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I was quite disappointed that why it take 6 years to make such a insignificant improvement to the R8. Should not bother to rename it or just name it R8.2. It does not even justify to be name R9 in the first place.
You may have a point there, that it would have been more reasonable to name it R8.2 than R9. But why have you been disappointed? What have you been expecting?
In my opinion, the R8 is in it's class the best camera body that has been developed. If you would have asked me in advance, what I would like to have seen improved on the R8, I would have had difficulities to give you an answer.
Yes, the R9 is better than the R8. But in general the improvements are only marginal for daily photography. To be honest I don't realy care about the R9 and I am still very happy with my R8.
Now wait a minute guys. You are the same bunch that say NO to AF M bodies and yet you decry the evolution rather than revolution in the R series. Interesting psychology to us Leica users. I would think that this should not have come as a surprise at all. This has been Leica practice for 50 years and the last great revolutionary step was greatly criticized by Leica users (the R3). The next one will really be a shock (when Leica unveils its AF body and lenses and a digital SLR to accompany it). My guess is 2004.
I know there are some improvements, but these should have been done actually already with the R8. I.e. I do not see the metering lock in the average weighted metering now (finally) as somtehing we should be thankful if we put so much money on the table...
Who shall understand this?
P.S: But as always. Leica has a nice stand on the photokina. At least they know how to make very good marketing
though there are not much improvement on the R9, i believe the R9 is worth buying when the price goes down in a few months. Once i have R9, i will remove the stupid connecting metal for the shoulderstarp on my R8 . I have been waiting for the HP flash sync found in most advanced camera and old olympus OM-4T ...
I only had 3 big problems with the R8. No focus confirmation, no autofocus and it's hard to focus quickly and surely. That none of these problems were addressed in the R9 is maddening.
It shouldn't be this hard to put a great lens on a great camera when we're this close. Help us focus for crisakes!
And for those of you thinking of the N1 - be aware that you need the 645 lenses to get to Leica quality. And they're some biggass lenses to be haulin' around. It's the end of 2002 and there's still no answer.
You certainly do not need to use 645 lenses to get Leica quality since Zeiss qualities are different to Leica anyway. If you want Leica quality get a Leica, if you want Zeiss quality get a Zeiss. Me personally, I have both. However, the 100mm Macro Sonnar is every bit as good as many Leica lenses.
Rick, Leica will not be offering autofocus or focus confirmation (which is 85% of autofocus anyway) in a film SLR camera. The 35mm SLR film camera market is shrinking and they feel it would not be cost effective. As to your focusing problems, with the R8... Did you properly set the diopter adjustment on the viewfinder? Did you looking changing the screen to the microprism or plain groundglass types? When was the last time you had you eyes checked and a new prescription for your glasses? I've found the R8 the easiest of all the Leica reflex cameras to focus. Good Luck and Happy Snaps....
> Charles Hehl wrote: I have had my R9 for about 2 months and love it. I went from an R6.2, I also use various M's 2-6. I find the R9 a very capable unit, particularly with the motor-drive.
Could you tell us more about what you like. I am particularly interested in the brightness of the viewfinder and the ease or difficulty or accurate focus. I have never had an R camera in my hands, so I have no idea of what the viewfinder looks like. Also, how does the camera balance, how does it feel in your hands?
This expands on my earlier post regarding my experience with the R9. I am responding to a request for additional information on brightness of the viewfinder, ease of focusing and handling.
The R9 is my second Leica SLR. I have also used Nikon film cameras and I still have an old Nikon FE. I am mainly a Leica M user that got into the R system because of what I had read about the quality of Leica R glass. I have five M cameras, including two M6TTLs that see the majority of my professional and personal use. My Noctilux is dedicated to my high mag M6, while my 35mm Summilux ASPH is glued to my 0.72 M6.
I initially bought an R6.2 for longer lenses, including the 100mmf2.8 Macro. This lens is outstanding and a reason by itself to use the R system. As I acquired more Leica R glass, I wanted a second body. Last October I attended a Leica workshop and was able to use both an R8 and R9.
Both the R8 and R9 are first class. The viewfinders are essentially the same and are the brightest and clearest I have seen. The R9 has the advantage of being lighter in weight and has a locking button for the mode dial. I elected to order an R9. I received it in November.
I have used the R9 quite a bit in the last several months. I added the motordrive immediately as it really allows one to use some of the additional features such as the auto-bracketing. Because I use it mainly use it with longer lens, I changed the focusing screen to ground glass vice the slit-image original equipment. I have found the ground glass very effective for longer lenses, but I have used it with a newly acquired 21-35 Vario with excellent results...even in low light.
The R9 is definitely lighter than the R8, although when one adds the motordrive and an 80-200 Vario the difference in weight (100g) is not material. Never-the-less, it is a great handling camera. I have used it at several sporting events and found the focusing very quick. If you follow the link, there are some recent photos from a wrestling event.
I have used the R9 mainly in the aperture priority mode. I have used it in the program mode both available light and with TTL flash. I use it with a Metz 32Z2/3502 module. In the program mode using flash, it provides automatic fill flash. The results in all modes I have used have been excellent. In particular, the fill flash works great. It is hard to tell a flash was used unless the subject is to close to a wall or something else giving a tell tale shaddow. I generally use the Metz bounce diffuser which helps.
In summary, I bought the R9 as a backup for my R6.2, but since buying it the R6.2 has seen little use. I am very pleased with the camera.