Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta
For what it is worth, R8 bodies underwent revisions during the R8 model lifespan, revisions aimed at improving reliability, to the electronics and the back
among other things.
Here is a link that may be worth looking at in its entirety:
But hereís the Readerís Digest version:
there have been four generations of the R8 camera body. The R8 in black chrome finish is No. 10081, and in silver chrome is No. 10080. There has been no change in the stock numbers since the R8 was introduced. The different versions generally reflect improvements in the electronic components and their resistance to static electricity. The versions by serial numbers are:
First: SN 2285000 - 2422000
Second: SN 2427001 - 2435800
Third: SN 2464101 - 2477300
Fourth: SN (Higher than 2477300)
For this reason, the stock recommendation is, if you are in the market for an R8 as a keeper, at this point in time, what you should be looking for is a serial number 2477300 or higher.
What you are likely to find is that some R8s are listed for prices which are inexplicably higher than the norm, many of these will be ones with the desirable serial numbers, so, maybe not so inexplicable after all.
Huss mentioned the possibility of the R8 back door scratching film, which is true, but this was one of the defects Leica addressed in later iterations. R8s might be made in Portugal or Germany and this is noted on the door. Early "made in Germany" doors were occasionally replaced by Leica with "made in Portugal" ones as they caused scratches on the film. Or, at least thatís how the story goes.
Larry my R8 serial # is 2775617 and it scratches film. It is well worn as you will see.
I think that's a myth about Leica making changes to the offending part because according to your serial #'s mine is a late model with the improved bit.
Also I've heard heavily used R9s doing it too. So that is very disappointing that Leica never fixed it.
But the super simple fix is sellotape! See below (and this is only needed if yours scratches film.
My R8 and the near identical Zenit...
The fix IF yours happens to scratch: