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Non Availability of Replacement LCD Screens for M8

Discussion in 'Leica Camera Chat' started by photogeek, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. photogeek

    photogeek Well-Known Member

    Not sure if you are aware of this statement posted on the Leica User Forum, it has certainly trigered some debate and raised some concerns. The following Quote was Posted and whilst it refers to the "coffe stain issue" it impacts any user who has an issue with that component

    "As promised yesterday by JJ, please let me state our position about the serviceability of the M8 and M8.2 Display.

    First of all, we are very sorry, that some of you encountered issues with your cameras. It remains our aim to find the very best solutions to satisfy you. Please let me give you some more information and details on the display issue.

    The cameras with a display problem stay operational, image quality and the main functions are not affected.
    The effect only occurs on a single production lot of displays, both built into M8 and M8.2.
    The serial number of the camera doesn’t give information about the lot of the display.

    The lot in question was pulled out of service stock as soon as we have recognized the issue.

    Meanwhile the manufacturer of the LCD displays had stopped production, in general these parts have a very short life cycle and Leica did not have a possibility for additional production. As the display and the rest of the electronics are linked very much together, it was not possible to create a repair solution up to our quality requirements.

    The display of the M9/M9-P is a different display and is sourced from another manufacturer and is therefore not affected. For the M9 as for all our products, we are taking measures that we are able to service the camera for a period of at least ten years after production will stop. In the case that (especially electronic-) parts are no longer available, we will offer an upgrade program. As you know, we have quite a history of being able to service our products for a period much longer than that!

    The upgrade program will work with both a M9 or M9-P, with a slightly different premium. Please contact your local Leica Customer Care for details should you have concerns with your M8/ M8.2 display.

    Best regards from Solms,

    Stefan Daniel, Director Product Management"
  2. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    So if one has a problem with the display on a M8 or a M8.2 you're stuck with it.:confused::confused::confused:

    Hardly what one would expect from a premium brand.
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    As I read it, they'll subsidise an upgrade to an M9 to some extent.
  4. photogeek

    photogeek Well-Known Member

    Nor a camera that was sold as a "camera for life" or perpetual upgrade - some are less than 3 years old :( The upgrade to an M9 or M9p is ok but it seems they want 2,000 to 3,000 euros to do it - so if you have not got the money spare - not good. Red Dot have an ex display M8 for sale with full Passport and Warranty - what on earth would they do if the LCD Screen failed on that.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  5. Mark_Norton

    Mark_Norton Well-Known Member

    This has been discussed endlessly on the Leica User Forum. The bottom line is that if the display fails, the camera is a write-off and there is a subsidised upgrade to an M9 but even that camera will soon be discontinued if it has not been already.

    Leica has made a complete mockery of the idea of enduring value and M8 users will feel rightly aggrieved that an expensive camera will be worthless if a $40 component fails. Leica have been asleep on the job by not stockpiling sufficient displays which they know work. The solution is for them to buy back working M8s and use those as a source of parts which they could offer with a limited warranty and much reduced price.

    It's a typical Leica shambles. They offer a subsidised upgrade but the real losers are the retailers who are being bypassed in the process. Leica make the assumption it's fine for any user to pay for the upgrade. The hope was that secondhand M8s would provide a lower cost entry to Digital M photography, now dashed.
  6. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    This type of failure will not be unique to Leica. All electronic cameras are likely to be unrepairable after a very short time. Spares will not be available. All modern pcbs are likely to fail within ten years since the use of lead based solders were discontinued. This will hit all cameras and most lenses. The availability of special batteries will also limit the working life of most cameras. Assuming that 35mm film remains available then a Leica lll g with lenses of the period will still be working long after today's marvels have been recycled.
    The problem for Leica is that Leica buyers have great expectations about the longevity of their purchase. We expect most modern cameras to become obsolete before they fail. We expect a smart phone to last a year and never know when it would have failed because we buy the new model.
    We live in a wasteful throwaway age.
  7. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Correct. But with other brand you are not paying a massive premium for creating your art are you?

    It bit painful if you spend £4500 on camera to have it then die after say 3 years and be told

    "Sorry mate that's obselete so it's a bin job" That works out to £1500 per year. Basically the cost of a whole camera from another maker.

    If you buy a Leica MP they will have parts for 30 years. It starts with a 5 years warranty.

    I would appear that Leica do not have the in house expertise to retro fit a new production LCD to a M8.

    Or this was not considered during the design phase of the M9.

    In fact surely it is all about design. In that you could design a camera so that new upgrades/parts can be fitted.

    Anyway I'm very unlikely to be in a position to buy a Leica and I probably would not.

    As I said in another thread I like AP to do a Pepsi test in that they shoot art on the NEX7 or XPRO1 against a Leica.

    See if anyone can tell the difference. Even invite some along to AP in London to view prints.
  8. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    This could be why the Leica Exec who started to talk about indefinite upgrading was told to be quiet. If I may put it that way. ;)

    Well, that has definitely put me off a s/h M8!
  9. hhmr

    hhmr Well-Known Member

    Does anyone (outside Leica, that is) know what the number of screen failures has been and what proportion of the total numbers produced that represents? Does anyone know whether these failures occur early on or only after prolonged use?

    Can only say that I bought a well used M8 second-hand nearly two years ago and have used it myself a lot since with no problems. It's a very nice camera and I had some lenses anyway. Prices still seem to be holding up despite the scare. Though I'm saving up for a later model I doubt I shall want to part with my M8, unless it dies, any more than I want to part with my IIIg which I bought in 1959 and still use.

  10. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    The point here is that your 1950s vintage Leica is likely to remain repairable for ever, whereas an electronic Leica less than 10 years old but with a broken screen is fit for no service other than acting as a paperweight. Now I know that the same applies to all other makes, but the fact remains that one would expect somewhat better service from a marque that is bought on its reputation for build quality / reliability rather than value.
  11. hhmr

    hhmr Well-Known Member

    Thanks for stating the rather obvious! I'm curious about the incidence of M8 failures. If mine breaks down, tough, I've had my money's worth already (remember I didn't buy it new). If it doesn't I shall carry on using it.
  12. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    Perhaps they could give all unhappy M8 owners one of these ... :)
  13. hhmr

    hhmr Well-Known Member

    At the risk of boring the pants off everyone, since nobody here seemed to know the actual scale of the problem I dropped into a Leica dealer I know well and asked. It appears that the actual number of faulty components installed before the problem surfaced was very, very few out of a total production of tens of thousands. The faulty items were in a single batch from quite a well known source and at least one other camera maker received a faulty batch in the same way. This is not the place to start naming names.

    My own take on this is that as the M8 has been out of production for a year or two and the nature of electronic gadgets being what it is, anything which was likely to fail for that reason will have failed long ago. So I don't think any current M8 user needs to get too excited. I'm not.

    Obviously there were consumer protection issues however small scale the problem may have been and that is a legal minefield in to which I do not propose to tread.
  14. photogeek

    photogeek Well-Known Member

    The issue that everyone refers to is the "coffee stain isssue" in which a brown ring appears on the screen. To be honest the fact that Leica can not fix this now as they have run out of spares is not great, but I could live with it, as it is only cosmetic and a bit annoying when reviewing pics on camers. The real problem is that in resolving this issue for those that were affected by the above they have used up all the spares, so now if you get a more significant LCD screen problem i.e. total failure / cracked LCD they can not replace it in which case you can not access the menu system to change ISO etc in which case the camera becomes much less usable.

    So the issue is not with those who had or will have the Coffee Stain but anyone now who has a failure, and given the cost of the camera a support level of less than 3 years is not acceptable, especially given the adverts as a "camera for Life" .
  15. hhmr

    hhmr Well-Known Member

    The coffee stain issue, which is separate from the electronic failure issue, was caused by ahesive holding the assembly together discolouring with exposure to light. Clearly that wasn't a general problem either; I've carried my camera round my neck a lot (inclusing a trip to the tropics) and it shows no sign of that. I may say my camera appears to have been used fairly heavily before I bought it judging by the surface wear from fingers. You do not say whether or not you yourself have first hand experience of either of these problems. If so more information about your own camera would be pretty useful.

    I'm interested by your 'camera for life point'. That works fine with mechanical gadgets but I can't help feeling it's completely unrealistic to expect it from electronic ones. I know quoting Ken Rockwell in these august columns is a bit like breaking wind in church, but his phrase "digital rot" does make sense.
  16. photogeek

    photogeek Well-Known Member

    "Camera for life" leicas words not mine, and agree probably unrealistic but there are still ex demo and new white editions for sale so what happens if these fail under warranty/passport. Yes my M8 is fine but I would have thought that support should be available for a good few years yet

  17. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Is it not true that, despite the LCD screen being inoperable, the camera will continue to work for its primary object, i.e. taking pictures? After all, when using the M6, there is no screen available for reviewing the pictures, so why should it be any different for the M8? Early digital cameras did not have an LCD screen, so whilst it is inconvenient, it surely is not the end of the world.

    On the other hand, if you pay several thousand pounds for a camera, you should expect at least more than 3 years use.
  18. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    Without the screen you won't be able to access the menus, so won't be able to change ISO, format a card, check battery life etc. ;)
  19. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Good points.

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