Best two lens for the "R" series

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by chris c, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. I had a friend expressing interest in the Leica R series. Since I
    don't have any "R" hands on experience I was interested in user
    feedback on the following two questions.
    <P> #1 How much more would you pay for the R9 than an equally new
    R8? Figuring the R9 @ 1900 (USA) and an R8 available for $1100
    (imported) would anyone with experience with this body recommend
    against either the R8 or buying imported?
    <P> #2 What would you consider the best two lens profiles for this
    series. Shooter is looking for atleast one low light lens.

    <P> Thanks in advance
     
  2. Chris: By all accounts, the 50mm Summilux is outstanding. Others that come to mind for low light, depending on his requirements, might be the 80mm Summilux, and the 35mm Summicron, which doubles as a good all-round lens.

    Bob Fleischman
     
  3. Bar none, the 100mm APO-Macro-Elmarit is THE finest R lens. Though, I most often use my 50mm Summicron-R - one of the least expensive R's and one of the finest.
     
  4. The E-55 filter version (current) of the 35mm Summicron is great. Same for the 50mm Summicron. The last version (after serial #33xxx or so) of the 90mm Elmarit is outstanding.
     
  5. It just occured to me that there weren't many pics posted shot with the R lenses. Can anyone be kind enough to post some? Specifically wide open shots?
     
  6. It just occured to me that there weren't many pics posted shot with the R lenses. Can anyone be kind enough to post some?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    All photographs: Leicaflex SL, 90mm Summicron-R
    1/60 sec @ f/2.0
    Also, the vast majority of the wildlife photos on my website were made at full aperture.
     
  7. As always, Herr, you da man!
     
  8. Of course, there is always the bargain lens of all times - the 400mm f/6.8 - R. Nobody makes it sing like Doug Herr.
     
  9. The sea pic is gorgeous.
     
  10. My favorite "fast" Rs were the 35/1.4 and 80/1.4. I no longer have or use
    them because I use the M 35/1.4 ASPH and 75/1.4 in their place. If you
    look into the 50/1.4, be sure to get the latest version which is a
    considerable improvement over the previous version.
     
  11. Marc, do you know what would be the lower serial number for a 50/1.4 to be considered
    «latest»?
     
  12. do you know what would be the lower serial number for a 50/1.4 to be considered «latest»?
    Not sure about the s/n but the latest version has E60 filter threads while older versions use either Series VII or E55 filters.
     
  13. Two of my favorite are not low light lenses, however they are excellent performers and surprisingly affordable.
    The 35 and 90 Elmarit-R's (55 mm filter models), although now discontinued these lenses are outstanding.

    Personally I think that high speed R lenses are always handicapped by the slapping mirror of the SLR. The M series has a huge advantage (more than a stop) when it comes to low light work hand held work. However, for tripod work the R series is probably a better set-up.
     
  14. Chris: I would opt for a later version of the R8 by which time the
    initial developmental problems were eliminated (ie. serial
    number >274xxxx or so.) As to lenses, it depends on the work
    your friend plans to do... My favorite is the 100 F/2.8 MACRO.
    Other outstanding lenses IMHO include the 19mm F/2.8, 28mm
    F/2.8 PC and the 70-180 mm F/2.8. The 50mm F/1.4 is also
    great and I have heard good things about the 90mm F/2 as well.
     
  15. BTW, those photographs are masterful, Doug. Do you lock up
    the mirror when you shoot ?
     
  16. R8 vs R9: Under no circumstances would I buy an R8 without a Leica factory warranty, and preferably the 5-year one, unless you plan on keeping it for less time. So compare R8 and R9 with the same warranty and then if the difference is worth more than the added features of the R9 (about $100 IMO)go with the R8. In either case be prepared to keep it forever or lose a ton of money selling.

    Best overall set: 28/2.8 v.2, 50/1.4 current E60, 100/2.8APO

    Best lightweight set: 28/2.8 v.1, 50/2 v.2, 90/2.8 v.2


    Best longer lenses: 180/2.8APO, 280/4APO

    Best ultrawide lenses: 15/2.8 ASPH, 19/2.8 v.2
     
  17. Jay's response seems on the money to me. FWIW, I wouldn't neglect some of
    the older lenses - I had an old 5 element 90 elmarit that was a corker for
    portraits - needed stopping down to f4 (big deal) for really pin sharpness. The
    100apo makro is devastatingly sharp and surprisingly easy to focus in poor
    light (high contrast at viewing aperture perhaps). Otherwise, what about the
    new 90? - if it's as good as my M version that might be a must-have lens.
     
  18. Jay, I normally don't agree with you but your assessment was well written. <P> One question. When you state that you had better hold on to it for a long time or face losing a ton of money, would you qualify that. Because if you buy a Nikon F5 USA model these days for $1800 they are selling for $12-1300 under warranty. That is hard to understand given Nikon following. So my question to you would be: <P> Project what type of loss % you expect first year and on for the "R" bodies and lenses.
     
  19. I forgot to mention the 80 1.4 - gives wonderful, delicate images - superb
    tones - just like the 75 for M but much easier to handle. Also, the 21-35 is a
    lens that really does give leica prime lens quality in a zoom (and makes the
    17-35 pro zooms look hopeless in comparison, (albeit with a reduced range
    and at a smaller aperture)) BTW, I find the R8 really requires a motor drive for
    good handling (I don't get on with it at all well without, (of course, YMMV)) so
    you might want to factor that into your financing forecast.
     
  20. [​IMG]
    Australian War Memorial - Mig15
    [​IMG]
    Australian War Memorial - P51 Mustang
    [​IMG]
    Springwood Foundation day Face Painting
    All these were taken on Kodak Supra 100 (C41) film, using a Leica 100mm APO Elmarit-R. As others have noted, its an amazing lens but you have to bolt it down to get the best out of it (for example the face painting shot shows a bit of movement blur at high mag).
     
  21. Do you lock up the mirror when you shoot ?
    No. These photos were hand-held. My experience suggests the SL's mirror is much smoother than the R4s/R4sP. I doubt I'd have gotten sharp pictures at this shutter speed with the R4sP.
     
  22. Chris, I agree with all those who say the 100APO Macro is a must for the R. It is a great lens. Maureen
    004Imc-10806584.jpg
     
  23. Posted the image too large from the 100 APO, will try again.
    Maureen
     
  24. <<One question. When you state that you had better hold on to it for a long time or face losing a ton of money, would you qualify that. Because if you buy a Nikon F5 USA model these days for $1800 they are selling for $12-1300 under warranty. That is hard to understand given Nikon following. So my question to you would be:

    Project what type of loss % you expect first year and on for the "R" bodies and lenses.>>

    I sold my 2 R8's for $1100 each. They were five months old. Fortunately I paid $1525 each for them (rebate plus Leica Day)but had I paid the $1750 they're now asking for a USA model I'd have lost $650 on each one. Today I've seen mint used R8's selling for under $1000 and as soon as R9's are rebated (this is a given IMO)and eligible for Leica Days, and new leftover R8's (nobody really believes they're still in production, do they?)will also be further discounted, expect the used prices to fall more. And if the R9 sells as poorly as the R8 and Hermes tells Solms to axe the R system....
     
  25. ...then they'll become collector's items, and prices will go back up! ;-)
     
  26. Chris

    My suggestions would 50mm current lux for low light. 100mm Apo-macro, or current 90mm Summicron-Apo and 180mm Apo Elmarit. This will not be so cheap although Apo-macros are available s/h at around $1500. Otherwise I like the 50mm Summicron and the 80mm Summilux and the 28mm Elmarit latest.

    If you never pay full price you do not loose a packet either, despite what Jay says. Also the financial side of things always assumes you will want to sell them which is by no means the case with these lenses as they are so good.
     

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