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Thread: gear lust satisfied

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    gear lust satisfied

    In the 1990s, long before anything digital I could afford was worth being interested in, I'd decided I wanted to update my SLR kit and discovered the Leica R8. I handled this camera at the store and immediately rented one for a week with two lenses. Loved it. Then I priced it, and realized that I simply could not afford to think about buying the body, winder, and four lenses that would make a basic working kit. Such a kit was well into five digits and above my pay grade.

    Well, film gear has gotten so inexpensive that between last year and this I've managed to acquire a healthy kit of Leica R lenses as well as a couple of Leicaflex SL bodies for a relative pittance. The R lenses work so well on the Sony A7 it's as if they were made for it, or it for them, and the Leicaflex SL is just a terrific old hammer to shoot with too.

    But I still remembered holding and using that R8. I've kept my eye open for one. Recently there was one at a very fair price on Ebay that looked pretty good, so I bid for it. I won.

    Now, there's no way I needed another SLR body, and particularly not a 35mm film SLR. So I was a little betwitched as to whether I really needed/wanted/etc such a thing at this point in time. Winning the auction was almost an accident as there was another bidder whom I was sure had a topping bid beyond anything I wanted to pay. I was lowballing it at two minutes to the end and figuring "eh, no loss if I don't get it."

    The postman tried to deliver it yesterday but I wasn't home for signature, so I picked it up today. And just took it out of the box.

    Wow. It is immaculate, looks like it's hardly been used. All the booklets and paperwork are with it, the motor winder and the standard battery holder too. Everything is crisp, clean, and pretty as if it just came off the store shelf a week ago.

    Ain't it nice when fantasies drop into reality for a visit? Talk about deferred satisfaction .. It's been almost 20 years since I wanted one.

    I'll have to put batteries in and load it, take it for a walk this Saturday morning.

    G
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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Right there with you.

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    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Don't forget to put a roll of 'memory card' in it, Godfrey !

    Congrats with your new toy,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Just back from my walk and the R8's first outing with me. I used the 90/2 and 19/2.8 lenses.

    Cons: it's certainly a heavy thing to carry.
    Pros: I like everything else about it.

    What impresses me most, aside from the stunning quality of the viewfinder optics, are the controls and ergonomics. This is a fairly complex, end of the last century camera. From a shooting perspective, it does 95% of what the latest whizbang digital does; obviously, it doesn't have the burden of the image processing lab in every digital camera, but the controls for that could be added with minimal intrusion. Yet for shooting purposes, any decent photographer can figure out the whole camera in 10 minutes without a manual. Every control is in the right place and easy to use, get to, understand, and remember. The viewfinder display is clean, simple, unobtrusive, and fully informative.

    Why is this so difficult to achieve with our modern digital cameras? Why do we have magic wurlitzers like the Df with a control and a sub-control for everything it can do, or sleek pretty things with everything hidden beneath layers and layers of menu madness? The R8 achieves everything with an absolute minimum of controls, everything ready to your fingers, right where it needs to be... Why is this so difficult?

    Just like my car, I couldn't afford one when new. But I'm delighted to find that now, when they dont cost much through simple depreciation of the years, owning one is every bit as excellent as my fantasy of it promised so long ago.

    G
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    If you have an insatiable digital gear lust you can add a Leica DMR and make it power dependent, quirky, heavier, expensive and less reliable.

    (That said, I believe that there is still plenty of love out there for the DMR module's images)
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    If you have an insatiable digital gear lust you can add a Leica DMR and make it power dependent, quirky, heavier, expensive and less reliable.

    (That said, I believe that there is still plenty of love out there for the DMR module's images)
    No, that'll never happen. This is for film ... The Sony A7 with the same lenses is for digital, never mind its lesser qualities.

    The DMR was never anything I was interested in. An R10 might have been.

    G

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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Here are the beauty shots:


    On top: Leica R8 with Summicron-R 90mm f/2
    On bottom: Leica R8 with Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8 v1

    enjoy!

    G
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    Senior Member kweide's Avatar
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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    That was my last SLR camera. The body actually sold but the lenses are actually mine... i love the 90 mm cron ...
    __________________________________________________
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    Subscriber Member weinschela's Avatar
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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Godfrey, enjoy your R8. Simple is better sometimes. But "gear lust satisfied"? Are you sure you are all through? Every time I think "I don't really need anything else", it is followed at some point by getting something I didn't need. It is incurable.
    Alan

    Selection of work: http://weinschela.zenfolio.com

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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Quote Originally Posted by weinschela View Post
    Godfrey, enjoy your R8. Simple is better sometimes. But "gear lust satisfied"? Are you sure you are all through? Every time I think "I don't really need anything else", it is followed at some point by getting something I didn't need. It is incurable.
    Um, the intent was more "gear lust for a Leica R8 satisfied at last" but I thought that was a bit of a mouthful to write as a title. :-)

    There's always something entertaining to buy and play with. I resist more and more. Can't get much better than a Hassy SWC for wide 6x6. Can't get much better than an R8 for 35mm SLR, or Leica R lenses for digital FF. Passing fancy and the desire for a new shiny thing is often simply that: a passing fancy.

    Most of the extravagant money I've spent this year has been on Impossible film for Polaroid cameras ... :-)

    G

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Godfrey,

    Enjoyed the read, and I also enjoy my R8. It's the one film SLR I've kept, as I mainly moved to medium format if I shoot film (if I shoot). I have the full-on motor drive, too. If you think the base camera is heavy, try it with the drive! On the other hand, the built-in strap and relocated shutter button improve the handling so much as to make it almost a must-have (as is a battery rebuild by Michael Bass).

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    Re: gear lust satisfied

    Quote Originally Posted by mathomas View Post
    Godfrey,

    Enjoyed the read, and I also enjoy my R8. It's the one film SLR I've kept, as I mainly moved to medium format if I shoot film (if I shoot). I have the full-on motor drive, too. If you think the base camera is heavy, try it with the drive! On the other hand, the built-in strap and relocated shutter button improve the handling so much as to make it almost a must-have (as is a battery rebuild by Michael Bass).
    Thank you!

    I briefly considered acquiring the motor drive, saw one at a good price, but decided the winder that came with my R8 was enough. I did put batteries into the standard grip and enjoyed the somewhat lighter feel, but I like the ergonomics of the camera with the motor winder in place.

    It's simply a beautiful tank of a camera, solid and precise, so typically Leica. When I pull out the Nikon F and compare it to the Leicaflex SL and Leica R8...for all the goodness that is the Nikon F, it feels rough and crude.

    I used the F metering mode the other evening with my simple Sunpak strobe on an RF trigger. It's amazing how effective the R8's built-in flash metering is. I honestly never knew about it before!

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