinder (if it hasn't started to deliver the prism), and very robust. Also, expensive as heck to overhaul if it should need it. I basically got both of mine free when I bought an R lens.

The R8 looks like a big chunky thing, but is wonderful in the hand and has one of the best control layouts ever made for a film SLR. Everything falls into the right place. R8 and R9s are pretty late in the R camera game and have some sophisticated electronics, incredibly good metering, etc etc. Early R8s had some electronics issues but most of those have been fixed already. While they still command a good price, sometimes, bargains can be had: My R8 cost me less than $200 and is in near-unused-looking shape.

Whichever R body you decide on, it's the lenses that sing. R lenses, particularly the primes, are some of the very best that Leica has made.

G

mpaniagua
09-02-2016, 19:13
Thanks for the link Godfrey

Ronald M
09-02-2016, 19:17
R6 or 6.2. Battery for meter only. Stop down lever is weak and expensive to repair.

R4 -all variants- and R5 do not have mirror dampers and are noticeably more vibration prone .

Leicaflex variants are nice if they are in working order, few are.

Lenses are no better than M lenses of similar vintage. Some later ones like the 100 2.8 APO 180 2.8 APR 280 f4 and some longer ones are killer lenses and you will pay dearly for them

farlymac
09-02-2016, 19:22
I have the R3, and what I like about it is the way the controls just fall right under your fingers, so most setting changes can be done without removing your eye from the viewfinder.

I think the main complaint about the 4s is they didn't hold up under stress from the motor drive.

PF

Lots of good information over at Leica User Forum - The Biggest Leica Forum Worldwide (http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/)

David Hughes
09-03-2016, 01:01
Hi,

Once you've sorted out what variation of the lenses you have and what R can use them I'll suggest you find a dealer who will let you handle the cameras and gives a guarantee. R's are great cameras but only Leica will repair them and they are expensive. Also bear in mind their age and condition when reading about reliability on the www.

Most of the differences between the R's are in the metering variations. A bit of research will soon sort that out.

Regards, David

steveyork
09-03-2016, 04:24
Over the years I've owned many SLR cameras from different manufacturers, most of them mechanical. Of the Leica range, I have owned and used the original Leicaflex, SL, SL2, R6 and R7. The only one I own now -- and indeed my favorite camera of all time -- is the Leicaflex SL. I have put close to 1000 rolls through a trio of these cameras in the last 6 years, and although I sometimes get bored shooting them, I always come back to them. Just a fabulous camera.

Godfrey
09-03-2016, 06:00
...
Once you've sorted out what variation of the lenses you have and what R can use them I'll suggest you find a dealer who will let you handle the cameras and gives a guarantee. R's are great cameras but only Leica will repair them and they are expensive. Also bear in mind their age and condition when reading about reliability on the www.
...

Good advice, but it's difficult to find a dealer selling them where you can handle them.

Regards repairability, I believe that Don Goldberg and Sherry Krauter will work on the Leicaflex models, not sure about the R3-R7 or R8-R9. Neither my Leicaflex SLs or the R8 have needed service since I acquired them.

Both of my Leicaflex SLs were new in 1969 to 1972. As far as I can tell, neither has ever been serviced, and both are in good to excellent working order. One has a little ding on the top plate, one has shutter curtains that are getting a bit funky and could stand to be replaced soon. And one has a bit of deterioration on the prism silvering. I can't expect perfection at the price I paid (practically nothing, they were each part of a lens purchase), and at the rate I use them they'll likely run a long time still.

The R8 came from Ebay, body only with the winder accessory, and looked like it had barely been used. It works perfectly, albeit with a minor glitch: it seems to take a while for the electronics to be ready after it's powered up. I'm not sure whether that's normal, due to the age of the camera, or whether it's getting ready to fail. I paid so little for it, again, I'm not overly concerned.

I managed to pick up a fairly complete set of R lenses, 15mm to 250mm, all but two 3-cam, some quite old and others from as late as the early '90s, for very reasonable money (about $400 per on average). To my eye, the lenses are well worth it, with all the lovely character of Leica M lenses and the right ergonomics to excel on the Leicaflex SL, R8, and (digital) SL bodies. Later versions of some of them are certainly even better performers (and vastly more expensive), but I like the rendering character I get with even the old R lenses.

My SL body gets much more use with these lenses than either the Leicaflex SLs or R8. The lenses have been absolutely worth the price for that body alone. :-)

G

Fuchs
09-03-2016, 07:20
If you can live with stop-down metering, convert the R lenses to Nikon F mount (google Leitax) and use whatever Nikon camera suits you. The FM2n, FA, F2, F3, F4, F5 are rock solid workhorses easily found and repaired anywhere in the world.

ktmrider
09-03-2016, 08:33
I have the R6.2 and get a manual SLR in a camera the size of a Leica M. Having both spot and averaging metering is great and the only thing the battery powers is the meter. Don't use it much as I prefer the rangefinders but it is a great camera.

mkvrnn
09-06-2016, 09:39
Thanks for the tip about Leitax, Fuchs.

A couple of years ago I bought a fairly large R4 outfit in pristine condition, almost all of it still in its original boxes. Even the soft leather Universal Holdall is still in its original Leitz cardboard box.

It's unlikely that I'll ever get around to using the camera but I'd quite like to try the lenses to see if they are as good as people seem to say. Ideally I'd like to try them on my Nikon DSLR if I can find a suitably cheap adaptor.

Alternatively, did I read somewhere that one of the modern Leicas will accept R lenses?

Godfrey
09-06-2016, 10:02
Thanks for the tip about Leitax, Fuchs.

A couple of years ago I bought a fairly large R4 outfit in pristine condition, almost all of it still in its original boxes. Even the soft leather Universal Holdall is still in its original Leitz cardboard box.

It's unlikely that I'll ever get around to using the camera but I'd quite like to try the lenses to see if they are as good as people seem to say. Ideally I'd like to try them on my Nikon DSLR if I can find a suitably cheap adaptor.

Alternatively, did I read somewhere that one of the modern Leicas will accept R lenses?

The Leica SL is the ideal digital body to use with Leica R lenses. Its EVF/LCD viewfinder is far superior when using adapted lenses stopped-down than any optical reflex viewfinder, and Leica supplies lens correction profiles to in the SL to optimize the lens-sensor relationship. I once had a couple of lenses with Leitax mounts so I could use them on Nikon bodies, but I've since swapped the R lens mounts back; there's really no point to doing that anymore now that the Leica SL body is available.

The lenses can be fitted either by using the R Adapter M stacked onto the M Adapter L, or by using the new R Adapter L. With the two adapter stack, you manually assign the profile to the R lenses when fitted, and you can also use your M lenses with the R adapter removed (the SL has profiles for the M lenses included in it as well). With the R Adapter L, R lenses that have ROMs are automatically recognized on the SL. (One caveat is that this adapter is not compatible with one- or two-cam R lenses as the cams could damage the ROM contacts. I believe it is fully compatible with 3-cam and R-only lenses, although with those you'll need to assign the lens profile manually.)

You can also use R lenses on Leica M/M-P typ 240 and Leica Monochrom typ 246 bodies with the R Adapter M. With these bodies you can use the LCD and Live View, or the optional EVF, for focusing and viewing.

R lenses perform every bit as well as their reputation suggests. After many many years shooting with Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Olympus, and enjoying their best top grade lenses, the Leica R lenses that I had always wanted have not disappointed me one wit. I picked up a good set of R lenses over the course of a couple of years at very reasonable prices, they are the mainstay of my photography today with the SL. Even the older ones that might be considered to have technical flaws produce some of the most beautiful imaging I've seen out of any of my previous equipment.

G

ktmrider
09-06-2016, 11:45
If you want to try a R6.2, pm me.

Larry Cloetta
09-07-2016, 06:31
....<snip> Leica supplies lens correction profiles to in the SL to optimize the lens-sensor relationship. <snip>.................I picked up a good set of R lenses over the course of a couple of years at very reasonable prices, they are the mainstay of my photography today with the SL. Even the older ones that might be considered to have technical flaws produce some of the most beautiful imaging I've seen out of any of my previous equipment...<snip>
G

Godfrey,
A couple of questions: With the newly released R to SL adapter, what, exactly, are the lens corrections which are applied in camera? Vignetting, LOCA, spherical aberrations? And can you turn those corrections off if you want to?

The reason I ask if you can turn them off is related to the later sentence in your post; "the ones that have technical flaws produce some of the most beautiful imaging". Exactly. Sometimes I desire the SA, and the vignetting.
Any help you could provide would be welcome as I have tried to find the answer elsewhere , without success.

Godfrey
09-07-2016, 09:04
Godfrey,
A couple of questions: With the newly released R to SL adapter, what, exactly, are the lens corrections which are applied in camera? Vignetting, LOCA, spherical aberrations? And can you turn those corrections off if you want to?

The reason I ask if you can turn them off is related to the later sentence in your post; "the ones that have technical flaws produce some of the most beautiful imaging". Exactly. Sometimes I desire the SA, and the vignetting.
Any help you could provide would be welcome as I have tried to find the answer elsewhere , without success.

I haven't done specific testing to determine specifically what the lens profile adjustments provide, and it seems to be on a per-lens basis. Some get corrections to minimize light fall-off, others to minimize color shifting, some might get lateral chromatic aberration correction, etc. I'm not so sure about rectilinear corrections. It would take some testing and comparisons to determine the precise nature of the corrections per lens. But yes: you can turn off manually-assigned lens profile settings for both M and R lenses.

The reason I qualify 'manually-assigned' is that, with the M Adapter L mount and six-bit coded Leica lenses, the indicator in the menu shows the current lens but is grayed out and does not allow you to change it unless the lens can have more than one profile setting (like the WATE, MATE, and Summilux 35v2). Stacking the R Adapter M onto the M Adapter L, all R lens profiles are manually selected and so can be turned off, but I am assuming the R Adapter L will work similarly to the M Adapter L with ROM-equipped R lenses. (The R lens profiles are the same whether you use the two adapter stack or the single R lens adapter.)

Leica's take on these lens corrections seems to be that they are considered a part of providing users with the performance they intended for the specific lens. So if a lens has a small amount of rectilinear aberration with the film cameras they were originally intended for, the profile is designed to reproduce that imaging character on the SL as best possible. Imaging issues introduced by using the lens with a digital sensor is what they are looking to correct, without changing the basic character that the lens was designed to produce. So I doubt that you'll see radical changes between what you're familiar with on film when you put that lens on the SL.

I should probably do some testing, both with film comparisons and by turning the profiles off. It's just so time consuming to do that properly, and I haven't had a good reason to do it. The SL works extremely well... :-)

G

Larry Cloetta
09-07-2016, 09:55
Very helpful, thank you.