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Woe is me!

Discussion in 'Leica Camera Chat' started by Grierson, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Of course, there are numerous other digital rangefinder cameras available new.

    And I'm not sure how close the other parallels are between cars and cameras.


  2. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Sorry - I missed the bit about it being a secondhand camera... if Grierson had owned the camera body since new I believe my comments would be valid, but accept that buying secondhand (even Leica) means less protection. I know that Ffordes will have checked it before sale, but because the sensor problem appears to be a fault that appears with age it still sounds like a good reason to hesistate before buying a very expensive camera body with that red dot on it.

    A question for those who know - do Leica make their own sensors and LCD screens? Or do they buy them in from Japan ?
  3. Grierson

    Grierson Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I wasn’t expecting Leica to recognise a poor photographer. Nevertheless the need to replace a sensor at whatever age is difficult to come to terms with!
  4. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    A further thought about this... perhaps a problem as serious as a faulty sensor should be compared to a product recall by a car manufacturer. In the case of the car it would be for safety (or emission) reasons to protect the customer (and the manufacturer from legal problems perhaps), and in the case of a sensor in a Leica it would be to protect Leica's reputation for quality and long-term reliability. So even if, as in this case, the camera is over 5 years old (not very old for a Leica), perhaps Leica could have compromised and offered to replace the sensor for a moderate fee. Then we would all be reading about their wonderful customer support and thinking that if we ever won the lottery we might buy one, instead of looking elsewhere if we had the funds.
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Chester,

    Good luck looking elsewhere for a current-production full frame digital rangefinder camera that accepts all your existing Leica-mount lenses (screw and bayonet)

    Also, "a moderate fee" for a repair to a Leica or a Rolls Royce is not going to be the same as "a moderate fee" for a low-end crop-sensor Canon or a Ford. In fact, with a low-end camera, repairs will often cost more than the camera is worth.

    Finally, they repaired them FOR NOTHING (or more accurately, very cheaply) for several years. Most people who used the camera heavily, especially if they had had it from new (as I did), would have seen the flaws by then. The OP was unlucky, but are you proposing perpetual free major repairs on second-hand cameras, cars. etc.? I'll tell you: it's not the norm from Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Linhof or even Alpa.


  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Ho hum...

    Vehicle recalls in the UK are of two distinct types; safety recalls are covered by a Code of Practice; it's "policed" by the DVSA, and no manufacturer wants to end up on their wrong side. For this type of recall, and for this type only, it is possibly to access the DVLA database so as to contact owners.These recalls are closed by mutual agreement between the manufacturer and the DVSA. I have personally made several such agreements, and it would be rare that many would exceed 5 years. It sometimes does happen, we closed off one where we had only hit 30% of the vehicles, but we had tried for 7 years and didn't get anybody with the last 3 mailings. I cannot think of a sensible parallel with a camera, save for potentially exploding batteries.
    Non-safety recalls are entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer, and are entirely for customer satisfaction reasons; to contact customers they rely on company databases . Again, 5 years would be a very long time for such a recall. In the unlikely event that a camera manufacturer tried this type of recall, they would be vanishingly unlikely to be able to contact second-hand camera owners - how would they know the address?
    Additionally, there are service advisories. These cover all sorts of things - firmware updates being the main example - but in one particular area they're similar to recalls - where parts may sometimes fail earlier than expected at a greater frequency than might be expected, but nowhere near enough to justify a recall, and which do not in any way comprise a safety hazard. In this specific case, typically the cost of the repair would be assisted according to a matrix based on time and mileage, and also if the customer is the original purchaser or not.

    Now in this case, Leica have been offering free repairs for some years, but as with vehicle repairs, it's not an open-ended commitment - a line has to be drawn somewhere. That's always unfortunate for the customer who falls foul of an expiry date, but the costs of keeping these programmes open and of storing the parts without knowing when or where a customer might require a fix.
    David Traynor and Roger Hicks like this.
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Chester,

    A further thought. I sincerely doubt that Leica really give a damn about the "if we ever won the lottery" market.

    Rather, I suspect there are three main kinds of Leica buyer, and that they are probably roughly equal in number:

    Those to whom the price is neither here nor there.

    Those who give up something else in order to buy Leica bodies and lenses

    Professionals who can "lose" Leica kit in their expenses. Some will use them professionally: some won't.

    There is probably a very small residual category of lottery winners, lawsuit winners, etc., but they're probably not worth courting: they'll buy on the strength of the other three.

    And as Frances said, if you win the lottery, what's a few hundred, or even a few thousand?


  8. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member


    The second of your groups of Leica buyers (which probably also applies to buyers of most real cameras) are the people I had in mind when discussing Leica's alleged long-term relilabilty and reputation for customer support.

    Re. the lottery - depends on how much you won. Not all prizes are large - what if it was just enough to buy that used Leica of your dreams, and then the sensor failed...

    I still believe that in case like the one that started this forum thread, if Leica had the part and could replace it without argument, the later publishing of an appreciative letter about it in AP wouldn't do their reputation any harm. Any example of truly exceptional customer service deserves to be shared with AP readers.

  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    My tuppence worth: 50 years ago Ernst Leitz GmbH would probably have replaced the sensor for a modest contribution towards the cost because they believed that their product was their business. The current owners of the company probably think only the bottom line is their business. I know which attitude I prefer.
  10. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I think that is the proposal (to replace the sensor at a special price) - though the "modest contribution" is quite high.
  11. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I had noted that. My point was about why I doubt the offer would be made although I would be pleasantly surprised if it were.
  12. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Wow, looking at the prices of second hand Leica cameras :eek: , £950 appears to be, somewhat, reasonable ;)

    from LCE -- https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Secondhand-Search/?Order=Latest&View=Grid&SHMake=Leica&SHModel=&SHType=Digital+Rangefinder+Cameras&Location=&Results=48

    from Ffordes .... http://www.ffordes.com/category/Dig...pression=ItemTypePath&SortDirection=Ascending

    from Harrison Cameras ... https://www.harrisoncameras.co.uk/used/used-rangefinder-cameras/ .... mind you, the M5 is less expensive ;)


  13. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Well it has been made. https://en.leica-camera.com/World-o...ica-M9-M9-P-M-Monochrom-and-M-E-camera-models

    I hadn't thought of it but my Canon 5D mirror fell off and was replaced under warranty 10 days before the deadline (10 years) and I wasn't asked for proof of purchase. Although I had registered owning the camera with Canon I don't think they are joined up - I didn't take up the CPN membership because they wanted me to type in all the serial numbers again.
  14. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I think we're a bit at cross purposes here. I knew about the original repair programme but we'd moved on to whether Leica had any motivation to offer a subsidised repair to Grierson and others in his position who were not the original customers. My starting point was a comparison between the stories of E. Leitz's quite widely publicised approach in such situations against the new company's apparent attitude.
  15. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    This kind of attitude appears to be fairly endemic with many companies, not just those in the photographic arena. The automotive sector is a prime example, ask anybody who has had problems with the Teves Mk60 used in the ABS/ESP system of many, mostly German cars, after the three year warranty period, look at the VAG emissions issue, or the problems with clutches on Ford automatic transmissions, the issues with VAG DSG transmissions. Mercedes have it seems been caught out as well with emissions cheating. Then there are the well publicised problems with Whirlpool and associated Tumble Dryers. There is also in the white goods sector the fitting of plastic backs to refrigeration appliances, rendering them far more likely to catch fire than those with no back cover or one made of metal. In all these cases the manufacturers have either dragged their corporate feet with regard to dealing with these matters, or have tried to avoid dealing with them at all.

    It seems that the owners of Leitz are not very different, they have sold a defective product, which is at least not a safety hazard, but it is a top-end camera which purchasers have every right to expect to be of the highest material and build quality. It is imho disgraceful that they have made any charge to those who have had sensors replaced.
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Chester,

    The key lies in the words "truly exceptional". If only a few sensors had been defective, they could have made a "truly exceptional" effort. As it was, merely staying in business was close to "truly exceptional".

    They repaired the cameras very cheaply (it wasn't free, or at least, mine wasn't -- 180€ as far as I recall) for a long time; the repair included a full service; they gave plenty of warning of when this program would come to an end; they made an exception for those who had bought the cameras new if the camera was under 5 years old. No reasonable person could expect them to repair all M9s, bought new or used, for nothing, for all eternity.

    Leicas aren't really very expensive. It's just because they're very small that we perceive them that way. Very few cars cost as little as a Leica, for example, yet a "sealed for life" Jaguar gearbox is apparently predicated on a "life" of 7-8 years. Rolex are probably fairly comparable with Leicas -- a combination of luxury and usefulness -- and they offer only a 5 year guarantee. Until 2015 it was only 2 years. Here's a link for a what a "standard service" on a Rolex cost in 2017: 750€. Once, maybe 40 years ago, I decided I could just about afford a Rolex -- but then when I found out what servicing cost I decided that I couldn't afford it after all.



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