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Stefan Daniel

Serviceability M8 & M8.2 displays

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I recognize that digital devices tend to move on at a quick pace, but the problem with the M8 is it was sold as a "Camera for Life" with ongoing upgrades. Having owned a Leica III and a Leica M6 TTL, I tend to take such a claim seriously. I can still get the Leica III repaired even though it is nearly 80 years old. I never expected this of my C-lux1 as it was never sold as a Camera for life, so not one I expect to run for 10 or 20 years (it still works fine) . The M8 was a serious investment and as such would have expected the parts to remain available for at least 10 years (I hope to live longer than that) and it now seems that it will not even be serviceable after 5 years. Currently my M8 is fine but it is very worrying that this is no longer a product that can be fixed if the LED fails.

 

Currently my finances would not allow me to pay for an upgrade to an M9 if an issue occured, and also if I did so, my concern would be will I need to do this again if in a few years time the M9 failed in a similar way. Again we have a number of digital Nikons D70 / D80 and D300 and if these failed and Nikon said they could not service them (which I doubt) I would not feel so aggrieved as they were not sold to me as a "prestige product" with lifelong support.

 

I hope my finances will soon be much healthier again and my wife would love a Leica MM, but this issue has made me think again and I may be I better off purchasing a D800e (1/3 of a 36Mp bayer pattern should offer similar monochrome detail) and then save enough cash to purchase a replacement "non premium" Nikon in 5 years time, if it develops a problem. If Leica said the MM would have a 2 year warranty and guarantee parts availability / serviceability for 10 years then maybe its would be worth a premium. This matter has definitely changed my view of Leica and I will not to believe any of their advertising materials in future, and has put me off investing any more in their equipment. It would be interesting to know how many people share this viewpoint.

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There is a fundamental difference between a hand-made mechanical product and one that relies on volume mass-produced electronic components. (even 100 units of a screen or battery still has to be mass produced in a factory).

 

The former can be be services by a trained artisan (of course this is getting harder and harder) while the latter is always at the mercy of availability of 3rd party parts.

 

This is the reason why an age old Patek Philippe can still be brought to full working condition. A corroded or damaged part need only be fabricated anew and the instrument is working. Same for an old Leica mechanical camera.

 

On another note, I wonder if the M8 LCD screen can be removed entirely and the camera operated without one. After all there a number of forum-ers clamoring for cameras without an LCD screen. Maybe you can even sell it for a premium.

 

Now I wonder what will happen to the M3s and M7s when no one makes film anymore.

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Now I wonder what will happen to the M3s and M7s when no one makes film anymore.

 

So Leica should buy the film division of Kodak so we can have Tri-X for the next 10 years?

 

I had a LandRover Freelander, which had an engine made by Rover (car division). When Rover went out of business (nobody purchased it, and thus closed) so the supply of replacement engines ceased. In a short time after the supply new engines were used up, the rebuilt market went ballistic, $10,000 per rebuilt engine. And after that you could not even buy a rebuild, except on the black/grey market. Thus dooming my car to oblivion. But my Freelander lived on for several years... until all the major maintenance components got to be too expensive to deal with, and thus the vehicle was retired... So basically stuff happens, we deal with it and move on...

Edited by swamiji

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Shouldn't this thread be moved to the M8/8.2 forum? :

 

 

Maybe so, but it happened to the DMR and M8. I could happen to any product that depends on small production runs for parts... Like the M9 or M10... It is something we need to understand.

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Shouldn't this thread be moved to the M8/8.2 forum? :

 

 

No - we should create a new subsection: the EX-Customer Forum. It's gonna be pretty busy in there.

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Well- if users of all brands of merchandise dealt with the "digital life" in a similar manner, everyone would soon be using film cameras, wind-up watches, and vinyl records after the brief fling with digital.

 

In terms of lifetime upgrade and "camera for life", no cost was associated. The offer to replace an unrepairable M8 with an M9 is one way of fulfilling that promise. I still think that Leica attaining a small cache of refurbished M8's is the best solution to this particular problem. Easy to implement, not expensive and provides an M8 customer with a working M8.

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I still think that Leica attaining a small cache of refurbished M8's is the best solution to this particular problem. Easy to implement, not expensive and provides an M8 customer with a working M8.

+1

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Well- if users of all brands of merchandise dealt with the "digital life" in a similar manner, everyone would soon be using film cameras, wind-up watches, and vinyl records after the brief fling with digital.

 

 

Just last week I was standing in camera store holding a Leica M3DS and thinking maybe I should return to my roots, challenge myself to shooting meterless with this classic camera and use up that b/w film I have sitting around. Then after a while I asked myself... Why? But the camera will probably at least hold its value if I buy one.

 

I cannot look at digital cameras that way and consider them a rapidly depreciating item that I learned I should upgrade from while they still have any significant value in the resale market. I don't see how Leica can buck this unless they adopt upgradeable electronic modules into the design.

Edited by AlanG

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When I bought my M8 I remember a certain Mr Lee saying that my camera would be looked after for a lifetime and when new technology was introduced it could be fitted at cost to my camera so that the M8 was always at the cutting edge.....no mention of the latest 10 year rule!

I was so impressed I went out and spent many many more thousands of pounds on other Leica products as clearly Leica was living up to all that I believed/hoped it would.

 

We all know what happened to this gentleman, as a result of his actions, and i remember being very disappointed when I heard that this promise would not be fulfilled. OK I guess you could say I was very naive, but there is a very serious issue here.

 

Thousands of M8s are out there, and the last thing we/Leica need are rumers flying around the Internet that M8s cannot be repaired. ( forget the details) the value of the camera will be zip.

IMHO Leica have got to get a firm grip on this situation... And fast, with some hard facts, things do go wrong, but it is how you deal with the problem that matters.

 

Exactly what will they do, and approximately how much will it cost.

 

My camera was £3000 new for the body alone. And any suggestion that M8 users will not be treated as well as M9 users (see previous posts) will p...s me off severely.

 

I was looking forward to the new launch this month with a view to an M10 or whatever, but this makes me think twice.

I am not being negative, I almost certainly will buy another upgrade, but I don't want the brand defiled.

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Their are no rumours going around that M8s cannot be repaired - it's fact, from Leica themselves (read the post from Stefan Daniel).

 

Also there is no 10 year period for spares/service. Leica say they are working towards that goal (but who knows how long the M9 will be supported for after it's replaced by the M10).

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Leica M8s CAN be repaired. No one has said otherwise.

 

AFAIK, the only exception is if the LCD fails, of which we have heard of how many? Overstating the problem cannot be helping the discussion.

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Leica M8s CAN be repaired. No one has said otherwise.

 

AFAIK, the only exception is if the LCD fails, of which we have heard of how many? Overstating the problem cannot be helping the discussion.

 

Agreed but that does not help if the LCD fails on your camera, and shows a degree of shortsightedness on behalf of Leica for not stocking up there parts bin initially. without the screen the camera is virtually useless (not due to the inability to review) but the inability to change and check menu settings. Also lets be honest the screens on the M8 are nothing special quality of image wise, so I can not imagine wholesale they would have cost much and therefore cost would not have cost Leica a significant amount to get a big stock in, before they were discontinued.

 

I have to contrast this with my 9 year old daughter who cracked her Nikon L14 screen (a fifty pound camera) and older than the M8 which I managed to replace for £6.00 or an even older D70 screen can still be obtained.

 

Again I think the issue is that the Camera was sold as a Camera for Life and Leica's reputation was that there cameras last a long time - if you have an issue with the screen then it is paperweight time unless Leica can source some more screens or engineer an alternative replacement - it may only effect a few users now, but if this grows a lot of users who spent upwards of £3,000 on a camera are going to seriously reconsider parting with that kind of money again. The M8 was only replaced by the M9 in September 2009 and was on sale a bit after that, so some cameras are less than 3 years old and no longer serviceable - in event of an LCD failure - this is not acceptable.

Edited by markrune

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When I bought my M8 I remember a certain Mr Lee saying that my camera would be looked after for a lifetime and when new technology was introduced it could be fitted at cost to my camera so that the M8 was always at the cutting edge [...]

 

That would be Steven K Lee. I do not recall that he said exactly that, but regardless, he was fired for revealing the development of a full-frame camera, and possibly for unrealistic assurances of unnamed upgrades. You probably recall the storm over the first M8, and Leica's subsequent offers of upgrades, discounts and so-forth. Leica has been quiet during this and and the related thread. The Steven Lee effect, me thinks. It is not over yet.

 

EDIT: I did not recall but I did find the announcement of a perpetual upgrade program.

Wow. Bad idea. Gone but apparently not forgotten.

Edited by pico

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To be honest, I find Mr. Daniels statement -and some of the threads discussing the problem- a little misleading since it focuses too much in LCD failures because of a previous defect -a problem that shouldn't arise in too many instances- but obviates that LCDs are very prone to break accidentally and therefore they should have stocked enough replacements.

 

Even if I sold my M8 three months ago, the idea of a Leica not being totally serviceable only three years after it became superseded out of the market is barely tolerable for me.

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Leica M8s CAN be repaired. No one has said otherwise.

 

AFAIK, the only exception is if the LCD fails, of which we have heard of how many? Overstating the problem cannot be helping the discussion.

 

Andy, the whole thread is about the LCD, did I say I was referring to anything else?

 

That said there is another report of Leica declining to repair a motherboard on an M8 as they deemed it uneconomical, which is another matter entirely of course.

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If the LCD is unavailable, I imagine the DSP board cannot be far behind and, even if it is available, may cost more than the camera would then be worth. And then there is the sensor. If you push your sensor swab through the (non IR filtering) cover glass, I wonder what the economics of replacing it would be in a world of M8 resale values on the slide?

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To be honest, I find Mr. Daniels statement -and some of the threads discussing the problem- a little misleading since it focuses too much in LCD failures because of a previous defect -a problem that shouldn't arise in too many instances- but obviates that LCDs are very prone to break accidentally and therefore they should have stocked enough replacements.

Stefan Daniel did explain why Leica ended up without the necessary number of replacement units even when they did stock enough spare parts originally.

 

And btw, LCDs are not “prone to break accidentally”; such accidents are actually quite rare.

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Stefan Daniel did explain why Leica ended up without the necessary number of replacement units even when they did stock enough spare parts originally.

 

And btw, LCDs are not “prone to break accidentally”; such accidents are actually quite rare.

 

But he did it in a context dominated by the discussion of LCD failures, implying very low numbers. That's why I think he is a little -mind the qualificative- misleading.

 

You probably have the numbers, but I have never seen a LCD failing but I have many of them cracking in accidents

Edited by oronet commander

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So Leica should buy the film division of Kodak so we can have Tri-X for the next 10 years?

 

I had a LandRover Freelander, which had an engine made by Rover (car division). When Rover went out of business (nobody purchased it, and thus closed) so the supply of replacement engines ceased. In a short time after the supply new engines were used up, the rebuilt market went ballistic, $10,000 per rebuilt engine. And after that you could not even buy a rebuild, except on the black/grey market. Thus dooming my car to oblivion. But my Freelander lived on for several years... until all the major maintenance components got to be too expensive to deal with, and thus the vehicle was retired... So basically stuff happens, we deal with it and move on...

 

you could have just put a different engine in it. it's done all the time in the automotive scene.

 

and hence the difference between the automotive world and the camera world. the aftermarket service, options, and creativity present is massive----in the camera industry, it seems everyone is scared to touch a Leica. I think Leica should allow 3rd party makers to come up with creative solutions to problems they are currently not at priority to solve.

 

andybarton is right----the exaggeration and overly stated problems being talked about in these threads have no basis. the M8 is otherwise a serviceable camera, with only one situation---and that is the LCD. no more, no less---as stated.

Edited by iedei

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