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.
Take care,
Tom