Need help..Is this a good buy? : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

I just resently got into photography and bought myself a R6 with the 35-70m f4 zoom..Now I just been offered an old R4 body with all leica lenses (but from what I read the leica brand - due to different manufactors - doesn't necessarly mean the lenses are excellent: right or wrong?)..the lenses are 24mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 135mm f.2.8, 35-70 f.3.5 and a 80-200 f4.5..everything is old - I don't know how old..but in good shape almost unused..the hole packaged cost around 2000us dollars...Is this a good deal? (I know taxes and so forth are different from contry till contry: I come from Denmark)..but still - what would u say? Should I by one or two new prime lenses instead? (which would be around the same or more depending on what lenses I choose)... I have to decide quickly..

thanx cb

-- Chris (, November 13, 2001



The prime lenses should all have been made by Leica if so marked. The zooms could be Japanese--certainly not a bad thing, as Leica wouldn't put their name on them otherwise. Others here will tell you more specifically about the zoom lenses.

I have the 135mm f/2/8 Elmarit, and can vouch for its quality. The CURRENT 50mm f/1.4 Summilux is supposed to be truly outstanding; but since you said these were old lenses, the one being offered probably isn't current. I don't own a 24mm f/2.8, but the descriptions I have read indicate that it's just O.K.; probably as good as the Nikon equivalent, but not better. Still, that's pretty good.

The price strikes me as acceptable, in terms of what this much equipment would cost in the US. Leica R lenses have been high here. It's probably an okay deal, but wait to hear what a couple of others say about the specific lenses.

-- Bob Fleischman (, November 13, 2001.

Seems like a decent price if the stuff is near mint condition.

-- Andrew Schank (, November 13, 2001.

Hi Chris,
As a reference, try to check prices at, still don't have their online shop up and running, but you may call them. Subtract the amount you think it is worth to have a dealers warranty, and return/exchange option. If the 2000$ is still below, you have yourself a good deal.
I am not really into R, but I remember that the R4 body sells around 3500 DKK in Photografica if that helps (they have a lot of them).
16-17000 Dkk for a Leica body, 3 primes and 2 zooms doesn't sound bad to me (considering the listprice alone for a new R 24/2.8 is 18.500 DKK see: ) - and you should not have too much trouble selling those items you don't like/need in Den Blaa Avis. Or do as I did w. my M3; sell it here.

-- Niels H. S. Nielsen (, November 13, 2001.

Chris, since you have the superb 35-70/4 already, buy the outfit and sell the 35-70/3.5, 80-200/4.5 and 135/2.8. Take the proceeds and buy a current 80-200/4. You will then have a very complete 3-lens outfit comprised of current glass, from 24-200, plus one "fast normal" for low-light, and a backup R4 body.

-- Jay (, November 14, 2001.

The 24mm f2.8 is still a good lens according to Erwin Puts in his book, despite having been a Minolta derived product (or maybe because it is a Minolta derived product....). The 50mm is the older Summilux, now replaced by a superb new version - this old lens performs very similarly to the current 50mm Summilux for the M camera, so I think it is worth keeping. The 135mm is the same, pretty well, as the M 135 Elmarit. All of these are worth keeping, with the 135mm being perhaps the more marginal since it is a little soft at the edges at wide apertures. Makes a lovely portrait lens though and you get little for it if you sell it. I would keep it. I would sell the two Minolta designed zooms as their replacements are better (you have one of them) and buy something else. I would buy a 90mm of some description. You could pick up a nice 90mm Summicron or a 90mm Elmarit. Or if you like a zoom, I suggest the 80-200f4 current version (a more expensive option).

-- Robin Smith (, November 14, 2001.


My estimate would be that you'd pay US$1,000 to US$1,500 more from a dealer for these items in excellent condition, so I think $2,000 seems a very fair price. As others have said, you can always sell any lenses you don't need. All three of the primes (24, 50, 135) should be OK but I don't know about the zooms.

-- Ray Moth (, November 14, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ