Leica R9 lenses compatibility.

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by roman_p, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. For over 25 yrs I am using Nikon equipment and lately decided to try the Leica R system. Well, before it’s all gone… I’m going to buy R9 and wondering what type of lenses is compatible with this body. I know that R9 has electric contacts (ROM) to provide interface between a lens and camera CPU and all latest Leica lenses have ROM contacts. But how about the previous versions – 2 CAM, 3 CAM (BTW, what does CAM mean?) without electric contacts? I’ve heard that they are compatible with R8/R9 too. But how? Fully or partially? Will I loose any function/modes/settings attaching 2 or 3 CAM lens to R9 body? Is it similar to what we have in Nikon system when using Ai/Ai-S lenses with some AF cameras you might not have some exposure and metering modes? And any general advice about Leica lenses selection for R9 will be appreciated.
  2. As far as I know, 3-Cam and later versions only for the R8/9 bodies. ROM contacts are naturally found on all newer lenses, but you cannot mount ROM's on old Leicaflexes. Early 1 and 2 Cam lenses may interfere or damage the ROM contacts on the R8 and R9 bodies.
  3. SCL


    Here's a link to a brief article and chart to help you along http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/index-frameset.html?Lens-R.html~mainFrame . There are some minor omissions in it, but it should get you off to a good start. Jonathan Eastland has a good book out on the R8/R9 cameras, their lenses, etc. BTW, you can also use some other lenses on the R8/R9 such as the Tamron Adaptall series.
  4. Any R lens with a 3rd cam will work. There is a good description and picture here.
    Basically Leica doesn't recommend using a 2 cam lens because it may damage the body.
    All the Leica R lenses with the 'R' or third cam will work without problems and use the full extent of the R8/9 bodies. All my lenses are third cam, 35mm Summicron, 50mm summicron, and the 60mm Macro Elmarit. Work perfectly with the manual and auto exposure modes.
    You'd have to be more specific about what type of focal lengths you like to shoot with before I could give a recommendation, but in general there are a lot of superb lenses in the R series.
  5. Thanks all you guys for your response.
    I’ve just found the book you recommended on e-bay and won it for $27. It’s described as new condition; the price seems to be reasonable.
    Your answer a bit puzzled me: what are ROM contacts for if 3 CAM lenses are fully compatible too? Regarding the focal lengths I’m planning to have 24mm at the wide end and 80-200 f4 at the long one. Also would like to have a Macro, supposing 60mm. Still have to decide what to have at the middle. There are plenty of choices: 35-70 f3.5, 35-70 f4, 28-70 and of course 28-90 f2.8-4.5 if I can afford it. Or may be just a couple primes… want to try Summilux 35 f1.4. BTW, Jared, do you use a winder? How helpful is that?
  6. For info on ROM vs Three cam lenses, as well as explanations for what the different CAMS do, go here.
    I have no experience with the Leica R Zooms, but have heard great things about them from Erwin Puts. I can personally vouch for the 35mm summicron's excellent performance, wide open even. Slight vignetting open though. The 60mm Macro is exceptional as a normal lens, and awesome for super close photography - plus you can get a 1:1 adapter. Have never used a summilux in any focal length, can't afford them.
    I don't use a winder, but I have used one with it and it worked just fine.
    Good luck
  7. ph.


    My R for use is an R8 while my R9 sits in a secure place waiting for the Westlich auctions to put an indecent price on it. However, the electric contacts have no effect besides guiding the flashlight device, so scrartching them should not be a cause of worry.. I use an ancient 60mm macro and an old 180 apo-c without rom sontacts with no problems on the R8-. (On the other hand Iam barbaric anough to not have any qualms about filing the rear end of my 21-35 in order to clear a canon digitalSLR mirrror, , but I do have respect for not modifying or destroying photigraphic antiquities.


Share This Page