Leica R9


Leica R9

Infobox Camera
camera_model = R9


manufacturer = Leica
camera_type = Still image camera
sensor_type = Film
sensor_size = 24×36 mm
recording_medium = 135 film
lens_system = Leica R bayonet
focus_type = Manual
shutter_speeds=1/8000 to 32 s & bulb
f_numbers = Depends on lens

The Leica R9 is a manual focus 35 mm single-lens reflex camera produced by the German firm of Leica as part of their R series of cameras. It was released in 2002, replacing the very similar Leica R8, upon which it improved in several aspects.cite web|url=http://www.leica-camera.us/culture/history/leica_products/|title=Leica Product Timeline|publisher=Leica Camera AG] Unlike other manufacturers, Leica has never offered autofocus on its top-of-the-line models such as the R9, or the M series rangefinder cameras.

The R9 can be fitted with the "Digital Modul R" (DMR) 10-megapixel digital back and used as a digital camera; during the DMR's production run from 2005 to 2007, the R9 and the R8 were the only 35 mm film SLRs capable of taking a user-installable digital back. However, as of March 2007 Leica discontinued the Modul R back, which offered a relatively small LCD screen and unremarkable digital sensor compared to other digital cameras, ostensibly because of change in relationship with the digital manufacturer Imacon [http://www.leicapages.com/novelties.html] .

Changes from the R8

The R9 was an evolutionary step from the R8 and appears superficially very similar; enough so that some have opined that it should have been simply a Mark II of the R8, or in Leica nomenclature, a "R8.2".cite web|url=http://www.imx.nl/photosite/leica/rseries/r9.html|title=Leica R9|author=Erwin Puts|work=Photosite]

The silver top-plate color available on the R8 was replaced by an 'Anthracite' color on the R9; the black color remained available. Another external change was the addition of a LCD frame counter on the top plate between the wind lever and the shutter-speed dial. The mode selector dial gained a lock, after many R8 user complaints that it was too easily knocked off the desired setting when handling the camera. The rear LCD display gained a light so it could be viewed in dim lighting.

The mass of the R9 was reduced by 100 g (to 790 g) from the R8; this was achieved by switching to a magnesium casting for the top plate (formerly zinc alloy) and to aluminum from steel for the frame of the bottom plate.

Electronic changes included the ability to tune the sensitivity of matrix metering in steps of 0.1 EV independently of the other metering modes, and several improvements to the flash support. Metz's HSS (High Speed Sync) flash mode was now supported, allowing fill flash at shutter speeds greater than the X sync speed by the use of many repeated small flashes of the electronic flashgun. This mode could be used from 1/360 to the camera's shortest 1/8000 shutter speed. Also improved was the use of fill flash at slower shutter speeds and wider apertures, by enabling lower-power illumination modes on modern Metz equipment. The manual flash exposure compensation ability in Program mode was improved, and AE lock was now possible in all automated modes.

Accessories

Leica sell a number of dedicated accessories for the R8 and R9. In addition to the Digital Modul R, these comprise the following:cite web|url=http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/r_system/accessories/|title=R System Accessories|author=Leica Camera AG]

* Motor-Winder R8/R9: gives powered film transport (loading/advance/rewind) and continuous 2 frame/s shooting. It affixes to the camera's base, adding 20 mm in height, and replaces the right handgrip as well, this containing the two CR-123 lithium batteries it uses. A switch enables leader-out rewinds. An additional battery pack may be affixed to the base for extended use.cite web|url=http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/r_system/accessories/accessories_for_the_camera/film_advance/524.html|title=Leica Motor-Winder R8/R9|author=Leica Camera AG]
* Motor-Drive R8/R9: like the Motor-Winder, but larger and gives continuous 4.5 frame/s shooting in addition to single-shot and 2 frame/s. It provides additional shutter releases - on the handgrip and on the vertical grip on the base. Enables three-shot auto-bracketing of exposure in 0.5 or 1 EV increments.cite web|url=http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/r_system/accessories/accessories_for_the_camera/film_advance/525.html|title=Leica Motor-Drive R8/R9|author=Leica Camera AG]
* Remote Control R8/R9: an electronic unit that attaches to either the Motor Winder or the Motor Drive; it cannot be connected to the bare camera. In addition to triggering the shutter, the Remote Control can turn the camera on or off, control mode and exposure, control auto-bracketing, and can function as an intervalometer triggering at rates between one per second and one every 24 hours. It comes with a 5 metre cord and can be fitted with up to 4 25 metre extension cords for a maximum length of 105 metres.
* Electric trigger switches: If the functionality of the Remote Control is not needed and all that is required is to trip the shutter, two electric trigger switches are available; one with a 5 metre cord that can also take extension cords, and one with a 0.3 metre cord for shake-free trigger release on a tripod.
* SF 24D flash: Leica's dedicated flash unit enables camera-controlled TTL flash output on the R8 and R9. Covers the field of view of 35–85 mm lenses (with diffusers, 24–135 mm.)
* Focusing screens: the standard focusing screen, ground-glass with split-image and microprism collar, can be replaced by any of five other screens for specialised tasks. For the Digital Modul R, an additional set of six screens marked with the Modul R's sensor crop area can be substituted.
* Other accessories from Leica include a rubber eyecup, right-angle finder, diopter correction lenses, cases, straps, tripods, cable releases etc.

References


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