being offered an R8: what to do? : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

Hi all,

My dad is being offered an R8 with a 35-70mm lens and a motor for $2,150.

Actually, I don't know if it will come with a motor drive or if the guy is telling my dad it has a built in motor drive. I hearing this second hand.

Anyway, is that a good price for a body supposedly less than a year old? I don't know of the condition but if anyone could shed some light on a price range I'd appreciate it.

Also, my dad currently shoots with an F100 and a Leica IIIf, as well as a Russian medium format camera. Is the R8 a frivolous buy at this point or can it do something better than his current kit can do?


-- victor (, February 07, 2002


I'd jump at the offer if the gear is in good or better condition. You might want to take it to a used Leica dealer for inspection. The inspection might costs $50 to $100, but a comparable used kit retails for $3k so you're still ahead of the game.

-- Eve Hessler (, February 07, 2002.

I can't speak to the price issue (it's easy enough to do some comparison shopping at the used vendors on the Net and at eBay), but I'd be of the opinion that the question is more basic. Any camera with interchangeable lenses represents a commitment to the product line. If your dad is interested in switching from Nikon SLR to Leica R, and the price turns out to be right, then it's a good buy.

While not top-of-the-line, the F100 is an excellent SLR, and Nikon has a much wider array of lenses and accessories available than the Leica R does. The R lenses are certainly better than consumer-grade Nikon lenses, but pro-level Nikon glass, particularly the high-end AFS zooms, compete nicely with the best of lenses.

Thus, he may be better served by looking at the complement of lenses he has for the F100, and whether he needs to augment that array of lenses, or whether to make the switch to the R system. I doubt that he would want to carry and shoot both the F100 and the R8. He can look at two women, but he can only marry one, so to speak. ;-)

-- Ralph Barker (, February 07, 2002.

He can look at two women, but he can only marry one, so to speak. ;-)

Not unless he's a Morman....

-- Popeye Cahn (, February 07, 2002.


The R8 definitely does NOT have a built-in motor drive. Ask for clarification on the "motor" issue. Is there an external motor drive/winder or not? There are two external motors available, the motor drive is larger, more powerful, and more expensve than the motor winder. Check the Leica internet site for more information on the winder vs drive.

The R8 is a terrific manual focus camera with multiple metering modes and auto-exposure modes with fantastic lenses but is a little hefty. It suits my style perfectly but the most important question is whether it is to your Dad's liking? Will the seller cooperate with your Dad to make the Leica warranty available in case of hidden or latent mechanical problems with the camera? Good luck. LB

-- Luther Berry (, February 07, 2002.

Isn't that 35-70 a f/2.8 lens? Isn't it also rare? Don't know if Leica users are willing to pay primo on that lens, you should find out if it has a market (if you're interested in just turning around and selling it).

-- James (, February 07, 2002.

It is impossible to give you an accurate price assessment because I don't have sufficient information about the lens and motor. There are 4 different 35-70 lenses it could be any one of, and there is a Motor Winder or Motor Drive. The exact configuration will make a great deal of difference. More importantly, since there is no compatibility between R and Nikon other than the off-camera flash cord, the qustion is why your father wants the R8 at all unless he intends to sell off the Nikon equipment.

-- Jay (, February 07, 2002.

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