R8 Motor Winder experience?

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Dear All,

I am thinking of buying a motor winder (not motor drive) for my R8. From illustrations I've seen, the winder seems to blend very well with the R8 body and even makes it look more "complete" somehow. I know it can only go at 2 frames/sec and doesn't allow auto-bracketing but those things don't concern me. However, to get one I would have to order it from one if the dealers here in Indonesia; I can't go to a shop and try one out first (wish I could).

I have heard, BTW, that some early R8 bodies didn't work properly with the winder and that was one reason why owners were advised to try one out before buying. However, I'm hoping I won't have that problem because I think Leica ironed it out soem tiume ago and my R8 body is relatively recent (S/N 2725XXX).

I would be interested to hear opinions from people who have experience with the R8 winder: how well it works, how it affects the balance and handling, how much you like using it, and so on.

Regards and thanks in advance for your input,


-- Ray Moth (ray_moth@yahoo.com), May 04, 2001


I experianced the problem you mentioned about the early model R8 and winder. The camera and winder had been purchased used and the problem was with the camera. The dealer exchanged the body for a newer used version and the I have not experianced any problems since.

The winder does add weight especialy with the auxillary battery. However in my opinion it does improve the handling. Not that the R8 doesent handle well without it. I use mine for weddings so I don't need the speed of a motor drive, just the convience of not having to reframe after every shot. Also it does balance the R8 well when using long lenses. And it does blend in very well with the body. The only negative aspect for me is once on you cannot switch to manual advance, and if you take it off in mid roll the camera forgets what frame your on as well as any other settings since when on the winder supplies all power to the camera. Since the R8 is not exactly a stealth camera, I leave the winder on all the time.

Hope this helps Steve

-- Steve Belden (otterpond@tds.net), May 04, 2001.

The main problem I have with the R8 Winder is that it's easy to get multiple frames when all I want is one. There's no switch for single/continuous shooting. On the R7 winder there's no switch either, but you can only do continuous shooting with the button on the winder or grip, the camera shutter button only does single- frame. The other dumb bit of engineering is that the winder replaces the camera's batteries *and* battery compartment/grip so you wipe the cameras memory (frame counter)when you remove the winder, and you need 2 different sets of batteries and spares because the Winder takes different lithiums. And, you have to carry around the original grip/batteryholder and not lose it. All that trouble for 2fps? I'm really sorry I bought one.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), May 04, 2001.

With that serial number, your R8 should be okay.

The only problem of the Winder is that it don't improve so much the handling of the R8. Only the Motor-Drive with its second and third shutter releases and its handle strap will really improve it.

-- Lucien (lucien@ubi.edu), May 08, 2001.

Dear All,

Thanks for the responses. I won't be buying a winder, for the time being at least.

Regards, Ray

-- Ray Moth (ray_moth@yahoo.com), May 14, 2001.

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