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Stefan Daniel

Serviceability M8 & M8.2 displays

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The issue is that the camera is not repairable to it's former condition, the cost of the unavailable part that makes it unrepairable is irrelevant.

 

The insurance company receives a repair quotation that states repair is not possible. Hence insurance covers replacement - same as Andy's policy.

 

I should add that we are talking about damage, not simple component failure. I such a situation I would submit a claim but have no idea what the response would be.

 

I insure things I can't afford to repair or replace.

Edited by MarkP

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Ken Rockwell long before this case described what he saw as the distinction between the M3 and M9. I thought it was rather funny when I first read it. I am now a bit wiser (including knowing that the M3's vf/rf system, arguably the best ever made for a Leica, is particularly delicate in old age). Here is Rockwell:

 

"To quote from the M3's instructions, 'You are holding a LEICA in your hands — we hope you will derive as much pleasure from it as the multitudes of confirmed LEICA enthusiasts all over the world. In the LEICA M3 you have the utmost in photographic performance, speed, and convenience that we, as specialists in high-grade optical precision instruments, can provide. Such a camera does not come into being from one day to the next. It most favorably combines the experience of a long tradition in the design of scientific instruments with the latest advances of modern optics. It has matured through the many thousands of tests and trials at the hands of the elite of international photographers. You will see for yourself the scope and precision of the LEICA and how in many years' time it will still be as exact and reliable as it is now.' This is what Leica shares after you've bought the camera! You won't see messages like this for the disposable cameras of today; the first thing you see after the table-of-contents in the LEICA M9's user's manual are instructions for its disposal as household waste!"

 

PS Rockwell means this:

 

DISPOSAL OF ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

(Applies within the EU, and for other European countries with separated waste collection systems) This device contains electrical and/or electronic components and therefore may not be disposed of as general household waste. Instead it should be disposed of at a recycling collection point provided by the local authority. This costs you nothing.

If the device itself contains exchangeable (rechargeable) batteries, these must be removed first and, if necessary, also disposed of according to the relevant regulations.

You local authority or waste disposal authority, or the shop where you bought this device, can provide you with further information on this issue.

 

Previously, I regarded this as Rockwellian hyperbole. Now it just seems common sense.

Edited by M9reno

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Insurance doesn't work that way in Sweden

 

I realise policies differ but on my Swedish home insurance I once received a brand new Dell Inspiron 8200 when my 8000 had fried.

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So now I know that according to Leica a lifetime (my lifetime) is ten years:)

 

Indeed, a lesson to us all. Hopefully the deceptive language will be removed from their promotional material.

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It's certainly the case that re-engineering the M8 electronics is out of the question, an extensive hardware redesign and firmware re-write and the more parts which are no longer available, the more work will be required.

 

If we assume the display problem was the coffee mug ring, it's easy to see how that could be down to a quality problem at the vendor; cameras come in from the field with the problem, are correlated with batch number and some or all of the spares stock is found to be in the same batch. Cue "uh-oh!".

 

My reading of the situation is that many M8s will not have this problem - Mr Daniel isn't saying how many cameras might be affected - but that if the coffee ring problem does occur, a normal failure occurs or the screen is damaged, the M8 is a write-off. If there are stocks of displays available elsewhere, I would have thought it worthwhile - in the spirit of trying to keep M8s going - to buy them to see whether they work.

 

It makes buying an M8 very tricky. Most likely, the camera will not have a problem but if it does, the value is reduced to whatever allowance Leica will give you over an M9. In theory, a broken M8 could be traded on, for example, eBay as a kind of Discount Voucher, itself at a discount.

 

Sad to say, I don't think M8s will stay above £1000/$1500 for very long and may well be soon worth less than, say, an M6.

Edited by marknorton

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I'm not gonna get into fine print discussion - I have experience of new for old insurance from when I lived in the UK, but it simply doesn't work like that in every country, and certainly not here. Premiums are higher than the UK, and returns are based on the depreciated value of the item - so 3 or 4k for a written-off M8 would never happen.

 

This is relevant to the main discussion only in terms of how everyone is differently affected by the situation. Some want an M9, some don't. Some will suffer a loss, others maybe won't. The single common element is that the M8 is not fully supported anymore.

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The single common element is that the M8 is not fully supported anymore.

 

Yes, and that the M9/M9P will not be supported either ten years after Leica ceases its production, so 2022-24, or thereabouts, I imagine. If support is not possible within this time, M9/M9P users will presumably be invited to join the same "upgrade" program to whatever newer digital rangefinder Leica chooses.

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Yes, and that the M9/M9P will not be supported either ten years after Leica ceases its production, so 2022-24, or thereabouts, I imagine. If support is not possible within this time, M9/M9P users will presumably be invited to join the same "upgrade" program to whatever newer digital rangefinder Leica chooses.

 

Exactly.

 

As far as I can see, this announcement doesn't guarantee that the M9 (or any future M for that matter) gets ten years of serviceability. It replaces the 'lifetime' rhetoric with an aspiration to meet a ten-year target, and if that's not possible, the owner has the option of a Leica-designated trade-in, based on camera condition and age etc.

Bottomline - if you can't afford the 'upgrade' path in the future, don't get into the digital M system from the beginning.

 

Anyway, everyone seems pretty overjoyed by the announcement, but I think it's a sad day for Leica.

 

Glad that 98% of the time I'm using my film Ms these days - even the ones like the M2 that are older than I am!

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Well it looks to me that Leica is at least trying to come up with an acceptable solution and reassure customers about the M9 as best they can.

 

But when the M9 first came out, I was under the impression it had the same LCD and electronics as the M8. If they used a new LCD and revised electronics why didn't they make it significantly better than what they ended up using? Was there nothing better in that form factor?

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"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."

I am disturbed by this response from Leica.

Leica knew during the production fo M8 / M8.2 that some of the cameras were built with faulty LCDs

Leica either shipped known faullty cameras or learned that they had shipped faulty cameras after the fact

Leica knew that LCD failures were likely but chose to do nothing about it other than stop using the known bad parts

Leica could have: Anticipated the future issues at the time and stockpiled parts for future repair.

Leica could have: Engineered a robust alternate solution for these customers

Leica chose to: Do nothing and wait until customers became upset on an internet forum and offer an upgrade program because it is now too late to purchase replacement components

I expect that electronic components will fail in time and will not be repairable in perpetuity. The upgrade program is a reasonable solution for Leica customers. I find this an acceptable resonse if the failures could not be reasonably anticipated.

In this case: Did Leica make the right decision for it's customers?

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Well, clearly the company did not act to responsibly adhere to the professed commitment to lifetime use. We suspected that was BS anyway; now the CEO has confirmed it.

 

Beware owners of any subsequent Leica digital products.

 

Jeff

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The coffee-stain screens are an irrelevance to me. As far as I'm concerned, from now on I'm gonna have to think twice every time I take the M8 out. From now on, any drop or collision with a tabletop has the potential to cost not $800 but $3000 or $4000. Furthermore, there'll be an extra amount to pay, as Leica apparently feels the need to penalize 'accidental' damage - even though the owners are not to blame for the extra cost.

This scenario is completely unrealistic. Your maximum risk is 1000 Euro being the price of a replacement M8 or less depending what your insurance company will pay you after their writeoff on the camera. You just cracked your screen to the tune of 800 Euro for a hypothetical repair, so you are out of pocket for maximally 200 Euro - which you might be able to sell your broken M8 for.

Edited by jaapv

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To me it boils down to one point: Digital Leica cameras are as vulnerable as any other camera, the promoted 'life-long' label looks like a marketing-only phrase.

 

Customers who paid for the extra in quality are being left alone when a supplier runs out of stock.

 

With Leica you never paid for a better quality of camera bodies. You always pay more because it is a low-volume product made in an expensive country. It is similar to expensive automatic wrist watches - nice to wear but much more easily damaged than cheap mass produced alternatives.

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With Leica you never paid for a better quality of camera bodies. You always pay more because it is a low-volume product made in an expensive country.

 

Sadly, I would have disagreed with this, until today.

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This scenario is completely unrealistic. Your maximum risk is 1000 Euro being the price of a replacement M8

 

1. How does one replace an M8? They are no longer made, and to buy a used M8 is to enter the cloud of uncertainty caused by a known problem.

 

[...] You just cracked your screen to the tune of 800 Euro for a hypothetical repair, so you are out of pocket for maximally 200 Euro - which you might be able to sell your broken M8 for.

 

2. Why should the M8 owner stoop to the insufferable behavior of selling a defective M8? If he is honest and admits that the particular M8 is damaged and cannot be repaired, then he suffers a justified great loss. Besides, he just enters into the vicious loop. See number 1, then repeat.

 

Are we certain that a repair of the screen is 800 euro or 1000 euro? And which is it?

 

Regardless, did not Leica suggest that they do not want to replace the LCD because they cannot be confident that the new parts are not also defective? More later.

 

I think you are misreading this. There are no sensors failing because they are faulty - this probably refers to the coffee stain.

I think you are misreading.

Edited by pico

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I think you are misreading this. There are no sensors failing because they are faulty - this probably refers to the coffee stain. I interpret this to mean that this exhausted the supply with no option of replenshing it to the needed level.

My exegesis of SD's text:

1. Leica decides to switch producer

2. Sufficient stock is bough

3. After a year cameras start developing coffee stains

4. lLca identifies a faulty lot, pulls it, depleting the stock

5. There are more screens to be replaced depleting stock further

6. The production has been discontinued At the time of identifying the faulty lot), making it impossible to replenish the stock

"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."

 

I am disturbed by this response from Leica.

 

Leica knew during the production fo M8 / M8.2 that some of the cameras were built with faulty LCDs

Leica either shipped known faullty cameras or learned that they had shipped faulty cameras after the fact

Leica knew that LCD failures were likely but chose to do nothing about it other than stop using the known bad parts

Leica could have: Anticipated the future issues at the time and stockpiled parts for future repair.

Leica could have: Engineered a robust alternate solution for these customers

Leica chose to: Do nothing and wait until customers became upset on an internet forum and offer an upgrade program because it is now too late to purchase replacement components

 

I expect that electronic components will fail in time and will not be repairable in perpetuity. The upgrade program is a reasonable solution for Leica customers. I find this an acceptable resonse if the failures could not be reasonably anticipated.

 

In this case: Did Leica make the right decision for it's customers?

Edited by jaapv

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With Leica you never paid for a better quality of camera bodies.

 

Actually you do. That brass milled top and bottom plate set aren't cheap, and the rangefinder is probably the most expensive part of the whole camera. They were never meant to be 'throwaway' parts.

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I understand that Leica is in a difficult situation. Quite frequently CS has to repair what went wrong in design and/or production.

 

Now, as both a DMR and M8 owner (with a fair share of visits to CS), my learning is: don't buy new technology from Leica. Better to wait for the second, hopefully improved model.

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