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Thread: Laugh or cry?

  1. #1
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Laugh or cry?

    I have gotten my M9 back after no less than 5 weeks away for a focus calibration. As a "compensation" Leica put down some effort to get the 75 Cron that I ordered and payed for in full in the beginning of September, but was due in March.
    Yesterday was first day of shooting with the 75. Not happy at all. So, I put up a test and at the focusdistance of 8 metres it backfocuses no less than over 2 metres. Totally unusable
    On top of it, my contact is in the skislopes and will be back Monday.....

    Right now I seriously think I made the wrong decision going Leica. In my professional time as a photographer I have used Linhof Supertechnica, Hasselblad, Fuji GX680, Contax G and Canon. In 18 years not a single problem. Frustrated? Hell yes....
    Alpa FPS MAX TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    I have gotten my M9 back after no less than 5 weeks away for a focus calibration. As a "compensation" Leica put down some effort to get the 75 Cron that I ordered and payed for in full in the beginning of September, but was due in March.
    Yesterday was first day of shooting with the 75. Not happy at all. So, I put up a test and at the focusdistance of 8 metres it backfocuses no less than over 2 metres. Totally unusable
    On top of it, my contact is in the skislopes and will be back Monday.....

    Right now I seriously think I made the wrong decision going Leica. In my professional time as a photographer I have used Linhof Supertechnica, Hasselblad, Fuji GX680, Contax G and Canon. In 18 years not a single problem. Frustrated? Hell yes....
    2 meters?????
    I cant believe it.
    It is strange that Leica doesnt get this under control.
    For me I think its still worth to take the effort and time. At least wrong focus calibration is something you detect easily and can be taken care off.
    Other brands you have to buy 3 samples until you get a good lens without decentered elements (for example Pentax 16-50/2.8*)
    Once you got it running its great and up to 50mm I feel I can focus at least as precise and at least as reliable as any AF with the M.
    I understand your frustration.

  3. #3
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    In the middle of my frustratin I do want to point out that my Leica dealer and also his contact in Leica have both been very helpful. No shadow over them, it is not their fault, they have been both professional and serviceminded. I thought it was important to say that!
    It is more that I feel very unlucky and helpless...not being able to work.
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    Urgh. Sorry to hear. I'd complain and ship it back, asking that they fix it quickly (considering the situation).

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    Member Steve Fines's Avatar
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    My M9 and 50/0.95 arrived new with pretty serious front focus problems.

    Just got an update from NJ today - they're thinking mid Feb (6 weeks total) to get the gear back.

    Although most M9's are likely fine, with their increased sales I'm sure a significant strain has been put on the repair facilities for the x% that ship with problems.

    Watching the "How the M9 is made" video would lead one to believe the process is done with such care and the tolerances are so tight that nothing like this could happen. Seems a bit out of sync with reality.

    Wish there were some way to expedite things, but I'm not sure what it would be. Guess one could take a LensAlign to the dealer and check out each body/lens combo to find a set that worked, but that begs the fact that no one has any significant quantities of cameras or lenses in stock.

    Anyway, your experience sounds awful. Sorry about that. Hope my $25K box comes back functioning a little better......
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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Fines View Post

    ...

    Watching the "How the M9 is made" video would lead one to believe the process is done with such care and the tolerances are so tight that nothing like this could happen. Seems a bit out of sync with reality.

    ...
    My sentiments exactly.

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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    Maybe it's worth paying for the adjustment from DAG? Turnaround time should be much, much less.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    Update!
    As I have stated, the Leica representatives have been very supportive and gave me a great deal to upgrade from my 50 summicron to a summilux of which I accepted. In addition I could use a demo 50 summilux while "mine" would arrive. Great. But incredibly enough, this demo lux also had a nasty backfocusing issue. Wise from the other lenses I brought my computer to the shop and made a series of tests in the shop and everyone agreed that it was unusable.
    The great news is that the Summicron that has been away in Solms for calibration is absolutely spot on at all distances!!! Fantastic.
    I have no idea when my ordered 50 lux and 90 cron will arrive, but when they do, then I will send all three 24/50/90 for calibration. Cannot wait until I have my minimalistic 3 lens setup in perfect order, when that happens I will be a very happy camper.
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    If you are a professional and have not already, you should sign up for Leica's professional service. It comes with yearly (or maybe twice yearly...I forget...) free check-ups for your equipment. You don't have to use it, but you can take advantage of it to send in your equipment and have it checked and while it is there you can have them align everything to work together properly. Repairs are offered with a 10% discount and are expedited as well. If you can prove you are a pro, it is definitely a good thing to have from them!

    Of course, the equipment should work without question, but they are really pushing the boundaries of their chosen system -- the RF mechanism and the lenses themselves have inherent tolerances that are no longer really acceptable in the M9. Mostly in terms of focus shifts and rangefinder calibration...If you are lucky and everything works well, great, but sometimes you are not so lucky! For example, most of my M lenses work beautifully on my M9, particularly the 35/1.4 ASPH and 75/1.4 Lux. But my 50/1.4 ASPH and 75/2 Cron are not quite on wide open. This is ironic, because they were perfect on the M8, while the 35/1.4 and 75/1.4 were off on the M8. So obviously there are little mismatches that can happen and drive you slowly insane unless you either have them corrected, or just decide to work with other lenses. Personally I am just using a different 50 and the 75 lux until I have the time to send in the 50/1.4 asph and 75/2...along with the M9.
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    I just recieved my second M9 last week. My first M9 took two trips to the shop along with all my lenses in order to have everything properly calibrated. Of my five Leica lenses, all of which now work flawlessly on both my M7's and my first M9, only three work properly on the second M9. The 28 Cron Asph backfocuses and the 75 Cron front-focuses, but both these lenses are spot-on perfect on my first M9 and M7's. Why the other three are perfect but these two are off is beyond me. If the second M9 were out of spec, wouldn't all the lenses be off. If the IQ of the M9 coupled to Leica glass was not so damn good, I would abandon this system in a heartbeat.

    I seriously hope Leica incorporate an EVF in the M10 to obviate all of these calibration and focus shift issues.

  11. #11
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    I find this quite puzzling, JPlomley. If the camera is at fault, you'd expect each lens to have the same problem. That is, they'd either all front-focus or they'd all back-focus.

    The fact that some do one thing and some do the other thing strongly implies it's the lenses that each need calibration - yet they are all fine on the other cameras.

    I don't understand how that can be.

    Bill

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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    Bill, I echo your confusion. I've repeated my evaluations several times, thinking I had goofed up on my initial assessment. But each new experiment corroborates the last. It is damn frustrating , especially as I leave for Cuba in two weeks time.

    Jeff

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    As much as I do love the system, I am also confused...
    I begin from the beginning, I only get the 24mm with the body. The other two lenses have delivery time. The 24mm works perfect and I am over the moon.

    Then I borrow a new 35 summarit from the shop. It backfocuses and I give it back and simply say that I wait for the ordered 50 Summicron. The 50 cron arrives and it back focuses. I was given a second copy that came at the same time to the shop. This one backfocuses as well. So, with the 75 long into the future we decide to send the body together with one of the 50 crons to Solms for calibration.

    When it comes back from Solms it works perfect. The 50 cron focuses spot on and the 24 remains perfect. Great stuff.

    I decide to upgrade the 50 Cron to a 50 Summilux and because of the initial "issues" Leica Scandinavia are very understanding and "find" a 75 cron for me and also let me borrow their demo 50 lux. Fantastic.

    Both the 50 lux and the 75 cron backfocuses on my newly calibrated body in such a way that they are unusable.

    So, Leica gets them both back and I put the newly calibrated 50 cron back on and it is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

    Strange....

    When my new 50 lux and 90 cron (I changed the order from a 75 to a 90) arrives I am quite prepared to send all 3 lenses to Solms to get them work properly.
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    Just image the headaches Leica will save themselves in the M10 if they incorporate an EVF. If they fail to do so, my investment in the M system will end with the M9.

  15. #15
    Ronan
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    Re: Laugh or cry?

    Ohhh interesting...

    We had a new colleague here for awhile (he recently moved).

    He purchased an M9 from a dealer, with a couple lenses.

    After a month of non-stop frustration, he sent everything back, and went back to Canon (he was the only Canon shooter here, he got teased a lot haha).

    I know he mention back-focusing issues.

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