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  1. #1
    mindthemix's Avatar
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    Replacing the Olympus OM-1 for the Leica R8

    I'm thinking in replacing my Olympus OM-1n for the R8 as my main SLR and I would love to have your advice on that.

    I know is difficult to compare two different cameras, but what's your point of view interms of quality?
    I'm relatively new to film and I don't have a shooting style yet. I'm shooting with the OM-1, Rolleicord Vb, and Yashica Lynx 14E. Weigh or size is not an issue for me.
    Thank you in advance to everyone.

  2. #2

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    Never own a Leica. The price of the body didn't really scare me but the price of their lenses did.

  3. #3

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    What do you like or need from an R8? And what don't you like about the OM1?i

  4. #4
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    I have never owned a Leica SLR, but I would have thought Olympus V Leica is a bit like comparing a Ford with a Rolls Royce. Having said that, cameras don't take pictures, people do.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #5
    mindthemix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Sarile View Post
    What do you like or need from an R8? And what don't you like about the OM1?i
    Thanks for the prompt reply!

    What I like from R8 (based on articles and a little bit of research).

    - Handling. I have big hands and I found myself using the winder all the time on my OM-1
    - Lenses. I red that in terms of quality the R lenses are better than the Zuikos (not personal opinion here) I normally shot 50mm, 21mm, 135mm and sporadically 200mm, but again, I'm new to film and I'm in the search of my style with no more than 2 or three lenses. I know shooting one camera with one lens with one type of film will give me the knowledge and the experience but I was curious about the R8

    Personally I love the OM-1 and the only complain is handling.

    Thanks again for your feedback.
    Last edited by mindthemix; 02-25-2013 at 04:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    mindthemix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    I have never owned a Leica SLR, but I would have thought Olympus V Leica is a bit like comparing a Ford with a Rolls Royce. Having said that, cameras don't take pictures, people do.
    Hi and thanks for the feedback!

    I know they are two completely different cameras, and I don't want to start a debate on "Cameras vs Photographers", because in that case my iPhone will do the trick.

    I'm just curious on the R8 and how it compares to the OM line

  7. #7
    jp498's Avatar
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    If you want a camera for big hands and want some lens options, Try a Nikon F4s. I went from an OM10 to the F4s.

  8. #8
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    Although I've never had an OM1 I've had an OM2n for about 30 years. I've also had an R8 (and R9) for about 15.

    If it's ONLY the handling that you dislike about the OM then the R8/9 will probably be nicer to use. It's a larger camera and ergonomically very well designed. It has it's own issues however, some can scratch the film (but this can be repaired), and maybe there have been other issues with them, you'll need to do more research. I've had to have a couple of things repaired on my R8 but in functional terms I've always been very happy with my R8/9 bodies.

    The metering on the R8/9 is quite good too and you can switch without moving your eye from the viewfinder which I always found nice.

    One of the brilliant things about the R8/9 is the viewfinder which is quite similar to the OM's. The R8/9 is very easy to focus accurately and is very bright. It's still not as high magnification as the OM, but it's very good.

    I do think the R8/9 is one of the best SLR's I've ever used, although I prefer the Canon 1V only for it's more accurate spot meter.

    In terms of the lenses, don't worry about it. Zuiko has as many gems as Leica although it depends on your specific needs and budget. Fore example, I have the Zuiko 28/2 (also the Zuiko 28 f2.8 and f3.5) and the stunning Leica Elmarit-R 28/2.8 E55 and although the Leica R is technically the better, sharper lens I far prefer to use the Zuiko 28/2 for it's character and sharpness wide open. The Zuiko 28/3.5 Zuiko is amazingly sharp for a lens worth about $50! Same could be said of most Zuiko 50's. The Zuiko 50/1.4 is an excellent lens and I find myself using it more than the Leica Summicron-R 50/2. Having said that, some of the Leica R lenses are absolute gems and I've always loved the Leica Summilux-R 80/1.4 and the Leica Sumilux-R 35/1.4 which are both very easy to focus accurately on the R8/9. The relatively cheap Leica Elmarit-R 24/2.8 is also a very nice lens and one I've always loved using but TBH, I prefer the Zuiko 28/2. Then there are special lenses in both camps and if you prefer macro work then the Zuiko's might be a better choice, but fast teles are arguably Leica's forte. My favourite is the APO-Summicron-R 180/2.0 which is a dream to use on the R8/9, but obviously this is not a cheap lens.

    The biggest mistake people make when moving to Leica R (or even M but to a lesser degree) is that they don't do their home work and learn what the various lenses are and their differences. For example, many people will buy an early (from the 70's) R lens and find it potentially mediocre in it's performance whilst there might be later version of that lens which might be the state of the art for that focal length. The Elmarit-R 28/2.8 E55 is an example of that. The latest version, denoted by the E55 filter, is a much better lens than the early R 28, and is much more expensive. The same applies to various 180', 90's, and various other R lenses. In general, the latest R designs are the most expensive and optically the best of the R line.

    The Leica R4 is actually also a very nice camera however there are issues with these and possibly best avoided. I have an R4 with a current/latest focusing screen fitted and I find this better for wide angle lenses than the R8/9. The standard R4 focusing screen is at least 1 stop darker than the later R6/7 screens which also fit the R4. However finding a decent R4, much less a current focusing screen, can be difficult.
    Last edited by jjphoto; 02-25-2013 at 04:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    A good friend of mine owns a Leica R series camera. I don't remember which one but it is earlier than the R8. My daughter owns an Olympus OM-1. Both are nice cameras but I much preferred the Leica for the way it felt in my hands. This of course is just my preference.

    If you really like the R8 then go for it. If you are looking to greatly improve your image quality then I would look for a medium format camera.

  10. #10

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    If you have decent Zuiko lenses you may be better off with an OM4Ti, only slightly larger than a OM1 but streets ahead in use especially the metering which is superb.

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