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A beginner`s question on R8


angeche
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Hi there. This should be my first post.I am discovering photography quite recently. Just bought my first seroius camera a few months ago (no, at 45 I am not young anymore: it is just a late hobby discovery), a Nikon D80. My interest is macrophotography of watches (my own watches, I have a big collection).

 

But I am getting interested in old time photography. I have just bought a Leica IIIb and I plan to shoot my first pics tomorrow.

 

And I am thinking on buying some old reflex camera. And I love the looks of the R8.

I have seen some discussion on reliability as well as on expensive repairs. I think that most of the issues were related to early models and motor inconsistencies. Since I do not plan to use it in extreme exterior circunstances or with a motor I wonder to what extent I should be worried about this. My use will be, macros done in interior, with manual settings, and a few shots per week or month...

 

And how expensive are repairs? Are we talking of 200/300 euros or 600/900 euros?

 

Lens are also a bit confusing to me. I have seen some second hand reasonably priced, the macro 60 mm f 2.8 r 3cam. Is it compatible with the R8?

 

Finally, a watch forum friend has suggested I get instead a SL or SL2, or an R4S. Would you agree with that?

 

Frankly speaking I LOVE the looks of the R8. It is like buying a second hand Rolls Royce for a reasonable price...But I want a Rolls Royce, not a Jaguar XJS v12, if you know what I mean...

 

Many thanks and apologies for this very long question..

 

Jose M.

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Do want a new Phantom or an old Phantom II or III? The R8/9 is a great camera. I have one of each attached to my 2 DMRs. Ergonomically great, well built and wonderful cameras. The SL2 is like an old Rolls - simple, robust and it goes on and on and on..

 

If I were you, I'd try and get a R9 as it's newer. Some of the early R8s had electronic problems, but the R9s have been (as far as I know) more reliable.

 

Charlie

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Id go for the R9 it has some pretty snappy metering, flash and synch abilities. It has been said to be the best studio 35 ever built. As an outdoor hard use harsh environment camera its another story, but you arent going there. Buy newest and cleanest you can afford, the stuff has never been cheaper.

Edited by rob_x2004
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All the reflexes you mentioned are good, each different in its own right. Since you are a newbie I'd suggest you go for the R9 (although my SL2 is my favorite over my R8), newer so less potential problems (or at least further in the future), more sophisticated and unequivocably able to use the DMR without modification.

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To answer your lens question, yes the 60mm Macro lens will work ok on an R8/9. Any lens that is described as "3 cam", "3rd cam" or 'ROM" will be fine.

 

Used R8 prices are very low at the moment, and it's an excellent SLR, in fact I haven't used another that I prefer to it. However as mentioned above, if you can afford an R9 you should get a better warranty. But with R8 prices so low is it worth it?

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Hi Jose,

If the purchase is recent, not to forget that R8 has 5 years guarantee and R9 only 2 years :)

I have a R8 and it's really a pleasure to shoot with it

I have also a SL and a R4S.

Some R8 had problems at the beginning when we get a motor winder (taken by the guarantee and repaired by Solms)

but the last series are good !

I have the number serie 2775...

Regards

Henry

Edited by Doc Henry
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Thanks guys for a prompt response. The sole question still unanswered is how expensive is an expensive Leica repair....

 

For those of you that suggest a R9, well, the prices I have seen for it are in the proximity of 2.500 euros compared to 600 euros for the R8. Such a difference is really enormous, and I can spend 600 euros, but not 2500 euros....As some of you suggest, at that price difference you should spend a huge ammount of money in repairs in the R8 to compensate for the difference with the R9.

 

But yet again, thanks!:D

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At that differential in price I would go for the R8. Get a later manufactured one (particularly without the earlier blue-light viewfinder display). I've had 3 R8 and now settled down to 2 R9 (for the improved flash sync capabilities). No problems with any of them including use with a motor drive.

 

The R8/9 are great cameras in terms of handling... and a bargain now... as are many R lenses.

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Hi,

I am new here too and I have a similar problem. About one year ago I purchased an R8 from ebay. It was looking almost brand new.

I used several different brand cameras professionally in the past and when I took this R8 my reaction was a "wooow". It was best camera I have ever hold.

I took couple of shoots and everything seemed OK. But after some hours when I tried again nothing happened. Batteries was exhausted. Due to electronic malfunction, camera exhausts batteries in a very short time. After some time, display on back was gone so no ISO adjustment is possible.

I wrote to Leica and they said I have to send camera to them for repair.

I remember reading somewhere that early versions of this model was defective electronically. Mine is probably one of them. Camera is out of guaranty. If I send it to Solms, do they replace defective circuits free of charge or do they charge more than it's purchase cost. I paid about 800 USD for this camera. Does anyone have a similar experience with these.

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Take the chance and send it in ...

 

LEICA used to be quite generous in dealing with this problem.

At least when they were still selling R8s and R9s. With a bit

of luck they carry on with this policy and you might get it done

without a large bill.

 

Send it straight to SOLMS and use an abbreviation for the co. Reduces the risk

of getting rid of the camera in transit.

 

 

LC AG

Customer Service

Solmser Gewerbepark 8

35606 Solms

Germany

 

 

 

Best wishes

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Hi,

I am new here too and I have a similar problem. About one year ago I purchased an R8 from ebay. It was looking almost brand new.

I used several different brand cameras professionally in the past and when I took this R8 my reaction was a "wooow". It was best camera I have ever hold.

I took couple of shoots and everything seemed OK. But after some hours when I tried again nothing happened. Batteries was exhausted. Due to electronic malfunction, camera exhausts batteries in a very short time. After some time, display on back was gone so no ISO adjustment is possible.

I wrote to Leica and they said I have to send camera to them for repair.

I remember reading somewhere that early versions of this model was defective electronically. Mine is probably one of them. Camera is out of guaranty. If I send it to Solms, do they replace defective circuits free of charge or do they charge more than it's purchase cost. I paid about 800 USD for this camera. Does anyone have a similar experience with these.

Sorry for your R8 :mad:

 

ebay hum :D

I never buy on ebay because I do not know the person who sells.

We can make business but generally often disappointed afterward.

I buy all my Leica cameras at my Center advice Leica .It's a little more expensive but I am quiet.

The first series had problems when we install the motor. Solms repairs it under guarantee but for your problem it seems that it is different, may be electronic ?

I do not know if the guarantee is still valid ?

Solms can answer for that

Regards

Henry

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello,

I bought an used R9 on eBay: still working fine, but I wasn't completely pleased with the dealer's behavior, so I will buy from Leica directly next time.

Machine is excellent, tough, the best pictures on film I ever took.

Good luck, Emanuela

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I bought a used R8 on ebay and a motor winder early last year. It still works fine after a few dozen rolls of film has gone through the camera.

The secret to ebay is to check the sellers feedback and their return policies.

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