Leica R8 #2416217 black body circa 1998.The camera has a Leica power winder 14208 ser#0769B.
Condtion: The camera is in good condition but has a small paint loss just below the lens release button on the front of the body.
History: The Leica R8 was built between 1996-2002. Industrial designer Manfred Meinzer was chiefly responsible for the R8 design, along with a team of designers largely new to Leica or drawn from outside. The R8 was intended as a clean break from the previous generation of Leica R cameras, which had been developed in cooperation with Minolta. A key design goal was to evoke the Leica M and its smooth top plate; instead of a raised pentaprism as in previous R series cameras, the R8 has sloped "shoulders" that blend almost seamlessly into the pentaprism housing. The shape is strongly asymmetrical, especially in plan view, with a bulged right handgrip and smaller, tapered left-hand side.
Another goal was to improve the ergonomics and to place controls so they could be easily reached and operated without removing the eye from the viewfinder. Although the R8 is capable of fully automated exposure and (with the addition of the integrally-styled motor drive or winder) automated film transport, the location of the shutter speed dial lends itself to manual exposure control, as many Leica customers preferred this. In this it differs strongly from other contemporary SLRs, which were designed primarily for automatic operation. The top control wheels are sunk into the top plate, with knurled edges protruding at the front where they can easily be operated by the photographer's fingertips.
The R8 is substantially larger and heavier than the R4-R7 series cameras, being about a third heavier at 890g than the R7. This is partly explained by being built to take and balance the heavier zoom lenses in the Leica R lens range. The styling of the R8 proved controversial, some photographers consider it ugly and dubbed it the "Hunchback of Solms" (Solms is the German town where Leica was headquartered; the company moved back to its original home town of Wetzlar in 2014). The size and bulk of the camera attracted much criticism.