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35mm MF film SLR camera


Production details
Order No.:10031 - silver chrome
10032 - black chrome
10033 - MOT
System: Leica R (1964)
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica R [47mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:4 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Physical characteristics
Body cap:14103

Manufacturer description #1

LEICA R3 electronic

S.L.R. camera with pentaprism. Hinged camera back. Eyelets for carrying strap on both sides. Brass top and baseplate, chromium plated in silver or black finish. 1/4" tripod thread.

Rapid bayonet changer for the lenses. Finely-ground micro-prisms ensure bright and contrasty viewfinder image. Sharpness assessment across the entire viewfinder field. Depth-of-fleld button. Central micro-prism ring with additional split-image rangeflnder for positive focusing. Combined lens stop/shutter speed display in the viewfinder.

Measurement at full aperture with all R lenses with automatic diaphragm, and at working aperture with all lenses without automatic diaphragm according to two different measuring methods by means of 3 CdS double photo resistors. Can be changed from integrated (effective) to selective measurement (exact measuring field limit 7mm dia.; corresponding to the measuring screen).

Automatic exposure control for both measuring methods. Storage of the measured value with spot measurement when the release button is pressed (taking up the slack). Shutter speeds continuous from 4 sec to 1/1000 sec. Display of the shutter speeds in the viewfinder.

Changeover to manual measurement for both measuring methods.

Setting at shutter speeds indicated on the dial from 4 sec to 1/1000 sec by hand.

Coupled lens stop, shutter speed, and film speed selector from 12-36 DIN 12-3200 ASA. Exposure corrections of up to ±2 light values can be set. Click-stop shutter speed dial. The shutter speeds set are displayed in the viewfinder. Arresting at automatic position "A". Facility for multiple exposures with automatic backwind.

CLS metal blade focal-plane shutter (Copal LEITZ shutter) for fully electronic, continuous shutter control from 4 sec to 1/1000 sec at the automatic setting ("A"). With manual setting, fully electronic shutter control for 4, 2, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15th, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 sec. Mechanical shutter control at "A" setting = 1/90 sec. "B" = time exposures of any desired duration.

Two silver oxide button cells, type Varta N 7301, National G 13, Mallory MS 76 or Ucar S 76.

Battery test.

Automatic synchronization for flashbulbs up to 1/250 sec, for electronic flash units up to 1/90 sec.

Separate standard contacts for flashbulbs and electronic flash units. Accessory shoe contact or contact in the flash unit holder.

Adjustable self-timer. LEITZ rapid winding lever with standby position for shutter wind and film transport.

Main switch for battery; also serves as a release block.

Automatic frame counter.

Film transport indicator.

Film cartridge window.

Folding rewind crank.

Rapid film change for all commercially available 35mm films.

Convenient lock for the camera back.

Shoe for special viewfinders and other accessories.

Very broad carrying strap with non-slip pad.

Manufacturer description #2

Single-lens reflex camera with electronically-controlled metal-blade focal-plane shutter. Alternative averaging or selective light metering through the lens. Automatic shutter speed determination can be switched over to manual control. Shutter speeds from 4 to 1/1000 sec., B, X = 1/90 sec. (electronic-flash synchronization). Focusing screen with finest-grain micro-prisms for sharpness assessment-throughout the viewfinder field. Central micro-prisms ring with additional split-image rangefinder and film wind control. Film cartridge window, rapid film change. Serial No. from 1446001.

LEICA R3-MOT, available from 1978: as LEICA R3, but with connection for motor winder R 3. Display of the selective or averaging measuring mode in the viewfinder above the shutter speed scale. Serial No. from 1492251.

Manufacturer description #3

The Leica R3 is a fully automatic single-lens reflex camera with a wide range of high-resolution, high-contrast LEITZ lenses for every branch of 35-mm photography. But the point-and-shoot simplicity of LEICA R3 photography has been specially designed to preserve and expand your creative freedom.

Most often, you'll work with LEICA R3 automatic integral light metering. Quite simply, this means setting the lens f/stop - shown in the viewfinder - and letting the LEICA R3 select correct shutter speeds, swiftly, accurately, effortlessly.

Sometimes, with very contrasty subject lighting, you'll switch to LEICA R3 automatic selective light metering. In this mode, the through-the-lens light meter responds only to the area covered by the central focusing ring, about one sixth of the acceptance angle of the lens in use.

And this isn't all! The creatively versatile LEICA R3 also permits full manual operation, again with either integral or selective light measurement.

Manufacturer description #4

You will quickly make friends with your new LEICA R 3 / R 3-MOT. It is a modern single-lens-reflex camera with automatic shutter control, offering the choice of integrating or selective light metering through the lens. The "automatic" setting of the shutter speed dial allows rapid picture taking without problems.

After switchover to manual operation the LEICA R 3 / R 3-MOT opens up all possibilities for individual pictorial composition. The large, bright viewfinder of the LEICA R 3 / R 3-MOT supplies the necessary information. It is the control and composition centre: focusing, exposure measurement, assessment of the pictorial effect and perspective are virtually simultaneous. The LEICA R 3-MOT with MOTOR WINDER extends the possibilities of dynamic photography and fully automatic photographic recording. The arrangement of all the controls is so convenient that the few necessary actions soon become second nature.

From the editor

Completely new SLR camera which bore no resemblance to LEICAFLEX models. It was developed in cooperation with Minolta and based on the model XE. The first 2000 cameras (the first 100 in silver chrome) were produced in Wetzlar, the rest at the new Portugal factory.

A motorized version, R3 MOT ELECTRONIC, became available in 1978.

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice


Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

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Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.


Replacement camera body cover, plastic, for all LEICA R-mount cameras.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.