It's becoming increasingly difficult to rationalize the high cost of this lens (and the backup lens to cover the other one's downtime) in a saturated market for wildlife images.
Doug Herr http://www.wildlightphoto.com
Leica service is on the average ...terrible . Don t use it unless you have to and when you do make sure you have a good dealer ( I use Dale in the USA) . Normal turnaround is 6-12 weeks ....but as we approach (1) summer plant shut down and (2) Photokina year new product introduction ....service is just understaffed . Expect 6 months and hope for the best .
If the service is in Germany ..you have to speak with Germany to learn anything . If you track you service order ..you will see that it loses 2-4 weeks getting from you to NJ and then to Germany . In the past I have paid to air freight it to Germany ....turn around was excellent .
A few years back I complied my full history of repairs which included ...losing my Noctilux in NJ,damaging the front element in Germany , 4 round trips on my 50 summilux and on and on . Well over 30 service orders . Since then I have had another 10 ....surprisingly the work done in NJ came back quickly and was well done . The work sent to Germany was about 50% with several knock down fights to get things correct . Never once did Germany acknowledge any issue with service or apologize for issues .
My advice ..if you are a working Pro on a budget ...find another option . If you can afford some down time on your equipment occasionally ......its still my favorite system ever ! The only system with better image quality are the new 100MP backs with the new lenses (and they have a totally different size and form ).
Is it only in US that you have these problems ? the distance ? I agree that this is unacceptable for a material at this price
I never had any problem before with Canon or Hasselblad or even Sony, and yes it is very frustrating, I have the chance to drive 1:30 hours to go to WetzlarThe fact that it broke twice is not good
The main problem with Leica : the lenses are fabulous , and it is very difficult to decide to sell all :-)
Last edited by erick.boileau; 30th July 2016 at 13:22.
I'm very happy with my 007 and 006. Wouldn't want to trade them for anything.
1 Member(s) liked this post
The resolution issue is for bragging now. Yes, I would like the most, just for bragging.
But David Farkas addressed resolution for me in that post two years ago.
I printed S2 files years ago to 7.5 feet by 5 feet and got handsomely rewarded for the effort. I would not upgrade from my now 007 just for resolution gains. I would prefer they not bother to increase to 50 but wait until 80-100 can be achieved with the sensor quality that have now. The lenses can handle that, but again, other than for cropping in, I don't need such resolution for other than bragging. But to attract new buyers to the system, maybe they need higher resolution just for marketing.
The price of used S gear, and the lowered cost of new gear makes price so much less of an issue now.
Format is heading more and more to 9x16 so 4x5 now sometimes seems just a bit strange to me.
I have had excellent service and rarely needed it. But Dale made that all so smooth when necessary.
If the question is which MF system I would choose from scratch today?
Leica makes it even easier choice as I would just buy all used S gear.
Unfortunately, when they finally introduce that 350mm S, there will not be any used lenses to buy.
OMG... If I told you the troubles I've had in the last two years you'd think me the fool for still owning anything with a red dot.
I feel like a fool. And my wife says that I have a toxic relationship with Leica. Anyway, no more I'm selling it all if I can get reasonable offers for the items. It's a shame but I need to be strong.
Honestly, I have no idea what I'll do next. Guess I'll be miserable shooting with gear I'm not 100% in love with.
It seems the S system issues are mainly mechanical, less so electronic. The chief culprit of the S lens failures has been the AF gearing. Odd for a company that was so mechanically inclined in past.
While I certainly have had my share of issues with Leica cameras, I've not experienced perfection from other makers either ... so it can be the luck of the draw sometimes. We should not forget the mirror falling out of the Canon 5D, or the mirror box issue with the pro Canon that Canon refused to acknowledge until pressured to do so (remember the blue tag versions indicating an updated mirror box?). I had my share of Nikon issues also ... like a pro model suddenly lighting up like a Christmas tree and eating an entire wedding; or a 24-70/2.8 that literally broke in half due to the brittle pig-metal frame work ... which then sat in service for over 4 months because they didn't have the part.
This doesn't excuse Leica for their piss-poor service and even worse communication. They are a premium product company and should act like one.
No... I know 5 S-sytem shooters personally (not including myself). Each one of them has at least had one issue with the S-system which required repairs that made them frustrated or worse. And quite a few people on the forums with S-sytems have had at least one major issue.
I have two used camera dealers that I deal with. One in HK and one is SG. The one in HK will not sell used S-lenses anymore. He had 13 or so S-lenses fail on him just sitting on the shelf. Each of the 13 lenses cost him $700 USD to fix over the course of roughly three years. And when Leica updated their lens policy online he called in to enquire as to if he would get refunds. They told him "Well you already agreed to pay, and have paid. So why should we refund you". They wouldn't even give him repair credits when he asked. And when he pressed the issue they basically told him they had very low opinions of him and the work he does as an unofficial used Leica lens seller. He was shocked, and from that point on, would not buy and sell another S-lens again. The Singapore dealer had the same issue with 6 S-lenses and got a very similar response from Leica.
You may think I'm bashing Leica and that's fine. But this is one of the issues I've had with them. And one of the reasons I'm moving away from the brand. It really just sucks because I'll say this again.. I love the S-006 and S-lenses so very much! And I hate that Leica management is filled with terrible people (CEO included) who don't care about professionals and want to just be a brand for collectors. I swear Leica just wants to be bought out by LVMH or something..
Yes that's what I did for a few years. When I was shooting weddings with M cameras I had 4-5 M240 bodies. And two of each M lens I owned that I used professionally (21LUX, 28Cron, 35FLE, 50APO, 50LUX, 75APO) and I had almost every other current M lens and a few random older lenses. I also later added two S-006 bodies and 35/45/70/100/120 lenses. I've had a few S bodies though, a few had problems, a few I sold and regretted and bought again or sold and bought S-007 to sell and again get S-006. Basically I was a REALY REALLY good customer (or so I thought, more on that down the post).
I've had nothing but problems since I got into Leica during the end of the M8 days before the start of the M9 days (probably 15 incidents to either Japan(Ginza), Germany, NJ). I bought a 50APO (one of the first) and sent it in for the flare fix. Was promised it would return within two weeks for my trip. Cut 4 months later, I have to call the CEO who tells me "you should be privileged to own one. Only 25 people have the 50APO right now". He then said "If you don't want to be one of the few special people to own it, I can refund you". Own is a funny word, since they actually had it hostage. Anyway, I told him I wanted the lens fixed ASASP. In the end I got it two months later, but at that point I had already found another 50APO from my HK seller who sold it to me cheaper then Leica SG had (but at that point the "refund offer" had expired). So all in all I lost a few thousand there. Anyway, I ended up keeping both lenses because the HK one funnily enough needed to go in to be fixed for flare. And by the time all was said and done, the price had dropped by thousands between HK and SG pricing.
My very first S-006 had a defective sensor in the first 20 days. The 70S was DOA and they wanted to charge me the shipping fee to ship it back and forth from NJ. And when I wanted to just bring it to Leica LA (I live next to them) they told me that it wasn't there problem and I had to deal with NJ on lens repairs. Then I had to fight to get a loaner lens for a shoot I planned around the S that weekend. To have the camera break in the first 20 days and have them swap it out for a USED one that smelt of smoke and felt like it was handled by a construction worker. And when I complained they swapped it out again but again wanted me to pay shipping. To which they lost my order# and I didn't get a new one for two weeks. And it almost compromised another shoot (I rented gear from Sammy's thank god). I ended up giving my client a discount because of the delay in completion due to me waiting on the S that never showed up.
I paid way higher then I should have for a lot of my Leica gear. Because SG pricing and HK pricing is so vastly different. It's taken me so long to sell everything off and I've lost a lot because HK is cheap compared to US or SG pricing and has caused the used market to drop.
The straw that broke the camels back: My initial idea was to buy two SL camera bodies and use the zoom + M, T and S lenses until the 50SL came out. Where I would then evaluate my system needs. I was wary of buying from Singapore because of past experiences (though I've mentioned this to upper management around the M240-P launch). Anyway, long story short Leica promised me they fixed the pricing issues with HK, and told me that the SL+Zoom prices would be strictly enforced and that I had nothing to worry about. Cut one month after my SL purchase and my HK dealer is trying to sell me the system new at $5,000 USD cheaper then what I bought it for. I contacted the CEO to plead my case and he basically told me he didn't care about me. His priorities are obviously collectors who don't care about price or customer care, but just want to own the best. He went on to tell me that if I mention all of this on "social media" that his words "we believe in the power and the loyality of the Leica community and for sure they might not agree with your point of view." Basically confirming what I already know. Which is, bash Leica and get bashed. He knows it, and I know it. I'm basically powerless as a loyal customer.
That was the last straw.. That's why I decided I cannot take it anymore, the only power I have left is to stop buying Leica gear. So the gear that I haven't sold, because I was planning on keeping it. Well now I'm selling it all. Whatever doesn't sell, I'll use till it breaks and then just sell REALLY cheap. I don't want to deal with Leica ever again. I've already sold off MOST of my M system. And I have sold off one of the two S-006 bodies. I have a few things left and I'm done.
I'll wait and see if Fuji makes a MFD system. I like the Fuji XF-system, and I am now using my Nikon kit for my bread and butter. So who knows what'll happen.
1 Member(s) thanked for this post
In Singapore I live 15 minutes away from both Nikon and Canon service centres. I've had a few issues (4) with both companies in the 10 years I've lived here on and off. BUT in two Canon cases and one Nikon case. They've fixed the issue on the spot (within the hour, with one being a complete overhaul of my 1Dx which took two hours). The third Canon case couldn't be solved due to parts not being in stock (rare in SG but happens). So they gave me a loaner and sent me on my way. However, when my lens was fixed they asked if I wanted a currier to deliver it. To which I replied that I'm fine to come down.
Issue with Canon and Nikon normally is that the lenses will focus accurately close up, but not far away. Or far away but not close up. Have never been able to solve it. Especially with Canon lenses, I think a design flaw.
The ONLY real hate I have for Canon is their printers. I got conned to many times with those things. They never work the way you want them to work, and ink is stupidly expensive. My print guy gives me amazing prints at a fraction of what it costs me to mess around with Canon printers.
one hour later I've got the bill (270€) and payed it, then came Gabriele Arnold (very friendly too) to fix the last details
I went home and got my M on Friday 29th at 10:30am
I have experience with the Pentax 645Z and the Leica S 007. Depending on the situation, I find that aspect ratio isn't a critical factor for me. For most of my work, MP isn't a limiting factor. Of course, I wouldn't say no to high quality pixels if I can have more.
I recently sold my 645Z system and decided to keep the S 007. Honestly, I do miss the 645Z. What do I miss about it? While the lenses, for the most part, aren't as perfect as the S lenses, have a very nice rendering quality to them. The 150mm in particular for portraits. The 28-45 is big and heavy but pretty much does it all for wide (if I don't want the bulk and weight, the 35mm is strong). The 90mm is great as well. And then there are the files. I do as little post-processing as I can get away with and I find the 645Z renders mid-tones differently. Is it better than the S 007? To me, it depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. I find the 645Z files take less work to invoke the "warmth" emotion. In addition, I didn't have a single issue with all my Pentax gear. It feels like they will last forever.
The S 007 is higher maintenance from my experience. The lenses are absolutely amazing. Sadly, I recently had my 70mm fail. I will need to update to the latest firmware but my S 007 still occasionally freezes (a power cycle fixes it). I'm sure the 70mm will come back as good as new but it's still non-ideal. The 100mm is what makes me suck it up and deal with the higher maintenance aspect. If specs and numbers are all we need, then we don't need to make any photos and we can just look at numbers. Besides the camera ergonomics (great viewfinder and great UI), I find the S 007 and 100mm are closest to what I aim for most of the time.
Over the years, I have had minimal failures with my Leica gear (M8.2, M9, M9P, M9M, M246, S 007, and embarrassingly large number of lenses). When I had to sent items in for service (sometime due to my mistakes), I have had decent experience. It does take a while but I plan around it. Of course, having an incredible dealer helps. I deal with Dale in Miami exclusively (unless I can't wait and they are out of stock).
Good news, I am pretty sure a MF fuji is in the horizon. This is not even a market secret right now. I have read a few info about that from Chinese friend through Wechat.
I have a fare share of problems with Leica always, but as hobbyist, I am OK with service most of times as I have multiple systems to use. I don't even bring S to some difficult trips: Size, weight and reliability. D810 can handle landscape requirement pretty good if no better.
What I like the most about Leica S system is rendering and color for portrait as well as huge OVF. Out of S glass I used(35, 70, 100), I find they are consistent excellent. and the skin tone out of S006/S2 is one of best I can get. However, S glass's AF is horrible, on both S006 and S007 system, they are not accurate at long distance, and they are inconsistent, the AF spot is huge which make you don't really know which part is used for focusing and what is focus algorithm underneath. I pretty much use manual focus 80% of time. with 100cron (95%) If I use AF at wide aperture for handhold landscape and portrait, it has been a habit I have to check focus in LCD carefully with each shot. I don't want take chance anymore.
I sent my S006 and full set lens to Leica to check AF,(TBH, I don't put high hope for that as I am pretty sure it is a system issue not my particular lens/body before sending, but what if?) it took 4 months have them back, and they were as expected determined in spec. In the mean time, I have a S007(loaner) and 35mm 100mm(35mm is first back from Germany, 100mm was bought new) 70mm (loaner) to play with, further confirm the weak AF of the system. S007 is faster but no more accurate. and 100cron is almost unusable with S007 using AF-C, it focus just back and forth forever. (I believe you also mentioned that somewhere.) Now, I get everything faster, more smoother, less shutter lag, better ISO performance, LV. I also loose color magic, which is one of biggest reason I like about S system. Rest stuff I can get pretty easily from any brand at way less cost and even better performance. So I decide skip S007 at any cost.
I am really a niche user in terms of system requirement and I think I am pretty capable for Manual focusing (R lenses are major part of my Nikon system) so that I don't treat weak AF is show stopper, and with multiple system, I am not as sensitive as others for service time. but in no way I think the S system is built for Pro.
I like Leica, think myself a loyal customer and will keep it that way most likely.
1 Member(s) thanked for this post
I cannot believe the crap we put up with.
Until we quit ... they have no impetus to change ...
So I just bought what may be my last Leica ... a Q ... would that all of their products were this
All of my S has been traded out ... now just need to find an adequate replacement .... nothing
will approach the S 100 in my mind but not worth the stress involved with Leica Customer Service.
I am an amateur and have a biased perspective on this ... I worked all year to spend a few precious
days in the field as a release from the stress to photograph. To have my gear unavailable for months
after making flight hotel and car reservations is to me as inappropriate as the pro who is unable to complete
a shoot ... except it does not affect my reputation. Now that I am retired and aging .... I realize that time is
short and I have no interest in enabling those who have dismissed the majority of Leica owners in order to pander
to the society elite. Let me guess ... Sting got a problem ... he got a new camera and da fix in days .... not months.
Truth be told ... in my minds eye not much approaches the Leica S images ... but after some 45 years in photography
I am sure that the alternative may be less of a stress ... all things considered.
And Adam .... CEO's have a very short time in the saddle ... more so as they dismiss those who support their company's
products ... One of my favorite maxims is ... Take care to impart grace to those you pass on your way up the ladder ... as
you will see them on the way down.
I hope this thread will close soon ... so depressing for those of us who have had great Leica moments for decades.
4 Member(s) thanked for this post
I think it's a great question Roger! I don't own any digital Leica gear at this point, and for that reason don't have current experience so try to avoid posting here -- but I still read. And I do have some experience with 4:3 v 3:2, and of course different resolutions and pixel pitch sensors so you're gonna get my simple .02 view
Simply stated, you can put me in the camp of preferring 3:2 for landscape oriented images, and 3:4 for portrait oriented. But at the end of the day, I compose the image in whatever viewfinder I'm using at the time. The exceptions are firstly square, where I make a conscious effort to compose for final square output regardless of the sensor used, and then pano or stitch where I'll use 16:9, 2:1, 5:2 or 3:1 and sometimes 4:1 as best suits the image.
So how does all that affect sensor resolutions? Simple stated, more is better if you're cropping. But then at a certain point net pixel count becomes less significant. Hard for me to put a limit on what that number is, but for lack of better, I'd say any image with more than about 30 capture MP remaining in it after cropping or stitching, I can pretty much print to as big as I want. (If we wanted to apply math and get technical, I'd say I'd prefer at least 240 linear pixels per inch for large prints, which would be 5760x7680 for a 24x32 print for example, and approximately 45 total capture MP. But then as we get larger than 24 inches in any linear direction, we can get by with less resolution, so at some point for large print it becomes an almost linear tradeoff, and therefore less significant.)
But then I am also one that believes not all pixels are created equal -- and of course that MF pixels are "better" than other pixels Seriously, I think MF pixels are better because of MF glass in general; and in this, suspect Leica S pixels are on average excellent (again, big )
I would love to own an S and even a small set of glass, but unfortunately cannot justify the investment in one. (An S 007, 35, 70 and 120 macro would be a dream kit.) But reality for me right now is I can't afford MF in general, so it stays out of my wheel house and I make do with my DSLR system until perhaps "someday" comes again.
All my point is here is that I believe one is lucky to have ANY MF option available to them... There are surely advantages and disadvantages to all systems, and unfortunately none will be perfect, so choose based on whatever your priorities are -- heck choose multiple systems if you can afford them! -- and then go happily make images! That is all...
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."3 Member(s) thanked for this post7 Member(s) liked this post
There are some really shocking Leica stories in here, wow. I love my M 240 and use it at my weddings but I got into it knowing that Leica is just a little boutique/luxury brand that is not AT ALL catering to the real-world needs of pro photographers. I have 1 M body for the enjoyment I get out of it but when the rubber hits the road I reach for my Nikon for a variety of reasons. But, I'm glad I shoot with the Leica. It does bring something to the table that the Nikon doesn't (not IQ). However if it failed I could get by without missing a beat and that's the point. I also can't imagine needing more out of lenses than what I currently get out of my Zeiss 28/2.8, 35/1.4, & 50/1.5.
As far as the S system goes I just don't see the real appeal. Hasselblad, Phase One, and even Pentax offer SO much. Ultimate quality, ultimate customer service and experience, affordability (varying to degrees by manufacturer). I mean that 100/2 Summicron looks like a nice piece of glass but let's be honest, the Hasselblad 100/2.2 isn't exactly slumming it. I would say if anything was a killer-app of the S it would be it's form factor for reportage/travel. I really don't see how someone can make a straight faced argument that the SK or Hassy optics are not good-enough (personally I feel that way about the modern Pentax glass too but people don't want to see it). Color arguments are just silly because raw files are so malleable you can reproduce basically any look or aesthetic. If you want MFD from a luxury brand save yourself the headache and get a Hasselblad (OR PENTAX).
"go happily make images"
This is the key. Thanks for reminding us, Jack!
A number of folks have commented on Leica service, which I think is a more general issue than just the 007.
I've started a thread on Leica service hoping to collect information on the good, the bad and the ugly on this topic. As it develops I'll see that it gets passed along to Leica through one of the dealers that I work with.
Note to moderators - the service posts have kind of hijacked this thread. Could the be moved to the service thread so we give this thread back to Roger?
Unfortunately those type of posts generally also contain elements relevant to the original topic, so if we move them, they don't always fit with the new topic. Moreover, they are moved in time order, so they'd appear before your opening post in the other thread. However, you (or anybody) can "quote" those posts here, copy them, then paste and answer them inside your new thread (the arrow will still lead back to the original post here). IMO this is the best solution as the relevance would be maintained in order in both threads.
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."1 Member(s) thanked for this post