Leica announces end of R line

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by charles_trentelman|1, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. I was looking on line late last night to see what i would need to put my Leica SL2 onto a televid spotting scope and saw that Leica, on 3/25, announced it is discontinuing the R line of cameras and lenses. It will keep the information up on its web site about the cameras because of the vigorous second hand market, but it is official now.
    I'm of two minds -- sorry to see the end of a grand marquee, but on the other hand not horrible suprrised. Canon has quit the film market, and Nikon barely pays attention to it. The Second hand market is more than adequate for the needs of the shrunken-but-vigorous body of users of film (God Bless Freestyle). This is also a chance to pick up some lovely gear, as others have noted, cheap.
    The M continues, although I don't help them there because I'm still waiting for my M3 and M2 to wear out. In fact, except for the CL and the R3 (now deceased) I've actually bought almost nothing of their new.
    We went through this same agony with the Minox a while back -- bottom line for me is that I was, this year, able to buy a Minox LX for under $200. Other dead brands -- Graflex -- are still popular, I imagine Leica R will stay so as well.
    So keep shooting, people. That's the best guarantee that the brand will be around a long time.
    Charlie Trentelman
    Ogden, Utah
     
  2. Well you see, after I bought an M6 several years ago, and seeing as I won't be able to wear it out in my lifetime, I got myself a 1954 IIIf. I doubt if I'll wear THAT one out. So I got a 1936 II, and guess what? That looks like it's going to keep chugging along as well. This so-called old stuff simply won't quit, and will keep helping us making those wonderful silver-based photographs for quite some time.
    Cheers, André
    Antwerp, Belgium
     
  3. yeah, andre, that's always been Leica's problem -- they completely forgot to design in obsolescence, so nobody needs to buy new, at not if they're really serious about photography -- I should get my 1931 Model I-C out and exercise it -- no rangfinder, but is teriffic with a wide angle lens.
     
  4. This topic was knocked around in early March...
    http://www.photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/00Sel7
     
  5. It is sad. I had always hoped to own a new R series some day, but like Rolexes, the price kept growing faster than my income.
     
  6. I'm still waiting for the prices to drop a little more before upgrading my R4 with an R6.2
    ...of course, with an R4, I might be forced into the upgrade just to keep shooting my lenses... one never knows with sketchy electronics... :)
     
  7. List'
    So they lied about a future R10 (digital) I'm glad I did not swap a few hundred rounds of .22 Match
    ammo for a friend's R8.
    Jerry
     
  8. So they lied about a future R10 (digital)​
    Not really. They made statements like "evaluating", and overenthusiastic folk (mainly at the Rangefinder Forum) turned that into "R10 on the way".
     
  9. What are you guys talking about? What they discontinued is the production of manual-focus R9 and R lenses. The auto-focus R10 and auto-focus lenses are still in the works, now planned for 2010. Leica has stated the R10 will be able to use old manual-focus R lenses. This was hashed a few weeks ago, and I haven't seen anything to change it. Have you?
     
  10. The auto-focus R10 and auto-focus lenses are still in the works, now planned for 2010. Leica has stated​
    Can you provide any reference to an actual Leica document or transcribed interview where Leica "stated" this?
     
  11. See this interview with Maike Harberts, Leica Product Manager, at last September's Photokina. About 5 min into the interview she talks a little about tentative work on the R10.
    http://tv.mediaprovider.se/leica_s2_and_r10_1223561589701.html
     
  12. http://blog.photo.net/?p=4051
     
  13. Hehe...Mr. Herr beat me to that link.
    In addition, as featured in the Q4 edition of LHSA's Viewfinder #41-4, p.22, Andreas Kaufmann addressed the LHSA 2008 annual meeting and stated that the R10 will have a range of autofocus lenses and will accept existing Leica-R lenses with the advantage of tapping the autofocus system for autofocus confirmation (as reported in Viewfinder).
    Of course any plans can change due to unforeseen circumstances. But those are the stated intentions and I haven't yet seen or heard anything to the contrary.
     
  14. Doug and Ken, your links tripped the spyware warnings.
    Thanks anyway, though.
     
  15. You might want to look at your security settings Joseph. I went to both Ken's and Doug's links and all is fine.
     
  16. just fyi --- this is from Leica's web site, their press release on the subject. Doesn't mention the R10, just possible future products, maybe:
    03/25/2009

    For more than 40 years the Leica R-System has played an important role within the Leica product portfolio. However new camera developments have significantly affected the sales of Leica R cameras and lenses resulting in a dramatic decrease in the number sold. Sadly therefore there is no longer an economic basis on which to keep the Leica R-System in the Leica production programme.
    At the beginning of March 2009 authorised Leica photo dealers were informed by Leica Camera AG that the production of the SLR camera, Leica R 9 as well as R-lenses would therefore be discontinued.
    In due course the technical innovations derived from the newly developed professional system SLR camera Leica S 2 will, we believe, generate a basis for new system solutions for the future. We will obviously keep you informed of these developments at the appropriate time.
    Leica R-system products are still available at some authorised Leica dealers and in addition a significant second-hand trade confirms the continued use of Leica R products, therefore, the information regarding the Leica R system will continue to be available on our web site .
     
  17. Nor would I expect them to talk about the future R10 specifically. It might not even be called "R10".
    "In due course the technical innovations derived from the newly developed professional system SLR camera Leica S 2 will, we believe, generate a basis for new system solutions for the future. We will obviously keep you informed of these developments at the appropriate time."
    That's close enough for me for the time being. Within a year I will expect to hear more from them.
     
  18. I have to say that Leica website's message seems to me to be very cagey and does not really fill me with great confidence.
     
  19. Leica is so lucky a company. They can discontinue a line and not succeed it for several years and yet their loyal fans will continue cheering for them, and will await with eagerness no matter how little reassurance comes from Leica. And when it will finally be in stores, usually a year or so after originally it was planned, no matter now much it is by then obsolete, or how many strange quirks (like needs for IR filters) and bugs, or how many pros are disappointed and write poor reviews, or how much more expensive than other brands, there will still be those fans buying it and claiming it superior to all else. I would kill to own such a company with such fans for customers, especially in this economy!
     
  20. L DaSousa wrote: "Leica is so lucky a company... "
    The DMR does not require IR filters
    The DMR's image quality is in no way obsolete
    The DMR isn't buggy
    The DMR's poor "reviews" were written by people who never used one
    The R8 + DMR was no more expensive than a contemporaneous top-of-the-line Canon or Nikon
    Leica-R lenses work best on a camera designed for them
    Leica has anounced plans to develop a successor to the DMR
    Given what I've seen of the performance of Leica-R lenses on the DMR there is good reason to wait for the DMR's successor instead of trading systems for the Canon/Nikon/Sony flavor-of-the-month.
     
  21. The DMR was discontinued some while ago. The only way to get one now is find secondhand if possible, with of course no warranty from Leica (I believe there are no more demo's). For those who donot have a DMR, cannot find one secondhand, or donot want secondhand, if they want digital and donot want to go to Nikon (or Canon, and perhaps keep R lenses on adapters), must now wait until an unknown time for a camera of unknown specifications. That is what I was talking about. Not the few thousand people in the world who have a DMR.
    "The DMR's poor "reviews" were written by people who never used one"
    Who were these terrible frauds and liars who made such reviews without ever using one???!!! Are they still keeping their jobs with magazines???
    "The R8 + DMR was no more expensive than a contemporaneous top-of-the-line Canon or Nikon"
    That was true only if you considered a secondhand R8 (which the R8 was already discontinued). If at the time you had bought a NEW R9 and a NEW DMR it was more expensive than Canon 1DS-II, which also was Full Frame BTW and 60% more pixels. I was seriously considered to buy a DMR and did very much research at the time.
     
  22. L DaSousa wrote: "Who were these terrible frauds and liars who made such reviews without ever using one???!!! Are they still keeping their jobs with magazines???"


    Bob Atkins: http://www.photo.net/equipment/leica/dmr/
    If the DMR is so lousy why is its resale value - for a discontinued 4-year-old digital camera - nearly the same as the original purchase price?
     
  23. I am surprised to read someone here can call Mr. Bob Adkins a fraud and liar. I thought he was universally well respected. This is a shock.

    However BTW as I recall the price of the DMR was new $4995 and shortly after to $5995. Here is from today a screen shot at KEH.com.
    00SxiH-121743584.jpg
     
  24. L DaSousa wrote: "a fraud and liar"
    Your words, not mine.
    BTW for those who still believe that pixel count determine image quality, the Canon 1Ds II was the top-of-the-line model when the DMR first went on sale, not the 1Ds III.
     
  25. Your words, not mine.
    I am sorry then that you quoted them in your response linking to Mr. Atkins. It will be too easy to misunderstand that you did not intend calling him those names. Surely I would not call him those names.
    I will cease to pursue this thread further, as I can see you are intent upon defending the DMR regardless of fact, and it is now far off-topic to the thread. It is not my intent to enter a flaming war with someone who has such a strong agenda. Sorry.
     
  26. L DaSousa wrote: "It is not my intent to enter a flaming war with someone who has such a strong agenda. Sorry."
    LOL! I suggest you examine your own motivations for participating in this thread.
     
  27. With my 5-year old MP I'm good-to-go for another 50 years, barring any unforseen accident.
     
  28. "I would kill to own such a company with such fans for customers, especially in this economy!"
    Small detail- to own such a company you'd have to also sign on to presiding over the manufacture of some of the greatest camera optics ever known to man! Not sure you'd be the guy...!
     
  29. Perhaps, but now it is only half as difficult the job, because R lenses are discontinued. LOL.
     
  30. L DaSousa wrote "Perhaps, but now it is only half as difficult the job, because R lenses are discontinued. LOL."
    Didn't you say you were done with this thread? There are also the S lenses which if the MTF graphs are any indication are also among the finest lenses ever made.
     
  31. Did I hear my name being called?
    My "review" of the DMR wasn't a review (as I pointed out in the comments...), it was a listing of the specs and my comments on the concept of a digital back which cost as much as (or more than) a whole integrated autofocus DSLR from other manufactrurers. My thoughts stay pretty much the same, that an expensive "add on" digital back really isn't the best way to go. However for Leica R owners it's the only way to go (unless they want to adapt their lenses to a Canon EOS and buy a full frame DSLR).
    I'm sure the DMR works just fine and gives high quality images. I never said or even implied that it didn't. However I didn't think the concept was very sound and the fact that Leica have dropped the "R" line and no other manufacturer has gone the route of the replacable 35mm back doesn't change my opinion. I'm sure the DMR will hold its value for a while because they will be hard to find and the only option for R lens owners who want to go digital and don't want to have to use stop down metering and manual focusing on a full frame EOS body (even if it is better and between 1/2 and 1/3 of the price looking at the 5D and 5D MkII). Even at the KEH used price of $3000 you could buy a brand new 24 MP Canon EOS 5D MkII and have $300 left over to buy an adapter for your "R" lenses! There are a few lenses with mirror clearance issues of course, so it's a good idea to check with lenses might be a problem before going that route.
    The problem for "R" shooters who want to go digital and stay with Leica will, of course, be that the DMR will likely be the one and only way to do it and sooner or later the supply will dry up and repair will become difficult, if not impossible, since most of the electronic parts will go out of production. Of course the same thing can be said for Nikon and Canon DSLRs (repairs may eventually become difficult), but at least in those cases you will be able to buy a new body (which is not only better, but also cheaper than the one you were trying to repair!).
    While I suppose it's possible Leica might try to make a "DMR II", it would not seem to make much economic sense to do so, especially if they are discontinuing the "R" camera line.
    See http://nemeng.com/leica/002f.shtml for more information on adaping "R" lenses to Canon EOS bodies.
     
  32. Bob, any comments on these words in your DMR write-up?
    " It may be a little better, but performance probably lies somewhere between the $800 Digital Rebel XT and the $3300 full frame EOS 5"
    Those who own and use both the DMR and the 5D disagree with this assessment of yours. The LUG search function is down right now so I can't point to specific threads but those who work with the RAW output from both the DMR and Canon 5D show a very clear preference for the DMR's image quality.
     
  33. I've no doubt some will disagree. I've been known to be wrong. I'm sure that somewhere there are EOS 5D users who would say that they get better results than DMR owners, or that they prefer the feature set and ergononics (all of which contribute to "performance") of the 5D over those of the DMR.
    Since I'm not likely to be testing a DMR (not really much point), I'm not going to attempt to stake out a position. Simply based on the systems, I think the integrated Canon approach is a better solution for the majority of users. I'm sure Leica R users don't feel that way, but then they don't have a lot of choice.
    I'm a great believer in the theory that the photographer (and these days the digital editor) has a lot more to do with ultimate image quality than anything else, so I'm 100% certain you can create great images using a DMR, just as you can with an EOS 5D (or pretty much any other camera). I'm pretty much past the point of arguing over bit depth, pixel count and dynamic range.
     
  34. Bob, the least you could do would be to acknowledge that making a performance assessment of equipment you've never used was inappropriate. This would restore some of your credibility.
     
  35. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The LUG search function​
    Sort of a self-selecting group, isn't it? Not much of a logical argument, or especially statistically valid point, can be made around that.
     
  36. This would restore some of your credibility.​
    Really Douglas? That was three and a half years ago. What a thing to still be stressed about.
    So Bob gave an opinion on something that had been announced but that he hasn't used. Who cares? That sort of thing happens literally thousands of times a month on photo.net alone. To say nothing of every other photographic forum on the internet. And then there are the rumor sites, the blogs, and so on. I'm a Leica fan as much as anyone, but really, why care what Bob thinks? It's just an opinion. Bob can have an opinion of something like the DMR that is in his area of expertise same as anyone else.
    God forbid you ever turn on ESPN. That channel is nothing but people talking about sports they haven't ever played, teams that haven't had a game this season, players who haven't ever taken a shot/swing/etc and imaginary historical matchups that could never happen.
     
  37. Sort of a self-selecting group, isn't it?
    Certainly no more than the group that has consistently dumped on Leica, making fun of red dots etc, never having used one or used one long enough to know any better. Harummmmphhhhh!!
     
  38. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Did I say anything about that? I'm not trying to prove anything here, but choosing a bunch of Mormons to comment on Mormonism vs Catholicism isn't going to prove much, is it? I would think a reasonable thinker on this would find a more independent group to validate one's point. And that reasonable thinkers would agree rather than trying to dump on a reasonable comment rather than bring up totally irrelevant nonsense.
     
  39. Ah, Leica users are Mormons eh? Don't drink, live in Utah, no doubt thought of by many as kind of crazy. I get it. ;)
    I don't hang out on LUG, maybe some of them are a little obsessed with waxing their vulcanite, but Doug was referring to people who'd tried both cams and compared. If you want to go by other people's opinions at least that's something..
     
  40. Josh, I thought the idea was to make photo.net a credible resource. My bad.
     
  41. I don't think anyone is here to prove anything. It's mostly a matter of opinion after all. Regardless of opinion about the DMR, or any other past R equipment, the thread is about the discontinuation of the manual-focus R line. Leica has committed to development of the S line, and hopefully that will spawn a worthy replacement that allows us to use existing R glass.
     
  42. Jeff Spirer wrote:
    The LUG search function​
    Sort of a self-selecting group, isn't it? Not much of a logical argument, or especially statistically valid point, can be made around that.


    Jeff, get real. The people I'm referring to own and use both camera systems. Are you saying that their real-world observations of the performance of both cameras are to be discounted? Why, because they actually use them?

    What about the opinion of someone who is heavily invested in one camera system and has never used the other ? Three and a half years of real-world observations disagree with his unfounded opinion and all he can say is "Since I'm not likely to be testing a DMR (not really much point), I'm not going to attempt to stake out a position." Hello? What does it mean when he writes "It may be a little better, but performance probably lies somewhere between the $800 Digital Rebel XT and the $3300 full frame EOS 5" Isn't this staking out an opinion? And what about the "grade" he assigns it. Bob Atkins as a photo.net administrator can do better than the average Joe Blow on a random blog.
     
  43. Doug, I can't remember ever seeing you so exercised by Photo.Net silliness! You and I both know that our Leicaflexes (Standard, SL, SL2) transcend all specious digital arguments as well as criticismns of our remarkable R lenses. They are Robert Frost's "Secrets" -- that sit in the Center & Know!
     
  44. No no no... Say it Doug!
     
  45. Doug, why are you so worked up on what Atkins had to say and staking out an opinion?
    You don't agree with his assessment, which was properly couched with "probably;" and that's OK that you don't. But your "credibility" comment was a really cheap shot.
     
  46. Bob had a Ken Rockwell moment? Wow.
     
  47. What a crock Brad.
     
  48. >>> What a crock Brad.
    So you agree with Douglas' credibility comment? Have you even looked at Atkins' writings and the background/expertise he brings?
     
  49. Okay, this thread has turned into a "Let's fight about an opinion that Bob Atkins had over three years ago on a product that is now no longer even produced". Which is a completely pointless conversation.
    So I'm closing the thread. You are all welcome to continue your arguments via private email.
     
  50. Doug - It was an editorial opinion. There's a difference between an editorial opinion and a review. If I write a review, you'll be able to tell because it will have pictures in it, I'll mention that I actually used the camera/lens, the title will contain the word "review" and it will not contain the full text of the manufacturer's press release. If what I write has the press release, doesn't have the word "review" in the title and has qualifiers such as "probably" or "likely" in my comments and no image samples, you can pretty much bet it's an editorial piece and not a review.

    It will happen again. When I'm asked to write a preview of a newly released camera, I'll give my opinions on it based on published specifications and my knowledge of other cameras of a similar type. If you don't like those opinions, you don't have to give them any weight. You don't even have to read them if you don't want to! You're more than welcome to express your opinions in the followup comments which come after all articles on photo.net.
     

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