Any Leica R-5 users out there? : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread


In the next six months I will be buying a SLR camera to be used primarily with 3 lenses -- 28mm, 50mm and a 180mm. For about the same price as a pair of all auto Nikons or Canons with appropriate lenses I can buy (judging by used) a Leica R-5, the 3 lenses I want and maybe a winder and R3 backup camera body. I can't afford the R8.

My reasons for wanting to go with Leica are the lenses. I did darkroom work in the past for a photographer who used an R-4 with a 180mm and nothing I have used in Nikon can touch it.

I liked the ergonomics and handling of the R-4 and assume the R-5 is similar. Any major changes I should know about? Also - I understand the R-5 uses TTL flash with a SCA unit but don't know what a SCA unit is -- are SCA units still availible?

Finally, if I do go with Leica R5, are there good places for service and support?

-- g. debord (, August 09, 2000


Leica still services those cameras. I thought about the R5, but the R7 has come down in price recently, and isn't much more money than the 5 now. With the 7, you get modern electronics, 1/2 stop increments in shutter speed in manual mode, mirror lock up,and built in adjustable diopter in the eyepiece, and a beefed up winding mechanism. I picked up a 35, 50, and 90 at great prices on the used market, and a Metz flash with the TTL adapter for Leica. I'd also like to get a 180mm at some point. Try to find a store where you can get your hands on a R5 and R7, or maybe a used camera show may be happening near where you live, to see which one feels the best to you.

-- Andrew Schank (, August 09, 2000.

I forgot to mention one of the main reasons I went for the 7 over the 5, is the noticeably better dampened mirror/shutter that allows me to hand hold about 1 speed lower than I could on the R5/R4 cameras.

-- Andrew Schank (, August 09, 2000.

I would suggest U go to Leica R5,it is suit what U want,and do not worry about the SCA(Special Computer Adaptor) from Metz.SCA 351 is the one that suit R5 for TTL flash.

I just got my R5 (second hand) 10 days ago. I can't afford R7 which is better, :)

good shooting

-- ong PJ (, August 13, 2000.

The R5 is an excellent camera, the R7 is a bit bigger (which at the time I did not want, which is why I bought the R6). I think the R7 has a more sensitive meter - on a par with the R6 which is quite impressive itself. I have not noticed much difference in the damping of the mirror between the R5 and R7, but there might be some. There again I do not have any extensive use of either of these cameras. For electronic R-cameras I think the best of the lot is the R8. I wish I could justify getting one secondhand. Have you considered starting out with the SL which is cheap but wonderful?

The current 28mm Elmarit is superb, the older one is also very good but has a weird 48mm filter size (try getting filter for it!), a 50mm Summicron R is excellent and I recommend the 180 Apo Telyt - fantastic ($700-900 secondhand). The only thing better than this is the new Apo Elmarit 180mm (at $2000+). The 180 f4 Elmar is also very good and nice and small, although the Apo is a little better - but the Elmar is still really good. A good buy <$650).

Come to think of it the current ROM 28mm does not seem to fit the SL.

-- Robin Smith (, August 22, 2000.

To Robin Smith (or others with thoughts on the subject):

How would the 180 Elmar compare with the 180 f 2.8 manual focus Nikkor, for sharpness & contrast?

-- Bob Fleischman (, November 04, 2000.

Since you said you planned to buy in the next six months, perhaps I am not already too late in adding this afterthought. I am a little annoyed by the method of indicating shutter speeds on the R4. Each shutter speed is displayed as a red dot, or red square, illuminated by separate LED's in a vertical column at the right edge of the finder. A number to the right of the LED calls out the shutter speed. This is fine outdoors in the daylight, but in dimmer light I can't read the shutter speed because these numbers are illuminated only by the light from the scene being viewed. The R5,on the other hand, uses the LED's to actually light up the speed numbers themselves-- not just a dot beside the number. This seems so superior to me that I wonder how they missed doing it that way to begin with. A minor complaint, no doubt, but I feel it would make enough difference to make the R5 a more useful camera.


-- Bob Fleischman (, December 13, 2000.

If you are going to get an R5 get one of the later ones with the hand grip it makes holding a great deal easier. Chris Trewhella

-- Chris Trewhella (, April 22, 2001.

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