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Leica R-8 35mm SLRs
- Fast shutter, 32 seconds to 1/8000 second in half steps; flash synch time 1/250 for fast-moving subjects.
- Three exposure-metering modes: selective - setting can be stored, center-weighted-integral and multi-field for successful mastering of every light situation.
- Four operating modes: manual, aperture- and shutter-speed-priority and variable programmed automatic control
- Stable and solid metal construction
Submitted by Fabio Fantazzini a Expert
Date Reviewed: October 6, 2012
Strengths: The best SLR that I ever used. Mine is from 2001, bought this year (2012), super mint condittion.
Perfect body, heavy but feels just right. A must have film camera.
Weaknesses: no one ultil now
A perfect camera for those who knows how to make B&W photos
Price Paid: $300.00
Purchased At: Kind of E-Bay
Type of photography: Fine Art
Submitted by Gidion a Casual
Date Reviewed: August 11, 2012
Strengths: Handling, Viewfinder, lenses
Weaknesses: Heavy,,, Tht is all.
I am so glad that I picked up a R8 it just feels right. It is also heaps of fun to use. Only draw back is the on and off switch which is not a dedicated button.
Other than that I would highly recommend this camera, specially with todays prices. (bewteen 450 and 500 dollars)
Price Paid: $480.00
Purchased At: Ebay
Similar Products Used: Contax Aria
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by Keith Mullins a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2006
Strengths: perfect ergonomics,
simple to use,
well thought out feature set which is just right, and it uses those great lenses,
the nicest shutter thunk in cameradom,
never had a poor result even in the strangest light,
excellent EV lever design,
a film camera!!
Weaknesses: very few but:
the base which is made of reinforced fibreglass scratches too easily (why not a metal base),
the main switch wanders a bit (needs a lock button, a la the R9),
too costly (never mind, sell every thing that's not tied down and enjoy it)
I have had more cameras than I have had dinners. Few are truly satisfying. Few make photography an enjoyable experience. Enter the Leica R8. This camera isn't for the weak-handed. It is heavy, particulalry with the standard Leica lens possibilities. This, however, is only a feature, not a weakness. With this camera you can forget about fiddlilng with mysterious and confusing and over-complicated dials and the inevitable autofocus flip-flop. It is simply beautiful. Aim, think, compose, focus, shoot, wind on to next frame, aim, think, compose, focus, etc. Everything is reachable on the body without having to take your eyes off the subject. And the EV correction lever is a joy to use. This feature has really been thought out properly. Because this camera is expensive and the lenses moreso, I run my R8 with a 50/2 Summicron only. The result is that I am learning to appreciate the one lens one camera ideal. I find I am now shooting in a Ze-like state, looking at autumn leaves, simple oceans, people alone on the street. Next year when I sell the remainder of my worldly possessons (I sold a car and a couple of rooms of inherited collectibles to buy the R8 and 50/2), maybe I'll break out and buy a 21-35 ASPH. But then again, I might just have to get an R9 to go with it!! Another thing, I have no desire to go digital anymore.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $2600.00
Purchased At: Melbourne, Australia
Similar Products Used: Canon AE1P, Minolta Dynax, Nikons Nikons Nikons, Contax G1, various Olympuses including the amazing XA2.
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by mondofrowno a Intermediate from Frankfurt/M., Germany
Date Reviewed: November 19, 2002
Strengths: + Leica-R-lenses (main reason to buy this body)
+ no gimmicks, but all you need for creative photography, yet fast enough for a snapshot
+ ergonomic form, all functions within reach
+ apparently well manufactured
+ bright viewfinder
Weaknesses: - too big, too heavy, looks (personal taste, but as I am travelling in very poor regions of the world, an "older" looking camera would be better)
- lcd display: number of pictures taken only visible after turning camera on
- room for improvement in minor aspects (see above)
While I liked the classic look of the old R's better (was afraid, it might "attract" the wrong sort of people while travelling in Asia - but nobody cared so far), I nonetheless opted for the R8 because of better handling (I had been using a Canon F1n for 9 years now, but got used to handling the R8 within hours!) and the amazingly bright viewfinder. Though a bit heavy, all functions are within reach. Some of the softer plastic on the bottom is wearing off - you can see this only if you look closely. Also, sometimes, though very rarely, the display on the backside (would prefer the R8 w/o it for the looks) does not turn on, even though the camera is switched on - but the rest is working ok, so not a big problem. Some of the things I would to see improved, has been done in R9; number of pictures even when camera is off, ASA-number in dx-mode (okay, could just have a look a the film through the window) and preventing the selector-switch from turning on unvoluntarily. What else is "not perfect": the DOF-testing-lever is sometimes a bit difficult to reach (especially, if you have already pressed the release button half-way to save the metering), the exposure-metering-mode-selector is easy to switch from right to left, more difficult sometimes from left to right (selective to multi-field). But okay, these are only minor problems. Cannot say much about motor/winder and flash, as I do not need them. All in all, I am very content. On a 1-10 scale, it would be a 9: All that you REALLY need within reach w/o all that gimmicks that are only confusing.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $1300.00
Purchased At: Germany
Similar Products Used: Canon F1n; Pentax sf
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Janusz_44 a Intermediate from Wroclaw, Poland
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2002
Strengths: Bright, high-eyepoint viewfinder with built-in dioptric adjustment; viewfinder display with easy to read and only necessary information; ergonomics; sturdy construction; flash-metering.
Weaknesses: Not 100% viewfinder.
Certainly it is not a camera for everyone. It is made like a HP RPN calculator. At first, you have the impression, that it lacks many useful functions, which you can find even in very cheep models of other brands. But when using it, you discover, that it has just what is really necessary and useful for creative photography. It is very intuitive and easy to operate. Its ergonomics is surprising. Heavy and bulky at glance, seems losing half of its weight and volume in hand. For me it is the best manual SLR camera till now! I hope Leica will be continuing this exclusive line.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Similar Products Used: Many, but none similar. It reminds me my first impression with Pentax MX, many years ago, which I use till now without any problems.
Type of photography: People
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