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Stefan Daniel

Serviceability M8 & M8.2 displays

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While this debate is not likely to damage Leica to the point of going out of business, it is perfectly possible that some people who would have bought an M8 will not do so now because of all the argument in here.

 

So you're saying we shouldn't mention the issue, conspire to cover up the facts so newcomers don't realise what they're getting into? I really don't think that's fair to anyone, least of all to Leica.

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So you're saying we shouldn't mention the issue, conspire to cover up the facts.

 

I am saying what I am saying and what I said before. While the issue is a disappointment to all parties concerned (and obviously a few parties not concerned) it is my firm belief that is has blown out of all proportion here. What we are discussing is one part which can not be replaced. I can't recall anyone mentioning here how likely the failure of that part is and, hence, how many users will be affected at all.

 

There have been tales of cameras falling off the straps because of failing lugs (which I personally find much more embarrassing). There has been no outcry of this magnitude.

 

You can't really mean to say that this thread was "mentioning the issue", can you?

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All the more reason then, Philipp, for Leica to go the extra mile for the small number of affected users to repair their cameras so that can continue to shout about the lifespan and maintainability of their products from the roof-tops of Oskar-Barnack-Straße.

 

Instead of which, they've dreamt up a shoddy little scheme which is at as close to zero cost as makes no odds.

 

Besides, as Plasticman says, this is an issue which goes beyond the dried up source of replacement LCD displays.

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the user is forced to write-off the residual value of their M8.

 

Which presumably has shrunk by the exaggerated claims within this forum at least as much as by the actual issue - the missing stock of useful replacement parts and Leica's handling of same.

 

Within a day, I agreed to pay for the travel and subsistence for their people, an agreed day rate for their wasted time and give them the course from another trainer free-of-charge. About £12k which I clawed back from the trainer's profit share.

 

You demand that Leica compensate M8 owners for their losses. Yet you yourself point out that you did not compensate your customers out of your own pocket but that you charged your trainer for it. That may be fair but it is not what you demand of Leica.

 

Pulling teeth in the Netherlands may give you wealth beyond the dreams of avarice

 

I'm sure all dentists in the forum will be willing to accept your apology for this uncalled for - er, you know.

 

but I was struck by Edmond's posts - him of the marvellous Noctilux images - that, right now, he can't afford to have his lens hood replaced. Not every Leica user has a barrel of cash to fall back on.

 

Leica's pricing of lens hoods has been discussed in this forum long before the M8 LCD issue became an issue. Exactly how are prices for Leica accessories and the repair thereof related to the issue at hand?

 

It is a sad fact that the prices of the best tools often are beyond the reach of those who could put them to best use and that those tools find themselves in the hands of those who can afford them and less in the hands of those who need them. This includes Leica, of course, but is not limited to Leica.

Edited by pop

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Philipp, you are welcome to disect my posts into tiny parts but I am not going to yours.

 

I am not demanding Leica compensate M8 owners. I think they should provide repair options which do not make the assumption anyone with such a failure can afford to upgrade. Edmond's situation is a case in point. A talented photographer who cannot afford the repair to his integrated lens hood for now, a situation which might equally apply to M8 owners who see it as their entry to Digital M photography.

 

As for my hapless employee, he knew the rules.

 

Ultimately though, we all have our entrenched positions. No one seems minded to see other points of view, least of all Leica.

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This totally blows. My M8 just got the coffee stain issue this Summer and I never sent it back because I needed the camera and it didnt impact the image quality. However it does annoy me when I see it on the screen.

 

I know these cameras are electronic and parts become obsolete and require last time buys but it still bothers me. Maybe it is the extremely high premium on Leica products that make me feel (maybe irrationally so) that the service and experience should be well... premium compared to the other "common" digital cameras out there. They charge high prices with a commitment to long term use but in the end they are just as vulnerable (some say even more so) than other digital cameras.

 

I really wanted to buy an M9 once they came down in price but now I wonder if that is a wise choice. Maybe I should just get an M6 or M7. I never look at the images on the LCD screen anyway. The best thing would be a digital backed M7... no LCD screen... use the dial on the back for ISO and be done with it. That would be awesome, but until then this is a big concern for me. Too bad I really love using rangefinder cameras.

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This totally blows. My M8 just got the coffee stain issue this Summer and I never sent it back because I needed the camera and it didnt impact the image quality. However it does annoy me when I see it on the screen.

 

If I were you I'd be thanking my lucky stars the only thing wrong with the LCD is the coffee stain.

 

Maybe I should just get an M6 or M7.

 

I don't get that. There are plenty of reliable digital cameras out there. Going back to shooting film seems like quite a stretch just to stay with a particular brand.

 

I never look at the images on the LCD screen anyway. The best thing would be a digital backed M7... no LCD screen... use the dial on the back for ISO and be done with it.

 

I don't look at images on the screen either. I do use it for more than just setting ISO, as I suspect you do also. At the very least, updating firmware and formatting SD cards. But the thing is, regardless of the type of display, digital cameras are all basically computers. The Epson RD1 has analog-type gages, but they interface with digital components. Thus even if the M8 didn't have an LCD, there's nothing to say that some essential part could not now be unavailable. The problem isn't the design of the camera, it's the bumbling ineptitude of the company to manage its resources.

Edited by jaapv
doubtful remark removed

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Bocaburger. Yes I am happy that for now it appears to only be the coffee stain, but I think that is exactly the issue... makes me wonder if something goes wrong this point forward I hope its something fixable. It would really suck to have an expensive but pretty brick...

 

The reason I mention the M6 and M7 is that they aren't, as you mentioned, little computers. I guess the M7 has more electronics so maybe the M6 is a better choice for long term. For me it isnt really about the brand but more the shooting experience with a Rangefinder. Yes, there are other nonLeica film rangefinders and I would link into those too (my 1st RF was a Voigtlander Vitomatic) but my first reaction within the ethos of this thread was consideration of an M9/M10, etc... and based on Leica's service of the M8 I would hesitate to spend the big money on an M9 and instead think why not go for a mechanical film Leica that could be serviced long term... Maybe I should go get that awesome M3 double stroke... or is the single stroke better... so many cool options.

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Specifically the M6 had many problems with its electronics. I am not sure it is still repairable. But it can be used without exposure meter, obviously.

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Bocaburger. Yes I am happy that for now it appears to only be the coffee stain, but I think that is exactly the issue... makes me wonder if something goes wrong this point forward I hope its something fixable. It would really suck to have an expensive but pretty brick...

 

The reason I mention the M6 and M7 is that they aren't, as you mentioned, little computers. I guess the M7 has more electronics so maybe the M6 is a better choice for long term. For me it isnt really about the brand but more the shooting experience with a Rangefinder. Yes, there are other nonLeica film rangefinders and I would link into those too (my 1st RF was a Voigtlander Vitomatic) but my first reaction within the ethos of this thread was consideration of an M9/M10, etc... and based on Leica's service of the M8 I would hesitate to spend the big money on an M9 and instead think why not go for a mechanical film Leica that could be serviced long term... Maybe I should go get that awesome M3 double stroke... or is the single stroke better... so many cool options.

 

Actually, I think you should be very un-happy. You have a very expensive camera with a known defect that would probably have been fixed for no charge at all a few weeks ago. Now, you are either stuck with it or forced to pay an additional several thousand dollars for an upgrade. That is not right coming from a company like Leica.

 

This thread is getting old and we keep saying the same thing over and over. I don't hope the M10 fails and I certainly don't want Leica to fail. In fact, I want the M10 to be a smashing success and I want Leica to thrive because I like the company and the products and want to continue to use my Leica cameras and lenses for decades to come.

 

But I also don't want Leica to think our expectations of them include failing to support a product like the M8 after only 3 years. A reputation like Leica's is fragile and very difficult to repair and introducing doubt about product commitment becomes a very slippery slope .

Edited by kdriceman

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There were two metering circuit designs in the M6. The original one had the LED triangle extinguish when the reading went outside the range, the final version had them blink. The early version was not particularly unreliable, but being the oldest, those have tended to fail first. As they did they were replaced with the later version, which AFAIK Leica still has parts for. (The M5 main meter circuit board is no longer available through Leica, but independent shops may have some). In the worst-case, the meter from an MP could be substituted, albeit it would be expensive as the LED display would also need to be changed.

 

The M6TTL meters had the most problems, mainly excessive battery drain due to improperly fastened contacts in the battery compartment, which was/is an easy fix requiring no spare parts.

 

With the M7 an electronic failure could cripple the camera, as it would be down to the two mechanical backup shutter speeds, like a Nikon F3.

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What we really need is for another company to make a digital rangefinder. The big problem with the M9 and M8 is lack of choice. Another alternative is I could learn to manually focus an SLR style camera... but I just like the intuitive and fast way an RF works.

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What we really need is for another company to make a digital rangefinder. The big problem with the M9 and M8 is lack of choice. Another alternative is I could learn to manually focus an SLR style camera... but I just like the intuitive and fast way an RF works.

 

I know how to manually focus an SLR, but, as you noted, it is not the same. There is nothing like using a rangefinder.

 

As an electrical engineer with 30+ years of experience, i can proclaim it is not cost prohibitive to design electronics to last 20-30 years or more. And it is also possible to adequately plan to service your products for 10+ years (electronic or mechanical). I am hoping Leica has learned from the M8 and will be able to avoid these pitfalls in the future and continue to provide a long lasting, reliable digital rangefinder.

 

I am perplexed that many on this forum will pay $8,000 for a digital rangefinder and at the same time admit that they will accept a less than 5 year lifespan (or even more abbreviated service life) because it is digital. The primary reason iPad $8,000 for my M9 is because I expect it to last (and/or be serviceable) for at least 10 years.

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Without referring to all the debate earlier in the thread, I am on the verge of buying a used M8.....well, I was until I saw this.

 

I previously owned a Fuji X100, lovely camera, then it failed due to the well know 'sticky aperture blade' issue. Not a problem, send it back to Fuji (even though I bought it used on eBay), and they fitted a new lens, and it was back within 2 weeks. Excellent service. However, the other foibles such as inaccurate focusing, slow focusing etc led me to sell on the X100.

 

At the time was close £1000, which for most is an adequate sum of money, especially given the current climate. To consider spending close to £1500 on an M8 when I will simply be told be Leica to 'bog off' (albeit in a more polite manner) is a complete effing joke if you ask me, especially when you consider the market value of the product in question. You don't buy a mid range Mercedes Benz only to be told you have to upgrade to a MacLaren Gullwing model in the event of an engine failure, because they can no longer source the parts. It simply is NOT acceptable. Especially when buzzwords such as 'a product for life' is banded around with such frivolity on the sales website. It translates to meaningless drivel if the customer is to be presented with such a problem. I will probably just buy an X-Pro 1 now, while not the product I would chose to buy in place of the Leica, at least I can have the piece of mind that I will not be faced with the prospect of an expensive paperweight in the event of a failure!

 

Unless someone from Leica can reassure me that the after sales service will be improved, I will remain a 'lost customer', and I am saddened by this. Business is built on reputation, and I feel Leica need to listen to their customers on this one. If the product is fundamentally at fault, they should replace on a like for like basis without question. If they are unable to replace a faulty LCD screen because the part is no longer manufactured, that problem should not be transferred back to the customer. After all, if I was running the service department I would demand at least a ten year supply period of consumable/serviceable parts.

Edited by Lewis

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I am perplexed that many on this forum will pay $8,000 for a digital rangefinder and at the same time admit that they will accept a less than 5 year lifespan (or even more abbreviated service life) because it is digital. The primary reason iPad $8,000 for my M9 is because I expect it to last (and/or be serviceable) for at least 10 years.

 

In this case I would believe the phrase to use is 'more money than common sense'.

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I would say it's unrealistic to envisage having to replace something that high value within such a short timescale due to failure. That's plain idiotic. I have a Ricoh GRD2 (£400) which I would consider disposable within a 3 year timescale, that, is realistic. On a tangent, 3 years in and it's still going strong, albeit with a few small failures, but nothing that affect the operation of the camera overall.

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To be fair, Leica aren't interested if people buy s/h Leicas, they're only interested in selling new ones. They have agreed that the situation over the M8 isn't good enough by their standards.

 

As a potential purchaser of a s/h M8, I would advise you to buy one only from a dealer offering a warranty of 12 months ideally, or 6 months minimum. If you buy an M8 now at least you do so knowing the situation should the LCD fail or be broken, and it's true that LCD's are generally reliable parts.

 

As long as Leica offer the part exchange for broken M8's, the camera will still have value (as even if you didn't want the part exchange someone else might buy the camera to use for the discount).

 

So, it wouldn't in itself put me off buying an M8, just as long as the price reflects the risk and it is mitigated to some degree with a 6-12 month dealers warranty (i.e. replace or refund).

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To be fair, Leica aren't interested if people buy s/h Leicas, they're only interested in selling new ones. They have agreed that the situation over the M8 isn't good enough by their standards.

 

As a potential purchaser of a s/h M8, I would advise you to buy one only from a dealer offering a warranty of 12 months ideally, or 6 months minimum. If you buy an M8 now at least you do so knowing the situation should the LCD fail or be broken, and it's true that LCD's are generally reliable parts.

 

As long as Leica offer the part exchange for broken M8's, the camera will still have value (as even if you didn't want the part exchange someone else might buy the camera to use for the discount).

 

So, it wouldn't in itself put me off buying an M8, just as long as the price reflects the risk and it is mitigated to some degree with a 6-12 month dealers warranty (i.e. replace or refund).

 

 

for the time and energy you have put into M8 issues since I joined this forum.....you BETTER buy a bloody M8! lol

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