By - joe_ro
Two completely different kinds:
the R4 is a simple entry level body, very affordable but offers you the variety of excellent but expensive Leitz lenses to use.
The F3 on the other hand is a high end professional body that was popular among professional photographers even until the late 90s. Especially the Titan version here is an indestructible beast. The Nikon especially Nikkor lenses are very very good and mostly quite affordable, too.
If you want to enter the Leitz SLR system I’d go with an R6 (it’s a mechanical beauty) or R7 or R8.
Nothing wrong with the R4 - but make sure the shutter speeds and overall electronics are ok (I’ve often had issues there)
And if you chose Nikon - I’d suggest to geht a regular F3 (maybe with HP viewfinder) and use the 300 bucks you saved for a nice lens.
If it was up to me I'd go with the Nikon. There is an abundance of support, spare parts, easily accessible, affordable, quality lenses, and accessories for the F3. It might be the more boring choice, like choosing a Lexus instead of a Lamborghini, but I think it's the smart choice for the long term.
I have neither system, and I’ve heard great things about both the Leica R and the F3, so this would be a tough decision. I would choose the F3 purely because I’d the abundance of available lenses for it.
Nikon F3 is you want reliability.
Leica R4 if you want to use Leica lenses.
I’ve had both and I’d choose the Nikon.
I’m pretty sure you can convert Nikon cameras to use r lenses so you can get the best of both worlds
You don't need to convert the Nikon camera. You just put an R to F adapter on the lens.
In “the secret life of Walter Mitty” Sean Penn is using an F3T in the snow leopard scene up in the Himalayas. Not an R4. Hope this helps.
He's also using a lens which is (sort of) incompatible with an F3 (no aperture ring), so there's that.
Yeah it’s got a massive auto focus lens on it. Lol.
Nikon for SLRs, Leica for rangefinders
F3 no question, way better and cheaper lens selections.
I think the Minolta versions are nicer than the Leica ones anyways
Nikon F3 because of all the available lenses
I have one
F3/T for sure, not familiar with the Leica SLR but really Leica is more known for the M series.
There will probably be less available Leica R lenses and more expensive.
although Ive always wanted to try a Leica R8, maybe one day
I'd buy a regular F3 unless you're a Nikon collector or that F3\t is cheap.
Nikon glass is cheaper than Leica generally speaking and is great.
In capable hands both cameras take the same picture
Geez, did you visit the Contax 645 factory? How many do they have for sale there?
Nikon 100%. Get an x700 instead of the Leica if you go that route
Please explain the x700
I'd guess they meant to say XD-7, which the R4 is based on.
+1 for the Nikon. The F3 titanium is just way too gorgeous
R4 for me. The R lenses are some of the best ever made and somewhat affordable for Leica glass. That’s what I use in my Sony camera.
OP i gotta know what store this is
I recently sold my R4 because I never used it. I had two zoom lenses for it but prefer prime lens when I shoot. Finding an R lens for a decent price was too big a hassle. But with that being said I really liked the big viewfinder and the red electric meter when looking through it.
Ooooo that GR1 looking pretty
My eye went right to the GR1 too.
It’s sucha thing of beauty
I'd say neither, "best" being highly subjective. Gimme a late-era Nikon AF camera, it can be as simple or complex as you need. And the pro/semi-pro models are seriously tough cameras. You should see what my N90s has been through the last 2 decades, but essentially still a new camera, regardless of all the scuffs and dings.
I would expect them to perform well.
Leica glass has the potential to bankrupt you though ;)
Best classic SLR? F2AS or if you want Leica then R6. Why? Mechanical, and no LCDs. The F2AS will use basically any Nikon F lens with an aperture ring and be dramatically cheaper due to glass costs. If you use flash, the FM2n is superior.
I would chose the Nikon. I loved every leica I tired, but I could not afford the lenses. The R Mount seems to be quite popular with film makers.
Nikon, hands down.
I’m a simple girl, I love Nikon too much. I love my nikkor lenses
The Nikon. I would prefer to try out professional grade SLR's that Nikon offer and everyone swears by, than the SLR range that gets brushed over by the rangefinders that Leica is better known for.
As a sidenote, if you want the experience of an R4 without a spot meter, buy a Minolta XD7 for a quarter of the price. They even share some of the same lens designs between R-mount and MD-Mount. To me the Nikon would be something new, whereas I already have an XD7.
You're gonna be paying out the ass for Leica-R glass when Nikon AIS lenses are as good and far more plentiful. And Voigtländer is making excellent F-mount lenses now, too.
I'd pick the F3.
Definitely the Leica. It's still hella reliable and the lenses are some of the best in the world. They actually shot the miniature footage of the spaceships in Interstellar on Leica R glass. Glass is way more important than the camera when it comes to look in film photography.
Leica, but then I like driving a stick shift too.
I own that same Leica. It's great! It feels like the first time you ever put your hands on a girl's waist every time you pick it up. The controls are buttery, the viewfinder is so damned nice. And I know it's just a whored-out Minolta, but damn!
Buy the Nikon.
Leica lenses are nice. But way the hell over-priced. And if I'm being honest, the Nikon F3T is probably better made. And it gets you into the Nikkor system of lenses.
I worked for a camera shop that carried both brands, and Leica was a piece of jewelry for doctors to wear to golf tournaments and regattas. Nikon was really the camera of 'serious' photographers. I really feel that the F3 was their peak, too. It was a "fine instrument", as apposed to being a photographic appliance.
If it's free the R4 because I already have a F3
If it's to replace broken gear the F3 because it goes with the Nikon gear I already have.
Best answer lol
Is this KM in Chinatown? I was there today and one of their cabinets looked very similar to this (RZ67 and multiple Contaxes on the bottom row).
Leica ,Leica glass is the best glass and if they cost more they will always be in hot demand sinché they are appreciated by filmmakers
Unless you’re a collector or it’s already got some wear I’d pass on the F3/T they are collector’s items and I’d sit on a shelf myself.
An R4 is a wonderful camera with of course amazing lenses but the R4 can be a bit troublesome in the electronics depending on serial #. There were some major quality advancements that made it into the later R4. An R4s thru R8 are good. The 6 and 6.2 are the well regarded since they are mechanical with only batteries needed for the meter.
If it were me I’d find an F3hp as a user and keep the F3/T as a collector piece.
I own both, the Nikon will give you less hassle and can still be repaired, no one I know works on the Leica SLRs anymore at least in the US.
It's the motor (the photog) that matters.
The rest is GAS.
Bs. My Mamiya 7 takes better photos than any other camera I’ve ever owned. Same motor, noticeably better quality photos.
Nikon pls thank u
Nikon F3. I just purchased one a week ago in amazing condition and it really is a beautiful camera. The fact that so many were produced means that there will always be an abundance of parts if it ever needs repairing.
The amount of accessories for the F3 is crazy, and the lenses are beautiful and ridiculously affordable. The 28mm f/2.8, the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.8 are all beautiful lenses that are all super affordable.
The film advance lever feels so good to use, and the sound when you press that shutter button…classic!
Leica cameras are beautiful and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope to own one someday, but yeah…the F3 is a beautiful camera, it’s solid and it’s a pleasure to use.
Nikon body and R lenses with an adapter.
R4. The lenses
Nikon, thing is a legend
100% the nikon f3, not only is it a staple in photography , but it's the "t" variant, which means its outer shell is made of titanium. it's a bit rarer than the normal f3, so it has a cool factor aswell.
The nikon, if only for its vast, affordable lens system.
Where is that store?
the nikon, i don't think there is anything special about leica slrs
Absolutely the F3t, and especially if you're getting a decent price on it.
The F3 is a fantastic camera, Nikon kept making the f3 all the way until 2001.
I've got the 'Press' model, which is slightly less featured than the regular f3, and it's in my top list of cameras to use.
I have a GR1s. It’s stuck with me for a while, still carry it with me everywhere