R6.2 vs. R8

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I am an M user but I am interested in the R series. Perhaps foolishly, I asked to look at an R8 when I recently purchased a flash for my M6. Given it's size, I was surprised at how comfortable the R8 was.

I'm curious about one thing in particular: why do the R8 and R6.2 cost the same? The R8 would seem to be more advanced; is the R6.2 constructed more solidly?

I don't think the R series will make me abandon my Nikon AF gear (see why I like fast AF at http://www.dingoboy.com) but it's certainly interesting.

Regards, Fergus

-- Fergus Hammond (fhammond@adobe.com), November 09, 2000


Fergus, I also shoot mainly with Nikon AF and leica M, but had a chance to put together a small Leica R7 outfit a while back, which is similar to the two models you mentioned above. I can understand your attraction to the cameras. My R7 is built like a tank, has a great metering system and nice touches like mirror lock up, spot metering and a much easier to use AE lock than my Nikon. The lenses are also super solid and yes they are a bit sharper than most of my Nikkors, especially wide open. The camera is also slower to shoot with, and harder to manual focus than my Nikon N90S, which has a much more obvious "in focus/out of focus" image in the finder when trying to capture the correct focus point. I also still haven't gotten used to the way the lenses focus to infinity the opposite of the Nikkors, and I often turn the wrong way at first. I have come to the conclusion that I really do not need this Leica SLR, as it is a duplication of my Nikon stuff, where I also have a much more extensive lens assortment. That said, I enjoy using it whenever I pull it out, and I love looking at the images that hop off the page with that special look the Leica glass delivers. I can't get myself to sell it. I hope I haven't started to become a camera collector!

-- Andrew Schank (aschank@flash.net), November 10, 2000.

The R 6.2 is purely mechanical. It can work without batteries, except for the meter. It's just a guess, but the R 6.2 is probably costlier to build...

-- Xavier Colmant (xcolmant@powerir.com), November 10, 2000.

I think the answer is that they have always priced the R6 and the current auto-R the same price, so they are not go to reduce any prices just because they introduce a new model (well the R8 is not so new). The manufacturing cost is only some of the story. Essentially they probably cost about the same to produce, the R8 probably a bit more is my guess, but they need to make the same profit on any R camera they sell since they are essentially selling to the same market. As it happens for Leica it is just as well as the R6.2 is outselling the R8.

They are both really excellent cameras - ergonomic and practical if you like to be in control. The R8 is the best ergonomically of any camera that I have used, but it is a little large, so I stick with my R6.2 which is wonderful. If I had money to burn I might possibly invest in the R8 too.

-- Robin Smith (rsmith@springer-ny.com), November 10, 2000.

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