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Leica Service

pesto

Member
Marc,
I just had a nearly identical experience. I returned an S120 macro lens that I had owned for less than a month for repair to Allendale after speaking to John Kreidler and Ken Hansen. There was discussion that the lens, being less than a month old before malfunctioning, might simply be replaced with a new one but there were no used 120s' to be found so off it went to the old country. Similarly, I received no confirmation or receipt beyond my FedEx paperwork. Ken Hansen ultimately found a new lens and shipped it to me at his personal expense with aparently no support from Leica. Yesterday I received an unheralded package from Leica. I will not bother opening it as it is going directly to Ken so I can not comment on the quality of repair but the elapsed time and lack of communication are at best sub standard for a company that prides itself in its excellence. With that said, one can not possibly say enough for Ken Hansen

Douglas

Okay, so here's my latest. I sent a CS180 in for the dreaded AF failure on May 11/16. This was supposed to have been a fast-tracked repair after speaking directly with John Kreidler who interfaced with Jim Mooney, the S Repair coordinator in NJ.

After I shipped in May replete with the official Leica service request form, I heard nothing from Leica. My only proof that they had the lens was my tracking number from UPS and indication that it was signed for at the loading dock. Then nothing.

Yesterday I returned home to find a UPS sticker on my door indicating that after one attempt to deliver I have to go to a UPS store to retrieve the package. Even though I provided e-mail address and cell text information, Leica didn't bother to forward a UPS notification of the impending delivery so I could track it and be there to sign for it. This it the third time this has happened with Leica shipments in the last year.

The next step is to go get it (if it is there), then check that the lens is in the same perfect shape it was when shipped with all parts sent (no guarantee of that), and then ... whether they fixed it.

Not a terrible experience, but not a premium one either, I mean how difficult would it be to at least notify the customer of a tracking number like everyone one else on the planet does.

So, I guess fast-track means a wee bit under 3 months.

I'm still waiting for a new S charger to replace the loaner they sent me. That is also 3 months old.

My friends, I'm telling all of you ... this happens because there is no accountability. There is no follow up for the company to gauge performance ... in fact, no after service communication what-so-ever.

We can howl at the moon forever, send off e-mail petitions, grumble to one another ... but no accountability, no customer policy, no initial contact and no follow-up means nothing will change.

Every time I get my Lexus serviced, the dealer busts a hump to take care of me because they know that I'll immediately get a phone call and an e-survey directly from Lexus ... and that there is hell to pay for anything less than a stellar experience.

- Marc
 
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bab

Member
Because of this thread and many others regarding the failed AF I passed on the 007 system, though my M8, M9 and M240 with three lenses luckily have never needed any service. I had two of the thre camera corrected for focusing by local technicians because of the story's with Sloms.
When I read these stories I often wonder why you guys don't use the dealer service and if you do why you don't lean on them?

Regards
 

fotografz

Well-known member
Because of this thread and many others regarding the failed AF I passed on the 007 system, though my M8, M9 and M240 with three lenses luckily have never needed any service. I had two of the thre camera corrected for focusing by local technicians because of the story's with Sloms.
When I read these stories I often wonder why you guys don't use the dealer service and if you do why you don't lean on them?

Regards
The protocol has us sending the failed item to Leica USA who evaluates whether it can be done there or has to be sent to Germany. Apparently all of the S system AF issues have to be done in Germany. It isn't the same as the mechanical M repairs or adjustments which could be done locally ... or even by expert third party repair people.

- Marc
 

Kolor-Pikker

New member
Same experience here. Failed AF with my 24mm S lens yesterday, in a photo workshop with a famous Austrian photographer. I believe now that the AF will fail in all the S lenses, sooner or later. Last time this happened with the 70 CS, the lens was back from repair in 3 weeks. We will see how long it takes this time. Whoever designed the AF mechanism at Leica should be hanged by his ears (or other dangling body parts) and left to dry in the wind.
Just out of curiosity I googled "Leica S AF drive" and this page was right at the top: https://us.leica-camera.com/World-o.../2015/Goodwill-arrangement-for-Leica-S-Lenses
I'm sure some of you have already made use of this, but non the less this seems to be a common enough occurrence to have warranted an official statement from Leica.

On a side note, what sort of AF motor do the S lenses use anyway? The ring motors used in most modern DSLR lenses from Canon, Nikon, et al. seem practically indestructible from a mechanical standpoint, since it's just three rings with current passed through them. Not sure why Leica missed the opportunity to use that technology. Even a good ol' screw drive would've been more reliable than a micro motor; they're obnoxiously loud, but I've never seen one fail...
 

fotografz

Well-known member
From the above linked Leica notification:

"In rare cases, a defect may appear in the autofocus drive unit of Leica S-Lenses. Under certain unfavorable conditions, this may lead to a complete loss of the autofocus function."

While it is commendable that Leica acknowledges and accepts responsibility for the S system lens AF failures, I wonder what those "certain unfavorable conditions" may be, and just how rare AF failure actually is? It sure the hell hasn't been rare for me, so I have to assume my lenses operate under those "certain unfavorable conditions". What those conditions could possibly be baffles me since I pamper my gear, and treat it with the respect it deserves at all times.

Actually, the biggest question I have is not what causes it, but whether the repair being done fixes it for good ... since if I recall correctly, all my CS lenses have failed (35, 45, 70, 120, and most recently the 180). The exception so far is the S100/2.

What is also odd is that the original S lenses I bought with the S2P camera never failed ... it was only later, after doing the Leica swap program to get CS versions, did the failures begin.

- Marc
 

rayyan

Well-known member
The only way to get a message across to Leica, is to covey it with your wallet/or lack thereof.

If one is content with their service, for the price they charge for their products, then I guess one deserves the service one gets.

Fanboys not withstanding.
 

docmoore

Subscriber and Workshop Member
From the above linked Leica notification:

"In rare cases, a defect may appear in the autofocus drive unit of Leica S-Lenses. Under certain unfavorable conditions, this may lead to a complete loss of the autofocus function."

While it is commendable that Leica acknowledges and accepts responsibility for the S system lens AF failures, I wonder what those "certain unfavorable conditions" may be, and just how rare AF failure actually is? It sure the hell hasn't been rare for me, so I have to assume my lenses operate under those "certain unfavorable conditions". What those conditions could possibly be baffles me since I pamper my gear, and treat it with the respect it deserves at all times.

Actually, the biggest question I have is not what causes it, but whether the repair being done fixes it for good ... since if I recall correctly, all my CS lenses have failed (35, 45, 70, 120, and most recently the 180). The exception so far is the S100/2.

What is also odd is that the original S lenses I bought with the S2P camera never failed ... it was only later, after doing the Leica swap program to get CS versions, did the failures begin.

- Marc

It seemed like the first lens failures were consistently the 120 Macro ... everyone assumed that the long focus distance from macro to infinity and all the big glass elements
was responsible .... then after a period of time the number of lenses affected grew at an increasing rate of failure. Not sure if the majority of those were older well used lenses
reaching a failure point as some lenses failed while sitting on dealers shelves. I received a new S 006 ... demo ... and a dead on arrival 70 non CS that was new. Both went back to
the dealer.

My present S 006 and two lenses are at my dealer now ... thought I had a sensor problem but probably nothing. However all of the service discussion has spooked me a bit ... thought I
might move to a S 007 if the sensor was bad ... but I have told the dealer that I will probably look at other camera manufacturers for a replacement. My difficulty is that as many S owners
know ... there is little that in my mind approaches the convenience and output from the S. My lenses at the dealer are fine ... pre-repair status as they have not failed ... yet. They are
two of my all time favorite lenses ever ... the S 100 and S 45.

So I vacillate between returning to the Monochrom 246 (hopefully less chance of sensor corrosion), moving to the X1D ... or pitching it all and buying a D5 and Df.

Most of this lens failure is due to a subcontracted plastic gear ... according to people in the know. I guess the replacement is metal. I wonder if the leaf shutter in the CS lenses
precluded the ring motor that most DSLR lenses employ.

I do wish that the S generation came along after the SL and Q ... seems like Leica has improved as those two cameras are stellar.

I am in no way a "fanboy" but I do know a great image when I see it and I have seen too many from Leica products to dismiss them outright.

Bob
 

Bernard

Member
Fanboys not withstanding.
This is hardly a forum for fanboys. We are talking about very specialized tools, their uses, and their limitations. Fanboy forums just talk about "my camera rox, your camera sux."

Do I wish that Leica's repair service in the US (and Canada) was better? Of course I do, and I am confident that having this type of discussion will encourage them to improve.

That doesn't make the S a bad camera or system. Frankly, nothing else remotely approaches the system's strengths: one of the best viewfinders ever, a body that's smaller than a pro-level 35, a lens line that is optically flawless, access to older medium format lenses that aren't flawless but that give you a killer look. It's a unique proposition on the market right now.
 

algrove

Well-known member
I am in no way a "fanboy" but I do know a great image when I see it and I have seen too many from Leica products to dismiss them outright.

Bob
Even though Leica tools seem to have been in the hands of good photographers, it means to me that good photographers rather than the Leica gear they used made the images great.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Even though Leica tools seem to have been in the hands of good photographers, it means to me that good photographers rather than the Leica gear they used made the images great.
I guess we have to equip all those great photographers with Holgas and see them produce work that outstrips the fanboys and their Leicas, eh? :angel:

G
 

docmoore

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Even though Leica tools seem to have been in the hands of good photographers, it means to me that good photographers rather than the Leica gear they used made the images great.
I agree but assume that the photographer who chooses a brand does so based on its inherent imaging ability and learns to minimize its flaws ... be it Leica, Holga, Canikon, wooden box with LF lens. I tend not to share my
misses ... I rarely share those pictures with which I am pleased.


Bob
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I agree but assume that the photographer who chooses a brand does so based on its inherent imaging ability ....
In essence, particular equipment makes great photographs possible by providing capability. It's up to the photographer to understand what the equipment can do and exploit that, whatever it might be.

G
 

rayyan

Well-known member
Unless I have completely misread, misunderstood and/or
Misinterpreted this thread; we are discussing after sales service of Leica ( Sxx ) series of cameras. And that invariably does bring into the discussion of Leica's other camera offerings.

Whether Leica lenses and camera systems are the ' best ' of all that is available is
a different thread.

' specialized tool ' is of no use, if it is unreliable, subject to random and unexplained failures, or stays for long times in the factory for repair....it has failed
its user. One pays a certain price and expects a certain degree of service levels from and of the equipment. Paying a relatively high price for Leica, one would reasonably expect an equivalent level of quality control and a much higher level of
repair service than for a mass market priced camera system.

That responsiveness to Leica customer's queries and complaints be handled courteously and quickly should be normal.

I own a relatively expensive watch. It is supposed to be passed on to coming
Generations. It is excellent. Is accurate only twice in 24 hours.
 

docmoore

Subscriber and Workshop Member
One pays a certain price and expects a certain degree of service levels from and of the equipment. Paying a relatively high price for Leica, one would reasonably expect an equivalent level of quality control and a much higher level of repair service than for a mass market priced camera system.

That responsiveness to Leica customer's queries and complaints be handled courteously and quickly should be normal.

I own a relatively expensive watch. It is supposed to be passed on to coming
Generations. It is excellent. Is accurate only twice in 24 hours.

Leica had expertise in glass and mechanical RF cameras that essentially were bombproof ... were upstaged by the Nikon F camera
but have had a passionate customer base for years.

They have gained a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in digital imaging in a short period of time.

As a small company that has been through a number of management and ownership cataclysms they do have to catch up to the
Six Sigma level of reliability and support. Watching their progress I imagine that it will occur ... but with the new new internet short
attention span ... 3 seconds off to a new site if no response most are unwilling to wait for the upgrade. However ... all they need to do
is communicate ... contact the customer and keep him informed. Work with pros who are not media stars and answer their concerns.
Treat those of use who have decades of photography experience like colleagues ... not dolts.

I too did the watch thing ... bought a tractor equivalent ... a Rolex Submariner in 1982 ... sold it for 3 times what I paid for it and moved
to a Panera 31 years later ... when I was 16 I had a Timex ... 12 years without a complaint and it was more accurate than either of the above. I now wear
a Seiko Japanese edition Titanium diver ... 1/10th the cost and just as accurate. I do not have a generation coming along to gift my purchases ...
thank God for that or I would have bought a Patek Phillipe ... and they would have not appreciated the sentiment.

I take solace in the fact that my hobby is somewhat limited in costs ... nothing compared to flying Warbirds, country club membership and fees,
racing exotic cars ... and my passions do not include anyone other than the woman I have known and cherished for 38 years.

I find that the level of service across the board is less intimate and personal as it has become more global.

And I know that we are more willing to grant a modicum of patience and beneficence to someone we know or who makes contact in the midst of
a struggle that we do to an unknown unresponsive entity.

So yes we are very unhappy with the current state of Mudville .... hope they can up their game as their product is worth a certain amount
of sacrifice ... within limits.

Bob
 

PeterA

Well-known member
Leica had expertise in glass and mechanical RF cameras that essentially were bombproof ... were upstaged by the Nikon F camera
but have had a passionate customer base for years.

They have gained a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in digital imaging in a short period of time.

As a small company that has been through a number of management and ownership cataclysms they do have to catch up to the
Six Sigma level of reliability and support. Watching their progress I imagine that it will occur ... but with the new new internet short
attention span ... 3 seconds off to a new site if no response most are unwilling to wait for the upgrade. However ... all they need to do
is communicate ... contact the customer and keep him informed. Work with pros who are not media stars and answer their concerns.
Treat those of use who have decades of photography experience like colleagues ... not dolts.

I too did the watch thing ... bought a tractor equivalent ... a Rolex Submariner in 1982 ... sold it for 3 times what I paid for it and moved
to a Panera 31 years later ... when I was 16 I had a Timex ... 12 years without a complaint and it was more accurate than either of the above. I now wear
a Seiko Japanese edition Titanium diver ... 1/10th the cost and just as accurate. I do not have a generation coming along to gift my purchases ...
thank God for that or I would have bought a Patek Phillipe ... and they would have not appreciated the sentiment.

I take solace in the fact that my hobby is somewhat limited in costs ... nothing compared to flying Warbirds, country club membership and fees,
racing exotic cars ... and my passions do not include anyone other than the woman I have known and cherished for 38 years.

I find that the level of service across the board is less intimate and personal as it has become more global.

And I know that we are more willing to grant a modicum of patience and beneficence to someone we know or who makes contact in the midst of
a struggle that we do to an unknown unresponsive entity.

So yes we are very unhappy with the current state of Mudville .... hope they can up their game as their product is worth a certain amount
of sacrifice ... within limits.

Bob
Hey Bob - apart from the Q are what other cameras are you using atm?

Pete
 

docmoore

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Hey Bob - apart from the Q are what other cameras are you using atm?

Pete
Hi Pete,

Have cleared the closet at the present ... which is ok as the heat index in Dallas is around 108F and
I only spend time out to care for the lawn after 1000AM in the morning. Going to Skye and the
Hebrides this September but probably just with the Q as it is a family trip.

My S 006 is at Camera West and I may return to it or move to a S 007 M246 or the X1D. I do not
print any more after my Epson 4900 had a terminal clog so any of these will be enough
resolution ... it is rare for me to do anything bigger than 8x10 ... and my last couple of outsourced
prints were terrible.

So really hoping to see some decent RAW pictures from the Hasselblad to decide.

Bob
 

jaree

Member
First hand experience with a series of extremely poor customer service experiences with Leica NJ. Several months of waiting on repair of S lenses, no communication and in one case a lens being returned without any repair with no explanation and no response to my several emails as to why it was sent back unrepaired.

Also got cheated by Leica by having to pay $750 for failed AF motor in the S 35MM only to find out later that this is an inherent defect in the S lenses and Leica is repairing them for free. Pathetic bunch of cheats.

Anyway sold off the S2 and lenses and decided not to upgrade to the newer S as I was planning. In addition, will not buy any Leica product in the future. So I have voted with my wallet.

And speaking of customer service, a mass market company that I had very low confidence in, totally delighted me with excellent service recently: DELL Computer, repaired an 11 month old laptop replacing keyboard, power switch and mouse-pad. All this in 5 days, including sending me pre-paid FedEx box and shipping it back via 1-day air. I didn't have to pay for any shipping, repaired under warranty. I was kept updated throughout the process via email with the status of the repair and followed up by a customer service manager. They basically provided me with premium service for a low end $450 laptop. I take it that they value me as a customer.
 
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iiiNelson

Well-known member
I don't have any current Leica service experiences but I had a M9 that required a sensor replacement once. It was done within 2 months and was relatively stress free as I had another body that was problem free.

It sounds like like many of you are getting the short end of the service stick and that alone would be enough for me to dump them as a company if I experienced the same. It doesn't matter whether you email or make a phone call - a company should ALWAYS return some form of correspondence or hire additional help if they're that overwhelmed. No excuse for that and I'd replace all of my offending regional "help" if I were a Leica Manager/Executive that read this thread. That's how I roll though.
 

rich_

New member
I dropped off my M240 at the start of July for the rangefinder to be calibrated (infinity was off, 2 years of bumping it around had taken its toll?) and for my 35mm lux asph to have its wobbly barrel fixed. Its 20 odd years old and had been getting progressively worse...
The City London branch wasn't so helpful, suggesting that I visit the Mayfair branch for it to be sent away. The Mayfair branch have been responsive and helpful whist I wait. fingers crossed they both arrive back at the start of September!
 

doug

Active member
Every time my 280/4 APO needs service I can expect at least three months downtime and more often than not when it returns there's a new problem, i.e., the aperture linkage is disconnected, caps are missing. It's in Germany now, and after three months I still haven't gotten an estimate for repair cost. The previous time it needed service (for its biennial sticky aperture blade cleaning) the service time was six months. I've called several times to follow up on my lens and on the fifth try after no returned phone calls I was able to talk to a real person who said I should see the estimate within 2 weeks. We'll see about that.
Following up on the promised estimate "within 2 weeks", still nothing. No surprise.
 
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