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User comments btil June 2003



What is your experience with the this camera, what is your way of using it?
A couple of years ago, I bought a used Leica R7 with a few lenses, after having owned an Olympus OM system for almost 20 years. I was immediately impressed with the R7’s build quality, ease of use and comfort. The R7's mirror and shutter were well d&ed and emitted a quiet but very solid "ker-lunk". Holding the camera gave a feeling of quality and solidity that's hard for me to describe. The results I got with it were very pleasing, too, although that’s probably due more to the superior R lenses than to the R7 itself.

The R7’s exposure and metering modes were: manual (spot), aperture priority (spot), aperture priority (integrated), shutter priority (integrated) and variable program (integrated). The camera offered TTL flash control, with fill-flash capability in shutter-priority and program modes. Mirror lock-up was possible but required the use of a secondary cable release or a stiff pin, to set the mirror lock.

The R7 had no matrix metering and its fastest flash synch shutter speed was a rather slow 1/100 second but I found that its functionality satisfied my requirements at the time. I preferred it to previous electronic R models (R3 to R5) because the electronics were reportedly new and bug-free. The R7 also had an improved viewfinder display and few sexy additional features (for Leica, anyway!) such as fill-flash, the ability to select intermediate shutter speeds and overrideable DX-coding.

The R7 was, admittedly, no match in features for contemporary top-of-the-range Canon or Nikon SLR models but I’ve never felt the need for such features anyway. I’ve since traded up to an R8 (and subsequently changed over completely to Leica M) but I still have fond memories of the R7. It’s a model that has retained its popularity, which is reflected by its price on the used market.
I have a couple of R7s as well as an R8. I have thought about trading the R7s for a second R8 or now an R9. I have not done so because I find that over the years I have become quite fond of them.
Is there anyone who can tell me the main difference between R5 and R7?
The other post told that the viewfinder of R5 is better than the one of R7. Is it true?
I'm tring to buy a R7 now.
The brightness of viewfinder is very important to me.
So, that makes me hesitate to pick up R7.

Please tell me what is the advantages of R7 compared to R5?
Thanks in advance!
If viewfinder brightness is important, consider the R8, R9 or the old Leicaflex SL or SL2. The Leicaflex viewfinders are among the best ever made, and the R8/R9 viewfinder is nearly as good.

The viewfinder display of the R7 is improved over the R5, and the shutter has half-stop increments in manual mode. The TTL fill flash capability of the R7 is more flexible than the R5's.
Dear Park,

I have both the R5 and the R7 and cannot find any difference in the quality of the viewfinder.

The reason for acquiring the R7 was the mirror lock-up facility. I planned to sell the R5 when the R7 arrived but havn't got around to it yet.

The R7 feels a better made camera and the shutter release is more precise and quick. The addition of an Abrahamsson Softie made both cameras better in use.

In practical terms other than the mirror lock-up I see nothing of substantial difference.

Further I endorse the comments of Douglas Herr. The R cameras have their use, particularly with automatic metering, however if you want a really good SLR, find a Leicaflex.

Thank you Justin Scott for your kind reply.
At last I bought a R7 and 35mm PA Curtagon lens a few days ago. Thanks to your comments I made a decisive decision to pick up R7. Now I'm very happy with this one.

But Dear Scott, please help me out!!!
First, I couldn't find an auto exposure lock button. There must be somewhere in R7. Must be, I guess. But I couldn't figure it out.
Second, I found the slide button in the right side of lens mount. The selectable switch indicates the two symbols.
One is a circle, and the other looks like a bulb.
What is this for?

Thanks in advance.

As to your question: "Second, I found the slide button in the right side of lens mount. The selectable switch indicates the two symbols.
One is a circle, and the other looks like a bulb.
What is this for?"

That's the button to turn on or off illumination for the aperture scale in the finder. The bulb is for on.

Enjoy the R7 it's a great tool
As to your first question, "I couldn't find an auto exposure lock button."

The exposure value is maintained for as long as your finger stays on the shutter-release button.

You might want to see if you can get a copy of "Leica R7" by Arthur Lant, published by Hove Books. It will probably answer 99% of your inqueries as it contains a lot more than the manual does.

Good Snaps!
Dear Park,

Exposure lock is only possible in spot aperture mode and unnecessary with overall metering.

In spot aperture mode with the shutter wound on, point at the area you wish to meter, depress the shutter button until the illuminated A light in the bottom left of the viewfinder goes out. Then hold and recompose and release the shutter.

Do you have an instruction book? If not write to TS@leica-camera.com and ask to be sent one.

Best wishes,

Justin Scott