Leica R6.2 noiselevel & vibrations

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I'm looking for a fairly lightweight 35 mm camera (I already have a 6x6) with matching good optics. I will use it mainly as my travelling camera, without backup (not for a living). Lens range will be 24-100, two to three lenses. I have handled a Leicaflex, which is a beatiful camera, very high quality feel, great viewfinder, but heavy, heavy (could as well carry my 6x6). The R6.2 weights 625 gram only. Now, how are the mirror and shutter vibrations on this camera for handheld use? And what about the noise, which will to some extent affect sharpness as well, since a sharp, loud uncomfortable sound can make a person (me) shake the camera unvoluntarily.

Are there any other things about this camera that would make it good/bad as a travel camera?

-- Peter Olsson (peter.olsson@lulebo.se), September 22, 2000


I have one and find it superb. I upgraded it from the original R6 which is also very good. The camera is pretty quiet and the shutter release/meter activation arrangement is very convenient (M6 users will know what I mean). I take a lot of shots on the Leica table tripod and find there is no problem with mirror vibrations from 21mm - 90mm, although at 180mm the table tripod is barely man enough for the job (but it helps). Of course you can lock the mirror up anyway. The viewfinder is really bright - I know of no camera with a brighter viewfinder (R8 perhaps?) although the SL and SL2 were superb in this regard too. You can use the whole screen to focus most of time. I use the central microprism spot screen (as in SL) which I find much superior to the standard split image/microprism.

The camera is nice and small and light and I have had only one problem when a cleaning brush hair got into the mirror mechanism and jammed it. Otherwise it is very reliable and is good in the hand. It is pretty small and in fact I might argue that the R8 is actually better to hold - but equally it is much larger and weighs much more. The metering system is simple and VERY sensitive which is very nice. The aperture/viewfinder illuminator I never use.

I cannot praise the Leica R lenses too highly by the way although I have no experience of the zooms. The bad news about the R-system is that many of the lenses are hyper expensive (often more than the M equivalents). The good news is that secondhand they can be much cheaper than the M equivalents. I have a black one, but aesthetically would prefer a chrome one next time.

It is not as quiet as an M - but I have no problem with the noise and, I know it is heresy for most Leica users, I think that reflex viewing cannot be beat! I prefer the larger size and therefore ease of handling of the R lenses compared to the often tiny and fiddly M- lenses.

If you like an all manual camera I recommend it as the best there is available (although I have not tried the Contax S2 - is this still around anyway?).

-- Robin Smith (rsmith@springer-ny.com), September 22, 2000.

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