R6.2 reliability

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I have a R4 but have to send for servicing frequently, and I am kind of fret up with this camera. The servcing man told me that all R-series are not very reliable.

I am wonder if the R6.2 any better? I also have M-series and love it. Are the R6.2 comparable to M-series in term of reliablity?

-- Marc (leica_image@yahoo.com), April 04, 2002


Sebastiao Salgado seems to get the most out of his R6.2.

-- Preston Merchant (merchant@speakeasy.org), April 04, 2002.

i use an r6.2 and love it. in my opinion, its more reliable than any M or R leica, built to sustain the toughest conditions. if you have the opportunity, buy with confidence; you will not regret the decision!

ps, many of the r's have been notorious for electronic malfunction; i have rarely heard reports of such for the r6, r6.2, or r7.

jeremyT www.lifeiblue.com

-- jeremyT (jethomas@earthlink.net), April 05, 2002.

My 1992 R6.2 has been to the bottom of Australia and back with no problems - 4020.net/secape. The viewfinder eyepeice is starting too fill up with dust though, so will have to send it for a CLA soon(ish).

-- Andrew Nemeth (azn@nemeng.com), April 05, 2002.

I have had 4 R6 cameras go wrong in 10 years, one just jammed the mirror up, the other two both lost the spring tension that stops the lens down and the last died when the shutter release/speed dial just fell apart. A friend of mine also had 2 R6,s go wrong again with the same spring tension problem and funnily enough Leica service said " Ah we have never seen that happen before" Sadly I no longer have faith in 'R' bodies and hence only use M6's which have never gone wrong in the same period. I did have a try with the R8 which also developed an electronic problem very early on and thus gave up, shame because some of my old 'R' lenses were sensational and completely reliable. I wish Leica had gotten together with someone like Nikon and had an F3 derivative made instead of using a cheap Minolta XD7 body as its basis. Lastly as regards 'Salgado' he may have 3 R6's with him at all times but I bet he has at least 3 more back at his hotel.

-- Gary Yeowell (gary@yeowell.fsnet.co.uk), April 05, 2002.

The way they [Leica] describe the R6.2 on their 2000/2001 'Leica the Programme' brochure, is that the R6.2 is built like a hammer. It just keeps going and going and going. They have a picture an oil extraction on an off-sea rigg shot by Salgado. Its supposed to be built solid and reliable as the taxman and death itself. But, er, this is a sales brochure, and anything with moving parts is prone to need servicing at *some* point. But all that said, it is of the old construction style and all-mecahnical. The last of the the all mechanical R's. Pity they discontinued it, I think there is a market for this camera still.

-- sparkie (sparkie@mailcity.com), April 05, 2002.

I have had two new in box R6.2s fail on me very early. The first one had its mirror detach from the assembly during its first shoot, second one's film advance jammed about 6 shots after taking it out of the box. Both fixed/replaced under Passport Warranty, both sold in a hurry, albeit at substantial loss.

-- Anon Terry (anonht@yahoo.com), April 05, 2002.

Bought a new, USA Passport R6.2 early last year. Within weeks the TTL flash circuit failed. It was fixed and returned by Leica NJ within 10 days. Toward the end of the year the advance mechanism jammed. Again Leica NJ fixed it and returned it within 10 days, this time assuring me that the camera had been gone over thoroughly. Works fine now, though the self-timer is intermittent, which makes me wonder about the stability of the electronics (and the thoroughness of Leica's inspection). Nice camera to use when it's working. ;-)

-- Robert Schneider (rolopix@yahoo.com), April 05, 2002.

i read a interview with Salgado,who mainly uses the 6.2 rather than the M's.It also mentioned how "rough" he is on equipment and requiring Leica backup to maintain his cameras.I gathered he did have a few spare bodies all the time.He works with 3 SLR all the time!He still carries 2 M6 and lenses.The R-lenses are fantastic in sharpness and contrast.Worked with pro's using them.The bodies appear not to quite match the logevity of an M. Its also "luck".My Nikon-F's were always falling apart.Travel did'nt help either on jet-planes!Lenses fell apart.My Pentax system never a problem!!The 1st Spotmatic i had,must have had 2000+rolls or more thru it!i sold it as it only was good for parts.Still working but one speed,real fast!Towards end of life would go off with the weight of feather.My new system,K1000,4 lenses,do not count the zoom,its a toy! Canon Eos 20000 and my beloved M3(6000rolls?) and M6 and 2 lenses.

-- jason gold (leeu72@hotmail.com), April 05, 2002.

I imagine the later versions of the 6.2 fixed some of those odd early problems. I love mine. It is fabulous.


-- Ramy (rsadek@cs.oberlin.edu), April 05, 2002.

Yes Marc, The Early R were not to reliable.

It seems to improve on late series like the R6.2 (mechanical) and R7 (electronic) I have the latest, the R7 since 5 years now and never had a problem but I am quite careful with it, keep it in a bag padded, etc. First they don't make them any more, second my piggy bank is still suffering from the blow on her head....

-- Xavier d'Alfort (hot_billexf@hotmail.com), April 05, 2002.

I suspect that Salgado being Salgado, he gets fast track repair and/or loaner gear from Leica when his cameras fail. If one breaks, he's got backups and he probably gets some kind of a replacement from Leica ASAP. Nothing wrong with that; obviously he provides valuable marketing/publicity for Leica.

As far as Leica improving the reliabilty in late production cameras, my anecdote cancels your anecdote. As I said, I bought an R6.2 new last year and it had problems, including a mechanical jam, in the first eight months of use. If I actually used the self-timer, I would still consider the camera broken. I would definitely call my camera late production.

-- Robert Schneider (rolopix@yahoo.com), April 05, 2002.

Actually the Salgado poster shot for the R6.2 is of the cleanup in Kuwait after Saddam torched the oil wells there in 1991 (see smoke columns in background).

Nothing useful to add on R reliability.

-- Andy Piper (apidens@denver.infi.net), April 06, 2002.

So therefore it must have been an R6 not an R6.2

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), April 08, 2002.

My R4 has costed me US$120 for repairing.

My R6.2 has depth-of-field lever jammed problem (another US$55 servicing), the servicing man told me this is a common problem for R camera.

My 3 Nikons got no problem at all.

-- leongtoh (leongtoh@yahoo.com), April 09, 2002.

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