I think the shutter is/was made by Copal and they pulled the plug on it for some reason. If you're really interested the reason will be buried somewhere in the CVUG mailing list archives over at Cameraquest. However, about the only thing I don't like about my R2 is the noisy shutter and the new one on the R2a is supposed to be much quieter.
Originally Posted by shadesofgrey
Let us know what your friend ends up with. What lenses is he interested in? I should have mentioned it earlier, so I may be too late, but if he's interested in the 75mm upwards end then he may be better off with the R3a. Whereas if he's a "wide angle" person then he'll want the R, R2 or R2a.