R6.2 demise

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So much was written here and elsewhere about the reasons for the demise of the R6.2, I wanted to set the record straight in cyberspace. As per the latest Leica Photograhie(?), the reason given by Leica is that Seiko (yes, the watch company) makes the shutters and they told Leica to place their last order sometime ago as no more would be made. Leica has enough shutters on hand to repair exiting cameras for ten to twenty years, but not enough to continue production of new cameras.

Hopefully, Leica will either make or be able to procure elsewhere mechanical shutters so this camera in some similar version can be produced for the "purists"

Best wishes to all.

-- Bob Haight (rhaigh5748@aol.com), April 01, 2002


seikosha shutters have been a part of cameras for longer than copal has been around. i have several pre-war seikosha-mounted lenses. the connection, of course, is that shutters are, in essence, timing devices. indeed, the system of escapements in a leaf shutter is roughly identical to those used in mechanical watches.

-- roger michel (michel@tcn.org), April 01, 2002.

Demise of the R6.2,

Leica,ever seeking never finding.Lost their way.Look to Omega,look to Rolex.Play with latest tech....look after your base market,they have kept you going for 50 years,and will carry on.Loose your rep,become same as rest(LIKE ROLLS ROYCE,every bodies product apart from your own)Goodbye ,and good night Vienna.

-- Allen Herbert (allen1@btinternet.com), April 01, 2002.

Excuse me if I'm skeptical of taking Leica's "official" explanation as gospel. Thousands of components for products made by thousands of companies are outsourced these days, and it isn't rare when a source dries up. If the product itself is profitable, the company finds another jobber to provide the component. In fact if Leica's statement is true, then Seiko would probably have sold them the tooling for a song. I believe Leica marketing would simply like to shunt consumer anger over the R6.2's discontinuation onto a 3rd party.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), April 01, 2002.

Jay may be right (or not). In the end Leica have decided it is not worth trying to get another supplier for the shutter, or indeed it might be that any supplier cannot be bothered to do it - or to put it another way: the price is not right. I suspect this is often the way with many cameras at the end of their life - if it is not the shutter then it is the circuits or something else. After all suppliers have to make a profit too and will not keep producing things if it is not worth their while to do so.

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), April 01, 2002.

This may in fact be truth. For the past couple of years I have been selling the 105UV Nikkor lens to a firm in Iowa that used them in a scientific insturment. Over the past two years they bought 30 of them at a price of $5200.00 US each. This year we were informed by Nikon that they were out of them. Even though the customer would commit to 50 more lenses (prepaid) over the next two years ($260000.00 US), Nikon says it just isn't worth making anymore. Tried other lens manufacturers, all with the same answer - one quarter million just isn't worth the trouble.

-- Bob Todrick (bobtodrick@yahoo.cm), April 01, 2002.

Not trying to start a fight here & instead just want to clear something up...

Two of my Leica reference books state the shutter for the R6.2 was made by Leica from a Leica design. I didn't realise Seiko had anything to do with it...

-- Andrew Nemeth (azn@nemeng.com), April 01, 2002.

Andrew, I was surprised to read it too but I tend to believe this source.

-- Bob Haight (rhaigh5748@aol.com), April 01, 2002.

The R6.2 shutter is identical to the one in the R7. The only difference is the timing control mechanism which is mechanical rather than electronic.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), April 01, 2002.

is copal now owned by seikosha?? i forget. i thought the 6.2 had a copal shutter?? anyway, seiko has been making shutters for a long time.

-- roger michel (michel@tcn.org), April 01, 2002.

FWIW, Seiko is a "brand name".Saying that the holding company, "K.Hattorri,Manufacturers Representative" use many sources for their products.Truly the machinery could be made available or Leica could rather go to Citizen,who today, are the world's largest watch company. My knowledge of "Copal" type shutters limited,but think with careful use,maintenance could last almost indefinitely...Electronic shutters and circuits have definite and finite lives!

-- jason gold (leeu72@hotmail.com), April 01, 2002.

i am sorry -- i should have been clearer. yes copal made mechanical leaf shutters (and still do). however, they are also one of the largest oem supplier of electronic focal plane shutters in the world. there are copal shutters in many cameras, including the g series contax and the new voigts, to name two cameras discussed here.

-- roger michel (michel@tcn.org), April 01, 2002.

For the prices they charge for their cameras, Leica probably can buy Nikon FM3A bodies and cannibalize the shutters for their R6.2s if they really want to keep that camera alive. This would probably help their reliability too. Just being cheeeky.

-- sait (akkirman@clear.net), April 02, 2002.

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