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Thread: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    Has anyone had any lenses coded recently with Leica NJ? If so, what kind of turnaround time have you had?

    I have a few lenses that I'd like to get coded at some point, nothing very exotic, just a couple of recent Summicrons and Elmarits, but I'd probably not bother if it's going to take months. I assume that these kind of lenses are still being handled in NJ and not sent to Solms?

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    Re: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    I had my dealer inquire about a week ago. NJ told him about 3 months! I guess the M9 has loosed a flood of upgrading.

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    Re: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    The idea of paying to have my lenses coded, to get it to specs that Leica should have designed and delivered in the first place (with the M8), just doesn't sit right with me on general principles. In addition, there is the non-zero risk of someone messing up the flange. I just bought a $5 coder, and my 21mm now shows up as a 21mm in the camera.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11561

    For $5 you really can't beat it for value, for the coder is so precisely engineered and re-useable that it's better than free. I would recommend that you try it before giving up your lenses for three months to Leica and paying for the privilege.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    Wow ..I thought these issues were behind us by now? I had about a dozen M lenses coded in NJ and Solms and learned a few things that maybe useful.

    1. The normal process is to remove your mount and replace it with a previously machined and encoded exchange part. The mounts are machined at an outside contractor. The testing process appears to be limited as most mounts change out easily. They were routinely doing these in batches for efficiency reasons. Don t expect that your lens will really be inspected as is the general practice for most leica service. All but one of my summicron and elmarits came back and have worked perfectly.

    2. Non of the Summiluxes or the Noctilux were being done in NJ because the mounts were found to be difficult to exchange. Because of the speed of these lenses they were being hand adjusted in Solms. Each of my summiluxes required a CLA that ran from $400 to $700 . Only the 35/1.4 asph came back properly calibrated. The others all had 3-4 trips to Solms.

    3. The process for hand coding has been marginally effective. If you change your lenses ..the ink will rub off in 2-3 changes. You will not know when.

    4. On the M9 you can Identify your lens through the menu but it doesnt reset when you change lenses. IMHO not a reasonable approach.

    So if you have a summicron or elmarit you can probably get a good job of coding through Leica and it will increase the value of your lens should you sell it.

    I look for lenses that have been 6 bit coded to avoid all this.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    ]
    3. The process for hand coding has been marginally effective. If you change your lenses ..the ink will rub off in 2-3 changes. You will not know when.

    ...

    I look for lenses that have been 6 bit coded to avoid all this.
    I have a few lenses, including my 35 'cron & 90 Elmarit that I've been coding manually for a couple of years. My experience with hand coding of those lenses has been excellent - perhaps I use a more robust marker because they certainly retain the coding for a lot longer than 2-3 changes.

    When it comes to the more exotic glass such as 'lux's I know that a trip to Solms is a risk. Luckily this hasn't been an issue for me as I've got those as coded examples already.

    If a lens is going to be away for 3 months then it's essentially lost to me. I'd draw the line at 5-6 weeks max, which has typically been my worst case for CLA's/adjustments & repairs with DAG or Sherry Krauter. Even the upgrades to my M8's in NJ were a LOT faster than that.

    Personally if the delay is too long I'd rather send my lenses for a full CLA to Don or Sherry or a local specialist and have them coordinate with John Milich to have flanges milled for self coding. I'm sure that would be faster and maybe a little more manageable.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    As follow up:

    I heard back from both Don & Sherry over the weekend and they both quote about ~4 weeks for coding which is much more reasonable and acceptable. I've had excellent experience with both of these folks before.

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    Re: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    My 24/2.8 Elmarit Asph was with Leica NJ for five weeks before they decided to send it to Solms. No reason given. Now in Solms, they claim the focussing is stiff due to impact. The lens had no stiffness issues when it left my hands, and certainly has never been dropped. So I'm being dinged the cost of 6-bit coding in addition to a new problem which the lens never had. I am seriously re-thinking whether or not I will buy an M9 based on this experience.

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    Re: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    I sent in a 28/2 to NJ for a cleaning, and had them do the coding at the same time. This was at the very end of July. I got it back early/mid September, so about 6-7 weeks. They had told me 4-6, so they were close, but still. Just so you guys know.

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    Re: Lens Coding Turnaround - Leica NJ

    If you're not squeamish about removing the bayonet mount yourself, you can send it to John Milich to mill the recesses for a decent price, $30-40. You may want to contact him to get actual details including cost and turnaround time.

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