Leica R8 - I'm in Love!
I've been crying poverty lately (and for good reason). But the demise of my 35 year old Leicaflex SL has left a hole in my heart that an autofocus Canon replacement couldn't heal. My 4 old Leica R lenses have been gathering dust since last summer.
I tried a used Leica R8 and fell in love. This camera is just perfect. Yeah, it's heavy and manual focus and chock full of 1980's technology, but it's exactly what an experienced photographer needs. It fits the hands perfectly, and the viewfinder is great, bright with a large microprism focus area. With a fast 80 or 90mm lens, the image pops in and out of focus, so you'll never miss a shot. Ain't no stupid menus either. Every control is a large knob or button and it's function is absolutely intuitive. I've used a lot of cameras, too many, but this is one of the few that you really mesh with. You know you nailed the shot before you trip the shutter and that some autosomething feature isn't going to screw it up in the last nanosecond. I know it sounds crazy, but I've tried a Canon EOS 1v and a Nikon F5; unless you are shooting sports, the R8 is a far better camera.
Best of all, with the introduction of the R9, the price of the R8 is about 1/3 the price of an R9 for an excellent used model. You can also find some of the best Leica R lenses used for far less money than the equivalent Leica M lenses.
If you're not familiar with the camera, take a look at one in your local camera store. I'd like to hear if you share my opinion.
I try not to look at Leicas... because, sometimes, I swear I hear them calling me....(and while that is probably a delusion, the debt callectors calls won't be)
I was looking at leica R cameras but was more drawn to the R3...
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
I dont know about use, but I always thought the R8 was the best looking and elegant 35 mm camera on the market. If I was going to go back to 35 mm, this would be the camera I would get.....
Glad you like your "new" R8
I have been using them for about 6 years now and (apart from the weight, 2 up, which I am prepared to live with) I find them a pleasure to use. Everything falls so beautifully to hand and works so well, I don't see me replacing them in a long time.
Once you have mastered all the controls, it will never get in the way of your photography. I particularly like the way the AE lock and mirror lock up works.
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Can anyone tell me what the viewfinder display readouts are?
Instruction manual in html format here:
Originally Posted by waynecrider
BTW, I've heard so many good things about the R8 that I've studiously avoided getting one into my hands.
Last edited by Lee L; 10-28-2005 at 10:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The R8 is perfect... but only if you actually take pictures with it !
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
Tom, glad you got a fine tool! That can really help to put out more work and be happy.
I was actually shocked at how inexpensive the Leica SLR bodies were - I seriously thought of one, even followe a couple older ones on eBay... then I realized: even though the R lenses are less pricey than the M's... I still can't afford to buy one of them, much less a kit that could rival what I can assemble in Canon FD lenses in terms of flexibility (for the price of one Leica lens or less). And since the worst quality picture is the one you DON'T take... a Leica lens I don't own will give me much worse results than the Canon lenses I do own.
Of course they are beautiful, well made things that are a pleasure to just hold in your hand, those Leicas are. But I would have to be very wealthy indeed for them to become anything other than illogical luxuries... Too bad for me.