Leica R system gone! R10 all just a cruel trick. 1964-2009 R.I.P

The rumours have been around for a while now, but yep… it’s 100% official as you can see by the Leica press release.

Well most of us knew anyway, in the back of our minds that there never was going to be a digital solution for the Leica R system. We just have to face up to the fact that it is/was an antiquated SLR system, sure with outstanding glass but no future. Sad but true Leica never really got their act together with the R system. Lenses were made by Leica, Minolta, Schnieder , Zeiss and Sigma over the years. Bodies by Leica and Minolta. What a hotpotch of companies. Now all we have is a marketplace where second hand it’s cheap prices have the vultures circling for bargains and owners who invested in very expensive glass are left with no hope.

leica-rLeica R… yes you served many well may you R.I.P

I must admit that Leica’s tactics of actively promoting the rumours of a possible R10 body amount to just a cruel trick played on the ever hopeful Leica R users. Maybe.. maybe… but in the end no. I can understand those who are really disappointed in Leica especially given the prices they sell lenses at. But now… in reality I have to say the R system has gone and Leica are finally moving on ( they do seriously need to carry out some discardia). For those who wish to own and use some of the world’s finest SLR lenses then start hunting. For those who feel let down well time to go forward ditch the L brand and look to something else or otherwise book a session with your therapist. As the idea of a digital R body isn’t going to happen at least in this dimension. ( ah but then again there is always is the Stargate).


At least for those hardcore R folks like doug herr plenty of used gear abounds.

4 thoughts on “Leica R system gone! R10 all just a cruel trick. 1964-2009 R.I.P

  1. Scott the R faithful are of course very disappointed. As late as last Photokina Leica certainly intended to market the R10. Sadly the global financial crisis happened and Leica, as with other higher end specialist manufacturers were certainly not immune.
    I was present in the room with scores of Leica enthusiasts when Stefan Daniel made the announcement. You can be sure that there was a moment of collective shock. In the final analysis, Stefan said that Leica calculated the new body would have had to sell for 6 or 7 thousand Euros, something like 12,500 Aussie Pesos today. Even if that cost could be borne and the company survived, the only people likely to purchase such a camera would have been present owners of great R lenses (like my good friend Doug above!). Just not enough customers to make it viable. On scale and market position alone Leica cannot compete directly with the Japanese giants.

  2. Hi Geoff I agree if it was going to happen it had to happen 5 years ago. Now it is just too late and no matter which way you look at it the R system is out of date as far as a digital solution goes. It is a pity that Leica didn’t approach someone like Canon to produce a mid level DSLR with the R mount. For now folks have to be content with the Leicanon an EOS body with an adapter.

  3. Well,… my suggestion would be to built the R body on the M Chassis called MR, but with the CCD- CMOS or something combo Sensor. Quality Files/CCD/, live view/CMOS/, if possible?
    It should be made in the very small quantities just to make all of us/R people/ happy.
    It can keep even the same M Mount, because already existing Lens Adapter M to R. It should be called MR10, to keep all of us/M & R/ people happy,… why not?
    It should be Full Frame and LEICA Inc. can save some money, too.
    Just an Idea.
    Cheerz, Tomislav.

  4. From: Deiss, Ulli
    Subject: WG: R System
    To: mikescarpitti@yahoo.com
    Date: Friday, September 25, 2009, 11:19 AM

    25. September 2009/

    Ulrich Deiß / Infoservice / Telefon 06442 208 – 111 / Telefax – 455 / info@leica-camera.com

    Dear Mr. Scarpitti,

    Thanks for your interest in the Leica R system.

    The Leica Camera AG is planning some digital camera for the use also with the LEICA R System lenses. So you must not change your R-system lenses to continuous using Leica for digital reflex photography.

    Sorry about, but the mentioned LEICA digital camera for R-lenses can not be realized before the year 2010.

    Thanks you for your understanding.

    Mit freundlichem Gruß/ kind regards

    i.A. Ulrich Deiß

    Leica Camera AG / Informationsservice / Oskar-Barnack-Straße 11 /

    D-35606 Solms / http://www.leica-camera.com / info@leica-camera.com / Telefon

    +49 (0) 6442-208-111 / Telefax 49 (0) 6442-208-339

    Werden Sie Zeuge der Enthüllung der nächsten Generation von Leica


    Witness the unveiling of the next generation of Leica cameras.


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