Leica SLR questions for a newbie

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I am about to receive my first Leica, its an R8 and I need assistance buying lenses. There seems to be 2 cam, 3 cam and ROM lenses, do I need a specific type of lens to take advantage of all the features of the R8? Any assistance to better understand this system is appreciated. Thanks Eric J.

-- Eric Johnson (ejohnson6@austin.rr.com), June 19, 2001


Eric: I don't have an R8, however: The ROM lenses are made to work with the R8 cameras. You can use a 3 cam for most of your metering functions. If you use a 2 cam, you must use stop down metering. A 1 cam is probably not a good option. Try looking at www.members.aol.com/eyeuk/leicaR.html for more information. Good luck.

Mark J.

-- Mark A. Johnson (logic@gci.net), June 19, 2001.

1-cam and 2-cam lenses can't be used on the R8 or any R body as they lack the metering cam. I don't believe that 2-cam lenses can be used stop-down, as the R meter requires a "null cam" to null the meter for this function. The 14167 adaptor which allows the Visoflex lenses to be used on R bodies has such a null cam.

Any 3-cam, 3rd-cam-only or ROM (which also has the 3rd cam)can be used on the R8 and any previous R body. (3-cam lenses can also be used on Leicaflexes, with a few restrictions.) The two functions of the ROM strip which I've seen mentioned anywhere are 1)tells an auto- zoom-head flash what focal length to zoom to, and 2)in T and P (shutter-priority and Program) modes, allows the lens to stop down more precisely. Of the 2, only the flash-zoom feature has been substantiated to me by Leica. Unless you're doing a lot of flash work with a Metz motorized zoom flash, you can save quite a bit by buying older (but still current designs) 3-cam lenses, and it seems that 3rd-cam-only lenses tend to be less than 3-cams.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), June 19, 2001.

Other advantage : if you use ROM lenses with the Apo-Extender 2X ROM (or the Macro-Adapter-R ROM), you will see the correct aperture info in the viewfinder, and with an auto-zoom-head flash it will put the head on the real focal length.

Let say you are using the APO-Extender 2X ROM wtogether with a ROM 80-200/4 at the 80mm setting and aperture f4, in the viewfinder, you will see f8 and your Metz 54MZ3 will zoom to the 105mm position (its maximum).

-- Lucien (lucien_vd@yahoo.fr), June 20, 2001.

I agree with the above. You can pretty safely use 3-cammed lenses. If you want to convert them at a later stage to ROM, Leica can do this for you for a suitable fee.

1 cam - Leicaflex 2 cam - Leicaflex, Leicaflex SL and SL2 3 cam - Leicaflex, Leicaflex SL and SL2, R3-R8 ROM (Actually 3rd cam + ROM)- R8 (will also work on R3-R7)

Later lenses carry only 1 cam too, the 3rd cam, (as an economy measure) so they can only be used on R cameras - to use with metering on the Leicaflexes, Leica can add the missing cams should this be wanted.

Unfortunately to convert a ROM lens to work with 2 cammed cameras is not possible if you want to keep the ROM. Many ROM lenses for this reason do not fit older SLs and SL2s. To get them to fit you need to remove the ROM and install the 2nd cam.

Too much info for you I suspect....

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), June 20, 2001.

I just realized that I didn't thank everyone for their responses. Thanks for the very useful information. I'm currently using a 35-70 3.5 that was bought with the camera while I save/shop for some good fixed focal lenses. Thanks again for all the feedback.

Eric J.

-- Eric Johnson (ejohnson6@austin.rr.com), July 10, 2001.

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