The Leica R4 family of Leica 35mm SLR cameras was launched in 1980. The camera design was a joint venture based on Leitz’s co-operation agreement of 1972 with the Minolta Camera Co. Ltd.. The Copal Company developed the shutter. Minolta’s version was launched in 1977 as the Minolta XD-11 in the US, the Minolta XD-7 in Europe and Minolta XD in Japan. The Leica R4 was made available in five versions; the Leica R4 Mot electronic in 1980, the Leica R4 in 1981, the Leica R4 chrome in 1982, the Leica R4s in 1983, the Leica R4s-2 in 1985, and a special limited edition Leica R4 in gold and brown skin was made available in 1984. Later, several more models have emerged from the same basic concept, mostly with improved electronic features like TTL flash metering and exposure modes.
Although developed as a joint venture, Leitz made their version somewhat differently, especially the exposure metering system and the top cover design and controls. Unfortunately three of the four series of this camera were encumbered with electronic circuits problems. This relates to cameras with serial numbers below 1.600.000. However, those working after 20 years, or more, are either repaired or not likely to give problems.
1st version – “The Leica R4-S is derived from the R4 and is intended for those photographers who do not require the comprehensive metering modes of the R4.
Camera type: 35mm SLR
Focusing : Manual.
Lens mount : Leica R bayonet.
Shutter : Electronic vertical travel metal blade focal plane shutter.
Shutter speeds : 1/1000 to 4 secs
Exposure meter : TTL selective center weighted.
Exposure modes : Manual , aperture priority , Shutter priority and program.
ASA / ISO range : 12-3200
Finder screen : ground glass ( interchangeable )
Flash shoe : Hot shoe and additional contacts.
Flash speed : 1/100sec
TTL flash : no
Motor drive : yes winder / motor drive.
Battery : 2x silver oxide LR-44
Dimensions: 139 x 89 x 52mm
Weight : 630 gram