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  1. #21
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehparis View Post
    I started using Leicas with the R3. Both R3s I had always worked famously. I had five or six Leitz lenses and the world was good.

    Then I foolishly "upgraded" to R4s. I wound up going through three all of which had electronics problems. I believe they were the Portugal models. Would that I had never switched from the reliable R3.

    I gave up on Leica out of frustration with all the R4 problems. Sold my lenses and every thing Leica that I owned and switched to Nikon. Have never looked back although some of those photos taken with Leitz glass were the best things I've ever done.

    Yes, am very sour on Leica. I think most would be if they had three expensive bodies like the R4 all completely fail (electronics didn't work at all) and Leitz USA couldn't seem to keep them repaired.
    I think I feel rather pleased that I just bought an R3! Sorry to hear about your troubles - if it makes you feel any better, I had 12 years of being disgusted with Leica after Leica UK charged me £400 to service an M3, insisted on replacing the shutter curtains, which were really OK, did not replace the rangefinder prisms, which were very dull, and sent it back in a state in which the shutter locked solid after 2 frames. It went back twice, did not return fully fixed, after a short while I sold the camera and all lenses (3) because the rangefinder was too dim to focus. It's only just now that I feel I need a Summicron (possibly several) in my life again!

    Regards,

    David

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington View Post
    Thanks for the feedback - it looks as if, all being well, I shall just need to send the camera in for a seal replacement (if not done already) and a general CLA. I shall certainly be keeping the Tamron lenses, they are great, particularly at current prices, and give me the opportunity to try a different camera system for the price of a body plus a couple of adapters.
    I'm not sure what the point is of buying into Leica, but not the lenses. Ultimately the camera itself is just a light proof box. The glass is what really matters.

    David.

  3. #23
    hka
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    I bought an R3 body and an R3-Mot body in 1974 and I use them very often without any problem. After so many years the lighttraps at the back's are gone and replaced by Leica in Solms. No problem at all. Great camera and great lenses. Good choice. Congratulation and have fun...
    harry

    Release, the best you can do...

  4. #24
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woolliscroft View Post
    I'm not sure what the point is of buying into Leica, but not the lenses. Ultimately the camera itself is just a light proof box. The glass is what really matters.

    David.
    Essentially I agree with you - whatever camera I have, I try to have 50, 24 and 35 prime OEM lenses. At the same time, when I get the (rare) urge to try another system, it's useful to dip a toe in without having to buy 3 or 4 lenses immediately - and as for extreme lenses, as I said, a £100 Tamron 17 mm that I can use on all three systems makes a whole lot more financial sense than a £1500 Leica lens which fits only one system. But again I agree with you - I do feel that Leica Summicron lenses in particular have a unique quality. Interestingly, though, I have noticed with the R3 (which I have now received) that the mirror slap is more subdued than any other 35 SLR I have ever used.

    Another question to Leica R users - my R3 seems to have led an easy life - it looks almost new and operates very smoothly. There seems to be a consensus that it's a good idea to have the door seals changed, maybe I should have the shutter tested at the same time. The question is, do I say that a 30-year-old camera is bound to need servicing, and have this done, or do I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it?

    Regards,

    David

  5. #25
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington View Post
    Interestingly, though, I have noticed with the R3 (which I have now received) that the mirror slap is more subdued than any other 35 SLR I have ever used.
    The mirror on the R3 is driven by a cam, and decelerates at the top of the cycle so that it doesn't strike the top of the mirror chamber with much momentum at all. The body is also massive enough that it dampens the mirror strike and doesn't feel like it shakes the body much. I've made 1/8 second handheld shots with the R3 and a 24mm lens in which you can count threads in t-shirts and even have a respectable handheld 1/4 second shot or two. The R3 also has very little shutter lag for an SLR.

    I don't know who would service your camera, and have heard the occasional unflattering remark about official Leica servicing in the UK over the years, but I have no personal experience in that regard. There must be someone here with recommendations along those lines, so I'll leave it to more experienced people to comment on getting shutter speeds tested/adjusted.

    Lee

  6. #26
    hka
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington View Post
    Another question to Leica R users - my R3 seems to have led an easy life - it looks almost new and operates very smoothly. There seems to be a consensus that it's a good idea to have the door seals changed, maybe I should have the shutter tested at the same time. The question is, do I say that a 30-year-old camera is bound to need servicing, and have this done, or do I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it?

    Regards,

    David
    My experience with the shutters of my R3's are that they work still fine and didn't need any adjustment. I asked the Leica service people to check that either when the seals have been replaced. So don't worry...
    harry

    Release, the best you can do...

  7. #27
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Thanks to all contributors to this thread - on the basis of the advice given, I sent off my R3 to have the door seals replaced, they looked OK but were probably past their best. I shot off a test film, will not have any other repair work done unless the test film indicates exposure-related or other problems. That is the thing about Leica - there do seem to be quite a few around which have been very lightly used.

    Another point - one contributor was advocating original Leica glass. Good advice but hard to follow - I notice many adapters available on e-bay to fit Leica R lenses to Canon and Olympus digital cameras, I also notice that there are very few Leica R lens of 24, 28 and 35 mm focal length on offer. Have they all been snapped up for digicams? Meantime I have my Tamrons!

    Regards to all,

    David

  8. #28

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    Heresy! Its a cardinal sin to put a Tamron lens on a Leica!

    ... I must admit to occationally putting a 24mm Tamron lens on my R7 as I can't justify the cost of a Leica 24mm at the moment.

    www.ffordes.com in the UK have plenty of s/h Leica glass.

    Whilst the price of second hand R cameras has fallen over the past few years, R lenses seem to be holding their prices. I blame the digital brigade and their lens converters.
    Voigtlander Bessa R2A, CV lenses: 25/4, 35/1.7, 50/2.5, 1936 Leica 9cm f4 Elmar
    Leica R7, 50/2 Summicron, 90/2.8 Elmarit, 180/3.4 Apo-Telyt-R
    I'm not going digital... It's not photography, its computing!

    My Gallery

  9. #29
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petebown View Post
    Heresy! Its a cardinal sin to put a Tamron lens on a Leica!

    ... I must admit to occationally putting a 24mm Tamron lens on my R7 as I can't justify the cost of a Leica 24mm at the moment.

    www.ffordes.com in the UK have plenty of s/h Leica glass.

    Whilst the price of second hand R cameras has fallen over the past few years, R lenses seem to be holding their prices. I blame the digital brigade and their lens converters.
    Hi Pete,

    Speaking from experience, my 24mm Elmarit is a great performer, one of my favorite and one of the most used lenses in my Leica R system.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  10. #30
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petebown View Post
    Heresy! Its a cardinal sin to put a Tamron lens on a Leica!

    ... I must admit to occationally putting a 24mm Tamron lens on my R7 as I can't justify the cost of a Leica 24mm at the moment.

    www.ffordes.com in the UK have plenty of s/h Leica glass.

    Whilst the price of second hand R cameras has fallen over the past few years, R lenses seem to be holding their prices. I blame the digital brigade and their lens converters.
    Ffordes do indeed have plenty of lenses, but a 35 Summicron R from them seems to be £450 in Exc++ condition. I got an example via e-bay from a shop in Berlin in allegedly Mint- condition for £260 - this is on its way right now, if the seller proves trustworthy I might lash out on a 135 Elmarit.

    I have been reading up in the Leica R Compendium and getting some interesting insights into the question of Leica DNA. For example, it turns out that an R3 is a lightly re-engineered Minolta, which is fine by me but explains its lowly status among equipment snobs and hard-core Leica collectors, also some R lenses were produced to Leica specifications by Minolta and Sigma - again, I have no problem with this, I judge by results. One of my all-time favorite extreme lenses is a 400 f5.6 Sigma APO in a Pentax mount, it really is sharp, and it makes me wonder whether some of the same glass went out the door in a Leica Telyt mount!

    Tamron of course have made lenses in numerous price classes, I have just bought a 35 - 70 zoom for £10, I think I will be taking the Adaptall mount off this and using the lens as a paperweight, on the other hand anything from the Tamron SP series is more than respectable. I very rarely use a zoom, but when I need one, my Tamron 70 - 210 f3.5 SP (manual focus) is a great performer, and because I need it so rarely, it is a big plus being able to switch it between 3 systems.

    Regards,

    David

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