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M lenses on R camera?

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Hello, Forgive my newbie ignorance. I'm just coming to rangefinders and Leicas in particular.


Is it possible to use M lenses on an R-mount camera? Possibly with an adapter? If so, are there disadvantages or problems?


I've just been looking at various adapters out there (allowing use of R lenses, for example, on the native M lens mount of the Epson R-D1 and others allowing use of Leica lenses on a Canon, etc.).


Any info on specific adapters would be greatly appreciated or any other comments.


Thanks so much!



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In general the answer is no. You will lose infinity focus as the lens to film/sensor distance is less with the M lenses than the R. Steve Gandy at Cameraquest had an adaptor on his site, and was taking orders for it, but the intention was to use the M lenses for close up work on an R. The adaptor appears to have disappeared from his site after so perhaps there were production problems.

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There were two adapters, which allowed the use of Leica Visoflex lenses while maintaining infinity focus. Leitz order numbers were 14127 and 14167; the ‘27’ was a one cam version for the original Leicaflex, the ‘67’ was a three cam version which can be used with all R series Leicas.


Since Visoflex lenses were positioned further from the film plane, (so-called short mount lenses), the 14127 and 14167 adapters allowed for the film flange to film plane differences between two systems and infinity focus was possible. Lenses in regular M mount can only be used for close-ups, with the adapter basically functioning as an extension tube.


On some Leica telephoto lenses the lens unit could be removed and mounted into a special focusing adapter (16464) to allow infinity focus on the Visoflex reflex housing. Among those were the Elmarit 2.8/90mm, Summicron 2/90mm, Elmar 4/90mm, Hektor 4.5/135mm, Elmar 4/135mm, Tele-Elmar 4/135mm and the Elmarit 2.8/135mm. Some lenses were made only in short mounts - Elmar 3.5/65mm, Hektor 2.5/125mm and of course all lenses above 200mm.


There are many ways to mount SLR lenses to an M body. Check Cameraquest - http://www.cameraquest.com/adaptslrRFM.htm and http://www.cameraquest.com/adpSLRRF.htm . Also, Canon, Pentax and Minolta used to make adapters to mount their SLR lenses to Leica screw mount bodies. By adding an LTM to M adapter, the combinations could be attached to an M body as well, understandably without rangefinder coupling.


Good luck,



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I've been using M lenses on R bodies and other manufacturer's SLR & DSLR bodies for a couple of years. In order to achieve infinity focus the key is to use those Leica M lenses which were designed to also be used on the Visoflex in the Visoflex focusing mounts. In addition to the Leica manufactured adapters, Cameraquest and Fotodiox seem to be quite popular; in the UK there is a specialty place called SRBfilm which manufactures specialty adapters for a broad range of lenses and cameras. I've even cobbled together an adapter which allows me to use my M lenses on an old Exakta I have...with terrific results. I used the rear end cap for M lenses and a machined down Exakta T adapter + lots of epoxy. It isn't the sturdiest contraption, but it will do until I decide if I want to have somebody machine one for me.

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