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Favorite Fully Mechanical Leica R camera?

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Hello everybody,,

I own the Leica R8 and love it, but I've wanted to try my hand at some of the fully mechanical Leica R cameras so I'm looking for recommendations!

I've heard good things about the Leica R6.2 and Leicaflex SL2, but otherwise I'm fairly unfamiliar with the all mechanical Leica Rs.

So what are some people's favorites?

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

In the R line you only have two fully mechanical cameras, the R6 and R6.2. Though they are quite equal (different top speed, 1/2000s of R6.2), I would recommend the newer R6.2 being just newer.

if you extend the range to also included the Leicaflex cameras (watch out for cam incompatibility if you have never lenses), the SL2 is easy to use with its split screen viewfinder and hot shoe. I personally prefer the SL since it offers one of the brightest viewfinders ever made for any camera. Don’t bother with the original Leicaflex. Both SL represents Leica at the peak of mechanical perfection and will outlast us all😄. They can also be serviced if needed (not always financially feasible, but almost always at least  possible). If the shutter dies on a R6, it’s basically a paper weight (it’s a sealed unit). The shutter is a very reliable one though.

Otherwise of the electronic R:s, I really like the R7, it’s the peak of the “old” R-line. The R8 is also a great camera but cannot be repaired if broken (no spare parts). The old R-line has plenty of spares and donor cameras around and should keep going for a long time.

Edited by mmx_2

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I have SL (since 1969) and also SL2 and R6. Each has its charms.  I suspect the R6 would tend to have more aging issues. My SL & SL2 certainly seem more solid. I added the SL2 a few years ago, and am impressed with the improvements, which go far beyond the focusing screen.

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vor 12 Stunden schrieb jaapv:

R3

Since when is that one a 'fully mechanical' camera? The only ones that qualify are the Leicaflex, Leicaflex SL, Leicaflex SL2, R6 and R6.2. And to answer the OP's question, a Leicaflex SL2 is probably the best engineered mechanical SLR Leica ever made. No foam seals were used for either the camera's back door nor the reflex mirror, a true piece of longevity. When something is amiss, service can be expensive though, as the body is cumbersome to disassemble. If in good working order, it is an absolute joy to use.

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It depends!

I love the Leicaflex SL2 which has a wider range of lenses that can be used with it than say a Leicaflex SL, which is equally wonderful. But they have to be 3 cam, not R 3rd cam. If you want the maximum available range of lenses, the R6/6.2.

 

 

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vor 3 Stunden schrieb Charles Morgan:

But they have to be 3 cam, not R 3rd cam.

To the best of my knowledge, 3 cam means that the lenses have 2 Leicaflex SL cams + the R cam, so you can use those 3 cam lenses on every Leicaflex as well as on any R camera. If you only like to use your lenses on a Leicaflex SL or SL2, so-called 2 cam lenses are sufficient (they are usually a little cheaper). Most R lenses are available as 3 cam lenses, or are at least modifiable to 3 cam.

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On 8/6/2020 at 1:01 AM, Rancho said:

Hello everybody,,

I own the Leica R8 and love it, but I've wanted to try my hand at some of the fully mechanical Leica R cameras so I'm looking for recommendations!

I've heard good things about the Leica R6.2 and Leicaflex SL2, but otherwise I'm fairly unfamiliar with the all mechanical Leica Rs.

So what are some people's favorites https://19216801.onl/ https://routerlogin.uno/https://192168ll.link/?

Thanks!

Which would you recommend between the SL2 and the R6.2? They're priced around the same.

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I have an SL and it is a fantastic camera and is currently one of the best bargains in photography.  I bought mine in mint condition from an authorised dealer including a mint condition leather case for 100 Euros.  A mint R6.2 will cost 8 times that.

The SL is on the large/heavy side, similar to a Nikon F2.  It feels rock solid to use and has a lovely shutter sound.  The viewfinder is really nice and the metering is fast and intuitive to use.

I think I will one day get an R6 as it will be nice to have a small compact body for R lenses, and I always liked the styling of the R4/5/6.  The R7 looks a bit out of proportion with the increased height.

The best thing about the R cameras is the lenses which commonly have  the same optical formula and quality as the M lenses for 1/5 the price. 

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I will note that "favorite" does not necessarily mean "best".

My favorite is the Original, non-ttl just plain "leicaflex".  The first of Leica's SLR attempts, and like most (all?) of them, not very successful in the marketplace.

I actually like the non-focusing screen, and in my experience, the non-ttl meter consistently gives me good exposures.

"Favorite" does not also mean "most used", that would be the 6.2 for me, but when I do use the Original, I smile and think "this is so cool!"

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It's a toss up between my old favorite Leicaflex SL black body and my Leica R6.2. Both have their pluses and minuses. I like them equally, although the Leicaflex SL is prettier. 

G

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I enjoyed my R6.2, along with superb R lenses, in former film and darkroom days. The SL2 handles all those shooting tasks better for me now, with even better SL lenses.

Jeff

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On 8/6/2020 at 11:10 AM, Charles Morgan said:

 But they have to be 3 cam, not R 3rd cam. If you want the maximum available range of lenses, the R6/6.2.

 

 

I remember Doug Herr (Member here) saying he had ROM lenses converted to 2 Cam for his SLs. Check his website...

http://www.wildlightphoto.com

 

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Love the LEICAFLEX SL, though looking back to the seventies, I wished  I bought the LEICAFLEX SL2 but it was so expensive that I opted for the R3.

Between the SL and the R6/6,2 still prefer the Leicaflex's, at that time I choose the R7 over the R6.2 and I'am glad I did, the R7 is a wonderful camera.

My wish was always to see a Digital manual focus Leicaflex SL2 for my manual focus lenses without the need of auto focus, why bother with all the AF electronics for use on manual focus lenses, just give me basic metering, with good focus confirmation like my Nikon F6. 

 I don't use AF lenses on my F6 just Zeiss Milvas  MF lenses and love them.

SO IF LEICA PRODUCED IT, I WILL BUY IT NOW. 

My first and second camera's that I bought  the Minolta 1969 and the LEICAFLEX SL 1974, both shutters still work, now happily retired in my cabinet.

Ken.

PS The original Minolta lens was damaged so I replaced it with a newer one.

  Edited by hamey

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7 hours ago, hamey said:

My wish was always to see a Digital manual focus Leicaflex SL2 for my manual focus lenses without the need of auto focus, why bother with all the AF electronics for use on manual focus lenses, just give me basic metering, with good focus confirmation like my Nikon F6. 

Doesn't the SL2 + Leica R adapter fit the bill well enough? (OK there's surplus AF electronics for SL lenses, but with R lenses you don't know they are there.) The build of the SL2 to me has that LeicaflexSL2 tank like quality about it.

 

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4 hours ago, masjah said:

Doesn't the SL2 + Leica R adapter fit the bill well enough? (OK there's surplus AF electronics for SL lenses, but with R lenses you don't know they are there.) The build of the SL2 to me has that LeicaflexSL2 tank like quality about it.

 

If Leica had an adapter with full auto-diaphragm linkage and aperture sensing like a film M, the SL2 would be ideal. It is true that EVF focusing while stopped down to moderate apertures still works well, but I wish they made the adapter to work fully with 2&3 cam lenses.

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