Beater Leica R8

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Huss, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Huss

    Huss Member
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    Picked up a super thrashed on Leica R8. I've never seen an R Leica so 'used'. Guess not everyone babies them. Bought it because I wanted the lens that was on it - Gen 2 Summicron 50 3 cam - for my R9. This was one of those time it was cheaper finding a camera with lens than just the lens itself!
    Lens has outer wear, but glass is excellent. The 'free' R8? DOF lever broken - I don't care. Metering and shutter speeds seem accurate. But here's da weird thing. The camera only stops the lens down to F4. It goes slightly narrower after that but that's it. Does it with any lens. The Cron works perfectly on the R9.
    I don't really mind, because the R8 was a bonus, and with it's 1/8000 top speed, I can pretty much use it wide open all the time anyway. But I'm curious as to what could be the issue.
    Compared to the R9, this thing is waaaaay heavier. And it's weird there is no frame counter on the top. And strangely, I prefer that the mode dial is not locked. Guess people complained about that as on the R9 you have to push a button to unlock it which to me slows things down and is a pain.

    I never imagined I'd have a better cosmetic shape Zenit than Leica...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Theo Sulphate

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    It's in good shape; it has only a few more scratches than mine.
    :smile:

    IMAG7624-1.jpg IMAG7638-1-1.jpg
     
  3. blockend

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    Hard to work out why it's brassed that way. The prism took most of the hit on the corners, like it's been rolling around in the foot well of a van for a few years. Best guess is it was the lower camera in a pair carried by a photojournalist.

    The R8 is a ridiculous camera. I want one.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  4. OP
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    Huss

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    One thing I noticed is the R8 only has a memory lock on the spot meter mode. The R9 does it on spot and avg.
     
  5. film_man

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    That was the most annoying thing on the R8, especially given the exposure compensation buttons are hidden behind the flap.
     
  6. miha

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    It must have been quite some time since you have been using one..:wink:. Exposeure coompensation dial is very convenietly placed left to the viewfinder
    https://www.apotelyt.com/photo-camera/leica-r8
     
  7. film_man

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    Ah yes, sorry last time I used it was 2+ years ago. It was the ISO buttons behind the flap. Still I find it very annoying having to use the exposure dial vs locking exposure with a single button. Anyway, beyond that they are great cameras, great viewfinder, super smooth shutter and they look great. I kind of regret selling mine.
     
  8. OP
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    Huss

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    My first roll came back and it had a long, even horizontal scratch down the entire length of film. This wasn't a fault of the processor (this time!), as all my other film I dropped off from other cameras including a Zenit 12SD was fine.
    I've read that some R8s can scratch film due to a piece that wears out and can get rough next to the pressure plate, but before jumping to that conclusion I blew the inside out again with canned air, shot another test roll of random stuff and will check that tonight to see if it is still doing it.
    The film winder on this beater R8 is just as smooth as the R9, and the smoothest out of any camera I've used. It really is something else. On this R8 it had some vertical axis motion, so I removed the plastic trim on the lever, and saw that the nut holding the lever down was loose. A quick tighten, and it feels good as new. This camera definitely has seen serious, heavy use!
     
  9. film_man

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    The R8 is indeed a very very smooth camera. Both the winder and the shutter action are really smooth and sound great. The more I talk about the R8 the more I miss it. Maybe I should get one and try the Lux lenses this time (last time it was 35/50/90 Cron).
     
  10. macfred

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    If I ever will buy another 'R' - model (my 'all-time favorite' is the old R3), it will probably be the R8.
     
  11. CMoore

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    Leica.cameras?
    Typically they are pristine pristine, aren't they.?.........must be the same people that purchase PRS Guitars. :smile:
     
  12. OP
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    Huss

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    Ok, so got the second test roll back, and it has the exact same horizontal scratch about 1/3 of the way up, across the entire length of film. I heard that this piece is to blame as it can wear out. Even though I couldn't detect anything sharp... I read that some had put a piece of tape on it as a fix. So I did the same and will see how it goes. Anyone else heard about this fix?
    (that white dot on it is just an artifact/reflection)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Theo Sulphate

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    Which side of the film is the scratch on?
     
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  15. blockend

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    Reckon the edges of the tape are going to cause problems. That R8 looks like it's lived life to the full. Unless there's a point on the roll bar it wouldn't be my Sherlock moment, but sometimes you have to go with your instincts.
     
  16. OP
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    Huss

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    On the shiny side.
     
  17. OP
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    Huss

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    Carlos Santana uses Leicas? Cool.
     
  18. locutus

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    amusingly enough, Anton Corbijn did, a lot of his turn of the century 35mm stuff was done with a R8 and the 80mm 1.4.
     
  19. OP
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    Huss

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    Just put my 3rd test roll in the camera. I'll see soon enough if the scotch tape helps.
    Good thing I bought a huge stash of Fuji C200 a couple o years ago when Adorama had it at $1.49/36 exp!
    I really hope this works because this beater camera gives perfect exposures with excellent film spacing.
     
  20. shutterfinger

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    A. lot of wear here.
    B. metal edge appears to be even or above the center fixed area and the outer roller edge. Loosen screw to the left of the B and try to adjust the roller. needs cleaning with 90% alcohol.
    C. needs a blow job with canned air.
     
  21. summicron1

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    by any chance is that silver roller at (C) in the above picture not rotating as the film winds up? Looks pretty grimy, and if it were sticking it would cause the scratch.
     
  22. OP
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    Huss

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    Thanks for the input. I checked it before and it rotates. Plus the scratch is on the shiny side, so the opposite of what that would touch on the film.

    EDIT: I just got what you meant. The roller touches the outside(shiny) side of the film when it comes back around on the rubber roller. I wound the film back into the cartridge leaving the leader out so I could reload it, and checked it. It does rotate but I cleaned it with 91% isopropyl. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Funny thing is the picture makes the inside of the camera look filthy, but in reality it does not look like that. I guess the jpeg engine of my iphone picks up and enhances everything, for better or worse!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  23. OP
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    Huss

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    Thanks for the input.

    B. - I will try that after this film is done and the issue still exists
    C. - done that a lot already. The image exaggerates the imperfections. I was thinking about cleaning it with a q tip and 91% isopropyl but it is made of rubber and 'old' and I don't want to risk drying it out. EDIT - I cleaned it with the alcohol and it looks much better.

    Fingers crossed!

    Another observation - you cannot dry fire the camera with the back open. It needs to be closed so the contacts on the film door touch those on the body. Which makes it a bit annoying when winding/firing/cleaning etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  24. blockend

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    You should be able to isolate the exact point where the scratch occurs by reference to the film, relative to the camera's interior hardware. If it's across every frame, the culprit should identify itself quickly. The elusive faults are ones that occur over a few frames every roll.
     
  25. OP
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    Huss

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    That's the thing, matching the scratch on the film to the body did not show anything obvious/visible to my eye. The R8 is notorious for scratching film due to item "B" in the image above that Shutterfinger so helpfully placed. "B" apparently wears and becomes rough with use, and this camera is seriously used!
     
  26. NB23

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    Why is there tape over “B”?
     
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