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6 BIT Backlog ..out of Mounts


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Title says it all. I sent to Leica NJ 4 lens for 6 bit coding on May 4th. Normal loss of a few weeks for paperwork and the 2-3 week estimate . Today I followed up and was told that all 4 were on backorder? Seems they have no mounts available for 6 Bit coding. What is particularly frustrating is that they have no idea when they might be getting some in. The only useful point of this post is....don t send them any more if you plan to use your lens this summer . Time to get the Sharpie out.

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Guest guy_mancuso

I actually have my 75mm lux coming back, since I can't wait any longer. Not critical anyway for this one. i 'll just wait until the dust settles.

 

Just so folks know how this is done. leica actually uses a brand new coded mount and replaces the existing mounts of lenses than recalibrates them back to spec. It's actually a lot of work. Looks like some mounts are behind in delivery

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Are you really surprised?. Everything seems to have gone pear shaped in Leica at the moment. You'd need the patience of a Saint to be waiting on anything from them.

 

I've been patient throughout the last 8 months, I've waited for my M8 to come back from solms after the update, I've waited past the expected delivery date for firmware, I'm still waiting past the expected delivery date for filters, I'm also waiting past the expected delivery date for my 30% off lens, now I've go to wait until leica get some mounts before I can send lenses to be coded and then have to wait till I get them back.

 

I know I've said I'm patient, but the more I think about this the more I'm thinking there is a serious problem at leica and it's not just down to new found success after the M8 launch.:rolleyes:

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Are you really surprised?. Everything seems to have gone pear shaped in Leica at the moment. You'd need the patience of a Saint to be waiting on anything from them.

 

I've been patient throughout the last 8 months, I've waited for my M8 to come back from solms after the update, I've waited past the expected delivery date for firmware, I'm still waiting past the expected delivery date for filters, I'm also waiting past the expected delivery date for my 30% off lens, now I've go to wait until leica get some mounts before I can send lenses to be coded and then have to wait till I get them back.

 

I know I've said I'm patient, but the more I think about this the more I'm thinking there is a serious problem at leica and it's not just down to new found success after the M8 launch.:rolleyes:

 

I totally agree.

 

I'm waiting also and it is not pleasant.

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I know I've said I'm patient, but the more I think about this the more I'm thinking there is a serious problem at leica and it's not just down to new found success after the M8 launch.:rolleyes:

 

Well Eoin, I know you are in manufacturing, but I wonder how much 'support' you do for your stuff (hey can I return this sausage for a firmware update please? Multiply this by 30% of everything you shipped :D). Maybe I completely underestimate the task you have on this front, but then that would demonstatrate how easy such estimation is to get wrong :D

 

I have a company that has suffered major pains from time to time with up surges in demand taking us a little by suprise. You could call it bad planning, but that's very easy to say after the event! It's really not that easy to bring manufacturing of parts delivery forward, sure for small quantities yes, but large quantities of large numbers of items, no....

 

It's also not that easy to find and train good people, and actually doing that is counter productive in the short term, because the skilled people you need to fullfill the immediate need are distracted training the newbies.

 

Leica are going to sort this out, and like every one else, I hope they can do it sooner rather than later, but I have empathy with their situation. It's not easy to recover from, and once you are overwhelmed, it gets harder, not easier to move forward with any sort of increasing momentum.

 

Of course I am disapointed by the length of time it takes to get stuff turned around, one reason why my M8 has not gone to Solms yet for the power switch to be fixed (I still need to half press the shutter to power on). In fact, I am thinking about buying a second M8 so I don't need to be without one. Now, what do Leica think about that? Hmmm... if we go slow maybe we can sell MORE! :D

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I sent in nine lenses that arrived at Leica in N.J. on the 30th of last month, so I guess the three weeks they told me could end up being three months. I am not a very happy camper if that happens since I have little left at home. I hope for our sake that Leica can get their act together, but it has just been one thing after another.

 

I really like the M8, but I have not enjoyed all the twists and turns of lens problems, filter problems, white balance problems, etc. It is lucky for Leica that they have a loyal group of followers. If you had a particular car that gave you a lot of trouble would you buy the same car again?

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... If you had a particular car that gave you a lot of trouble would you buy the same car again?

Since we're speaking hypothetically, if I knew that it was the best brand of car on the planet and that the manufacturer demonstrably and reliably stood behind its product better than any other car manufacturer, then ... yes, I probably would. For me, there is no substitute for true quality; although it doesn't prevent me from being impatient. :)

 

Pete.

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Dave, while i agree with your points and I too also have a lot of empathy with leica and wish them every success, perhaps my frustration is born from the fact of my manufacturing background. I live daily in an enviroment of 90% of what I produce today is sold tomorrow. This allows for a 30% swing, 10% overstock and 20% early next morning production capacity. I also suffer from line breakdowns but there is redundancy in the system for such events. Bottom line for me is if I miss the sale tomorrow the sale is gone, period. Further more I have to manage stocks of highly perishable raw materials to meet production requirements, it's a tricky balancing act but if I can do it surely some of these highly regarded executives at leica could at least get a handle on it.

 

I just can't understand how they have gotten it so badly wrong, everything now seems to have a 3-6 month wait. The market will pass them by if they are not careful. I'm guessing my frustration is more the fact of expected delivery date which comes and goes without so much as a word from leica.

 

My motto is under promise and over deliver. If I say I'll have x there for 9am I'll have x there at 8:30am and I expect the same from my suppliers.

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Sheesh. As a working pro this is making the new Canon look better and better despite it's size, etc. Or just keep my M7 for shooting film. I've got a 28 Summicron at Leica (a month plus now) that needs a mount plus some adjustment. Looks like I should just get adjustment done and get it back. But then I'm out s&h and then once the backlog is over another month out plus s&h. This camera is becoming a bit of a rich man's folly. Or maybe that's always been Leicas thinking, and their cameras were adopted by (rather than directed to) working p.js.

 

Yet another reason Leica should release menu based lens selection NOW. Heck, if Nikon can do it with D200..... Oh, thats right, Nikon users are pros and can therefore be trusted to use their brains when changing MF lenses. With Leica users (read doctors and lawyers in Solms minds) it might be "dangerous." What hogwash. Leica need to cater to pro needs and not rich amateurs.

 

I really think Leica are out of touch. Too bad as the M8 is so close to being "there" despite many poor decisions on Leica's part.

 

And what about that AWB....? Sheesh.

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Eoin, the situation is not +/- 10-20% in Leica's case. They spent decades slowly cutting back and letting people go, and even used up and didn't replace their glass warehouse stocks, due to dwindling sales and the Hermes attitude towards accessorising.

 

Now they have hired back some of the people they let go, are starting to stock glass again (to avoid another Noctilux price-rise situation), and are looking at M8 sales way above what their M7/MP sales were, in addition to increased sales of the latter. Not only that, but they completely sold out of their entire lens lineup, and ran out of pretty much everything they sold. They have to start from a situation where there is nothing in stock and thousands of shouting customers.

 

They have more or less caught up with the M8 situation, although the cameras aren't as well distributed as they could be. The lenses are beginning to show again, and I recently managed to get both a WATE and a 28 Cron within a reasonable amount of time. Again, there are some fluctuations, but many or most lenses are in stock in places which traditionally have stock.

 

The few remaining problems are servicing and lens mount replacing. As I understood it, Leica originally estimated two people to replace the mounts, hired and trained them, and then ended up with an ever-increasing stock of lenses waiting on servicing, and a depleted stock of lens mounts. They have to train more people, as well as get more mounts fabricated, and meanwhile the lenses continue to come in and pile up. I would not be surprised if they even have space problems as a result!

 

The service people for the M8 and the lens mount replacement technicians are doing jobs which are entirely new, and Leica has little to no expertise in the areas. The same goes for the firmware updates, as well as the whole decision-making and design process. In spite of Leica having so little expertise in the digital arena, they still managed to come up with a camera with excellent image quality and a user-experience so nicely tuned that many of us have re-discovered the joy of photography.

 

We really have to cut them a little slack. They are clearly capable of getting things right when given time, but at the moment there is just so much work to catch up with, and meanwhile many of the top minds on the M8 are probably working on the R10, so patience is the order of the day.

 

The Leica M8 has been a modern-day success-story to an extent which Leica could not even allow itself to dream of. In fact, I think the success of the M8 is great enough, in spite of its flaws, that many other camera manufacturers ought to sit up and take notice. There is something more going on here than loyal customers updating their camerabag contents. The "simplicity" of the M8 is based on exactly the same features as the "complex" original manual cameras, which spawned two or three decades of ever-increasing complexity in auto-everything cameras with so many settings that hardly anyone understood everything. The M8 reverses that trend almost completely, and I think we will see some copycats in the next few years, like perhaps Canon G, Ricoh GR, Sigma DP, and so on, cameras, with converging featuresets.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Well said Carsten. All I can say is they were caught with there pants down and were not even dreaming of this success and also of some of the issues surrounding it as you have mentioned. I agree it's tough to have patience in this new world, i am the worst at it but I do understand the heaven and hell there living in.

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Carsten, you don't have to preach to the converted, LOL I'm well aware of the joys and simplicity yet complexity of the M8.:)

 

My point is where has the planning gone, one does not only re order lens mounts when the last few are in the parts bin. It's clearly plain to see that increased demand from the 30% offer, existing low stock levels and strong normal consumer demand for both new lenses and mount replacement would put pressure in this area.

 

So what are we left with, the whole lens making devision grinds to a halt because there are no lens mounts, people are still sending in lenses for coding with 3 month wait rather than leica managing the situation and pre booking the lenses for a scheduled upgrade where demand can be planned for and offer a quick(ish) turn around rather than the lens sitting in the coded lens mount department for 3 months. I'd rather use my lens for the 3 months without coding then send it in for a code and have it back in 10-14 days.

 

As for firmware, manufacturing staff are not involved in this, Fritz the lens grinder does not take off his apron and retire to the office to debug firmware issues, well I hope not:D. Think of the DMR owners, 2 years now waiting for a promised firmware upgrade, and not a dicky bird.

 

As for filters, well Leica seemed surprised at the Users reaction to the IR but supposedly had the answer in a special filter which didn't exist at the time. Delivery was promised in Feb-March but then we learned only certain sizes. The rest would be along in May-June.

 

You can blame 3rd party suppliers and suggest Leica is at their mercy because of such small volumes, special requirements and so on. I'm just surprised at the time frames being quoted and the further we go down the road the longer these time frames are becoming.

Anyway I'm not going to solve any of leica's problems, I've enough of my own on a daily basis. I genuinely wish them well and hope they begin to see some light at the end of the dark tunnel. Meanwhile I'll just sit patiently in line like the rest of you, wait my turn and continue to enjoy my photography. However it won't stop me wondering why we find ourselves in this situation. :rolleyes:

 

Peace everyone!.

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......... They spent decades slowly cutting back and letting people go, and even used up and didn't replace their glass warehouse stocks, due to dwindling sales and the Hermes attitude towards accessorising............

 

It is my understanding that they also outsourced the manufacture of many "components" and are now having serious difficulty managing and re-negotiating these contracts as demand has masively increased in the short term and seems set to significantly increase in the medium to long term. I have no idea if this includes the mounts but it would not surprise me. For Leica to start to manufacture these parts again requires a massive lead time, guess >12 months, to acquire and incept the specialist equipment and to train the operators - not really an option.

 

Those of us who bought the very first M8s knew, if we are honest, that we were part of an ongoing adventure. It's turned out rather well overall but has not taken a predicted, or even predictable, path. The adventure continues. Who could have predicted, least of all me, that I would end up buying three new lenses on top of the ones I already own plus all those IR filters. I'm sure this pattern is being repeated many hundreds, if not thousands, of times. All this brings problems, (In consultant speak "opportunities".), and we will be part of their resolution - stick with it.

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You can blame 3rd party suppliers and suggest Leica is at their mercy because of such small volumes, special requirements and so on. I'm just surprised at the time frames being quoted and the further we go down the road the longer these time frames are becoming.

Peace everyone!.

 

In my own business experience, there is often a penny item that keeps you (or your supplier) from building a multi thoughsand dollar/pound item, and that penny item suddenly goes from a 4 week lead time to a 32 week lead time with no notice. It happens. You had all the plans in place, things were working fine, but now you are going to be 28 weeks without parts. What can you do?

 

A few years back we had flash memories on order on a 16 week lead time. On week 16 the supplier came back and said sorry your order has to be cancelled, and you have to re-order. The new lead time is 52 weeks!!!!! So, critical parts we had ordered in plenty of time and expected to come in next week were now a year away. Can you imagine what that does to a manufacturing business? That was the biggest scramble ever, and of course we were not the only ones scrammbling for these parts on the grey market. Prices shot through the roof and we had to swallow it. It actually caused an emergency redesign of several products which still took 12 weeks to bring to production.

 

Anyway, all I am saying is it's often not just a case of turning a tap on and catching the water. Many things have longer lead times that most people realise, especially when you get in to high enough volumes (which on custom parts may be as few as a hundred).

 

It's very easy to get swamped with orders, and have unhappy customers. Some people think it's a good problem to have, but others know the truth. It's always much easier to look in from the outside and criticise than to be the one fixing it.

 

I have learned enough about this over the last few years, and succesive problems that I now don't allow myselft to get wound up about other people having the problem. I will just continue shooting 'as is' for now, and when they figure it all out, I will send my stuff in.

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Yes, this would be the perfect opportunity.

 

They could solve the hardware problem with a firmware fix.

 

I also think it would be a great idea to release that feature in firmware now and I've argued for that with them many times over.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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SOAB !!!! I just sent my precious 24 and 28 along with a back-focusing 50/1.4 ASPH to be coded. Now I'm without any wides to shoot all these X#>@* weddings ! AND not a word about the discounted 16-21 I ordered a lifetime ago.

 

Leica is fast becoming an "amateur" camera company.

 

Hi Marc,

 

If you'd like, consider buying a 28/1.9 Ultron and 50/1.5 Nokton (with Millich adapters) to use in the meantime. You can sell them when your lenses come back.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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