Leica R-8 35mm SLRs

Leica R-8 35mm SLRs 

DESCRIPTION

- 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

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 35  
[Oct 06, 2012]
Fabio Fantazzini
Expert

Strength:

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.

Weakness:

no one ultil now

A perfect camera for those who knows how to make B&W photos

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 11, 2012]
Gidion
Casual

Strength:

Handling, Viewfinder, lenses

Weakness:

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)

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used:

Contax Aria

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 23, 2006]
Keith Mullins
Intermediate

Strength:

perfect ergonomics,
solid,
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!!

Weakness:

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.



Customer Service

Not necessary yet, but the 5 year warranty sounds great

Similar Products Used:

Canon AE1P, Minolta Dynax, Nikons Nikons Nikons, Contax G1, various Olympuses including the amazing XA2.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 19, 2002]
mondofrowno
Intermediate

Strength:

+ 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

Weakness:

- 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.

Customer Service

not needed yet

Similar Products Used:

Canon F1n; Pentax sf

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 15, 2002]
Janusz_44
Intermediate

Strength:

Bright, high-eyepoint viewfinder with built-in dioptric adjustment; viewfinder display with easy to read and only necessary information; ergonomics; sturdy construction; flash-metering.

Weakness:

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.

Customer Service

Not used yet.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 13, 2002]
Marcus Krause
Professional

Strength:

View finder, lens quality, ergonomics

Weakness:

poor mode selection wheel design, reliability problems ,overpriced lenses

I was attracted to the R-8 by the finest viewing system that I had ever seen. I purchased two of these cameras at the same time. They feel great with the motor winder or drive. I experienced major reliability problems with both bodies as did a fellow shooter I compared notes with. I had electronic problems with both which were solved by Leica. I also had the worst camera nightmare of my entire professional career. One of my bodies developed a weird focus error. It was not the mirror out of alignment which can be detected by looking through the viewfinder. When the lens looked perfectly focused it was actually focused behind the subject. That was the final straw for me. I dumped the system and went back to the Contax RTSIII. It was like returning to the girl that you never should have left. Aside from these reliability problems I did find one glaring design flaw. The mode selection wheel has no lock as is much to easily turned. I kept finding myself in manual mode when I thought I was in aperture prioriy.

Customer Service

very slow to respond to a paniced professional.

Similar Products Used:

Contax RTSIII

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
[Oct 01, 2002]
young_bobo
Casual

Strength:

Well built, mirror vibration will dampped. great lenses to get, well, they are expansive

Weakness:

shutter speed knob easily moved 1/250 ttl setting, stated above

Nice camera. Very well built, but no info on reliability. mirror movement is well dampped, smooth, the best feature to me. Great optics. battery need. a couple things I don't have good experiences with them. 1. the ttl flash. it goes to 1/250 when it meters in dark. I don't know what is the logic behind this, but 1/250 is very likely to put the object in the black hole, manually adjustment need. 2. batteries need for shutter. 3. for some reasons, the shutter speed knob are easily moved, too smooth I guess. I had tried a R8 with the motor drive in a shop last year, and they do match nicely.

Customer Service

don't know. I bought it grey market

Similar Products Used:

Contax SLR, Nikon SLR

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 07, 2002]
jaguardave
Expert

Strength:

Longer metered exposures than on the R6.2.

Weakness:

Hmmm...I'll get back to you...none so far.

The ultimate 35mm camera. OK, I know there is no auto focus, but unless you are shooting sports for a living, slow down and have some creative influence on the pictures you are making. This camera is a dream to use, so inuitive and comfortable to hand hold, though a tad heavy. Most of the time mine is on a tripod, coupled to one of the amazing Leica lenses. Really, if you can afford the system, there is nothing that compares in 35mm. I shoot mainly in B&W and typically make full frame imagea on 11x14 paper. I defy (and regularly do) even the most ardent MF shooter to distinguish their 11x14's from mine...buttery smooth grain and tonality...especially when using the 100mm 2.8 APO, the perfect lense. I've exposed maybe 250 trouble free rolls of film in the year or so the I've owned this camera...truly a joy to work with. The meter is totally accurate, the displays easy to read, the viewfinder bright.

Customer Service

Not used yet.

Similar Products Used:

Leica 6.2, Pentax LX

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 15, 2002]
nagelchr
Expert

Strength:

Tough, intuitive, reliable, best lens system in the world, very flexible and well balanced

Weakness:

No complaints ! You get what you pay for !

I''m also using a EOS-1 with EF 28-70/2.8 L and EF 80-200/2.8 L. And a R8 + R7 with 4/35-70, 2.8/70-180 APO, Apo-Macro-Elmarit 100 and 2.8/24. And the R8 and its lenses is way ahead of the Canon L Series. It''s well worth the price. The mechanics are also way ahead. Not only in sharpness or contrast. There is contrast and shadow detail, sharpness and smoothness at the same time and accurate bright colors ! It''s built for a lifetime ! The EF 2.8/70-200 is a good lens, but compared to the Vario-Apo-Elmarit 70-180 just a cheap plastic lens. Chips and plastic are less expensive than brass and premium UD and fluorite glass. Contax + Zeiss Lenses are very good, but the Zeiss 100 macro and the corresponding zoom for the Leica APO 70-180 are no match for the leica lenses. The greatest advantage of a quality SLR-System is its flexibility. And that is inceased by premium APO Zoom-lenses and specialty lenses like macro ones. And there, Leica is top notch ! The R8 itself is great. One wheel or knob for one funktion. Fast and intuitive. Not like the Canon EOS-Series with displays and multi-funktion-knobs. The R8 is tough, reliable, easy to use and well balanced for heavy high performance zooms and big hands. The learning curve is as short as possible !

Customer Service

Great. Equipment is checked for free. You only have to pay for repairs.

Similar Products Used:

R7, EOS-1

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 20, 2002]
Jason
Professional

Strength:

bright viewfinder

Weakness:

rediculously priced lenses.

Was given an R8 to take along on a photo shoot to the Everglades and the ten Thousand Islands for 3 weeks. Got some nice, usable shots. Camera was nice to use. Extremely bright viewfinder. HOWEVER, I''ll stick to my Contax RTS III''s for my general photography and the Canon 1V for telephoto and autofocus when needed. Leica lens prices are ABSURD!! Before rebates, if they are still giving them, (and they should be) here are some comparisons: Leica 50 1.4 - $1795. Contax, reviewed as the sharpest 50mm in Pop. Photg.-$385. Leica 80 1.4 - $2795. Contax, considered "legendary" by portrait photogs - $865. Leica 70-180 2.8 (are you sitting?) $5095. Yes, that''s correct, a zoom lens in this range for more that 5 grand!! Canon 70-200 2.8 ''L'', AS SHARP AS THEY COME, $1200. Quite a price to pay to have that "Leica" hanging around your neck. Those kind of prices really tick me off. How can anyone support a company that wants to fleece their customers like this. Sure, there are those who have an almost ''cult'' type following for the ''M'' series, but even these prices are absurd. And we are talking 35mm!! I guess there ''s a lot of money out there!

Similar Products Used:

Contax RTS Canon 1V Contax G2

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 35  

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