A Leica R6.2 Review – by Hamish Gill of 35mmc

A Leica R6.2 Review – by Hamish Gill of 35mmc

2000 1333 Hamish Gill

I’d not shot a Leica SLR before I picked up the Leica R6.2. In fact, when I first shot with this camera, I’d hardly shot with any make or model of SLR for a few years. I mostly mention this as it helps to explain why shooting an SLR had begun to feel quite daunting to me when I started contemplating this review back in the early part of 2019. You might then ask yourself why I chose to review the Leica R6.2, and perhaps even how this review – over a year later – has ended up here on Casual Photophile, and not back within the safety of my own website, 35mmc. The answer to the first of those questions is quite simple.

When someone offers to loan me a camera like the Leica R6.2, I find it hard to say no. This particular camera actually belongs to Alan Starkie from Cameraworks-UK. He’s recently been servicing a few of my lenses, so we’ve been in communication quite regularly. On one particular phone call, he mentioned he’d been given a Leica R6.2 and asked if I would like to borrow it. Of course, the answer was a resounding “yes please!”

As to how this review ended up on this website, well, the answer to that question dates back a few years to when myself and James originally started chatting about how we should find a way to guest-write for each other’s websites. But, despite lots of conversations, we never really got around to it. That was until we came up with the idea to review the same camera. To be clear, the plan wasn’t just to review the same make and model, we wanted to review the exact same camera.

When Alan sent me this R6.2, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. This is a camera that neither of us own, so have no emotional connection to at all. I would review it, then send it to James so he could do the same. We would then post each other’s reviews on our own respective websites, without any discussion around our personal findings toward the cameras. I asked Alan if he wouldn’t mind us doing this, and he kindly obliged.

My bet was that not only we would find each other’s thoughts interesting to compare, but so would you lot out there reading our websites. In short, once you’ve finished here, make sure to check out James’s (likely much betterer written) review over on 35mmc here. In the meanwhile though, here’s a set of my usual meandering thoughts for you to get your brain around.

SLR fear

Ok, so where to start? Well, it’s probably best I start with the aforementioned fact that I hadn’t really shot an SLR camera for a long time when I first picked up the Leica R6.2. To be fair, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, I had shot my Nikon F2but only when I wanted to use a shift lens, and that had been very infrequently.

I fell into this anti-SLR rut because at some point in the last 5-6 years when I found that my eyesight in my right eye wasn’t good enough to focus with the things. That combined with the fact I’d long struggled to frame an SLR with my left eye had meant that I found myself mostly shooting rangefinder and compact cameras.

This is precisely why I entered this particular process with a little trepidation. I was going to be writing my first review about an SLR, and it was to be published on someone else’s website. Frankly, it felt like a bit of a baptism of fire! Who knows what mean and horrible things you readers of CP might say to me…?! I’m joking, of course, I’m sure you’re all lovely and will be super nice to the new guy, right?!

Fortunately, the Leica R6.2 has turned out to be quite a pleasure to shoot. And actually, thanks to it going to James having it for a few months to play with, and then returning to me to shoot again, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my thoughts. Not least through the fact that I’ve actually ended up shooting loads of SLRs in the year since I started writing this. As such, hopefully, you’ll find that I’ve managed to get under the skin of the Leica R6.2 a bit without me getting too distracted by my own deficiencies…

In actual fact, coming to the Leica R6.2 after not shooting an SLR in anger for a long time turned out to be a bit of a surprise. I’d sort of talked myself into the feeling that I just didn’t like SLR cameras at all. What was to surprise me about the Leica R6.2 was how little I would find that opinion to be true…

The Leica R6.2 – the bells and whistles

Ok, so the basics first. The Leica R6.2 is a fairly solid feeling, manual focus, manual exposure, fully mechanical SLR with a built-in LED readout light meter.

The Lightmeter

The meter has 3 LEDs, two of which are arrows that point to a circle in the middle. The left arrow indicates underexposure and the right arrow indicates overexposure. When the circle in the middle is illuminated, exposure is what the camera thinks is correct. Not only do the arrows point to the circle in the centre, but they also indicate which direction the shutter and aperture dial needs to be turned.

Shutter speed, aperture, meter reading and metering type visible in the viewfinder

At this stage, if you’re familiar with Leica rangefinder cameras – specifically the M6 TTL – you might be thinking this all sounds quite familiar. Of course, that’s pretty much the extent of the features the M6 TTL has to offer. The Leica R6.2 brings a fair bit more to the table.

For a start, unlike the M6 TTL, the Leica R6.2 shows the exposure information within the viewfinder. Shutter speed and aperture are both displayed very clearly. There’s even a switch on the front left-hand side of the camera that activates a light in the head of the camera to illuminate both shutter speed and aperture setting. This means that all the useful information can still be seen quite readily in lower light with the camera to the eye.

The switch to turn on the illumination system in the finder – when switched on, it is activated by the half-press

Not only this, but the arrows that denote under and overexposure are labelled with ‘-‘ and ‘+’ symbols. Combine this with the dials that turn in the direction the arrows point, and you have a very intuitive shooting experience, even on first use, and even for someone who was feeling quite clumsy with an SLR!

The Leica R6.2 also has two metering modes – something not found on any of the Leica rangefinder cameras until the digital M240. The metering modes on the Leica R6.2 are switched using a control dial that’s conveniently located in a position your forefinger can find quite easily with the camera to your eye. One mode takes an average from the entire field of view, the other is a fairly large spot meter. The size of the spot meter pattern is also handily indicated on by a ring on the split image focusing screen.

To my mind, this is a very useful and in fact very intuitive feature. My success rate using the full field meter was fairly high, but when I was out shooting in evening light with the sun directly behind my girls, being able to quickly flick the switch to either take a reading of my subject or the grass nearby was very handy.

A walk with the girls

This was spot metered off the grass by my feet

Controls and dials

The rest of the right-hand side of the camera is quite nicely designed too. The control dial for selecting the shutter speed is fairly easy to turn with the camera to your eye. Actually, with the film advance lever flipped out, it’s possible to grip the dial quite comfortably between your forefinger and thumb. Unfortunately for me as a left-eye shooter, I can’t use the camera with the advance poking out without it interfering with my right eyebrow. That said, I can still adjust the shutter speed with just my forefinger, it’s just a little more tricky. And, to be fair, unlike a lot of the Nikon SLR cameras, the meter works without the film advance pulled out, so it’s not that big a deal anyway.

Whilst on the topic of the film advance, I feel the need to compare this Leica to the feel of my Leica rangefinders. I’d love to say that it has the same feel as my ridiculously smooth M4-P (or recently acquired Topcon RE Super – holy hell that thing is smooth feeling). Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite have the same action; the first bit of the movement isn’t spring-loaded, so it just sort of clicks out from the camera and then feels a little loose. Is this an issue? Does it make the camera any worse? Of course it doesn’t, I’m mostly mentioning it as it was one of the first things I thought to compare when I first picked up the camera – which probably says more about me than this does the Leica R6.2!

The shutter button is another departure from what I’m used to with the rangefinders – it’s nice to use, it’s just quite different. For a start, the button is almost flush with the surrounding shutter speed dial. When pressing it, it takes the slightest of touch to activate the meter, with the full press having quite a long throw into the camera. As I say, there’s no criticism here. In fact, I’d be more than comfortable saying that there really is very little about right-hand side of the camera that could be considered even remotely unintuitive or particularly uncomfortable, even for me as a left eye shooter.

Unfortunately, the story is slightly different for the top left-hand side of the camera. It’s not a disaster, but it did require me to spend a few minutes leafing through the manual to work out what it all does and how it’s supposed to work. This, to me at least, says a little bit about the quality of the user interface design, especially compared to the rest of the camera.

The first thing that confused me was the ISO button for adjusting the exposure index. In itself, it’s simple enough. Press it and it unlocks the dial so you can rotate it to select the ISO of the loaded film. What’s odd – or at least initially confusing – is that it lights a little lamp when you press it.

As it turns out, this is a battery check. Not too unusual really, apart from the fact that the manual suggests pressing and holding the button for a few seconds. If the lamp dulls in this time, the battery needs replacing. I’ve not run batteries down in it, so I don’t know how this plays out in practice, but that just struck me as a slightly odd instruction that sounded a little more like the sort of feature you’d find on some Soviet lump from the same era. Fortunately, of course, even if the batteries do run out, the Leica R6.2 is mechanical so will run happily – albeit sans lightmeter – without them if they do run out.

The exposure compensation dial works in a similar way, though – possibly for the fact that there is a bit missing off the R6.2 I have here – I couldn’t fathom it without referring to the manual. To adjust exposure compensation, first, you need to push in and rotate the little switch into an unmarked position. This unlocks the lever that pokes out on the opposite side of the dial to the switch. Once unlocked, this lever can be moved to adjust the exposure compensation to a maximum of -/+ 2ev as displayed in a little window on the dial.

You can see the bit of metal off which a plastic part is missing here

In short, both the setting of exposure index and exposure compensation feel a little fiddly compared to how well the features on the right-hand side of the camera feel. Fortunately, with how I’ve been using the Leica R6.2 – especially with the option to spot meter, and the fact that is a manual exposure camera anyway – the usefulness of exposure compensation has felt slightly reduced and so hasn’t really bothered me in practice.

The Leica R6.2 – in (personal) practice

So what does all this mean in practice? Well, for me, I must admit, I’ve found this camera to be quite compelling. On a personal level, probably for how intuitive the key features are, my concerns about shooting it as an SLR were quickly set aside. It’s not the most comfortable camera I’ve ever held, but a large chunk of that is likely just down to my preferences around smaller form-factor cameras, and me just generally feeling a little clumsy with SLR cameras. Outside of that preference, it feels solid, the viewfinder is pretty good, and I’ve not had nearly as many issues focusing or framing with it as I expected I might. All this is especially true when reflecting on my more recent experience shooting this camera versus my earlier experience – hopefully this is a sign that I’m becoming more familiar with SLR cameras again.

In practical terms, I feel that its nature as a fully mechanical camera stands it in good stead when compared to cameras that are reliant on electronics to function. Additionally, the implementation of the light meter, metering modes and exposure information in the viewfinder are really quite excellent!

In fact, these features are so good, that unlike some mechanical SLRs that can happily be used without their metering functions, I’d go as far to say that it would be a travesty not to use the battery-powered features found in the Leica R6.2. As I said earlier on in this review, I don’t shoot that many SLR cameras, but I have shot quite a few over the years, and I can’t think of many that I like as much as I do this camera in terms of the implementation of this level of features. The closest I can think of – perhaps because of the LED light meter – is probably the Nikon FM2, but that camera feels positively basic compared to the Leica R6.2.

Sample Photos

Lower Broadheath

Lower Broadheath

Lower Broadheath

Lower Broadheath

Connie & Norah


A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

A walk with the girls

The Leica R6.2 – not quite for me

Of course, basic isn’t always a bad thing. And, as someone who rates simplicity and minimal feature sets in cameras, I could probably make an argument for there being more bells and whistles than I really need on this type of camera. Since I began writing this review, I’ve been out shooting with a number of SLRs, with two that stick in my mind being the Nikkormat FTn, and a Pentax MX. Whilst out with these cameras – despite finding some foibles in both – I didn’t find myself wishing or feeling like I would have been at a significant advantage if I was shooting the more feature-packed Leica R6.2 instead.

In fact, for the Leica R6.2 to really tip the balance for me, I think I might have preferred it to have an aperture priority mode. This would have meant it was much more battery reliant of course, but I think that given the rest of its feature set, the added advantage of AE would have given it a bit more of an edge, for my tastes at least. But really, this is a personal thing. As time goes on, I’m increasingly finding myself either wanting practically-zero features, or a decent level of automation. Cameras in between – and I’d count the Leica R6.2 in this – just don’t feel quite ideal for the ways I like to shoot, however objectively good they might be.

Final thoughts

In short, it’s hard to find any issues with the Leica R6.2. Even before acknowledging the features, it feels solid, mechanically sound, has a good viewfinder and is relatively comfortable to hold. Add to that the very well implemented light meter, the useful set of information displayed in the viewfinder and the (largely) decent control layout, and as I’ve said, the Leica R6.2 makes for a very compelling SLR. Am I going to run out and buy a Leica R6.2 for myself though…? No probably not, but for anyone reading this thinking about buying one of these cameras, I wouldn’t let my preferences put you off, it really is a quite brilliant camera!

Many thanks to Hamish for sharing his thoughts with us here.

Find more of Hamish’s writing and photography at 35mmc

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Hamish Gill

I started taking photos at the age of 9. Since then I've taken photos for a hobby, sold cameras for a living, and for the last decade I've been a professional photographer. You can find out about all my other projects on - hamishgill.com

All stories by:Hamish Gill
  • As someone whose eyesight at close distances has been diminished over the years, I note your comment about SLR difficulty due to eyesight problems. In your case it seems to have manifested itself much differently than my own though. I have more trouble using a rangefinder than I do with an SLR, as long as the screen in the SLR has a split image. With a rangefinder (most recently a Fuji 6×9 “Texas Leica”), I cannot see the double image clearly enough without reading glasses to know if the patch is aligned or not. If I use readers, then the rest of the image is fuzzy.

    One thing I did not see, and may have missed, is that this 6.2 appears to have diopter adjustment available, which for me would make a huge difference.

    Many of the 35mm cameras I used years ago, Pentax Spotmatic, Nikon F, F2, Nikkormat FT3, and Olympus XA original, just to name a few, are out of the question for me today. Unlike most cameras from the modern era, none of them had that built in diopter adjustment, and as such leave me unable to reliably focus them anymore.

    Great write-up! Thanks.

    • Many Nikon’s accept the standard 19mm screw-in v/f dioptre adjustment lenses. But I suppose the difficulty today will be finding one with the relevant adjustment for one’s eyesight.

      • They’re fairly common and cheap on eBay–if you don’t mind ordering from Japan. I just bought a couple of +1.0s to put in my pair of Nikon FE’s to compensate for changes in my vision.

        You know, I really wish (I wonder if) someone makes an adapter ring to screw a Nikon diopter into a Leica eyepiece. I just placed a Nikon diopter over my M6’s eyepiece, and it works fine optically. It’s just too big to screw into the socket. I’m sure the cost of the adapter + Nikon diopter would be considerably less than a Leica diopter.

        I’d imagine if word got out you were producing something like that, it might be fairly popular/maybe profitable to make. (Assuming that the extra distance required for the adapter didn’t interfere with the focus of the diopter, and didn’t interfere too greatly with being able to see the outside set of framelines in the Leica viewfinder.) If anyone out there is skilled in that sort of metalwork…

      • My problem seems to be more with trying to clearly see the rangefinder focus patch. I was last using a Fuji 6×9, and they take a standard Nikon screw in diopter correction lens. And B&H was still carrying those.

        I found the one I needed, and installed it. Then the patch was really sharp and easy to use, but the whole rest of what I was viewing was out of focus. I actually had a guy write to me to convince me that that isn’t how it works.

        I don’t have Hamish’s issue with needing to use my left eye, I use my right, and have just decided that I either need autofocus or an SLR with a split image screen.

    • I am am pretty much a left eye shooter now, at least for critical focusing. I shifted to rangefinders a few years back as I found I could frame with my left eye as well as focus. SLR framing with my left eye just didn’t work. Fortunately after a few years using my left eye more, I think it has become more dominant… or at least I am better able to frame with it even with an SLR.
      My right eye is mostly junk for focusing, regardless of the camera tbh – I have an astigmatism too, so even glasses can’t fix it properly.

    • I omitted to mention that from the R5, 6 and 7 all feature built-in dioptre adjustment.

    • The built-in diopter persuaded me to buy an R6 after using an R-E for two years. Now I’m going to get a second R6 to complete my new photojournalism outfit. The Leicaflex SL bodies are decidedly heavy so will be used for assignments at home. Most of my lenses are 3 cam so exchangeable between SL and R bodies.
      The R-E is reliable and good, however I prefer completely manual shutters for travel abroad. I’ve got a small digital meter that runs on one AA battery as backup in case of problems with the R6s.

      The SL bodies balance out well when using the 180mm f2.8 and 250mm f4 lenses, these both have tripod mounts, the 135mm f2.8 is heavy but not too bad on the R series, ditto the 75-200mm f4.5, only zoom I have. Useful if slow. However it does have the 55mm filter thread same as 50mm f2 & 135mm f2.8.

  • Hi Hamish thanks for your review. I have a Leica R6 and 50mm Summicron. (the same as the R6.2 but with a slower top shutter speed of 1/1000 sec) and I want to like it very much. The camera is beautifully built and the lens feels wonderful in the hand. But the viewfinder is smaller and dimmer than my wife’s FM2 and not as easy to focus IMHO. Additionally the shutter release feels unresponsive and spongy. So while it feels wonderful in the hand and makes the Nikon seem like it’s made of lego in comparison, in use the FM2 is more effective. Oh well!

    • James mentioned this in his review. I didn’t really notice it – I suppose we are all differently sensitive to these sorts of things

    • I agree with Julian that the shutter release on Leica SLRs is really more than a bit meh. On every one I’ve tried, it seems there is a definite and sensible lag between pressing the shutter button and it actually firing. The total opposite of the sensation you get from an M–and a definite deal-killer for me as far as buying/using one.

    • It seems that all the Minolta derived Leica SLR camera, both electronic and mechanical, suffer from the same defect, the delayed release. i bought a beautiful Minolta XD-11, a camera that I always wanted and which was the grand parent of all of these cameras, and found it unusable because of that. Now i’m not a “decisive moment” kind of photographer, I just found it annoying. Not learning my lesson, I bought one of these Leica R whatever cameras, in beautiful condition, in a box, and was forced to return it for the same reason. I guess these examples were not the exceptions but the rule.

      • Wouter Willemse April 2, 2020 at 5:02 am

        I’ve had 2 R6s, a R3 and R7. The R3 is derived from another Minolta, but the R6 and R7 sure share the chassis. The R7 has a pretty normal responsive shutter release (*), both R6s were sluggish. It is annoying, but overall I did prefer the R6 all the same (only full stop shutter speeds, and the 2 selectable light meter modes, on the R7 these are linked to the camera mode meaning you cannot use full frame metering in manual mode).
        Also, the mechanical inside of the R6 was unique to Leica, and not shared with Minolta.

        (*) meaning, a lot better than the R6, not as quick as the R3 or any of the Nikon cameras I’ve used.

        I do disagree with the remark above about a FM2 feeling less well-made than these R cameras. They feel pretty equal, in terms of construction quality. I liked the R6s because of the great lenses, but as a camera body I don’t feel it is very special. While the FM2 feels made to last, responsive and adds 1/4000th shutter speed….

        • Wouter Willemse, I look forward to what you have to say regarding R series Leica cameras. You clearly speak from great experience with them. I’m new to R but have used Leicaflex SL bodies for around four years now. I appreciate the lighter weight of R-E & R6

  • Hi Hamish,

    I have the quite similar R4 but have not quite warmed to it. It seems a slightly uncomfortable compromise between my more manual and tactile Leicaflex SL2 and my more automated R9. The R9 has the most accurate metering of any film camera I have used and I think from the 10 rolls I shot on an Indian trip last year, I had just 2 or 3 wrongly exposed shots. The only downside of all the R (and M) cameras, is the absence of built in motor drive. As my right thumb has days when it barely works at all, I have motor drives on both my R4 and R9 (and on my IIIa, M4-P and M7) and they are big and clumsy. If Contax could built motor drives into their similarly sized SLR’s and G series rangefinder, why couldn’t Leica?


    • I suppose they’ve just always been a little behind the curve with the technology …

      • Stefan Staudenmaier March 31, 2020 at 8:38 pm

        Well if you think so just read this…


        But after spending the last part of the 1970s working on prototypes, Leica dropped plans to bring autofocus to consumers. Leica figured its customers already knew how to focus their cameras.

        “There’s an element of truth in that,” said Heinz Richter, who was a member of the Leica Historical Society of America when he held one of the first autofocus cameras at a meeting in Minneapolis in 1980. “Leica used to be an extremely conservative company. The autofocus mechanism as they were available then didn’t fit into the company’s ideal of precise focusing.”

    • Wilson, I’m guessing that it isn’t a case of “Why couldn’t Leica..” but a different approach to motor drives and winders. Leica provide both, with the motor drive for professional users, and the winder more so for those who didn’t have a need for a motor drive. But I would also postulate that for a professional user, having a built-in winder fail would be of far more concern than one that can be easily replaced.

  • Nice review, Hamish. In view of your known aversion to slr shooting in general because of your right eyesight issues, I was half expecting to be posting a comment along the lines of “why bother?” But, no, it looks as though this Leica is addressing most of the concerns you usually have with an slr. It is understandable why R/f focusing with a Leica M is always going to be better for you, but at least if you have a particular need on a shoot where only an slr will do, you know a Leica R6 will likely be for you. I have the slightly more advanced R7 which provides a P mode coupled to a P shift option (by selecting P as the basic function, moving the shutter speed gives a different exposure rage response). Top speed is still 1/2000, + dioptre adjustment, and a more advanced flash function with the appropriate flash units. I’ve never handled an R6 series, so I can’t say if the R7 finder is brighter, but it is certainly up there with the best.
    Interestingly, you didn’t mention the 50mm focal length and how you felt about it. Going by the images here, it is certainly sharp, and the film has come up with some lovely colours in bright sunlight.

    • Thanks Terry, I’m sticking with my growing collection of Pentaxs though I think. I’ve just loaded a tatty me super and 50mm 1.7. It’s also less ideal than an RF, but it’s relative cheapness makes me feel a lot more comfortable with it.

  • Thanks for the write-up. Couldn’t help notice the used sample you showed could’ve used a serious exterior/wipe-down/cleaning!
    I’ve been using Leica’s from SM to M to SLR’s for years. ‘Robust-ness’ has never been an issue with their camera’s, at least no9ne of mine have ever had issues. The motor questions were always a frustration for me when i used the camera’s professionally. The SL series MDrives were beastly heavy, in large part to the heavy bullet proof construction and the 10AA batteries needed for power. The R series drives were capable enough and reliable. Though the winders were kind of worthless albeit usable. Leica’s ability/desire to expand the product accessory/range was limited by finances as much as anything else.
    Too, Leica didn’t know how to market or share development costs from SLR to M and after they dropped the AF invention and had a the M customer base crying about the M5 size (while completely overlooking the excellent right side handling of the body and the METER) and the ‘tradition user base’ ended up winning out (the M5 was dropped, the SL2 discontinued) and the M’s flourished while the SLR range suffered into the future. They sold the AF tech to Minolta and Minolta began it’s market surge and Leica contracted with them to make an Leica designed/spec’d SLR loosely based on electronic MF Minolta SLR’s.
    So, after the SL series, Leica produced/assembled the electronic R series bodies. I Found them to be perfectly usable, but never really felt that Leica took the best route to the Leica SLR future. They were smaller than the Flex’s but didn’t have the that ‘Flex feel’. The meter’s were better (though the Flex spot meter’s were fine) so overall, we got smaller bodies, with better meters in a serviceable form.
    The mechanical R’s were a long time coming – I never thought they would bother – and the R6 never really lit my fire, but the R6.2 was a proper step forward and a worthy carrier of the SL Flag and it garnished Leica with some market attention. The 6.2 IS an excellent camera.
    As an aside, Leica corporate dropped the ball on it’s long existing SLR user base when it came out with the S series. There was heightened interest for an AF DSLR with much pre-release talk on the blogs about whether it would be able to use MF R lenses. The excitement was that Leica was finally coming out with an DIGITAL R Camera – great! Then it was shown at Photokina in the S form with a empty space in the display case without what people were really interested in; a DIGITAL R body, not a new medium format Leica that cost $20,000.00!
    Leica deservedly caught a lot of flack about leaving the R user out in the cold once again. Leica’s new owner and management became rather arrogant (again) with multiple excuses thrown in for good measure to cover the fact that they HAD left the R user’s out in the cold. It’s long passed now of course and the did finally come out with an AF DSLR named Leicaflex…..and so the legacy continues,,,

    • Leica have always struck me as arrogant. Indeed, that’s the best word to use. Oh they make a half-hearted attempt to state that they listen to their consumer base, but I don’t believe it. Rather, they seem to tell us what THEY have decided we want, need or aspire too. Now could this be a German trait? I’m not anti-German, far from it. I have a M-B car, have had a Golf and 2 Scirocco models, all new and Zeiss lenses in my glasses and sunspecs. Perhaps the last time they listened to us was to give the Leicaflex an inbuilt meter as the SL in 68.

  • Finally, a review of my favourite SLR! For me, this is the one Í would keep if I had to give all but one away. Funny thing is, I donˋt really know why this is so. I have a couple of cameras to choose from, among them a Leica R7, a Nikon FM2, an F2, an F3 etc. I give them all exercise to keep them in good shape, but the R6.2 is the one I love to shoot most. I will admit that it is not „the best“ of all the above or that I could achieve results with it I couldnˋt achieve with any other camera. I expect the Nikons to be more reliable in the long run. Leica glass is excellent, but I have been more than happy with what I got from Nikkors, Zuikos, Rokkors…

    This emotional attachment is about me, not about the camera. When I made my first steps in photography in the 1980s, Leicas were more like mythical beings, dragons or fairies. They existed in camera catalogues and reviews, but not in the real world. No one I knew had one, My richer friends would have Canon AE-1 Programs, and us other folk had cheaper things from lesser known brands. I never even saw a Leica before 1987.

    My R6.2 evokes memories of other dreams of the 1980´s which were just as unachievable, such as the Mercedes 260 SE that my friend‘s Dad owned. It feels saturated, refined, reassuring, smooth, nice. I love it and I love picking it up and run film through it.

    Is it objectively better than a Nikon FM2? I‘d say no. Different, but not better. Is it worth the extra money? Objectively, if you are looking for a capable photography tool, no. It is also not as collectible as an SL2 I am given to understand. And it is no M. (I prefer my Rollei 35 S over that, but that is just me being silly).

    To me, this is the camera I just love using most and that makes it special. To me.

    Thanks for the review and all the best from Germany


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Hamish Gill

I started taking photos at the age of 9. Since then I've taken photos for a hobby, sold cameras for a living, and for the last decade I've been a professional photographer. You can find out about all my other projects on - hamishgill.com

All stories by:Hamish Gill