Which Leica R body to purchase, R7 or R8 ?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by bill_dewberry, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. I am going to buy a leica R body, either R7 or R8, to replace a dead R5 body. Any compelling reason for one or the other body ?
  2. The R8 certainly doesn't have the beauty factor going for it...
  3. Thanks, I have that area covered, great looking wife and kids.
  4. Seems I remember reading one of them had issues..... may have been the 8. I would definitely do some research or wait
    for some experienced responses here before making a decision.
  5. May depend on how you feel about size and familiarity. The R7 looks a lot like the R5; the R8 is a whole different smoke. It has a lot of great features and is great to use, but it is bigger and heavier, and some R5 accessories like a motor winder will not fit. But you can't go wrong either way.
  6. Depends on your budget and tolerance for larger bodies. The R8 has a lot of really well designed features, but early copies had some electronic bugs. Then there's the infamous R8 take-up spool film scratching, which I've never seen but others have. If I had only one R body it would be the R9.
  7. What has the R9 going for it the others lack ?
  8. Basically the R9 has the design of the R8 plus stabilized electronics and small functional improvements. On the whole the R8/R9 design was a significant top-down rework. The viewfinder, metering, film transport, shutter, flash sync, and ergonomic handling were completely changed from the R3-R7 line. The R7 was the best of the old line, but it still carried forward old problems like the viewfinder, metering, stop-down lever, ergonomic, and other old technology limitations. Still, some people prefer the old line body size which balances well with smaller lenses. I prefer larger lenses, which balance well on the R8/R9. I used everything from the R4 through R5, R6, RE, R7, R8, and R9. The R9 is my favorite.
  9. I never liked the access to the controls atop my R7 because they are so non-ergonomically situated and hard to operate. I love my R8 because its top side controls are vastly easier to operate and don't require what the R7 does: removing my eye from the viewfinder to operate them. With the R8, I never miss a shot!
  10. Envelope please; and the winner is.... The R8.
    Thanks to all.
  11. The R3 to R7 were designed and made by Minolta with Leica QC. The R8-9 were completely Leica designed and made.
    The R8-9 can take on the Leica digital back, apparently an excellent but under-appreciated Leica equipment.
  12. Well, that's partially right. The basic chassis of the R3-R7 is Minolta design. The cameras were made by Leica though.
  13. Hold your horses I vote R7....LOL
  14. Bill,
    Some early R8s suffered from film scratching issues. The issue was fixed in later R8s I think and the R9 is good too. I too would recommend the R8 or R9 over the R7- very nice cameras and I have never understood what the fuss was about their looks. I suggest you do your research though to make sure you don't get an R8 with the film scratching problem. There is more about this on Andrew Nemeth's site

  15. Once you have an R8 or R9 in your hands and start shooting with it, you fall in love with it. It's the best SLR ever made.
  16. The R8 and R9 are hefty cameras, but they are a pleasure to shoot. The winding is very smooth, the metering is excellent, VF and VF information is very good, battery life is very long, it is very well damped...It is essentially a very well thought out camera, made very well, and of course gives you access to some amazing lenses. If you like shooting SLR's but don't need AF, it is one of the best you could hope for.
  17. I mostly use my M Leicas but do have several reflexes: a Standard, SL2, R5 and R7. With the prices of the R8 & R9 crashing, they are great buys. I have held back because I have too many older R lenses incompatible with the R8/R9. My vote would be for the R9.
  18. My Leica R5 and R6 have the brightest, clearest, and easiest to focus of any SLR I've ever used, including my Nikon FE2, FA, F100, F3. OTOH, I agree with Terry M. about the ergonomics: the R4 through R7 feel clunky to me. I find them harder to grip, and the shutter button is not where my finger wants to find it. Both of these issues are overcome by using my motor drive with the leather strap. Using the electric release on the drive, the camera feels like it belongs in my hands.
    The drive also speeds up the mirror action. Without it, the release action is a slow and lazy "ka-lunk." With the motor, it becomes snappy and responsive. It also becomes too heavy for some occasions; but the weight does add stability.
  19. Only 2 reasons to go with R3 - R7 over the R8/R9: size and weight. I been using R8 bodies for 7 years, love'em.
  20. Gary Pinkerton wrote: "Only 2 reasons to go with R3 - R7 over the R8/R9: size and weight. I been using R8 bodies for 7 years, love'em."
    Pretty much my opinion too. The R8 takes a licking and keep on clicking. OTOH (IMHO) the only reason I use the R8 instead of the SL is the DMR. I've sold most of my Leicaflex bodies, kept two in semi-retirement.
  21. Agree R8 (or 9, if good price). It was one of the camera I loved to use.

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