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Thread: M8 Nightmare

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    M8 Nightmare

    I thought I dodged it. I purchased a low mile M8 about 3 months ago that did not exhibit the vertical line. I was messin with a Summitar last night and had read about under exposing that particular lens by1.3 stops. Well, when I reviewed the images, guess what. 640 and 1250, plain as day and horrified. My question is twofold:
    Can New Jersey successfully remap the sensor and who has had it done and most importantly, how much?
    Would love for Leica to acknowledge the issue and step up but I get a sneakin hunch it ain't gonna happen. Camera has less than 5000 actuations.
    I have parked a bunch of DSLR gear in favor of the rangefinder experience, and in particular my M8, but I don't have a ton of money to put into this camera. I don't want to even think about shutter or complete sensor at some point.
    I'm bummed folks, I was hoping for the best.

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Email Charles (ShiroKuro) about this. He had a similar issue, if I recall, and got things fixed...
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Ashwin,
    Thanks for the help...much appreciated. I just want it to work. I love the camera and whole experience.

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Well, I got rid of my M8 more than 2 years ago since I had numerous issues. I am now sitting on a on of M glass and wait for the M10, because I still do not trust the M9.

    Once credibility is lost it is lost forever or at least for some long time! Leica has to prove to me first that I can trust their M-digital cameras again.

    BTW - also service sucked really bad here in Europe while I was owning and maintaining my M8 !!!!!

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Well, I got rid of my M8 more than 2 years ago since I had numerous issues. I am now sitting on a on of M glass and wait for the M10, because I still do not trust the M9.

    Once credibility is lost it is lost forever or at least for some long time! Leica has to prove to me first that I can trust their M-digital cameras again.

    BTW - also service sucked really bad here in Europe while I was owning and maintaining my M8 !!!!!
    I have had 2 M8s and now own an M9.
    I can not say that I find the Leicas to be less reliable than other cameras.
    The service response is better than what I am used from other brands.

    Its hard and I can feel with someone who buys a used M8 and has a problem with it now.
    However I believe that could happen with everycamera which is out of warranty.

    I would send the camera in and talk to them what can be done and how much it costs. Everything else is pure speculation.
    Even if you pay 1000 $ for repair you will have paid overall 1000$ less compared to having bought the camera when it was new.
    Buying used saves money but therefore accepting some risk for deffects and to not have warranty.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Its about a $1200 repair and they will charge you for it. I had a M8 demo that I upgraded to the M8U ..its was 2 months out of warranty . I sold it to a GETdpi member . He never noticed it in 3 months . He resold it to another photographer. He immediately did the tests at 1250 because he read about the issue .

    I only had about 1000 activations and essentially no use since the upgrade but the camera was handled and shipped a few times ..who knows ? We split the $1200 and each paid $400 . Leica wouldn t contribute .

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    I'm not encouraged by what I'm hearing

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I can not say that I find the Leicas to be less reliable than other cameras.
    A little unscientific test, but Google (manufacturer name) problem and to see the number of results:

    Leica--3,610,000
    Nikon--356,000
    Canon--657,000

    Considering Nikon and Canon make and ship significantly more cameras than Leica, I would say Leica has a problem. Now I understand the limits of the search, but statistically a small company like Leica should not be getting 5-10x the hits as the two largest camera manufactures. There is something up.

    I had seriously considered getting a Leica as I really like rangefinders--I can be somewhat fanatic about this camera type. But each time I do research on the cameras, I find many issues with them that you cannot find with other cameras. Personally, that has been a deal breaker for me as I need confidence in my equipment. For others, the risk is worth it (and I jealously admire the results). Nothing in my searches suggests that Leica reliability is on par with other manufacturers (and I can find ways to justify camera purchases with the best gearheads).

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    A little unscientific test, but Google (manufacturer name) problem and to see the number of results:

    Leica--3,610,000
    Nikon--356,000
    Canon--657,000

    Considering Nikon and Canon make and ship significantly more cameras than Leica, I would say Leica has a problem. Now I understand the limits of the search, but statistically a small company like Leica should not be getting 5-10x the hits as the two largest camera manufactures. There is something up.

    I had seriously considered getting a Leica as I really like rangefinders--I can be somewhat fanatic about this camera type. But each time I do research on the cameras, I find many issues with them that you cannot find with other cameras. Personally, that has been a deal breaker for me as I need confidence in my equipment. For others, the risk is worth it (and I jealously admire the results). Nothing in my searches suggests that Leica reliability is on par with other manufacturers (and I can find ways to justify camera purchases with the best gearheads).
    I have used Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Oly, Leica (and others).
    My personal experience has been pretty good with Leica, very good (best of all) with Nikon (nearly no complains, except once my 24-70 didnt work any more), not so great with Canon (several problems regarding softness and AF accurancy with lenses including "pro" lenses, non consistent AF of 7d, not so great with Pentax (sensor problem with K5, then AF accurancy problem with K5, lens problems (decentered lenses, AF accurancy problems).

    The only problem I had with my M-Leicas is that I had to send in cameras and lenses for focus calibration and this happens quite offen. For one reason I think the system of rangefinder is just more critical in this regard.
    But regarding other issues my M6, M7, 2 M8s and M9 do really work fine.
    But I dont know any official statistics and maybe I am just a lucky guy.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    I also used Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus and Leica, well also COntax and Hasselblad!

    I never had as much problems with any other brand as with Leica (both R9DMR and M8) - it was much better with film Leicas I must admit.

    I never ever had issues with Nikon and Canon, Contax and Hasselblad!

    I had serious issues with Olympus and also issues with Pentax.

    Maybe others have (had) different experiences, but this is what I got. Over the past 40 years! With most weight of course on the last 10 years.

    But I can tell you something - this will not keep me away from Leica in the future, I simply do not see that their current lineup does meet my needs. And I am aware that I will maybe run into issues again!

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Well,
    I asked if anyone has had the repair and how much it cost?
    So far, I get a $1200 answer from one member. All the rest are mentioning how other systems are prone as well and how they remain loyal to the brand.
    I owned mostly Canon digital bodies and never had any problems. My 5D was never sent in for the free mirror fix and was never an issue. Canon's offer to fix it, free of charge, especially considering the number of units involved says something about both companies in my eyes. How about the person who sent their M8 in and Leica said: "Oh, we're very well aware of the problem and in the name of our reputation, we're going to make it right".
    Anyone?
    Last edited by codocee; 3rd August 2011 at 08:37. Reason: Question Mark

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Lastly,
    I get the feeling that my financial means are going to prevent me from being able to pursue the digital rangefinder experience. I must say, the ride was unlike anything I expected.
    It felt good!

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by codocee View Post
    Well,
    I asked if anyone has had the repair and how much it cost?
    So far, I get a $1200 answer from one member. All the rest are mentioning how other systems are prone as well and how they remain loyal to the brand.
    I owned mostly Canon digital bodies and never had any problems. My 5D was never sent in for the free mirror fix and was never an issue. Canon's offer to fix it, free of charge, especially considering the number of units involved says something about both companies in my eyes. How about the person who sent their M8 in and Leica said: "Oh, we're very well aware of the problem and in the name of our reputation, we're going to make it right".
    Anyone?
    Why not send it in and explain that you cant afford an expensive repair and if the see any way to fix it for reasonable price or even for free? Why not give it a try?
    Also if you get a repair you usually get 6 months warranty too.

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    First of all, no offense to Roger, but you should call Leica and ask THEM what the repair cost is. And then you could also ask Leica Germany and ask THEM what it costs. Both are going to different, and one might be cheaper than the other. They may surprise you with their response. Maybe it will be an unhappy surprise, but maybe a good one! Leica has repaired a few things for me free, even though the cameras were out of warranty. It's my understanding that the sensor lines are not a "Leica only" problem, but more a CCD only problem. They are caused by cosmic rays impacting the sensor electronics and shorting them out. This sends a chain reaction down the whole line of pixels, causing the line. It is a known problem with no solution other than to map out the pixels. It is exacerbated by the age of the sensor (the older it is, the more likely to get hit), the frequency of air travel (it is hundreds of times more likely to happen at the cruising altitudes of jets), and unhappily for me, one's proximity to the north or south pole. There is a discussion of this problem in this video, though it does not start until a few minutes in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98FZ8C6HneE
    Basically, the older the CCD and the more it has traveled, the more likely you are to see the sensor line issue.
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Stuart

    In my situation the camera had changed hands twice. The new owner had sent the camera into NJ and had a hard copy of a quote that indicated the sensor had to be replaced not remapped. I know most of the executive management in NJ and i asked for warranty claim which they turned down . They verified that it was a replcement required.

    Obviously I could have refused to cover any of the cost. I could have pushed it at leica . But i thought contributing $400 was the fair thing to do. Leica has helped me on many issues in the past and on this one they believe they were right.

    Hope the OP has better luck and Solms might be a better choice.

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Hi Roger, I certainly don't think you did anything wrong! I just meant that no one is going to be able to tell him what his camera repair will cost except for Leica themselves. They may have changed prices, or might decide to repair his in a different way (remapping instead of replacing etc)...the point is, who knows? Better to get it from the horse's mouth.
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Hi Roger, I certainly don't think you did anything wrong! I just meant that no one is going to be able to tell him what his camera repair will cost except for Leica themselves. They may have changed prices, or might decide to repair his in a different way (remapping instead of replacing etc)...the point is, who knows? Better to get it from the horse's mouth.
    Agree 100% unfortunately you have to send it in to get an estimate ...for this one I would choose Solms .

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    My experience with Leica M cameras pre-dates the digital Ms, but I owned various II, III and M models from 1969 until 2002. The only repairs I ever needed were new shutter curtains for the IIc (somewhere in the 1970s, not bad for a late 1940s camera I bought for $50), and again for the IIf about 1980 (1950 body, I think, and again a $50 camera ... both of these with a lens!). My favorite M was an M4-P that Sherry Krauter had done a thorough CLA on prior to my buying it.

    That said, only one of my Nikons ever needed any service at all and that was my fault. I had a bunch of Nikons and lenses over the years between 1969 and 2001.

    None of my other cameras (Olympus, Minolta, Sony, Hasselblad, Fuji, Zeiss Ikon, Contax, Rolleiflex, Canon, Pentax ... amongst others) ever needed service either unless I broke them, and I knew exactly when and how I broke them in every case. Not many of those.

    But all this is besides the point. If your M8 has a problem and you like the camera enough to repair it, call Leica, get an estimate, and send it in. I believe the issue you're referring to is pretty well known ... and you bought the M8 anyway.

    If you're in over your head with the Leica M8 financially, well, you should probably consider that it isn't the right time for you to consider it your primary camera. Plenty of other cameras do a superb job of making photos too, the Leica may be special but eh? who cares? Sell it, work with something else until you can afford it more easily. Or put it on the shelf, buy something less expensive to keep shooting with until you can afford to repair and use the Leica without being concerned about it. The important thing is to keep working on your photography, not worrying about whether you can afford to use a particular piece of equipment.

    As Luigi Chinetti Jr. once told a customer who asked what the price of a Ferrari service was, "If you have to ask, you really shouldn't buy one of these cars."

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    I had this happen last fall. Mine's a low mileage, early serial number M8. Sent it to Leica NJ. Cost was about $450 which included a full CLA. Took about 7 weeks. Works great now. Year warranty. Not cheap but not end of the world and the focus adjustment was worth a lot in its own right.

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    A little unscientific test, but Google (manufacturer name) problem and to see the number of results:

    Leica--3,610,000
    Nikon--356,000
    Canon--657,000

    Considering Nikon and Canon make and ship significantly more cameras than Leica, I would say Leica has a problem. Now I understand the limits of the search, but statistically a small company like Leica should not be getting 5-10x the hits as the two largest camera manufactures. There is something up.

    (...)
    I really love that type of "search"... FWIW, my "results" are quite different:

    Leica-- 6 930 000
    Nikon-- 64 200 000
    Canon-- 281 000 000


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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    In contrast to at least one report above, I had the exact same thing happen with my used M8. I mailed it to Leica USA, with a letter that STARTED by saying I had bought the camera used, and therefore did not expect warranty service.

    They remapped it, successfully, and returned it in about three weeks, FOR FREE.

    I understand your pain very well. After I finally sprung for an M8, the last thing I wanted was an expensive repair. I was/am VERY pleased with the way Leica treated me.

    Regards,
    Reed

    Reference to the post I made about this experience:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19461

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by gverdon View Post
    I really love that type of "search"... FWIW, my "results" are quite different:

    Leica-- 6 930 000
    Nikon-- 64 200 000
    Canon-- 281 000 000


    boobs got me

    "About 291,000,000 results"

    I bought an M8 with a 1 year warranty and hopefully at 11.5 months I can send it in for a *once over*

    To their credit, I bought it used and it had no software or IR filters so leica AG sent me:

    2 x UV filters ( about 300 bucks) for free
    1 key for Lightroom by Adobe ( 299) for free
    and a key for Adobe photoshop elements 9 ( 129) for free

    so far I am loving the Digital M experience

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Reed,
    Great info. It gives me hope. I was thinking NJ as well due to transit and communication. Who knows, its worth a try.
    Thank You!

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Email Charles (ShiroKuro) about this. He had a similar issue, if I recall, and got things fixed...
    I responded to him via a pm ..not sure if he got it or not ...

    My problem had more to do with having a bright light source in the frame and not exposing the image properly .... I have learned how to work around this and so far so good ...

    As far as prices ,repairs and warranties go .... seems it really depends on the Gods . I just had the shutter replaced at the cost of $675.00 and 4 months of waiting . I purchased the camera from a member here and it was pristine with a very low shutter count. Leica could of cared less . I have read on various forums where others have had the same thing done at no charge or considerably less than what I paid ... some get full warranties on the cameras others only on the billable repair for one year ... I have read Solms treats their customers better than NJ .... Some sing the praises of Leica and their outstanding customers service while others shudder at thought of having to deal with them .... The way I try and make sense of the expensive repair is that I did not pay full price for the camera ... the money saved goes into repairing the camera . Needless to say it is an awesome camera and for me worth all the headaches .... and look forward to getting an M9 .... Advice I recently received from a member here ... Always buy a leica that is under warranty...or if you buy an M8 keep a $1000.00 tucked away to cover the "repair".......Also you might want to check your insurance they may help cover the cost .

    Aloha ,
    Charles

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    well said Shirokuro

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Since the M8 was released I ve had probably 50 repairs through NJ . While some have been completed in NJ many went on to Solms . Fortunately most of these repairs are closer to maintenance than repair . I had one bad sensor(cracked) but other than that I could generally use my equipment and pick my timing to get them repaired. Of course I have been upset by endless phone calls ,emails etc to get simple things completed. And many items have not been fixed correctly the first time. Things are getting better but I still rely on have more equipment than I should need . (probably a totally different issue but I enjoy justifying it based on having redundant equipment).

    For sure there is very little consistency in Leica s business practices . I have had both exceptional service and very bad service from not only NJ but the exact same customer service and technical personnel. It is a very small operation ..start thinking about 12 -15 employees total . To assume any consistency creates an endless sharing of both good and bad experience.

    In general this may help you.

    1. If you control the timing ....send the item in asap . Don t wait for the ideal time . You will get an estimate by mail . If you don t have it in 10 days call (they mail them...are you starting to see how this works) . Keep on them until you have a repair order number . If they don t have a repair order number you are even started .

    2. You can ask how long" until hell freeze s over “ and you will never get better than a general timetable . Instead of I don t know ..they have progressed to its 6 weeks unless we have to send it to Solms (and then we have no idea and we don t recognize Solms as part of our Company.) Go ahead ask others how long its taking . The timetable is 6 weeks plus or minus 2 weeks ..otherwise you are a exception.

    3. Cost and warranty coverage are determined after the technician evaluates your camera . His word is final and you can t talk with him . Did he read that detailed note you sent along with the camera ...maybe but customer service has no idea ....

    4. They will not do a thing until they have determined how you will pay . You can call in your credit card number over the phone or wait for the repair order and complete the information on the form and mail it back .

    5. It shows up when it shows up ...sometimes even to the correct address. If you have an address on file be sure its your shipping address . I ve had 3-4 repairs shipped to the wrong house even when I put the address on everything including the item itself .

    And you wanted to know ....how much it will cost and when you might have it returned ? Oh did you say you had an important job or vacation where you need it? Have reasonable expectations ...you can help by staying on top of the repair order. But don t be surprised if the technician knocks it out for you and then it sits in shipping because one of the guys had a vacation day .


    I also send any used equipment , out of warranty stuff to DAG for mechanical repairs . He takes about the same time but he gets the calibration right the first time and he is less expensive.

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    If you're going to send it to Solms you will still be faced with the issue of whether to send it directly or thru NJ. There are potential customs issues involved in making this decision...at least here in the States. If it goes thru NJ to Solms then it comes back to you thru NJ and you avoid any holdup in customs. And if you give it to your dealer to give to NJ to send to Solms... it comes back the same way, Solms>NJ>Dealer>You. Unless your dealer notifies NJ that they should ship it directly back to you. Pretty easy to lose a week or more just due to the convoluted shipping required.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    david

    How would you bet the risk of a hold up going thru the dealer/NJ/Solms verse US Customs ? This is a trick question.

    Roger

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    Roger, seeing as you currently hold the world record for Leica repairs I think you probably know better than anyone Based on the advice I got from Leica NJ, I went the Dale>LeicaNJ>Solms route, with a minor shortcut on the way back thanks to David and Josh telling Leica NJ they could ship my S2 and lens back to me directly. It was the spectre of having to pay customs duties on the way back that persuaded me. But since you say this is a trick question... I'm guessing I chose wrong

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    My lens went from Dale to Solms and then Solms sent it back to me directly...to the WRONG address. Because Dale used my ATLANTA address but specified it should be shipped directly to them . Solms shipped it to an empty house .

    No customs interference coming back .

    The trick part is who knows how it will be shipped ...not that you chose wrong. I haven t found anything thats consistent . But ..good news the lens came back in a few weeks and it has worked fine every since.

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    Some day there will be a decent body with an M-mount

    Some day there will be a decent body with an M-mount for all that wonderful glass. Won't be from Leica; maybe a successor to the Fuji X100. If it develops a problem, you will be able buy a second body and still spend less than the cost of a Leica body and one repair.

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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    And this camera was originally a frog and has been kissed on the nose by a prince?
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    Re: M8 Nightmare

    There are two kinds of vertical line problems. One is a sensor flaw that requires a trip to Leica. This kind of vertical line splits the frame exactly into two halves.

    But the other kind of vertical line is really just a hot or stuck pixel, which causes a line to be "interpreted" into the picture. The line isn't real, it's just one pixel.

    Look here:
    http://pixelfixer.org/

    PixelFixer is a free program that works on the M8/9's raw DNG files. It's for the PC/Windows only, not Mac. It will map out the hot pixels in each picture. You calibrate it by shooting a picture with the lens cap on at ISO 1250 or 2500 at 1/30 of a second or so. Feed that into PixelFixer, and it writes a map file for the camera.

    Then, all you have to do is point PixelFixer at a folder of DNGs, tell it to run, and it will map out the hot pixels in each file and rewrite the corrected file. Presto, no more funny bright dots, and no more vertical line.

    Try it before you worry about expensive repairs. If Leica had included a hot pixel mapping routine in the firmware, as Olympus and Panasonic do, then it wouldn't be needed. But they didn't.

    Hope this helps!
    --Peter

  34. #34
    gtto
    Guest

    Re: M8 Nightmare

    i have a similar problem. I bought an M8u from another forum. the camera looks like new but when shooting some high iso pics, I noticed the dreaded line. the seller claimed not to know about it and i believed him. luckily, there was still two weeks left on a mack warranty. I sent them the camera and they sent it to leica in NJ. that was 2 weeks ago. i hope it doesn't take forever and comes back fixed. It is a drag but at least I am not paying anything and hopefully, they will also do a CLA.

  35. #35
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    206
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: M8 Nightmare

    I went through this with my M8. My camera was out of warranty for 2 weeks and I was about to sell it to get an M9 when I noticed the problem ( fortunately, I would have hated to have sold it with a problem ). I sent it in and Leica fixed it under warranty. Pixelfixer did not work for me. It was a sensor flaw. Having said that, I had some great images from my M8 and it convinced me to get an M9. It is a bummer, and it seems to happen much to often with M8's but at least in my case, Leica's customer service was top notch and the camera came back in perfect condition.

  36. #36
    Wozza604
    Guest

    Re: M8 Nightmare

    I had the same problem when I bought my used M8. New Jersey charged me $485 to fix it and adjust the rangefinder.
    I've never been truly satisfied with the images from my M8 and have since purchased an M9 which I adore.

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