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charleswang

Buying a DMR in 2018 - What to watch for?

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Hi all - excited to be posting in the R forum for the first time.

 

Q for all DMR users: what are some of the things to look for when buying one? I can think of a few such as sensor condition, battery charge, etc. but please share with me some of other things to watch out for from your experiences.

 

A bit of back ground for those interested - 

As the title suggests, I am actively searching for a DMR outfit. Ever since I started looking into the system I was mesmerized by the excellent photos from Thorsten, the flicker group and of course the album thread in this forum. I was also enchanted by the styling of the camera and that 'analog digital' feel which a Leica M user like me can really appreciate. And with film not being an option (too time consuming for me), it seems the only way for me to enjoy the R system in its native platform is the DMR.

 

 

Thank you so much in advance for all your help,

 

Charlie

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I think you have more or less answered your own question.

 

Most of the issues will relate to the age of the system and although I have not heard of any sensor or major electronics issues there are problems with the availability of batteries and their ability to hold a charge. If you search on the forum there are a number of threads discussing this and possible solutions such as refurbishment and external powerpacks. Other things to consider are if you don’t currently own an R8/9 then which version comes with the DMR. Some R8s have a problem with there meters although I have had no problems with the two I have. I beleive the R9 passes increased EXIF date (over and above the R8) to the image file when using ROM lenses but I’m not sure what that is. With that in mind then obviously you are better gatting the ROM versions of lenses if possible, although they tend to be more expensive.

 

You say you are not interested in film but if possible make sure you get a film back if you buy an outfit as you never know you may change you mind or it may be useful as a back up.

 

Good luck with your search and don’t forget to post some pictures from your new kit.

 

Regards

Edited by Bobitybob

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Bob, thank you so much for the detailed response

 

I am very excited to report that I have located and arranged payment for a DMR outfit with a R8 and the 80mm Summilux as my first r lens. I will be sure to share some photos when they arrive in a week or two.

 

Your comment on R8 vs R9 concerns me a little bit - Can anyone else confirm if there's any problem with R8's metering when used with the DMR? Also what additional EXIF data does R9 passes that R8 doesn't? Any insights on this are greatly appreciated.

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The main problem with these systems is that they will not be repairable in case something does actually go wrong, For the rest it is heavy and bulky, but great quality. The images, despite being low-resolution by today's standards are still amongst the best digital result you can get.

The only problem I found with the R8 is that you must shut down in the right order, otherwise it will go tick-tock for a few seconds (harmless).

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Jaav, thank you for sharing, and yes I am painfully aware of the risks that come with buying a 15-20 years old digital camera system. But I am the kind of sucker that will get drunk on this kind of stuff - same reason why I have the Epson R-D1. Carpe Diem, am I right?

Edited by charleswang

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Jaav, thank you for sharing, and yes I am painfully aware of the risks that come with buying a 15-20 years old digital camera system. But I am the kind of sucker that will get drunk on this kind of stuff - same reason why I have the Epson R-D1. Carpe Diem, am I right?

Or ‘caveat emptor’...

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Or ‘caveat emptor’...

 

 

Sure that's important too, but you only live once and you should spend your hard earn cash on whatever makes you happy - even if that means buying an extremely expensive, obsolete and technically outdated digital camera... telling my self this to help me go to sleep at night 

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Jaav, thank you for sharing, and yes I am painfully aware of the risks that come with buying a 15-20 years old digital camera system. But I am the kind of sucker that will get drunk on this kind of stuff - same reason why I have the Epson R-D1. Carpe Diem, am I right?

100% spot-on as far I am concerned. The only reason I am selling mine is because I moved down to smaller and lighter gear. Playing with it today was a joy.

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Timeless quality of Leica manual focus lenses for R system, also M system but this is about DMR, would be in my book primary reason to consider digital solution for R lenses.

 

Considering DMR you need to face some hard facts; First you buy into barely serviceable camera, second, unless you have stock of old SD cards good luck finding one and thirdly getting enough working batteries could be either stroke of luck or real headache. Also it is crop sensor camera.

 

I would recommend SL601 or even latest Nikon Z7, no doubt adopters will follow and converted R lenses shone on Nikon DSRs.

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Do a Google search: Transcend 2 GB is widely available at 10 Euro, and some other brands as well.

Batteries can be easily refurbished, quite a few cottage industries doing so.

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Timeless quality of Leica manual focus lenses for R system, also M system but this is about DMR, would be in my book primary reason to consider digital solution for R lenses.

 

Considering DMR you need to face some hard facts; First you buy into barely serviceable camera, second, unless you have stock of old SD cards good luck finding one and thirdly getting enough working batteries could be either stroke of luck or real headache. Also it is crop sensor camera.

 

I would recommend SL601 or even latest Nikon Z7, no doubt adopters will follow and converted R lenses shone on Nikon DSRs.

 

 

Mladen, what you said makes 100% sense and is what a rational person would do - I am clearly not one here as I just really crave the look and feel of a digital R that's unique to this specific system. With the money I paid for a DMR I could've probably gotten a D850 which, let's be honest from a technical perspective, makes the DMR look like something made in the Stone Age. I guess I just don't care for 20 fps and 8million ISO and 5million autofocus points - all I need is a few beautiful glass, a capable sensor and a functional shutter to make photos. And while I can have a systems that looks 'right' and has its own unique character - that's even better.

 

Regardless, thank you so much for the advice. I do think the z7 and Eos R look quite interesting - guess I will be selling my other kidney soon.

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Do a Google search: Transcend 2 GB is widely available at 10 Euro, and some other brands as well.

Batteries can be easily refurbished, quite a few cottage industries doing so.

 

Thanks Jaap, I actually have a few 2gb cards in active services since my R-D1 also only takes cards smaller than 2GB. I read it somewhere that the latest firmware allows the DMR to take 4gb cards.

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Timeless quality of Leica manual focus lenses for R system, also M system but this is about DMR, would be in my book primary reason to consider digital solution for R lenses.

 

 

I would recommend SL601 or even latest Nikon Z7, no doubt adopters will follow and converted R lenses shone on Nikon DSRs.

Canon is the answer, R to EOS adapters are cheap and the focus confirmation works well. They’ll work on the new Canon mirrorless too.

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Canon is the answer, R to EOS adapters are cheap and the focus confirmation works well. They’ll work on the new Canon mirrorless too.

True but Z7 sensor is a bit better, if less Mp is sufficient difficult to beat SL601.

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Make sure you do not pay too much for a DMR … some are very overpriced and stick on dealers' shelves for months … Some dealers do not sell s/h DMRs because electronic repairs are not usually possible - thus they cannot offer a guarantee. If possible check/test the batteries hold a charge and are capable of e.g. at least 125 exposures/shutter actuations per charge . You need at least two batteries. If possible inspect the sensor glass with an illuminated loupe before purchase. Make sure the DMR module includes the 'cropped' finder screen for the R8/R9 body. Be aware that if you want to sell it again the market is almost non-existent … few photographers want to buy … but everything has a price. I love my DMR but it's main drawback is that it's not a low light camera … unless using a tripod. It's my favourite camera as regards ergonomics … fits my hand like a glove.  Work with and adjust the histogram when converting DMR DNG files and you'll soon learn how to achieve good results.  Michael Bass Designs can refurbish DMR batteries and can also supply adapters enabling use of the various Quantum batteries … but check with him first if your potential purchase needs battery refurbishment. Be prepared for a total camera failure when the motherboard inevitably dies.   

 

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/235371-michael-bass-refurbished-dmr-battery/?p=2687722

 

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/223668-dmr-deadso-do-i-throw-it-away/

 

dunk  

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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On 9/7/2018 at 7:01 AM, charleswang said:

Bob, thank you so much for the detailed response

 

I am very excited to report that I have located and arranged payment for a DMR outfit with a R8 and the 80mm Summilux as my first r lens. I will be sure to share some photos when they arrive in a week or two.

 

Your comment on R8 vs R9 concerns me a little bit - Can anyone else confirm if there's any problem with R8's metering when used with the DMR? Also what additional EXIF data does R9 passes that R8 doesn't? Any insights on this are greatly appreciated.

The R8's metering isn't a problem as long as it's working well.  When the meter goes bad the solution is to replace the entire mirror box.  Parts supply can be a problem.

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On 9/9/2018 at 12:30 PM, dkCambridgeshire said:

.... Make sure the DMR module includes the 'cropped' finder screen for the R8/R9 body...

I may still have one of these screens.  PM me if you need one.

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8 hours ago, wildlightphoto said:

When the meter goes bad the solution is to replace the entire mirror box

Or find a decent R9. Probably cheaper and certainly easier.

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