R lenses?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

I'm considering buying an R6.2. My M6 just feels good to use; something I don't notice with Nikon F100 I have. Ok, enough needless justification - we're all Leica users here!

Comments on R lenses? I was thinking of a 35mm Summicron. I have a 35mm Summilux for the M6, so the slower lens for the R would be fine. Is the R Summicron similiar in performance to the M version (i.e. excellent)?


-- Fergus Hammond (fhammond@adobe.com), June 07, 2001



I have a bunch of Leica M and R cameras that I use with a variety of lenses in the 28mm-135mm range. The R lenses are just as good as the M lenses. You can find good reviews of many of these lenses in Erwin Put's website (http://www.imx.nl/photosite/leica/leicahome.html).

If you are a fan of mechanical all manual cameras, then get the R6.2. But for the same price, you can get the R8 with many auto exposure options plus a really good TTL flash capability. And of course, you can use it in full manual mode!

I like using the Leicaflex SL. It is built like a tank and is fully mechanical and manual. I have two SLs, one SL2 MOT, and a R8. The tactile experience is very different for each camera. If possible try them out before buying one. You can't go wrong with any one of them. .........................................................

-- Muhammad Chishty (applemac97@aol.com), June 07, 2001.

The short answer is "Yes". What is especially remarkable about the 35mm Summicron-R is its resistance to flare.

In general, R lenses are similar in performance to the current M lenses, meaning it would be very hard to find any better.

-- Doug Herr (telyt@earthlink.net), June 07, 2001.

I used to own the 35 f2.8, 50 f2.0 and 90 f2.8 R lenses (all late 55mm filter size versions), and they were built like tanks and as good optically as anything on the market. I have to be honest, however, that I wasn't as keen on the camera bodies, especially the shutter/mirror noise and the focusing screens. I couldn't fine focus the R4 or R7 that well and tried several different screens, and the vibration didn't allow low speed hand held shots worth a damn. So even though the lenses were the same, I still got noticeably sharper pictures with the M camera, and my R system hit E-bay. I wish Leica made their lenses in a Nikon mount, as I prefer the Nikon SLR's over the Leica ones.

-- Andrew Schank (aschank@flash.net), June 07, 2001.


Yep, I agree. I think that my F2 with a DE-1 is a better body than anything that Leica has made. While a common Leica user, I am not all that convinced of the great advantange of Leica lenses in every situation and with every film [let me say they are different, and clearly so, but not really superior in every application].

I hope that my experience doesn't offend anyone.


-- Art (AKarr90975@aol.com), June 07, 2001.

Lenses: If you are going to carry the M6+35/1.4 and don't need the speed in the R lens, then I'd strongly recommend the current 35- 70/4. Aside from the range of focal lengths, it is also optically superb, equalling or exceeding the 35 Summicron-R.

Bodies: The pre-R8 bodies (including the 6.2)were based on a Minolta chassis, which was a good camera but not built for the kind of durability as the Nikon F series. Exactly how much, if any, the R's were beefed-up is something I can't say. They are at least as well- built as the Nikkormats and FM/FE series. The R8 is a ground-up new design...how much of its innards harken back to the earlier R's or are shared with other brand cameras, again I can't say. It does seem quite well built, but that's based on subjective tactile and visual feelings, not a stripdown! As to the vibration issue in earlier R's, their mirror-damping system is one of the best (pneumatic vs a little piece of foam on F3-and-earlier Nikons)and the loud "ker-thunk" occurs *after* the exposure, when the mirror drops back down. The R6, R6.2, R7 and R8 all have mirror prereleases, which is why those are the only R bodies I own, and indeed I own only one SLR without such a feature--the Nikon F100, and think it was a foolish omission.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), June 07, 2001.

Andrew, when I read your post I realized I've felt this way for some time myself. I don't like the R bodies as much as my Nikons. I love my FE2's, and my 8008 has some good exposure metering features even though I don't like auto focus (much) or computerized auto exposure. But I can see the difference in my Leica lenses, for color and contrast, compared to Nikon. Not that Nikon lenses are bad. They are not. But I woud love to use my Leica R lenses on my Nikons!

-- Bob Fleischman (RFXMAIL@prodigy.net), June 07, 2001.


FWIW, I own one a 35 Summicron-R and it's very nice indeed - excuse the technical jargon ;-) If you want to see an enthusiastic write-up on the lens, there's one in photo.net at URL:


Regards, Ray

-- Ray Moth (ray_moth@yahoo.com), June 08, 2001.


The R6.2 is an excellent manual camera and I would prefer it to a manual Nikon not least because of its excellent spot metering capabilities and very sensitive meter. Also the screen is very bright and the camera is rugged in my experience. The trouble with manual cameras is that, by definition, there is not much to say about them. "Features" are so often what sells cameras. If you want one of the best (if not the best) manual cameras on the market there is no question that the R6.2 is it. Also if you want Leica optics then you just have to get it, no amount of grumbling about Nikons will help!

I do not have a Summicron 35mm, but by all accounts it is a first class lens, but probably not quite as good as the current 35mm Summicron-ASPH for the M as that is a later design.

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), June 08, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ