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stonearabiapix

Is there a Lieca representative monitoring this forum?

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Pete excuse me but is it not the case that you are resorting to such an attack without addressing the salient points that I have made here and in other threads that you simply brush off as vile?

...

No, Frank, mine is not an ad hominem attack because I have resisted the temptation to make personal remarks about you. I have only responded to issues you've raised.

 

Pete.

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You say that you are sure about M8 shutter failures being well within the MTBF target ...This is excellent news. Can you send me details of the MTBF target that Solms is using, and the measured data as I cannot find it.

My belief would be that 1 failure of the shutter mechanism per 10,000 cameras would be acceptable for a camera of Leica M8 cost and prestige....That means 40 faulty mechanisms which I would imagine Leica could fix for free rather thas see this forum raising the subject as frequently as we have seen. ...

As I feel sure you well know, I cannot quote Leica's MTBF target because this will be confidential information. I have no wish to lecture you on MTBFs but it seems that you want me to explain my statement so I have to clarify.

 

MTBFs for a component or are measured in hours, virtually 'how many hours can the component be expected to operate before it fails'. Usually this is expressed as 10e4 (read: ten to the power four), 10e5 etc, which means that it's allowed a single failure in 10,000 hours (10e4) or 100,000 hours (10e5). Since there are 8,760 hours in a year 10e4 represents *roughly* 1 year and 10e5 represents *roughly* 10 years in broad terms.

 

Since each component in a system has it's own MTBF target the higher the number of components in a system the lower the systems MTBF will be because with each additional component the system is more likely to fail. The M8's shutter is an electro-mechanical device and, typically, mechanical devices have lower MTBFs because they are more prone to failure than electrical devices owing to the high degree of wear and tear associated with their mechanical action. The individual components of the M8's shutter (eg the spring, the blades, the guides, the mounts etc) *might* - and this is raw supposition - have an MTBF of 10e5 but collectively the systems MTBF will be lower for the reasons given above. So it is reasonable to suppose that the shutter's MTBF lies between 10e4 and 10e5 with the likelihood that it will be towards the 10e4 rather than the 10e5 owing to the multiple mechanical components. (Indeed there may be a tie between the 2-year warranty and the MTBF because warranty is calculated on risk of failure - although in this instance not shutter failure per se.)

 

That being the case, I have owned my M8 for three years or 26,280 hours without a shutter failure, which is better than 2 x 10e4. Hence it is reasonable to assume that my shutter has met its MTBF target and why I made the point. It is important to note that MTBF targets do not indicate any more likelihood of failure immediately following a component or system exceeding its MTBF because MTBF is a statistical measurement system so I am not suggesting for a moment that the designed life of the M8's shutter is 2 years, 5 years or 10 years.

 

If you then look at the number of M8's sold (I've heard c. 40,000 but it's not supported so let's assume 30,000 to be safe) against the number of shutter failures: 40 according to your post but of course not all M8 owners with failed shutters will post here so let's increase it to 60 for luck (but not allowing for failures attributable to the user) then that's 1 in 500 or 0.02%. This doesn't seem to be a significant figure to me assuming that a reasonable percentage of those will fall within the warranty period so it's something I refuse to worry about. I generally try not to worry about these things because I would rather spend my time enjoying the equipment rather than not worrying about it since worrying achieves nothing positive. YMMV.

 

Pete.

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Pete I know very well what MTBF is and I agree with the basic definition that you provide. However your analysis is flawed.

  1. You seem to suggest that because your M8 is now 3 years old ( 26280 hrs) that the MTBF is good.

    1. If you are a pro shooting every day say 1000 actuations of the shutter then maybe this is good. Let's assume a 200 day working year , which is 600,000 actuations in three years.
    2. If you are an amateur maybe taking 200 images a month. If your camera fails after five years well that is only 12,000 actuations and I would suggest that this is bad for a Leica.

[*]I am sure that you know all about the bathtub curve that governs reliability. ...............Failures statistically happen quite quickly from new, and then the product remains reliable until wear out issues come into play. If we are seeing so many threads about shutter issues for a camera that has only been produced since 3 years it seems to me at least that we have not yet reached the wear out mechanism phase. The only conclusion is that there is a design or manufacturing flaw that is lowering the reliability. If this is not the case I ask why does Leica not offer amateurs a 7 year guarantee on shutter mecahnisms like "Kia" (The car manufacturer is offering 7 years now for the complete car!)

[*]In a separate current thread we have one person who bought a M8 with only 1500 actuations .... it has failed and it is out of warranty. Another current thread is saying the same thing, where the owner had problems with the shutter while in warranty but did not send it in and is now arguing with Solms. I have seen many other threads on this subject.

[*]You say that Leica MTBF is confidential information and I agree. It is not clear if you actually have this information. I am assuming that you do not and that you are basing your analysis on a sample of one camera ...ie your own! Statistically this is meaningless.

My concern remains that we have seen many threads on the shutter issue, and this has happened after very few actuations. I also worry that Solms changed the shutter within the M8.2 to a slower mechanism, why? I cannot believe that this was due to offering a less noisy mechanism.. I am surprised that Leica does not respond and simply offer a long term guarantee on the M8 ( M8.2 and M9) shutter mechanisms, especially if you are correct that only a few cameras fail.

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And the person sending the email, clearly said that they are working on the problem.

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I did a comprehensive search of this forum some time ago on the actual no. of failed shutters reported here and it was less than 10 individual events, an additional thread yielded that an average m8 has approx 20k shutter actuations, there are about 40k M8's sold. You can argue about the exact numbers but the order of magnitude of these numbers is not under dispute (and is irrelevant as shown below).

 

Take for sake of argument that about 1/4 of M8 users are aware of this forum => 10.000 as a reasonable estimate. I would expect that people with failing M8 shutters will consult internet more actively say 50% of the M8 population will report failures here. So we have as a ballpark estimate 20 failed shutters over 40.000 M8s and 8E8 shutter actuations, so 1 out of 4E7 actuations is the failure rate over 3 years.

 

Assuming 600,000 actuations per 3 years for a pro user (about 5x too high I guess, but anyway) gives a failure rate of about 6E5/4E7 = 1.5% in 3 years or 0.5% per year for the most extreme case of 200K actuations per year.

 

For normal users (like me

) the failure rate is well below 0.05% per year. This is horrible! How can Leica possibly put something so unreliable on the market:rolleyes:

 

Anyway I need to prepare a lamb roast, a more urgent problem I fear - also for the lamb.

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Andy and ICT thanks for the feedback. I had already seen this one and am monitoring what happens next.

The letter says it is either a firmware or a hardware issue. I am aware that if you switch from continuous to S mode and do so while taking long exposure images and then switch off the shutter locks up and you get the error message. This has been known since the firmware was last updated in March 2009, and Solms have a fix which will be included in the next release that keeps on being delayed. Frankly this error is not unduly worrying to me as I can always go back to normal by removing / replacing the battery. No big deal, but perhaps not what I expect from a camera of this price with a Leica logo on it.

 

What is far more worrying to me is that we seem to have many shutter issues that have been reported at 1500 shutter actuations that cannot be fixed by removing the battery. Nicole cleverly suggested leaving the camera overnight with no battery and the camera switched on in order to drain the internal battery as this has worked for her in the past. Mark Norton has suggested banging the camera to dislodge a stuck lever. Apparently these very good suggestions did not work.... so we have two cameras currently and many in the past with a shutter issue at a mere 1500 actuations.

 

Solms have not unequivocably said that if their camera fails at a mere 1500 actuation the guarantee will apply regardless of the two year limit. Leaving aside whether they have a legal obligation to fix as argued elsewhere I find it unacceptable for a prestige brand like Leica to take that position.

 

I am also concerned that Leica have according to reports in the forum have fixed some M8 shutters under guarantee and upgraded the camera with the M8.2 shutter at no extra charge...why? Leica changed the shutter in the M8.2 and M9 for a slower unit ...why?

 

I can understand that a pro that had say 600, 000 actuations may anticipate wear out mechanisms beginning to take hold......but 1500 actuations is far too low IMHO. Personally I have already reached 2500 actuations WITHOUT ANY ISSUE during the last 7 months and I guess I shall reach 7000 when my warranty runs out. Hopefully I am not living on borrowed time and have to shell out 800€uros for a new shutter a few days after the two years cut off.

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Well I have only had my M8 for 6 weeks and shot about 20 pics due to the inclement weather but have found it fantastic! Service from Solms was superb too as I needed to order some UV/IF filters and the PO of the camera had not used up his two filter allowance. I ordered one filter and received an email back with a couple of days asking for a copy of the warranty. I then realised I could have two so asked for the second when I sent the copy back. Within another couple of days and email came back saying the order for the two filters had been placed. It took maybe two weeks before they arrived and for free! Can't say better than that! no complaints bout Solms customer service from me. I just want to get out and take more pictures with it!

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For normal users (like me

 

Anyway I need to prepare a lamb roast, a more urgent problem I fear - also for the lamb.

 

Stephen thanks your input is reassuring I sure hope you are correct.....it is a very low number, and as such Solms should be positive to extend the warranty for amateur usage.

 

Enjoy the roast ....!!

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Pete I know very well what MTBF is and I agree with the basic definition that you provide. However your analysis is flawed.

[*]You seem to suggest that because your M8 is now 3 years old ( 26280 hrs) that the MTBF is good.

[*]If you are a pro shooting every day say 1000 actuations of the shutter then maybe this is good. Let's assume a 200 day working year , which is 600,000 actuations in three years.

[*]If you are an amateur maybe taking 200 images a month. If your camera fails after five years well that is only 12,000 actuations and I would suggest that this is bad for a Leica.

...

Unfortunately your first point about the number of actuations is undone by the manufacturer not restricting the number of actuations by warranty or elsewhere, ie if you wanted to set up a machine with a fixed power supply to the camera and a mechanical finger that pressed the shutter every second, say, then Leica will treat your camera in the same way as a collector's camera who might only take a handful of shots in its lifetime. Incidentally, I am not a professional but my M8 is coming up to 40,000 actuations.

 

Secondly, mechanical deterioration also occurs while the camera is not being used, owing to vibration, humidity, temperature fluctuations etc so I have deliberately left the usage of the camera out of my calculations.

 

... If we are seeing so many threads about shutter issues for a camera that has only been produced since 3 years ...

This is where we differ, Frank. I would say "so few threads" as I've shown in my previous reply.

 

Further, it seems to me that all of the shutter failures that we're aware of sit no more 'meaningfully' than the 99th percentile of a Gaussian distribution curve, which means that they lie more than 3 standard deviations away from the Norm and in manufacturing terms they're statistically acceptable - although not of course to their unfortunate owners. It's a fact of life that manufactured goods are not perfect and some will fail - I feel sure that you would agree with that - and the bone of contention is the number of M8 shutters that fail because *some* are bound to. 0.02% failure rate would be acceptable in any industry, outside of life-supporting industries where significant expense is accepted to drive the rate towards zero.

 

... The only conclusion is that there is a design or manufacturing flaw that is lowering the reliability. If this is not the case I ask why does Leica not offer amateurs a 7 year guarantee on shutter mecahnisms like "Kia" (The car manufacturer is offering 7 years now for the complete car!).

 

If you look a little more deeply into the Kia's 7-year warranty you'll find that it's not quite what it seems. It's a manufacturer's full 3-year warranty (nothing exceptional there since many vehicle manufacturers offer this and its controlled by European directive anyway) but beyond the 3 years mileage is restricted. A little more mis-direction there Frank?

 

Compare that with Leica's 2-year passport warrant, which includes repair of accidental damage at no cost and it's looking comparable with the Kia's warranty. Try accidentally parking your Kia in a tree and getting Kia to repair it at no cost.

 

... Another current thread is saying the same thing, where the owner had problems with the shutter while in warranty but did not send it in and is now arguing with Solms...

If this is the thread that was closed by Andreas then this is not a good example for you to quote since the member in question didn't bother to let Leica look at his out-of-warranty second-hand M8 before foolishly publicly threatening legal action when Solms gave a perfectly reasonable 'vanilla' response and the anticipated cost of repair. I do not propose to re-open this debate.

 

...You say that Leica MTBF is confidential information and I agree. It is not clear if you actually have this information. I am assuming that you do not and that you are basing your analysis on a sample of one camera ...ie your own! Statistically this is meaningless....

No, I do not have this information. My reason for basing my analysis on a sample of one camera is because it is the only data that I know to be true rather than basing it on unreliable heresay from other threads on the forum.

 

 

... I also worry that Solms changed the shutter within the M8.2 to a slower mechanism, why? ...

It may have occurred before you joined the forum but following the M8's release the clamour for a quieter shutter was deafening. Many members disagreeably compared the sound of the M8's shutter to the sound of the M7's shutter and Leica listened to its customers and produced a quieter shutter in the M8.2. As I understand it, the only way Leica could quieten the shutter was to move from metal blades to a cloth curtain (I'm not entirely certain of the metal vs cloth part and I feel sure that more knowledgeable Others will correct me), which wouldn't withstand the forces present in 1/8000th of a second. No conspiracy theory that you've been hinting at for a while I'm afraid.

 

Pete.

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I believe that the M8.2 still has a metal shutter, Pete (a cloth one would probably disintegrate at 1/4000), but the reduced top shutter speed has been a contributory factor in the quietening of the shutter sound through the whole range of speeds.

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Sometimes Companies have a staffer pretend to be a user to watch the forums and report back to headquarters...

 

Personally one un-named forum member acts a bit suspicious...

 

 

I can neither confirm, nor deny the accusations. however, I can confirm that it is my policy to remain ambiguous on this matter. Or maybe not...

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I believe that the M8.2 still has a metal shutter, Pete (a cloth one would probably disintegrate at 1/4000), but the reduced top shutter speed has been a contributory factor in the quietening of the shutter sound through the whole range of speeds.

Thank you, Knowledgeable Other.

 

Pete.

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Come clean, Nicole, it is clear that you haven't a leg to stand on!

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Nicole was preparing herself for the arrival of the pink X1 it seems:D

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In Bill's case he has declared that he would never buy an M8, and I believe Andy has said the same. It would be interesting to hear why they would never buy a digtal M yet defend the current product line, or indeed address the OP issue.

 

Please point me to where Andy or I have ever said we would never buy a digital M...

 

The rest of your vile bile is beneath comment or contempt, but I will not let you get away with yet again trying to twist my words and those of others to suit your own hidden agendas.

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I have never said I would never buy a digital M. I don't know where Frank has made that nugget up from. Not from me.

 

When the time and, importantly, the product is right, then I will.

 

For me, the M8 didn't come close to being right. The M9 is a step in the right direction. Maybe next time or the time after. I don't know. Maybe my time will come before the right product does. Who knows?

 

Certainly not Frank.

Edited by andybarton

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