Leica R8-R9

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BobbyR, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. BobbyR

    BobbyR Member

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    I had a lot of free time to browse through the internet this week-end and through reading something not related I came across some speaking of Leicas; as I have acquired about all the cameras I want,or need, or can afford, both for collecting and not losing money, and for hard use, I have been pondering whether or not, to consider, selling some I have and get a Leica R8 or R9.
    It was after I did a check on ebay, where else, that I saw that some R8 bodies are going for very reasonable price, five hundred or less.
    Does anyone know of the big difference between a R8 and a R9, as the R9s sell a fair amount higher, but doing a past check, even they on occasion go lower than expected.

    Now the reason to own a Leica is not for the body, but for the lenses, and that is the monkey wrench in the gears, as the Leica lenses that give them the reputation are NOT-NOT cheap.(I do not want a minolta/leica.)
    Zeiss which rivals Leica is now selling lenses in Nikon mount, so as illogical as this is, is the R9 really better than the R8, and is it worth by-passing, or unloading Canon's top EOS line just to get a Leica or Zeiss lens.

    The Canon lenses I want, are not cheap, but are still cheaper relative to a Leica (speaking zoom here, wide angle and standard size.)
    As much as I poo-pooed auto anything in cameras for many years, reality strikes and sometimes the auto-focus just makes life easier. (I realize the Leicas are manual and that is part of an equation.)

    Just a pondered question, but I am curious if any here have had the fortune to live the Leica dream.
     
  2. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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  3. BobbyR

    BobbyR Member

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  4. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    Thing is if I had the cash to live the Leica dream, lets say bottomless pockets of currency, I would not even consider the R9 but go rangefinder with a black paint MP and 35, 50 and 75 Summilux lenses.

    The R9 is a nice SLR but a Nikon F3HP is just as good (and a lot cheaper) and you have the Zeiss optics to play with.
     
  5. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Buy an 'M' system.
     
  6. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I have R8 but not R9. The differences are quite well summarized here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leica_R9

    I first got into Leica R via the R3 model, which can be found in many examples which are near mint but in need of a CLA (very light amateur use followed by years of lying around) for as little as £100 (plus the same for CLA). I then acquired some lenses, paying about £100 a time for Exc++ specimens.

    I then thought I would get a "better" body to go with these. One thing I did not realize was that older lenses need to be upgraded with a ROM chip before all the functions of an R8/R9 will work (without the chip, it's manual or aperture-priority). All the Leica R bodies and lenses I have handled have been excellent but very heavy - I find myself using a Nikon F3 much more often. For portability/pocketability, nothing beats Leica M.

    Regards,

    David
     
  7. BobbyR

    BobbyR Member

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    Do the "Betriebs" cameras have such marked on them, or is this just listed in the paperwork, if there?

    They are factory demos, which some sellers are hawking as "rare" i.e. so they hopefully get more for them.
    Just wondering.
     
  8. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    According to Denis Laney's "Leica Collector's Guide", a "Betriebskamera" would have "Betriebsk." and a 3-digit serial number engraved generally on the top plate INSTEAD of a regular serial number. There were also cameras engraved "Leitz-Eigentum" (Leitz Property) or "Leihkamera" (Loan Camera), in these cases a regular serial number would be present (so the cameras today are easy to forge). There were also cameras in Britain engraved ON LOAN FROM E. LEITZ (INST.) LTD.

    Yes, they do sell for more money according to the formula "Condition + rarity = High value". Obviously, as picture-taking instruments they are exactly the same as regular Leicas!