Manufactured from 1986 to 1992, the R5 followed on from the R4. The dioptric correction of the R5's viewfinder represented a small, but significant improvement. In addition, the new camera offered an electronic shutter speed range of 15 to 1/2000 second – prolonging the maximum exposure time by 7 seconds compared to its predecessor, as well as offering double the shutter speed.
The R5's program mode was redesigned to enable a selection between shutter speed and aperture priority. One of the most significant changes was the introduction of TTL flash metering with an automatic flash sync speed of 1/1000 second.
In 1988, the Leitz lettering inside the red dot was replaced by the new company name of Leica. During the same year, part of the production was moved from Portugal to Leica's new factory in Solms. An R5 manufactured in Solms can be recognised by the red Leica dot being located on the left side of the camera body, instead of the right side as before.