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

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KdB

New member
You seem to have covered ALL the technical problems with Leica the last 10 years. Bingo!

Seriously, you have been unlucky, and having the S007 served since November is just impossible!

The he CCD problems in both Leica M9, Monochrom and S2 are well known. How can it happen? Cutting edge (at the time), thin glass over CCD sensors. But handled by Leica.
AF mechanism on S lenses, well known problem, also handled by Leica at the time. What I do not understand is your images, this is not just AF failure, something else must have happened..

What really bugs me is the long repair time for the S007. Do you have a good relation to your dealer? My experience is that this is crucial. A good dealer would never allow such a long waiting, with no information. Did you send it in via your dealer, or directly? Do you have someone you can call?

I have had my share of problems with the S lenses, but basically very happy with the system. I decided to send in all my lenses for AF upgrade. Supported by myLeica dealer in Norway, I got it at a minimal cost. I had by S007 for full cleanup and removal of dust in optical finder, turnaround time 4-5 weeks (always 1 week in each end for customs, shipping etc.). There should be no reason to keep it for months in repair.

BTW: Very nice pictures on your site!

- Erling
Thank you for the support Erling.
Yes, it seems I have the best beta tester for Leica!
I gave my S007 to the Paris Leica Store directly.

I'm definitely done with their digital cameras (I will keep my M5 and M6 as these are almost bulletproof).

Cheers.

Kaïs.
 

KdB

New member
So the overall takeaway here is that any brand can have issues but the service experience is largely country/region and dealer dependent. This should factor into buying decisions... maybe moreso if there are professional intentions.

FWIW another of my M9’s has sensor issues eventually and after being replaced I sold both. The service experience wasn’t bad but I had my cameras in early before the massive wave of problems popped up at once. It was a 2-4 week return of my bodies. I loved the camera but I wouldn’t trust them for professional work personally though I have done professional work with them. I've owned Canon and didn’t have issues. I own Panasonic without issues. I’ve owned various Sony products over the years to include TV’s, cameras, walkmans, discmans, and Playstation and the only issue I ever had was with the first Playstation 2 I bought that didn’t actually play Playstation 2 games (but had no issues playing DVD’s or music CD’s). The service experience was horrible and I elected to forego it and return the unit to the store I bought it from. The Sony Pro Camera services have been quite good though I’ve only ever used it for the included sensor cleaning at this point and for product evaluation. In my case the regional representative lives within 10 minutes of my place and I have a working relationship with her that’s extremely positive.

It sucks that you've had all of these issues issues and I’d say this is a bit more than anecdotal evidence. It looks like a trend and I don’t think it’s a “Leica problem” so much as a company growth issue. There was a massive growth in leica as a company and their production once the M9 and S line were announced... I believe some QA/QC slipped during this phase (and going forward) due to the increased demand and production that they weren’t expecting or prepared for. Perhaps the higher quality of the SL (and newer) suggests they figured it out now.

I wish you better luck with Hasselblad... or wherever you end up.
Hello Nelson.
I totally agree: the customer service is half of the equation if not more.
Every brand can face problems/issues/failures and it is where their reputation and seriousness comes into play.
Outsourcing might be the cause here but it is unfait that the customers pays for bad decisions.

We are supporting them by buying their equipment, we promote them and in the end, all we , at least I, get is arrogance and no concern at all.

Anyways, my bad for trusting Leica.


Cheers.
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
Hello Nelson.
I totally agree: the customer service is half of the equation if not more.
Every brand can face problems/issues/failures and it is where their reputation and seriousness comes into play.
Outsourcing might be the cause here but it is unfait that the customers pays for bad decisions.

We are supporting them by buying their equipment, we promote them and in the end, all we , at least I, get is arrogance and no concern at all.

Anyways, my bad for trusting Leica.


Cheers.
Perhaps get a Leica film camera like the M2, M3, up to M6 for fun. Incredibly precise engineering and really what put Leica on the map. It's too bad they don't continue building cameras like that.
 

KdB

New member
Perhaps get a Leica film camera like the M2, M3, up to M6 for fun. Incredibly precise engineering and really what put Leica on the map. It's too bad they don't continue building cameras like that.
I have a mint M6 Titanium and matching 35 Summilux and a M5 :thumbup:
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Perhaps get a Leica film camera like the M2, M3, up to M6 for fun. Incredibly precise engineering and really what put Leica on the map. It's too bad they don't continue building cameras like that.
The M3 through M2, M4, and M5 (as well as Leicaflex series) were built 'the old way' which sadly nearly destroyed Leica due to the rising costs of such hand-crafted manufacture by the middle 1970s. They were stunningly beautiful in construction. The M4-2 and later model Ms were built 'the new way' which many Leica enthusiasts descried as a cheapening of the brand ... but of course, they allowed Leica to become profitable again and survive as a company. Personally I enjoy the fact that Leica found a way to survive and prosper.

I have a mint M6 Titanium and matching 35 Summilux and a M5 :thumbup:
I have my two favorite M cameras now: the M4-2 for film, the M-D for digital. Utterly simple and totally reliable. And enough lenses (too many, really) with superb quality and character to keep me happy forever, at least with respect to Leica rangefinder models and its domain of capabilities. I'm lacking nothing in this corner of camera equipment.

It's other equipment niches that I keep playing with new things in. :D

G
 

Geoff

Active member
The issues with Leica parallel other areas of exotic or cutting-edge manufacturing. In the auto world, as one improves performance, reliability suffers. So too the interesting firms are smaller, and their limited engineering departments struggle to handle all aspects now expected by consumers.

In this light, Leica has done a remarkable transformation. They haven't given up on their optical quality, and they remain committed to a particular brand image/experience that they feel reinforces and supports their markets. Personally I prefer a more understated brand, but a recent stroll down a major retail street confirmed that all the older "quality" modest brands were gone - the only survivors had loud voices and presented a striking image for the next generation. Understated doesn't seem popular these days.

In addition, there has been a change from a superbly built camera (say an M2) that could last forever to newer consumer-based models. These are still priced signficantly more than their competition, but are still not quite built as well Leica would want if they had their druthers. There is pressure from both directions.

The changeover from the earlier Leica to the present day came complete with some horrid rough spots. Having bought into the DMR and M8, unhappily left behind, swore never again, until the MM with its joy. And a replaced sensor... but at least at no cost.

Your SL woes are unfortunate. The SL seems part of a "we'll have something serious for everyone", a difficult strategy to implement. They seem spread thin... wish they would settle down and develop a few really good products, and let a bunch of other stuff go.
 

daf

Member
@kaïs,
Anyway, french are arrogant :)
Saint honoré shop almost share their place with "Leica France" that your best place when you have a problem.
 

DB5

Member
While I've had problems with other camera brands (twice in over twenty years of heavy professional use) they have been rectified by the company quickly and at no cost or fuss to me.

I, like the OP, have spent many tens of thousands of pounds with Leica and have had significantly more problems with their products and am absolutely shocked by their customer care. I actually find it difficult to put into words how disappointed I am and am truly shocked and dismayed by how little they care.
 
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Godfrey

Well-known member
... The SL seems part of a "we'll have something serious for everyone", a difficult strategy to implement. They seem spread thin... wish they would settle down and develop a few really good products, and let a bunch of other stuff go.
My personal viewpoint reflecting this statement:

The SL is essentially the replacement for their R system and intended for professional use. The T/TL/TL2/CL models leverage the L lens mount and expands the range of the R system replacement at lower cost, for more casual use.

Other fixed-lens cameras are simply offerings to fill in the audience desires as Leica marketing sees the need. They seem to have been modestly successful, each in its time.

The M is special because history has proven that when Leica tries to let go of the traditional M, finances and faith in the company disintegrates. The M is not a state of the art camera, never will be; it is an alternative for people who think that the M is all that matters for Leica. I like the M, but rangefinder cameras are by their very definition limited in many many ways.

The S system was a bold step into somewhere else ... a "small medium format" choice. I was never taken with it simply because it is too expensive a system for my pay grade. Like the R system was in its day...

None of my Leica gear has proven to be troublesome or difficult to get serviced when trouble has arisen: They've always done very well by me, both the dealers I have worked with, the independent techs in the service industry, and Leica USA in New Jersey. The number of reports I've heard that loudly proclaim how bad things are seems to always come from the same relatively small number of users who have had problems and whose expectations were not met. I sympathize with their feelings, but really can't extend the notion to suggest that the company is going down the tubes on the basis of a small number of disgruntled users.

I have no qualms about buying new or used Leica gear. It's always done me well, both when I was shooting professionally and now when I shoot primarily for my own satisfaction. I couldn't always afford it, but that's another matter ... there are lots of things in the universe I've never been able to afford.

G
 

algrove

Well-known member
I noticed Godfrey did not discuss Leica's lousy USA Service Department. Perhaps he has not experienced problems there, but many of us have including US dealers I deal with who often now just bypass NJ and send gear direct to Germany.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I noticed Godfrey did not discuss Leica's lousy USA Service Department. Perhaps he has not experienced problems there, but many of us have including US dealers I deal with who often now just bypass NJ and send gear direct to Germany.
Quoting my post:
...They've always done very well by me, both the dealers I have worked with, the independent techs in the service industry, and Leica USA in New Jersey. ...
Leica USA service has done me very well over years. I just haven't needed their services more than a few times, just like I haven't needed services of independent techs or even dealers, other than buying too much gear from them. :D

G
 
"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?"

Leica is a fashion camera brand. As in not a brand that makes cameras for fashion photography, but a brand that makes cameras that look fashionable. Like all fashion brands, they are full of sh*t a lot of the time. Get the Phase One, or better yet, get a Fuji.
 

Paratom

Well-known member
I believe Leica have some weak areas (service in some counties, communication, reliability) but also some strong areas (optics, simplicity of user interface, innovation (like first small medium format camera, first solid EVF camera, first small size dx camera (x1)
 
I believe Leica have some weak areas (service in some counties, communication, reliability) but also some strong areas (optics, simplicity of user interface, innovation (like first small medium format camera, first solid EVF camera, first small size dx camera (x1)
The S2 line was innovative and has a number of interesting features. Sadly Leica bungled it for years and still hasn't really delivered on it's promise. I think at one time the AF in the lenses was basically just eating itself? Back when Nikon had 12mp flagship cameras and Canon was nipping at the heels of the S2s resolution they could have swayed a lot of people over, but they had to be "Leica". If you could afford one you'd be crazy to rely on it for clients, so you better be able to afford two. And if you can afford two, you probably don't really need to be a working photographer. Now they've completely lost the space to Hasselblad and Fuji.

First DX camera, oh yeah what a joy the X cameras were. No VF and focus that took about 2 years. Then a few months later Fuji made the camera everyone wanted from Leica, and no one but Brazillionaires ever thought about X cameras again. Well, I guess Steve Huff liked them. :ROTFL:
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I've rarely heard such vitriol about Leica as I see in this thread except on the Leica Users Group. :D

Most of the photographers I know who use Leica cameras (many) seem to have very few problems with them. Most, not all. Seems the same as with users of Nikon, Canon, etc, equipment. Most of those same photographers (...who don't have any problems with whatever equipment they use...) don't participate in any online photo forums. Perhaps there's a connection there. :D

G
 

DB5

Member
I've rarely heard such vitriol about Leica as I see in this thread except on the Leica Users Group. :D

Most of the photographers I know who use Leica cameras (many) seem to have very few problems with them. Most, not all. Seems the same as with users of Nikon, Canon, etc, equipment. Most of those same photographers (...who don't have any problems with whatever equipment they use...) don't participate in any online photo forums. Perhaps there's a connection there. :D

G
It's hardly Vitriol. Why would you expect everyone else have the experience you have had?

I don't know one person with an M9 (many) who weren't affected by sensor corrosion.

I had my sensor replaced 3 times in the end. It also had two separate issues of main board needing replacing and usb port falling out.

I won't even start on my S experience.

It seems the M10 and SL are better at least but their customer care certainly hasn't got any better.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
The M9 was just one line of products, now obsoleted for almost 8 years, and they offered free replacement sensors for three-four years. It was replaced by subsequent models that have had very little need for any service at all.

There’s more emotion, and entitlement, in these comments than is warranted, for me anyway. When stuff breaks enough to annoy me, I just dump it and move on. I may make a snarky comment or two (let me tell you about my love of Sony and Sigma, for instance) but I don’t waste energy telling everyone over and over again how horrible the company is, that they’re going out of business, that they’re fashionable toys only, etc. I just don’t buy their products anymore and use gear that does better for me.

Leica has always done me well. I haven’t owned every piece of gear they’ve made, and I own plenty of other brand gear too. It all has its place.

G
 

iiiNelson

Active member
I noticed Godfrey did not discuss Leica's lousy USA Service Department. Perhaps he has not experienced problems there, but many of us have including US dealers I deal with who often now just bypass NJ and send gear direct to Germany.
Yeah I think that’s been the common thread from USA customers. It would seem exceptional service in USA tends to be JUST that, the exception. Whether that’s due to the individuals dealer’s relationship with Leica or luck of the draw I have no idea. European and Chinese customers seem to usually be most consistently happy from the stories I read across the web. USA customers seem to be the most unhappy... or at least the most vocal. Some of that I suspect is tied to perceived value compared to the competition/past experiences with other brands. I’m not here to make judgments... just commenting on my observations. Of course any brand can allow a bad sample to leave the warehouse.

My first M9 had gone to 3 continents and the Caribbean before problems arose... My M9-P had problems after I sold it but I was willing to assist the buyer if need be. Both sensors ended up needing to be replaced... I may have been one of the first M9 sensors in the replacement program because it was a “quick” turnaround (2-3 weeks) for the first one but a 4-5 month turnaround for the second one.

I don’t doubt that Godfrey’s experiences are true but him dismissing other people experiences (as vitriol or anecdotal is not right IMO) which seem common sounds like something of a possible (if not probable) trend to me that should be addressed by Leica USA specifically IMO. I like some of Leica’s products so it’s not “Leica hate” it’s just feedback or why I currently don’t trust the company enough right now to buy back into their systems... though it’s mainly the M10 series I care about and some of their L-Mount lenses that I’d prefer to mount to a Panasonic body myself.
 

algrove

Well-known member
The M9 was just one line of products, now obsoleted for almost 8 years, and they offered free replacement sensors for three-four years. It was replaced by subsequent models that have had very little need for any service at all. G
What about the bad sensors S cameras had like the M9 sensor and what about a FW upgrade for the S that caused its higher torque (for faster focusing) to destroy most S lens gear wheels. That is just one line too.
 
I never heard of anyone sending in their M9/MM and it not needing sensor replacement. So it's not like reports of problems are just anecdotal. And once it was announced that sensor replacements would cease, turn around time in the US was reported to be 6-9 months. Some Leica users didn't seem to mind. They usually had a second body. Most users who posted their feelings, however, were not happy. I can't think anyone would think that a 6-9 month turnaround time would be acceptable, especially for a premium brand. Yet Leica did.
 
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