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Have you ever...
Old 04-29-2019   #1
Huss
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Have you ever...

been on ebay waaaay late at night, maybe been drinking, maybe thought you got a screaming deal on a spare Leica R8 and instead this showed up?:



I have.

(apologies to Tom Papa).
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Old 04-29-2019   #2
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Perhaps you might have been a bit tired too?????

16sec to 1/8000 of a second that much different from 1/8 to 1/500 is it?

Not yet, done other stuff though......

B2 (;->
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Old 04-29-2019   #3
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that lens looks like something from a kid's toy box. actually, the entire setup looks like a toddler's play camera.
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Old 04-29-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
that lens looks like something from a kid's toy box. actually, the entire setup looks like a toddler's play camera.
I dunno, I don't think the R8 looks that bad.
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Old 04-29-2019   #5
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Tell us what you were drinking!

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Old 04-29-2019   #6
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I'm betting on tequila, or maybe Southern Comfort. It’s been a long time since I was that drunk.
That 212k looked like a red dot , I guess.
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Old 04-29-2019   #7
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So I'm the only one here that thinks that Zenit copied the R8's design. Kinda sorta..?
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Old 04-29-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Tell us what you were drinking!

Phil Forrest
Weeell, I remember White Russians. Then skipped to Black Russians. Then someone may have cut to the chase and just dropped shots.

It all seemed so innocent.
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Old 04-29-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
So I'm the only one here that thinks that Zenit copied the R8's design. Kinda sorta..?
Sure. Kinda sorta. Hoping you didn’t overpay. On the other hand, Ive never used one, so maybe it’s a sleeper.
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Old 04-29-2019   #10
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Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
Sure. Kinda sorta. Hoping you didn’t overpay. On the other hand, Ive never used one, so maybe it’s a sleeper.
Shipping costs more than these things.

On the upside, while it is built like a yogurt carton compared to my old Zenit 12SD, the viewfinder is very bright (for any camera let alone a Zenit), the shutter action is much smoother, shutter speed dial turns much easier as does the ISO dial. And the battery cover actually attaches securely instead of needing to be held on with tape!
The Zenitar lens is meant to be very good, and because it is K mount I can also use it on my Pentax MX.
It's worth it just for the lens (I think..)
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Old 04-29-2019   #11
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I say load up some Russian Silberra film, and shoot away...

Or should I say, "In Soviet Russia, camera shoots you!"
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Old 04-29-2019   #12
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At least the Zenit has a lens... allegedly... and a strap.
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Old 04-30-2019   #13
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one is a rich kid's toy, the other one is a poor kid's toy.
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Old 04-30-2019   #14
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I didn't know this Zenit was another Leica knock-off.
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Old 04-30-2019   #15
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Hmmm, the first Zenit was based on the Zorki and that was based on the FED and that was based on the Leica II...


They all improved on what went before but it's fair to say that the Leitz FP shutter that Oskar Barnack created in 1912 or 13 was in all of them and the last Zenit was the DX* one in - perhaps - 2006.That's a long run for a good design...


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Old 04-30-2019   #16
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I've never been that drunk and retained the ability to read.
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Old 04-30-2019   #17
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I've never been that drunk and retained the ability to read.
You ever seen the cash register at a McDonalds? No letters or numbers, just pictures.
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Old 04-30-2019   #18
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one is a rich kid's toy, the other one is a poor kid's toy.
Weird. They both look like cameras to me.
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Old 04-30-2019   #19
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I love the symmetry of time, from copies of the first Leicas to a copy of the last SLRs.

Sadly my boozing days are long behind me, but I am regularly able to order the wrong thing, generally for cars though.
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Old 04-30-2019   #20
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The Leica R8 apparently had a ******* child while on vacation in Russia.

Is the 212 a m42 or F mount rig?

Always though those “new” Zenitars had a cool exterior. Very Minolta maxxum of them.
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Old 04-30-2019   #21
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Obviously Leica fashioned the R8 in such a way as to test whether or not the Russians would copy whatever they did, no matter how ugly. Seems their suspicions were right!
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Old 04-30-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
The Leica R8 apparently had a ******* child while on vacation in Russia.

Is the 212 a m42 or F mount rig?

Always though those “new” Zenitars had a cool exterior. Very Minolta maxxum of them.
The 'K' in 212K signifies it is a K mount camera. I bought it for the lens as it is meant to be really good, and I want to use it on my Pentax MX.
This is one of those things where buying the lens with camera attached is cheaper than just buying the camera! I also see this with stuff like trying to buy a plain prism for a Nikon F or F2. They are cheaper if they are attached to the camera!

ok, ok, coming clean now. Call me Heinz because I've just spilled the beans. I was not drunk or anything, I wanted the lens and this brought levity to the conversation. The body is a curiosity but I definitely think Zenit got their design inspiration from the R8. Currently with Leica's blessing Zenit just rebadged the M240!

It will be fun to shoot them side by side both with 50mm f2 lenses (Summicron on the Leica) to see how they compare.. (spoiler alert, the R9/R8 are the best 35mm film SLRs I've ever used, and I have stuff like the F6, F3P and F3Limited, F2AS, Minolta XK, FM2n etc)
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Old 04-30-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post

(spoiler alert, the R9/R8 are the best 35mm film SLRs I've ever used, and I have stuff like the F6, F3P and F3Limited, F2AS, Minolta XK, FM2n etc)
I'd have to personally agree with that, and I have owned all those others as well, minus the F3Ltd.
I should use them more, but it's just too easy.
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Old 04-30-2019   #24
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Isn't that the same camera? no wait, need my morning coffee, be right back.
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Old 04-30-2019   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Weird. They both look like cameras to me.
Smooth bricks.......me too.

B2 (;->
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Old 04-30-2019   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
(spoiler alert, the R9/R8 are the best 35mm film SLRs I've ever used, and I have stuff like the F6, F3P and F3Limited, F2AS, Minolta XK, FM2n etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta
I'd have to personally agree with that, and I have owned all those others as well, minus the F3Ltd.
I should use them more, but it's just too easy.

I have to ask, since I've never actually used an R8 (I've probably never even seen one). What are its strong points? Just judging by the photo, it looks like its uncomfortable and awkward to hold. It has the body shape of a modern autofocus SLR or DSLR minus one of its most important features: a right-side handgrip for secure and comfortable handling. But I could be wrong; maybe its bigger or smaller than I imagine it to be and it fits the hand perfectly.
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Old 04-30-2019   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
I have to ask, since I've never actually used an R8 (I've probably never even seen one). What are its strong points? Just judging by the photo, it looks like its uncomfortable and awkward to hold. It has the body shape of a modern autofocus SLR or DSLR minus one of its most important features: a right-side handgrip for secure and comfortable handling. But I could be wrong; maybe its bigger or smaller than I imagine it to be and it fits the hand perfectly.
If I'm not mistaken, the R8 series was entirely designed and produced by Leica without any association with Minolta. Whether that's good or bad, IDK. I'm curious too as to its benefits over the previous R series (like I really need another camera to lust after...).
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Old 04-30-2019   #28
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I'm seeing two R8s!
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Old 04-30-2019   #29
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Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Tell us what you were drinking!

Phil Forrest
Haha, you want some?
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Old 04-30-2019   #30
Larry Cloetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
I have to ask, since I've never actually used an R8 (I've probably never even seen one). What are its strong points? Just judging by the photo, it looks like its uncomfortable and awkward to hold. It has the body shape of a modern autofocus SLR or DSLR minus one of its most important features: a right-side handgrip for secure and comfortable handling. But I could be wrong; maybe its bigger or smaller than I imagine it to be and it fits the hand perfectly.
I don’t intend to get into a live fire exercise here, just because I agreed with Huss about these being “the best SLRs I’ve ever used”. As I was at pains to point out, I agreed with that “personally.” YMMV.
Unlike the R3 to R7, this was a Leica designed and manufactured body, not a rebodied Minolta. Having owned Leicaflex SLs and SL2s, R3s and R5s, as well as R8s, I found that this mattered, operationally and in terms of results. Personally. I’ve kept an SL2 and two R8s, and sold the rest on.

As to why I felt the R8 was “better” than the F6 I bought new, or the Canon F1,ditto, or others (long list), most of it came down to the brighter viewfinder in the Leica, and, yes, the ergonomics. Every great SLR gets the big things right, so it comes down to which details work better for a given owner.
They look ungainly, but they are actually designed to fit human hands better than the normal SLR shape. Most who have used one for a while, come to the same conclusion, but not all. Works that way for me, but maybe it is just my hands. The layout of the controls also works, e.g. the overhanging shutter speed dial. And it feels very secure in the hand, no blocky looking “grip” necessary. It’s a clean sheet of paper design, someone put much thought into the ergos, and it works. The fact that it didn’t look like everything else out there (wags who call it “hunchback from Sölms” seem overly harsh) didn’t do much for sales, I’m sure, plus the cost.
The metering isn’t quite as nice or sophisticated as the F6, but then no other film camera has metering which can match an F6. It’s quite good, more than good enough, and is as good or better than anything else I have ever used in the film camera domain. It’s fine.
Shutter needs to be cocked manually with the manual film advance, which took some getting used to after the F6. Some might balk at this.
If I were a professional with a press pass, trying to shoot the Olympics, I’d have kept the F6. But, being aimed at that kind of shooter, meant it didn’t necessarily excel where I wanted it to, at least in comparison to the R8, which does more of what I actually need. Personally. The F6 is a great camera, and I won’t argue with anyone saying it is the best film SLR ever made, it just wasn’t the best for me, for a couple of reasons.
Then, there’s the R lenses. Sure, you can Leitax R lenses and use them on a Nikon or a Canon, which I did, extensively, but I found that that wasn’t even a half assed way to approach using those lenses intelligently. More like quarter-assed. Eighth-assed. Somewhere in that range. People do it. People do a lot of things. Sure, you can “make it work”, but life’s too short. If you want to use R lenses just get an R body, or mirrorless.

N.B. I had a D800 and an F2AS as well as the F6 and some other Nikons, and kept the F2, and sold the others, because I liked using the F2 more than any of the other Nikons, as it fit my needs better. Still does, in terms of Nikon film bodies. Definitively. So, perhaps I am not to be trusted (by normal people).
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Old 04-30-2019   #31
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Huss, you're a character, and one of my favorite contributors here. In my head for whatever reason, I picture you as voice actor Toby Huss and read your posts in the voice of Cotton from King of the Hill.

truth be told, I actually did buy into Leica while I was slightly intoxicated. Had slowly started moving away from Nikon with a Bessa, inherited a few of my father's old lenses, and on a celebratory night bought my M5 after a few drinks; likewise with my M8. Other than a bit of sticker shock, no regrets. At least upgrading to the Typ 262 was something I'd considered for years.

But congrats on the buy. I've heard good things about those K-mount Zenitars. Back when I was in junior high and in a typical intro photography class, my best friend, who was from Ukraine, used his parents' old Zenit-D. I was always impressed with the rendering of that lens. I should ask him if he still has it.

To Larry—over the years, even as an F6/D2x user, I've also really come to appreciate the R series cameras ergonomically. They certainly are ugly, but there's a lot of beautifully ugly cameras out there, and so many of them came from a start-from-scratch design. The Olympus OM series, with their coaxial shutter dial, and shutter-dial-looking ISO dial. The Pentax MZ-S, which is too strange to describe. the Minolta Maxxum 7, sort of a plastic proto-F6. All of the Yashica/Kyocera Contaxes, with their gorgeous lenses. I really appreciate the care for ergonomics and craftsmanship of all of the above. If I were starting from scratch today, I'd honestly probably buy into the OM system rather than Nikon, and use a mirrorless body for digital. Only reason I stuck with Nikon was inheriting a lot of wonderful old AI-s lenses from a family member, and their digital bodies mounted them. I've since sold or passed forward most of them.

But as a bit of a camera historian I do understand why Nikon and Canon won out over German and the smaller Japanese makes in the mass market. They do everything, and had compatibility across models and target market tiers of cameras, and an extremely simplified interface—some of the Zeiss and other German cameras of the '60s looked completely unchanged from the '30s. When you're buying into a system, it's tempting knowing you can get an intervalometer or data back, buy bellows/macro lenses, or put a 300/2.8 lens on your camera, even if you'll never, ever use them.

About a month ago, I stopped in my local shop (Glazer's, for those folks around Seattle) and the new Leica specialist, after realizing I wasn't budging on an M10 or Q, was really pushing me on taking home the R4 they had in the used gear case. Trust me, it was very tempting. Considering how cheap the lenses are (relatively), and how I really don't use anything beyond centerweighted metering, it still is. As is the two NIB Contax NX's they have from a trade-in.
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Old 04-30-2019   #32
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R8/9s are big. And I was scared off until I tried one. They fit the hand perfectly, but the genius is in the design of the controls. Pretty much just has two dials, with one (shutter speed) having a collar that allows you to switch between exposure metering patterns, seamlessly with the camera to the eye w/o having to fiddle and fumble with buttons, dials etc spread around various spots on the body.
It's so simple that one wonders why no-one else did this. Is it because it is more impressive to have a camera cluttered up with junk?
Film loading is as easy as can be, with the smoothest manual film wind ever created. It makes my F3p and ltds feel like a sloppy mess. The add on motordrive looks like it is part of the camera, not an add on. Nice to have that option. Speeds up to 1/8000sec with one programme mode that is infiniely variable just by where you decide to place the shutter speed dial.
With a ROM chipped lens and dedicated flash, the flash exposures are ridiculous. It's like you have a full lighting crew with you getting everything just right.

This shot was taken with a simple SF24D fixed head flash. Subject in heavy backlighting. The R9 knew the subject distance (ROM lens) and exposed the subject, shop interior and street scene perfectly, using expired Fuji C200! Normally you'd need a high end digi sensor with massive DR to recover the exposure. Not a roll of C41 film!



And the lenses...
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Old 04-30-2019   #33
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Quote:
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Huss, you're a character, and one of my favorite contributors here. In my head for whatever reason, I picture you as voice actor Toby Huss and read your posts in the voice of Cotton from King of the Hill.

truth be told, I actually did buy into Leica while I was slightly intoxicated. Had slowly started moving away from Nikon with a Bessa, inherited a few of my father's old lenses, and on a celebratory night bought my M5 after a few drinks; likewise with my M8. Other than a bit of sticker shock, no regrets. At least upgrading to the Typ 262 was something I'd considered for years.

But congrats on the buy. I've heard good things about those K-mount Zenitars. Back when I was in junior high and in a typical intro photography class, my best friend, who was from Ukraine, used his parents' old Zenit-D. I was always impressed with the rendering of that lens. I should ask him if he still has it.

To Larry—over the years, even as an F6/D2x user, I've also really come to appreciate the R series cameras ergonomically. They certainly are ugly, but there's a lot of beautifully ugly cameras out there, and so many of them came from a start-from-scratch design. The Olympus OM series, with their coaxial shutter dial, and shutter-dial-looking ISO dial. The Pentax MZ-S, which is too strange to describe. the Minolta Maxxum 7, sort of a plastic proto-F6. All of the Yashica/Kyocera Contaxes, with their gorgeous lenses. I really appreciate the care for ergonomics and craftsmanship of all of the above. If I were starting from scratch today, I'd honestly probably buy into the OM system rather than Nikon, and use a mirrorless body for digital. Only reason I stuck with Nikon was inheriting a lot of wonderful old AI-s lenses from a family member, and their digital bodies mounted them. I've since sold or passed forward most of them.

But as a bit of a camera historian I do understand why Nikon and Canon won out over German and the smaller Japanese makes in the mass market. They do everything, and had compatibility across models and target market tiers of cameras, and an extremely simplified interface—some of the Zeiss and other German cameras of the '60s looked completely unchanged from the '30s. When you're buying into a system, it's tempting knowing you can get an intervalometer or data back, buy bellows/macro lenses, or put a 300/2.8 lens on your camera, even if you'll never, ever use them.

About a month ago, I stopped in my local shop (Glazer's, for those folks around Seattle) and the new Leica specialist, after realizing I wasn't budging on an M10 or Q, was really pushing me on taking home the R4 they had in the used gear case. Trust me, it was very tempting. Considering how cheap the lenses are (relatively), and how I really don't use anything beyond centerweighted metering, it still is. As is the two NIB Contax NX's they have from a trade-in.
Thanks for the nice words Ian!
If you like the R4, let me tell you about the R-E. So nice I have two of them (another ebay story) and they are also all you need from a film camera. The way the R-E is different from my R7 (don't ask, these non R8/9 Leicas are cheap!), is it is smaller, takes half the number of batteries, does not have a P or S mode (c'mon people we only need A and M anyway!) and has a traditional vf readout instead of calculator font digital numbers.
Slap on a Summicron R and you are golden. Which makes me wonder why are M lenses so much more expensive than R lenses? Optical quality is the same, but the R glass has extra stuff like auto aperture indexing etc.
I'm going to be selling one of my R-Es for under $200 (no damage etc). Just goofy having 2 of them with all my other junk..

As for the Zenitar lens, while looking plasticky (it is) I've seen great images made by it and it works great on my Pentax MX, as well as looking great on it too. (My MX is black). And as for the Zenit 212K, while not as cool feeling in that heavy metal way as my old Zenits, everything else is so much better. Fingers crossed my test roll comes back ok!
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Old 04-30-2019   #34
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Here is my favorite with similar body. Maybe one day, I'll get one back.
My very first camera.


http://www.sovietcams.com/index.php?-253597491
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Old 04-30-2019   #35
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Thanks for the insight Larry; its a pity the R8 almost seems like a forgotten branch of the family tree. Like I said, most likely I've never even seen one.
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Old 05-01-2019   #36
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I wish I hadn't read this thread, it makes me want my R5 again and I know what it will cost and all the worries that go with it and what Leica charge for an estimate to repair it...


Regards, David


PS Once I'd given up all idea of a repair I spoke to people at shows with R8's and was shocked (after the long absence of the R5) by their weight.
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Old 05-01-2019   #37
Larry Cloetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post

PS Once I'd given up all idea of a repair I spoke to people at shows with R8's and was shocked....by their weight.
It’s “a hunk, a hunk of burnin’ love.”
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Old 05-01-2019   #38
Ko.Fe.
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Nikon bias detected.
Who needs sophisticated metering if next to any film camera with exposure meter and auto-exposure is giving fine negatives?
I'm having hard time to remember then XA failed me on exposure. Oh, after its shutter exposure meter crapped out.
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