Tamron Adaptall adapter for Leica R3?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by NHSN, Aug 17, 2022.

  1. I have been looking for an Adaptall to allow for Tamron lenses to mount on my Leica R3.
    It has caused a bit confusion as I am not certain what I am looking for and to make matters worse, it seems like many sellers don't know exactly what they are selling.

    The AE on Leica R3 requires the "3-CAM" to work, but that feature is rarely if ever mentioned.
    On the other hand, quite a number of sellers states "fits Leica R4" or "fits Leica R-4 to R-7" - These models utilise 3-Cam and the omission of R3 makes me wonder if there is a compatibility issue with the adapter in combination with Leica R3?

    If I understand correctly, there are also adapters that works only with Leicaflex SL and only with SL in combination with a Tamron mirror lens. I would like to avoid these, of course.

    And finally is the distinction between Adaptall and Adaptall 2, is that of relevance in this case?

    Anyone with Leica R and Adaptall experience that can shed a little light on what I should be looking for?
  2. SCL


    Hi Niels - my experience with Adaptall adapters and Leica SLRs goes back a few years. But here is what I remember. Adapter 214C was marked "Leica 4/S". and looked like this:
    As best as I recall this one worked with my R3 thru R8 bodies. There was another one which didn't fit on the camera mount because the outer diameter was too large and interfered with the viewfinder overhang.. The one for the Leicaflex/SL is specifically marked for those body. I hope this helps.
    NHSN and James Bryant like this.
  3. Thanks!
    Do you happen to know if that one is compatible with lenses marked with "Adaptall 2"?
  4. SCL


    Yes - I used it with Adaptall 2 lenses

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  5. In most cases Adaptall and Adaptall II mounts are interchangeable. Some of the Adaptall mounts are made for a specific aperture (at least Konica was). However there is no compatibility with the Adaptamatic mount. I saw one that seller claimed was meter coupled to SRT but I just use my SR mount in stop down mode. While Adaptamatic works for its intended purpose I find changing mounts a bit fiddly.
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  6. Thanks Mike.
    There seems to be a hefty "Leica tax" on the used Leica R compatible adapters, 3-4 times more than Nikon for example.
    Tamron probably didn't make that many I assume. Hard to imagine many people forking over the big bills for a Leica body only to skimp on the lenses.
    I am not going to build a full Leica branded system around my R3 but I wouldn't mind a wide angle to go with the 50mm Summicron. Luckily the Tamron lenses are dirt cheap. There is a local source of NOS 28/2.5 Tamron lenses that I have my eye on.
  7. SCL


    Niels -The Tamron 28/2.5 is actually a pretty decent lens. I've been using it for years on my film, m4/3 and FF digital bodies. Soft wide open sharpens up nicely stopped down. It was the first wide angle lens for my R3, as I didn't want to commit the cash to a body I was unfamiliar with.. And you're right, there has been a premium on Adaptall mounts for Leica bodies for a number of years. While Leica R glass is very good, in some cases it doesn't quite live up to its M equivalents, and initially the range of offerings was pretty narrow, which is why, I suppose, the Tamron lenses became an attractive answer. Enjoy your "new" camera/lenses
    Kent T likes this.
  8. Thanks @SCL

    So, I visited my local camera shop today and they miraculously happened to have an Adaptall Leica R adapter for half of the going rate on *bay -AND it came with a free lens!

    From the perspective of my camera shot, they sold me a lens with a free adapter that few people are interested in.
    I guess this is the perfect win-win situation?

    If the internet is trustable (was it ever?), this is actually an OK lens. Time will tell.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2022
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  9. "From the perspective of my camera shot" should read "shop" of course.
  10. You have good lucks Niels! Hope you enjoy the new Tamron Zoom lens on your Leica.

    I also found R-mount lenses not only expensive, and sometimes a bit over-priced for its performance. But the two I do have, 60/2.8 Macro and 135/2.8 are both excellent performers. I opted for Ugly grade from KEH.com in order to keep under budget, luckily both turned out to be in good condition.
    NHSN likes this.
  11. SCL


    Niels - That is a good lens! Although mine sees infrequent use these days, as I mostly use primes, I have found that lens to be a good standby and haven't been disappointed with results. You scored good!
    NHSN likes this.
  12. The Tamron 35-80 zoom is one of the better slightly wide to short tele zooms, at least according to results I've seen posted on Photo.net over the years. I've had one for years and find it very capable. I agree that the 28mm f 2.5 Adaptall is a good lens as well. I like the compactness of it as well. I may have to take a few images with it soon. The last time I checked Leicaflex prices it seemed like the R3 was the bargain. Pair it with one or two Adaptall lenses and it makes a low priced entry into the Leica R system. Later add some Leica glass.
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  13. I used the Tamron 28 f2.5 for many years and always thought it excellent. Not as good as the 28mm Elmarit-Rs but much cheaper. I believe if the adapter works on the R4 to R9 it will also work on the R3, since the 3 was the first that used the 3rd cam.
    NHSN likes this.
  14. Thanks Robin. I expect to get hold of the 28mm later this week.

    I too was assuming that "3cam" would work across all 3cam compatible models, but if you look at SCL's post #4 above, the box explicitly states R4/s. And I wondered, why not just write Leica R?
    Research on eBay, showed me that later packaging also omitted R3 but mentions a range of cameras like R4-R7.

    When you look at how Tamron has implemented the cams in the adapter, it is obviously reversed engineered and doesn't look like the cams on the rear side of a Leica lens at all.
    I therefore thought there might be a possibility that the R3 was an exception.

    Anyway, now that I have the adapter and the 35-80, I can confirm that it works without problems on my R3.
    The adapter looks like SCL's and assume it is the same, but has no model number engraved:

    Adaptall Leica R.JPG
    James Bryant likes this.
  15. I've always been amazed at the ingenuity of the Tamron engineers. Designing mechanisms for so many different systems, preserving the various lens / camera interactions, must have been something of a nightmare.
  16. I agree. And everything seems very solid with a good tactile feel - at least with the lens I got.
    Kent T likes this.
  17. Owned the Tamron 24/2.5 way back then - decent performer. Reportedly better than the Nikkor 24/2.8 of the same era.
  18. I suspect that Tamron did not get around to making the Adaptall mount in time for the R3 (and/or were judging demand), so it only came out when the R4 had been introduced, or was about to be introduced, so they just called it that to reduce confusion as to whether it would work with the Leicaflex, SL, and SL2 too (it won't). There was an R4s camera too though which makes it still a little confusing.
  19. As it always happens, one thing leads to the next.
    I have to admit that this is very addictive - especially because it is so cheap.

    The "accidental" first Tamron lens; 35-80mm/2.8 (01A), which I bought only to get the included Leica R adapter, turned out pretty good - or rather amazing considering the total price of €35.

    The second lens - the lens I actually wanted to use on my Leica R3 - Tamron 28/2.5 (02B) was not only very good, it also came with a Pentax K adapter for €40.

    Then a zero-budget video project turns up, and the concept requires a tele-zoom which I don't own, nor do I really have a desire to invest in one.
    I looked for cheap 3'rd party alternatives and found a Tamron 80-210/3.8 (103A) for a measly €39 at Kamerastore.com including a Nikon F Ai adapter.
    Not quite as long as I had hoped but, lo and behold, same seller had a 2x teleconverter for €19 - the 6 element (01F) version. They actually had another for only €15, but for for an extra €4 I chose one with the hard-to-find front and rear Adaptall caps.

    It is worth noting that all these things except the 28mm where found in reputable camera shops with online presence, so I don't feel I am a particularly smart shopper but it is certainly evidence that building a competent system is as cheap as it ever was, if you are not locked into the idea of owning specifically branded lenses.


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