The Leicaflex's are superb but primitive SLR's, comparable apart from metering to most mid-60's designs. Well built and good viewfinders.

The R3-R7 series were modified Minolta designs. Mid-range bodies without the capabilities or build of the best Japanese SLR's of the Era. Nice, but not a real match for an F3 or New F1 (however they could match the midrange bodies like the FE2 and FM2n for the most part).

The R8 and R9 are almost pro bodies. Better build, and finally with the features that might have made them a standout in 1985. But once again, they simply don't match up to the capabilities of the Nikon or Canon Pro bodies (even if you ignore AF). The studio flash metering is a nice touch though, but the metering systems are otherwise rather 1983.

Glass on the otherhand is where the Leica's really shone. R glass is every bit as good as M glass. This is what kept people shooting Leica R's when they could have had superior bodies for less money. However if you can live without Auto Aperture, you can use those lenses on a Canon EOS 1v or 3 body via adaptors and have a more capable body with the superb Leica glass.

As the German SLR's go, the Contax RTS models are the real gems, particularly the RTSIII. It's telling though that quite a number of people had mount conversions done to F2's to use them with R lenses rather than the Leica bodies (The F2 was probably the easiest camera to do these conversion s on as the metering linkage was in the removable prism and was retractable)