Leica R Lens Size

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For those with more Leica knowledge, why are the Leica R lenses generally larger and heavier than the equivalent M lenses since they both have to cover the same image size? Is it because the R lens must sit farther from the film plane due to mirror clearance? This is not a criticism of the R system but just curiosity. I very much like my Leica R8 and lenses. The fine precision, silky smooth movements, and fantastic images make the equipment a joy to use. Thanks for your input. LB

-- Luther Berry (lberrytx@aol.com), September 20, 2001


R lenses need the automatic diaphragm mechanism for wide-open metering and then stop down as the shutter fires. This contributes to the increased diameter of R lenses. Length-wise they are not that much different, particularly the 90 and 135, and even the 50 isn't that much longer. The shorter you go the more the R lenses get longer than their M counterparts due to the need for retrofocus designs to clear the mirror.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), September 20, 2001.

R lenses also do not have their size constricted by the problem of viewfinder obstruction.


-- John Collier (jbcollier@powersurfr.com), September 20, 2001.

Right! I remember my 1st-version 19mm Elmarit with hood attached. It obscured almost the entire front of my R6.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), September 20, 2001.

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