Leica R5

35mm MF film SLR camera



Production details
Order No.:10060 - silver chrome
10061 - black chrome
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:15 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), open-aperture
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Physical characteristics
Body cap:14103

Manufacturer description #1

Single-lens reflex camera with electronically controlled metal-blade focal-plane shutter. Two exposure measuring methods (selective and integral) combined with aperture-priority, shutter-priority, variable automatic program and manual modes. TTL flash exposure measurement and automatic switching to "X" when using system-compatible flash units. Electronically-controlled shutter speeds from 1/2000 sec. to 15 sec. "X" = 1/100 sec. for electronic flash synchronisation. Diopter setting from +2 to -2 diopters. Interchangeable focusing screens. Removable camera back and connection for cable-free Data Back. Automatic-frame counter. Film cartridge window.

Serial No. from 1696451.

Manufacturer description #2

The era of modern 35 mm photography began with the invention of the LEICA. This of course gave the LEICA a head start which still makes itself felt in the quality of the camera, a quality bearing the stamp of the LEICA philosophy: Not to be led astray by latest fashions, which age rapidly. Only the classical is of lasting value. The essence of a LEICA is the classical restriction to the essentials.

The new and remarkable expression of the LEICA philosophy is found in the LEICA R5. True to the LEICA tradition, the R5 is a camera which can afford to do without sensational technical gags. It is the intelligent development of all LEICA SLR cameras. The LEICA R5 is a medium for the serious photographer, equipped with a range of noteworthy features:

The owner of a LEICA R5 can master any lighting situation with the dual exposure metering. He has a choice of selective measurement or centre-weighted averaging and can switch from one to the other in a fraction of a second.

The viewfinder of the LEICA R5 is a functional control centre with a bright and easily readable display of all important data. The electronics are designed for hard professional use, the programs tailored to the requirements of practical photography by the right combination of exposure metering methods and operation modes. With the LEICA R5, you also have the benefit of TTL flash exposure metering. An especially attractive feature: the LEICA R5 has a variable automatic program mode, particularly valuable for the quick or carefree snapshot. Most important of all, however, are the LEICA lenses, held in high esteem by connoisseurs allover the world: lenses of outstanding optical performance verging on the technically impossible.

The Leica R 5 - made to last

The electronics of the LEICA R5, which can stand the toughest of conditions. The camera is designed for at least 100,000 exposures.

The bayonet is built to withstand 10,000 lens changes without showing any signs of wear that could have an adverse effect on coordination.

The LEICA R5 and its lenses function perfectly under any conditions, from +60° to -20°.

A total of 17 dichroic coatings on the semi-transparent hinged mirror ensure a bright viewfinder image even when lighting conditions are poor. Besides this, the camera has a black or silver chromium finish.

All materials involved in making a LEICA R5 are specifically chosen for their durability and guarantee maximum functional reliability.

So it's no wonder that a LEICA R5 is a camera of lasting value. The resale value of a LEICA is 7 exceptionally high, in fact for some models it's even higher than the original price.

Even difficult light situations can be mastered with the averaging and selective metering methods of the LEICA R5

There's nothing unusual about exposure metering through the lens with automatic shutter control, i.e. automatic exposure. The trouble is that anormal automatic mode cannot cope with every kind of light; special conditions require special metering methods. That's why we fitted the LEICA R5 with the methods important for exact exposure determination and made them easy and convenient to operate.

The largefield averaging method is generally for normal light, when there are no extremes of light and colour and when the bright and dark parts of the subject are fairly evenly distributed. With the averaging method, the exposure meter of the LEICA R5 registers the entire image area. And because the most important part of the picture is usually round the centre, the measurement is centre-weighted.

Selective metering is used for unusual and difficult lighting conditions which are especially attractive for the photographer; against-the-light exposures, for example, or with side light or spotlighted details. Using selective metering, the photographer can select an excerpt of the image - the most interesting part - for measurement. In this way, subjects in front of a bright or very dark background, the view through an archway or exposures in the theatre with open light sources turn out successfully. The measurement area corresponds to the central circle in the viewfinder, with which the most important part of the image is framed. The 7 mm diameter of the measurement ring is a sixth of the image diagonal, matching the requirements of practical photography.

The programs of the LEICA R5 - designed for the perfectionis

The two exposure metering methods of the LEICA R5 have been combined with different modes (aperture-priority, shutter-priority and manual shutter speed and aperture setting) to create practical programs. Selection of the required program is fast and simple. Without taking the LEICA R5 away from his eye, the photographer only has to move afinger to set the right program for any subject and any lighting condition in fractions of a second. The symbol of the selected program appears in the viewfinder frame. Besides this, all other relevant data is visible in the viewfinder, leaving the photographer free to concentrate on his subject.

Successful flash photography, even for close-ups and the telephoto range, with the LEICA R5's TTL flash exposure metering

To round off the perfect operational comfort of the LEICA R5, it has flash exposure metering through the lens. This works with all electronic flash units with a "System Camera Adaption 300" (SCA 300). With the SCA 351 adapter, the camera electronics are automatically switched to a flash synchronisation of 1/100 sec. as soon as the flash unit is ready to fire, whatever program happens to be set. During exposure, the light reflected from the film is measured by a silicon photo diode, which is situated beside the metering cell for averaging/selective metering in the lower part of the camera. Once the amount of light necessary for correct exposure has reached the film, the flash light current is interrupted. Readiness to flash and - after the exposure - the sign that flash exposure was correct, are indicated in the viewfinder. In this way, the photographer can always keep the camera in front of his eye, even when working with flash.

The LEICA R5's TTL flash exposure metering makes good flash photography as easy as daylight.

Whatever the lens, with or without extender, and whatever the range.

The LEICA R5 viewfinder - the perfect control centre for creative photography

All relevant data can be seen at a single glance in the viewfinder: The viewfinder image comprises 92% of the film format, which corresponds to the area of a framed slide. It remains bright even when light is poor. This guarantees exact focusing, of paramount importance for capturing the full optical performance of the world-famous LEICA R lenses on film.

If the superb optical performance of the LEICA R lenses is to be fully exploited, the LEICA R 5's viewfinder image must be as sharp as possible. Due to the integrated eyepiece adjustment from + 2 to -2 dioptres, the viewfinder can be easily matched to the photographer's eyes. Besides this, separate correction lenses (spherical) from +3 to -3 dioptres can be used additionally.

More dynamic photography with the MOTOR WINDER-R and the MOTOR DRIVE-R

In many situations, constant readiness for action and follow-up photos are essential for successful dynamic pictures. The Motor Winder and the Motor Drive for the LEICA R5 expand the possibilities of dynamic photography and are necessary for remote release and automatic sequence exposures.

Photo sequences of 2 frames per second are possible with the Winder. The Drive has a capacity of 4 frames per second, but can also be switched to 2 frames per second or single exposures. All shutter speeds can be used. The Motor Winder uses six, the Motor Drive ten standard alkaline batteries or rechargeable NiCd batteries for sufficient power reserve even at low temperatures. This is enough for 150 films with 36 exposures each at 20°C. The batteries are accommodated in aspecial housing, which can be replaced in a matter of seconds. In extreme cold, the housing can be kept at body temperature and connected to the Winder or Drive via an adapter. Single exposures are taken by the shutter release on the camera, sequence exposures by the release button on the Winder or Drive or by the attachable handgrip, the release switch, the cable release and the LEICA-R remote control unit. Double and multiple exposures can also be easily taken with the Winder or the Drive. The action of these mechanisms is extremely quiet and they take over the power supply for the camera. The Winder is 140 mm long, 40 mm high, 50 mm deep and weighs 225 g without batteries. The Drive measures 140 x 45 x 61 mm (I x h x d) and weighs 320 g without batteries.

Practical accessories enhance the LEICA R5's wide range of application

Marking a single photograph or film strip can be a useful reminder years later, when you want to tell exactly when it was taken or at what stage of a particular event. Whatever the occasion, whether for a family gathering, the building of your own house or a laboratory experiment. With the DB 2 LEICA R Data Back it's possible to print data onto the film during the exposure. Slides and negatives can be marked with the day and time or the date of exposure. The clock and the calendar (up to the year 2099) are quartz- controlled. The date can be indicated in one of the three usual orders: day - month - year or month - day - year or year - month - day. Also, any numbers up to 99 99 99 can be entered, either fixed or in increasing or decreasing order.

The DB 2 LEICA R Data Back is attached to the LEICA R5 instead of the normal camera back. Folded together, the small tripod fits easily into a coat pocket. It can be pressed against perpendicular walls, round columns or sloping surfaces and is ideal as achest tripod. Due to the stable ball-and-socket head, the camera can be rotated, tilted and securely clamped.

Outstanding optical performance verging on the technically impossible - LEICA R lenses

The high level of performance of Leitz lenses is the result of 135 years of experience.

Leitz holds nearly 50 patents for lenses alone, which naturally stands the LEICA R lenses in good stead. Their impressive optical perfomance stretches the very limits of what is technically possible.

The magnificent quality of LEICA R lenses is partly due to the fact that every tens made at Leitz contains optical glass developed in our own glass research laboratory. Already at full aperture, LEICA R lenses excel in sharpness, contrast and resolving power. The full aperture of these lenses is a fully effective working aperture, and not what connoisseurs derogatorily refer to as a "prestige" aperture. All the LEICA R lenses have another thing in common - their impressive, even, almost perfectly neutral colour reproduction and their exceptionally low reflection, achieved by special coating. Besides this, the ultraviolet light is blocked off so successfully that an additional UVa filter is at the most a protection for the front lens. Another convincing feature of the LEICA R lenses is their robust, durable mechanics. Leitz uses only metal helical mounts, mostly acombination of aluminium and brass. The almost identical expansion coefficients of these metals ensure the same smoothness of movement for all temperatures.

Manufacturer description #3

All lenses of the LEICA R3/ R4 range can be used on the LEICA R5 without modification, but earlier 180 mm ELMARIT-R f/2.8 (Code No. 11919) to Serial No. 2 939 700 and 250 mm TELYT-R f/4 (Code No. 11920) to Serial No. 3050600 can only be used for aperture-priority with selective measurement, aperture-priority with largefield averaging and manual mode.

Lenses of the LEICAFLEX models must not be inserted in the LEICA R 5 as this may lead to damage. For use in the LEICA R cameras they must be fitted with a control cam, when they will be suitable for use in both the LEICAFLEX and the LEICA R models (restrictions as above) .

From the editor

A further development of the R4 with more features, particularly TTL flash metering.

The silver chrome finish became available in 1988.

From 1988, the red logo carried the "Leica" name instead of "Leitz".

From 1990, the camera formerly made in Portugal, was assembled in the new factory at Solms.

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Copyright © 2012-2023 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2


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

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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.

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.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

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.