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So Leica makes cameras for pros... Really?????

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KdB

New member
Here's the story of a photographer who thought Leica was a serious camera company who cares about their trustful customers.



My name is Kaïs, french photographer based in Paris, France.

I started my Leica journey with a M9, ten years ago, sold and upgraded with a M9-P
A Monochrom (version 1) quickly followed him all of them bought brand new.

Wanting to get my hands on a "real Leica", I bought a M6 Titanium set with its Summicron 35/1.4.
The medium lust was too hard to resist: a S2 with a Summarit 70 joined my stable.
Let's add a wide angle to my S system: a brand new Summarit 35.

Time has past, I added a M7 (0.58 finder), a Q Titanium, a Monochrom version 2, a M5, an Elmarit 90/2.0, a Summicron 50, a Summarit 35/2.4...

We are talking about minimum 44 500€ (including the S007)!!!!!

Then, the problems begun: both my M9-P and Monochrom I had a sensor failure (cracked sensor).
How come a "pro" camera could have a sensor cracked?
During my carreer, I owned a 5DmkII, a D3x, a Df, a 5DmkIV (I'm still using today) that NEVER failed me, NEVER.

Anyways, Leica has been kind enough to replace both sensors for free.

When the S007 came out, I was tempted to upgrade my aging S2.
At my usual Leica dealer, they kindly checked my S2 before it goes on sale and discovered a corroded sensor!

Come on! A third failure from a so serious comapany? I must be the unluckiest photographer on earth then.

Still, I upgraded to a reconditioned mint grade SOO7, checked by Leica with a one year guarantee.

During my second shooting, the 70 started to rattle from time to time, missing focus lock.
Of course, my poker face never let any worries showed to my clients.

Back home, I uploaded the photos into Capture One and got struck by what I have discovered:
See attached photos.
DNGs avaiaible upon request.


I thought my memory card failed (I exclusively use hi-speed Sandisk Extreme and Extreme Pro SD).
I tried with different cards, same problem.

The DNGs are available if requested.

I met the people of Leica at Paris Salon de la photo (photoshow) and, after hours of friendly chat, they acknowledged that there was a video card failure.

Wait a second. Are we talking about Leica's flagship camera here?
The one that is supposed to compete with a Hasselblad HD6-50 or a PhaseOne XF???
A failure after less than 2000 photos taken? Is this german so-called excellence?

Since November 8th, 2018 my SOO7 is at the customer service (I hope) and I have NO NEWS from them!!!

How come a pro photographer can trust such miserable products?????
How come my 2400€ 5DmkIV works like a charm after litteraly thousands and thousands of photos???
How come it takes 10 days max to Canon to fix and upgrade the firmware of their pro camera when I have been waiting 6+ months to get any information from
Wetzlar???

I'm over with this overrated brand.
Keep on releasing limited edition for rich Qataris and Russians and let the pros (Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Fuji, to name a few) run the photography
business.

SHAME ON YOU Leica to ignore and disrespect your loyal customers!!! :angry::angry::angry:

We made you, never forget that.

I sent them a letter and I know the drill: they will send me apologies.

But I'm not paying for apologies!!! I don't need them!!! I'm paying for equipment that pays my bills and feed me!


Today, I'm waiting to get my hands back on my S007 to trade it for a Hasselblad H6D-50c.
I am so disappointed by Leica...







KAÏS DE BALI
 

Attachments

Can’t help but agree - 30 years fine performance and service in the analog era; but delivery of defective products and truly abominable service in digital era.

I remain loyal to some of my Leica lenses, but will never use them again on a Leica body.

Kirk
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
For the money you've invested in Leica, it's unacceptable. I sold my Monochrom and M9, but was appalled at what the S was selling for at the time. Now, look at the re-sale of those, it's abysmal. Leica film cameras were the apex of quality, but their digital counterparts never could match that. Germans have a reputation for craftsmanship that their digital cameras could never achieve. Leave that to the Japanese whose skills are legendary.
 

vieri

Well-known member
I am really sorry to hear about your misfortunes, and I completely agree with you on digital Leica's poor QC / reliability track. The only Leica that is completely bullet-proof and never fails is the Leica SL, which is simply perfect as far as reliability goes. I was a Leica Ambassador (2016-2018), had two Leica SL for three years, used them in any weather / temperature / storms / ice / sand / younameit etc, and they just kept working, never a single bug or problem. The new M240 and especially the M10 seems to be doing very well without any problems so far.

Your complains and frustration are perfectly understandable. While I have been using Hassleblad for some months now, I love Leica (brand, history, etc) and I really hope that: 1. that Leica understood the issue, and the new products will be above any suspicions (as it seems they are) and that, slowly, this will help regains the trust of customers that have been burned during these past years; 2. they will implement solutions for whatever problem there has been, and these solutions are: free, fast and painless. While on point nr. 1 I see definite improvements, I am afraid point nr. 2 still needs some work.

Best regards,

Vieri
 

Robert Campbell

Well-known member
I'm sorry to hear of your problems with modern Leicas.

Back in the day, Leica/Leitz were mechanical and optical precision engineers. Today's digital cameras are more like computers with added sensors and lenses. Leica are not computer engineers, and surely buys in all these type of components, and perhaps even the motors in AF lenses. Their M series lenses are purely mechanical, and don't seem to give similar problems, though they need servicing from time to time.

Up until the mid 1930s, Rolls-Royce made all the components for the rolling chassis, bar the frame, the spark plugs and the wheels. they made their own electrics, starter motor and dynamo, and their own carburettor. And they tested all the bits of steel they used. Royce was originally an electrical engineer, hence that expertise.

Later they supplied whole cars; it's very apparent that in the models from the mid 60s to the turn of the century, the problems they have today are with the 'ancillaries', the bits that RR didn't make.

I suspect that Leica have similar 'problems'; the bits they make are fine, the bits that are outsourced are the ones that can be problematic. Further, Leica were late arrivals on the digital scene; it's only now with the M10 and the SL that their products seem to be 'mature' and reliable. And we as consumers were the ones who did 'extended test drives' on their earlier products, discovering the problems that they had.
 

JoelM

Active member
Harsh first post, but welcome to the Forum. I was a Leica user for just over 40 years. I started with a pair of M4-Ps just out of high school and went forwards and backwards to cover the M2-M8, sans the M5. I never had even one failure on any lens or body. Perhaps I was lucky, but I treated my gear like the jewels and treasures that they were. After using some Sony gear a few years ago, I saw absolutely no benefit to the Leica and the things I adored and still do, in the rangefinder format, I can now live without. The Sony does everything my Leicas did but even much better. While Leica was expensive back then, it has gotten ridiculously expensive now. Also, the lens rendering has gone completely against their original philosophy and is giving the same images as everyone else. I don't blame them as that is their business model and they are competing with other computer generated razor-sharp lens makers.

My 2 cents,

Joel
 

KdB

New member
I am really sorry to hear about your misfortunes, and I completely agree with you on digital Leica's poor QC / reliability track. The only Leica that is completely bullet-proof and never fails is the Leica SL, which is simply perfect as far as reliability goes. I was a Leica Ambassador (2016-2018), had two Leica SL for three years, used them in any weather / temperature / storms / ice / sand / younameit etc, and they just kept working, never a single bug or problem. The new M240 and especially the M10 seems to be doing very well without any problems so far.

Your complains and frustration are perfectly understandable. While I have been using Hassleblad for some months now, I love Leica (brand, history, etc) and I really hope that: 1. that Leica understood the issue, and the new products will be above any suspicions (as it seems they are) and that, slowly, this will help regains the trust of customers that have been burned during these past years; 2. they will implement solutions for whatever problem there has been, and these solutions are: free, fast and painless. While on point nr. 1 I see definite improvements, I am afraid point nr. 2 still needs some work.

Best regards,

Vieri
Hello Vieri.
First of all, I am an avid reader of your website and I want to thank you for all the time and passion you share with us. :clap:

Thank you for your answer.

Like many, I truly trusted this brand and I felt like I was continuing and helping the legacy.
But romantism aside, this brand has proven me to be unreliable, disappointing and arrogant.

We, the photographers, are the best ambassadors: we support the brand, we talk about their products, we use them, we influence other photographers to discover and use their products.
But what we get is faulty products, an awful customers service and lousy apologies letters.

This is not acceptable whether you buy a Leica pouch or a full S007 set.
It's about trust and respect but neither one or the other has been shown by the Leica.

My bad, I shouldn't have trusted them.
 

KdB

New member
Harsh first post, but welcome to the Forum. I was a Leica user for just over 40 years. I started with a pair of M4-Ps just out of high school and went forwards and backwards to cover the M2-M8, sans the M5. I never had even one failure on any lens or body. Perhaps I was lucky, but I treated my gear like the jewels and treasures that they were. After using some Sony gear a few years ago, I saw absolutely no benefit to the Leica and the things I adored and still do, in the rangefinder format, I can now live without. The Sony does everything my Leicas did but even much better. While Leica was expensive back then, it has gotten ridiculously expensive now. Also, the lens rendering has gone completely against their original philosophy and is giving the same images as everyone else. I don't blame them as that is their business model and they are competing with other computer generated razor-sharp lens makers.

My 2 cents,

Joel
Hello Joe.
I wish I never had to write such hard words but this is reality.
Like I replied to Vieri, it's all about trust and respect.
Leica don't give a cow about us, the photographers.
 

vieri

Well-known member
Hello Vieri.
First of all, I am an avid reader of your website and I want to thank you for all the time and passion you share with us. :clap:

Thank you for your answer.

Like many, I truly trusted this brand and I felt like I was continuing and helping the legacy.
But romantism aside, this brand has proven me to be unreliable, disappointing and arrogant.

We, the photographers, are the best ambassadors: we support the brand, we talk about their products, we use them, we influence other photographers to discover and use their products.
But what we get is faulty products, an awful customers service and lousy apologies letters.

This is not acceptable whether you buy a Leica pouch or a full S007 set.
It's about trust and respect but neither one or the other has been shown by the Leica.

My bad, I shouldn't have trusted them.
Kais,

you are welcome, and thank you for your words about my blog, I am glad you are enjoying the articles :)

I completely agree with what you say here, as I said before. To me, the only thing I would consider is that I think you are leaving just when things are changing: SL, M10, Q are all great cameras with no problems, at least so far. The L-mount alliance is promising, and there might be a SL2 coming up soon. So, if you love the lenses / cameras, perhaps it's worth one last effort in terms of granting Leica some trust a bit longer.

If you are (rightfully!) fed up to the point of no return, on the other hand, the good thing is that we live in amazing times to be photographers, under a strictly "gear-oriented" point of view. Technology is mature enough, and - not counting Leica - you can find great cameras and lenses from Fuji, Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad, PhaseOne, with prices to suit pretty much all pockets if you also condor second hand gear.

Best regards,

Vieri
 

rayyan

Well-known member
Kdb, I sympathize with your experience with Leica cameras.

That Leica using outsourced parts, and that might cause issues, is of no help to a customer whose ‘ expensive ‘ equipment fails. And the service turnaround is dismal.

The camera bears Leica’s name and logo. They and they alone are responsible for it to function in a professional environment. Put a brand name on equipment, and a company puts it reputation on the line. More so if one markets their cameras n lenses as a sine qua non for photography.

Romanticism and history of the past is overdone in Leica’s case.

I, for one, can neither afford nor indulge in way over the top expensive romanticism, cameras or women ( for that matter...well almost :D ).

But good light and times to those that prefer it.
 

Photon42

Well-known member
Here's the story of a photographer who thought Leica was a serious camera company who cares about their trustful customers.



My name is Kaïs, french photographer based in Paris, France.

I started my Leica journey with a M9, ten years ago, sold and upgraded with a M9-P
A Monochrom (version 1) quickly followed him all of them bought brand new.

Wanting to get my hands on a "real Leica", I bought a M6 Titanium set with its Summicron 35/1.4.
The medium lust was too hard to resist: a S2 with a Summarit 70 joined my stable.
Let's add a wide angle to my S system: a brand new Summarit 35.

Time has past, I added a M7 (0.58 finder), a Q Titanium, a Monochrom version 2, a M5, an Elmarit 90/2.0, a Summicron 50, a Summarit 35/2.4...

We are talking about minimum 44 500€ (including the S007)!!!!!

Then, the problems begun: both my M9-P and Monochrom I had a sensor failure (cracked sensor).
How come a "pro" camera could have a sensor cracked?
During my carreer, I owned a 5DmkII, a D3x, a Df, a 5DmkIV (I'm still using today) that NEVER failed me, NEVER.

Anyways, Leica has been kind enough to replace both sensors for free.

When the S007 came out, I was tempted to upgrade my aging S2.
At my usual Leica dealer, they kindly checked my S2 before it goes on sale and discovered a corroded sensor!

Come on! A third failure from a so serious comapany? I must be the unluckiest photographer on earth then.

Still, I upgraded to a reconditioned mint grade SOO7, checked by Leica with a one year guarantee.

During my second shooting, the 70 started to rattle from time to time, missing focus lock.
Of course, my poker face never let any worries showed to my clients.

Back home, I uploaded the photos into Capture One and got struck by what I have discovered:
See attached photos.
DNGs avaiaible upon request.


I thought my memory card failed (I exclusively use hi-speed Sandisk Extreme and Extreme Pro SD).
I tried with different cards, same problem.

The DNGs are available if requested.

I met the people of Leica at Paris Salon de la photo (photoshow) and, after hours of friendly chat, they acknowledged that there was a video card failure.

Wait a second. Are we talking about Leica's flagship camera here?
The one that is supposed to compete with a Hasselblad HD6-50 or a PhaseOne XF???
A failure after less than 2000 photos taken? Is this german so-called excellence?

Since November 8th, 2018 my SOO7 is at the customer service (I hope) and I have NO NEWS from them!!!

How come a pro photographer can trust such miserable products?????
How come my 2400€ 5DmkIV works like a charm after litteraly thousands and thousands of photos???
How come it takes 10 days max to Canon to fix and upgrade the firmware of their pro camera when I have been waiting 6+ months to get any information from
Wetzlar???

I'm over with this overrated brand.
Keep on releasing limited edition for rich Qataris and Russians and let the pros (Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Fuji, to name a few) run the photography
business.

SHAME ON YOU Leica to ignore and disrespect your loyal customers!!! :angry::angry::angry:

We made you, never forget that.

I sent them a letter and I know the drill: they will send me apologies.

But I'm not paying for apologies!!! I don't need them!!! I'm paying for equipment that pays my bills and feed me!


Today, I'm waiting to get my hands back on my S007 to trade it for a Hasselblad H6D-50c.
I am so disappointed by Leica...







KAÏS DE BALI
Bonjour Kaïs et bienvenu au forum alors. I do understand your frustration. My takeaway from using Leica products for more than ten years now is the following:

  • I had less issues with used products than with new ones. They do assemble most of their products by hand. This is a gear in the wrenches of any Quality Control activity
  • If I need somehting ultimately dependent, I either take my Nikon or bring backup(s)
  • If you stay polite and friendly, they do a lot for you. I agree however it would be good to not even getting there
  • I use an S2 (bought for 2k used three years back) with a used 120S lens. AF gear replacement for free. The images this combo takes are absolutely fantastic
  • Everything Leica produced body-wise after the M3 was a step down :grin:

Like you I wonder how may real pros are using Leica as their main brand. I guess you are fine if you do a certain type of people photography and got clients who even may enjoy the idea of being photographed by fancy equipment (and got lots of back-up in place).

I also wonder on your pictures: how did they look on the LCD monitor of the camera?

Cheers
Ivo
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
As bad as this is ..nothing new in this post . I ve responded to these situations many many times .

Stuff you should know ...

1. Leica does not care one bit about your history or current situation . Their culture prohibits any employee even acknowledging a problem exists . Never assume anything else .

2. Your dealer is a much bigger issue than Wetzler . They are a huge part of the problem and not at all worthy of any of your business .

3. When you send a item to Wetzler for service they establish a work order in SAP (their business software ) . You can look up your status with the work order number . You can call them directly and determine the status of your S 007 . However if they are waiting for a vendor supplied part ...you are out of luck .

My dealer has solved much worse problems for me with Leica and I have quite a lot of experience .

My advice is not to ever expect that you can use Leica or any other gear professionally without plenty of backup . This often makes Leica gear just too expensive for professional use . Without a great dealer its not even possible . I agree that Leica is not positioned well for most working professionals and better alternatives exist .
 

KdB

New member
Bonjour Kaïs et bienvenu au forum alors. I do understand your frustration. My takeaway from using Leica products for more than ten years now is the following:

  • I had less issues with used products than with new ones. They do assemble most of their products by hand. This is a gear in the wrenches of any Quality Control activity
  • If I need somehting ultimately dependent, I either take my Nikon or bring backup(s)
  • If you stay polite and friendly, they do a lot for you. I agree however it would be good to not even getting there
  • I use an S2 (bought for 2k used three years back) with a used 120S lens. AF gear replacement for free. The images this combo takes are absolutely fantastic
  • Everything Leica produced body-wise after the M3 was a step down :grin:

Like you I wonder how may real pros are using Leica as their main brand. I guess you are fine if you do a certain type of people photography and got clients who even may enjoy the idea of being photographed by fancy equipment (and got lots of back-up in place).

I also wonder on your pictures: how did they look on the LCD monitor of the camera?

Cheers
Ivo
Hello Ivo. Thank you for your support.
Of course, I do bring a backup system on locations, that would be suicidal not to do so.

I never check my pictures on my LCD, waste of time. I set my exposure, speed and aperture with my trusty Sekonic 308 and here we go!
When you know your equipment, you know when a photo is good or not (still, I always make two pictures of my sybject, just in case od an eye blink).

I have checked the pictures on the LCB back home and they look like the ones posted.

Regarding the size of the camera, in France, it's important to show "you have a big one" ;)
Clients think the bigger, the better.
Most of the time a 1000€ camera is more than enough for the job. But the pleasure, the shooting enveloppe are a part of the equation we can't ignore.


Cheers.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Leica makes cameras for people who want them.

If this guy's story was true for 99% of the people who bought the cameras, no one would want them and Leica would stop making them, for a variety of reasons. No matter how many people on line are posting sad stories like this, they represent a fraction of a percent of Leica owners.

Personally, I've had very few problems with my digital Leicas. I've had more problems with my Sony, Fuji, Nikon, and Canon cameras. All were repaired, easily, but that's my experience. The only cameras I've had fewer problems with have been my Olympus pro-line cameras.
 

KdB

New member
Leica makes cameras for people who want them.

If this guy's story was true for 99% of the people who bought the cameras, no one would want them and Leica would stop making them, for a variety of reasons. No matter how many people on line are posting sad stories like this, they represent a fraction of a percent of Leica owners.

Personally, I've had very few problems with my digital Leicas. I've had more problems with my Sony, Fuji, Nikon, and Canon cameras. All were repaired, easily, but that's my experience. The only cameras I've had fewer problems with have been my Olympus pro-line cameras.
Hello Godfrey.
Of course, any brand makes products for people who want/need them.

But customer service is as important as the product itself, if not more.
Fuji, Sony... don't market their product like ultimate picture taking devices or excellency products like Leica do.
They MUST live up to their reputation, which in my case is total failure!!!

You can not compare a 3000$ camera to a 17 000$ camera, can you?

You don't excpect the same level of service/care from Ford that you do from Bentley or Rolls, right?

Of course, failures/problems happen, this is not my point.
What I find unacceptable is the absence of concern from Wetzlar.

I'm one of the very few photographers unsing a S007 in France, still Leica ignores me. This is not how you treat customers.

At least, they conviced me to switch to Hasselblad.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Customer service is at least as important as the product itself in many cases, but not all.

To wit: I have no idea what Bentley or Rolls Royce service is like because I could never afford one of their cars. I do own a Mercedes-Benz and I like it a lot, but I have it serviced by an independent mechanic who does at least as good a job as the dealer could and costs me far less, with far better customer responsiveness ... the stories I hear about every dealer in the area fill me with loathing. I bought the car ten years old and shaped it up. The dealer service doesn't matter to me in that case, not at all.

Likewise, on the few occasions I've needed Leica service, both my Leica dealer and Leica USA have done an outstanding job of supporting my needs. I can't ask for better than that, for me.

I can compare anything I want to compare. The key is whether the comparison has any merit. On the issue of service, I expect the same service from any product provider I'm dealing with ... the price of the product is irrelevant to the service as it is NOT included in the purchase of the product. Fuji, Leica, Nikon, et al ... are all largish companies and should all provide the same, high level of service. Why shouldn't they?

They all care about you the way big companies care about anything: they want your money, they want their products to succeed in the marketplace and be profitable. One user in a country isn't going to make or break their profitability no matter what they do. Expecting personal treatment from a large company because you've paid a lot of money is, to me, just a false expectation—an unwarranted sense of entitlement. Buy what you want to use because it has value to that use and you feel the price is justified by that use... that's what I do.

I buy Leica equipment because I like what Leica lenses perform like, because I like what the Leica bodies I'm using do. I've had no problems with my equipment, other than one with a bad sensor and one with a control pad that went bad after a year or two. Both were taken care of by Leica USA expediently and efficiently, and at little cost to me.

That said: I feel the same about Hasselblad equipment. I'm now planning to sell my digital M and maybe two or three lenses to acquire an X1D body and one lens. Hasselblad has an up and down reputation for service, in my perception, but it really doesn't matter much to me. I'm pretty sure the X1D is a reliable and usable piece of equipment, and what I've seen of the lens I want looks like it lives up to the reputation and rendering quality I expect. I'll keep the rest of my Leica gear because it's working just fine.

As you might judge, I'm not very emotional about camera gear. I like certain things a lot, for sure, but it's all just equipment to my photographic ends and not much more.

G

Equipment is transitory. Photographs endure.

Hello Godfrey.
Of course, any brand makes products for people who want/need them.

But customer service is as important as the product itself, if not more.
Fuji, Sony... don't market their product like ultimate picture taking devices or excellency products like Leica do.
They MUST live up to their reputation, which in my case is total failure!!!

You can not compare a 3000$ camera to a 17 000$ camera, can you?

You don't excpect the same level of service/care from Ford that you do from Bentley or Rolls, right?

Of course, failures/problems happen, this is not my point.
What I find unacceptable is the absence of concern from Wetzlar.

I'm one of the very few photographers unsing a S007 in France, still Leica ignores me. This is not how you treat customers.

At least, they conviced me to switch to Hasselblad.
 

JohnBrew

Member
Never a problem with ANY Leica body, film or digital. R5 through M-P 240.
Heading for Lisbon next week with M9-P and two lenses.
 
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