Jump to content

M10 ‘non Leica’ battery


Recommended Posts

Unfortunately Steve, there are no alternative batteries SCL-5 available for the M10.   This question has been asked a few times.   We are at the mercy of Leica. I collected a few previously used,  via Ebay U.K..  😖

Edited by lucerne
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, lucerne said:

Unfortunately Steve, there are no alternative batteries SCL-5 available for the M10.   This question has been asked a few times.   We are at the mercy of Leica. I collected a few previously used,  via Ebay U.K..  😖

Thanks, this supports my own research. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, jaapv said:

A $ 6800 camera? Those batteries are cheap! :lol:

Hi jaap, whilst I appreciate that Leica is a premium brand and that they will/can command a high price for their accessories, their batteries are not as you say ‘cheap’. They are not hand built in Wetzlar, they will be produced for them by a specialist battery manufacturer who probably also makes batteries for other ‘prime’ brands as well as generic brands. Nikon, Canon, Sony branded batteries typically retail for 50% less than the Leica battery. I own a CL which uses a design shared by Panasonic models and I was able to buy non-branded equivalents for much less than the Leica/Panasonic battery and they perform exactly the same.  Using a battery which is shared by other equipment enables higher volumes to be produced and brings economies of scale.  I guess as the battery design is M10 specific and that Leica decides not to licence other manufacturers to produce an equivalent in order to protect their margins, then that’s the most likely reason they are the price they are.   So in summary, price representative of Leica, but in the context of the market, not cheap.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Proceed with a non-Leica battery at you own risk. A risk not worth taking IMHO, and you will find tales of woe from using third party batteries.

Premium products across the board seem to carry the premium prices into spares and servicing, it is a upfront choice.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, stevegaskin said:

Hi jaap, whilst I appreciate that Leica is a premium brand and that they will/can command a high price for their accessories, their batteries are not as you say ‘cheap’. They are not hand built in Wetzlar, they will be produced for them by a specialist battery manufacturer who probably also makes batteries for other ‘prime’ brands as well as generic brands. Nikon, Canon, Sony branded batteries typically retail for 50% less than the Leica battery. I own a CL which uses a design shared by Panasonic models and I was able to buy non-branded equivalents for much less than the Leica/Panasonic battery and they perform exactly the same.  Using a battery which is shared by other equipment enables higher volumes to be produced and brings economies of scale.  I guess as the battery design is M10 specific and that Leica decides not to licence other manufacturers to produce an equivalent in order to protect their margins, then that’s the most likely reason they are the price they are.   So in summary, price representative of Leica, but in the context of the market, not cheap.

They are. My 2006 M8 still work. No other batteries from that time do. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

For comparison's sake, a basic Lithium Polymer battery pack with (roughly) the same capacity as the BP-SCL5 can be had for $25 USD. That's in single unit quantity, and about 15% of the retail price of Leica's official product.

The battery chemistry is probably comparable. Lithium Ion batteries have been around a long time and there's not that much magic. So if you could source the correctly sized cells (two lithium ion cells in series to produce 7.4V), you could theoretically build a BP-SCL5 replacement. In addition to the storage cells, there's also a bit of electronics inside the battery to 1) make sure it doesn't get too hot, 2) prevent a dead short from happening, 3) prevent the battery from being discharged too much, 4) to communicate with the camera and/or charger. #1, 2#, and #3 are commodities and probably cost a few cents (USD) in Asia. #4 is "special sauce" that might it harder to copy the design.

Along with #4 is the mechanical design of the battery enclosure and contacts. It's just plastic, but fit and finish are important and any aftermarket design would need tight enough tolerances.

I used aftermarket batteries in my M8 for years and they mostly worked fine. However, they didn't charge reliably on the Leica charger and I think the cell voltage was not the same as the OEM batteries. The clone manufacturer probably had access to cells with a slightly different (and cheaper) voltage/chemistry and just used that. The aftermarket M8 batteries tended to puff up over the years to the point where they wouldn't slide in and out of the camera any more. They weren't perfect, but at 1/5th the cost of Leica batteries, they were a good value.

I suspect that there are (or will be) enough M10s in the world that the aftermarket battery people will get involved eventually. I'd buy a $50 BP-SCL5 clone (assuming it actually worked) in a heartbeat.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find Leica's pricing policy on accessories ridiculous.  Having owned 2 M8s, an M9 and 2 M10s, I've felt the brunt of the battery scam personally.  I use 3rd party batteries in the M9 and they work perfectly, and charge fine on my Leica chargers.  There is no "risk" at all.  Risk of what?  Holding on to an extra $150 when you only have to pay $25 for the same battery every other manufacturer charges $25 for.

I understand that building lenses by hand in Germany to high tolerances is expensive, and I have no problem paying for that, and in fact own 4 or 5 recent lenses purchased new.  But charging $175 for a battery that probably costs them $10 is customer abuse IMO.

I was going to buy an SL2 system as well, and put my name on the list at 3 different dealers.  But while I was waiting, I checked the price for a vertical grip.  $1000 - which is twice as much as the most expensive grip on the planet for any other camera system.  Canon grips with equal functionality sell for $200-300.  So I decided that while I was willing to pay $600 for a body, and spend probably another 10-15k for lenses, there was no way in hell I will pay $1000 for a vertical grip.  

I just don't think it's good business to make your customers feel like they are being taken advantage of, and the price of those batteries and that grip certainly leave me feeling foolish to have participated in their game....

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/3/2019 at 6:32 AM, mikelevitt said:

But charging $175 for a battery that probably costs them $10 is customer abuse IMO.

It is the price to pay to own a Leica M. It it feels too expensive other non Leica or even Leica cameras (CL, PanaLeicas etc.) can use third party batteries with no problem at all. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

To which I can only say: I have three (out of four) Leica M8 batteries dating back to 2006.  They still function well, all other brand batteries from that time have died by now.

Having said that, I only buy third-party batteries for my CL. However,  I suspect that one of them killed off my 18-56. Fortunately it was only a month old, so Leica replaced it on warranty. Since then I stick to Jupio, Panasonic and Leica.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The third-party batteries of my M8.2 are still alive but they must be totally discharged in the camera to avoid false charging readings. I wish Leica shows the same open mind with the M's as with the digital CL in that respect.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/3/2019 at 5:32 AM, mikelevitt said:

There is no "risk" at all.  Risk of what?

I recommend searching the web about problems when Li-Ion batteries are overcharged and burst into inextinguishable flames or explode.  (For example, Li-Ion batteries grounded the Dreamliner aircraft for some time and there are heavy restrictions on taking Li-Ion aboard aircraft or air-freighting them in many countries.)

The crucial part of a Li-Ion battery is the charging management circuit that tells the charger when the battery is full and when to stop charging.  The risk with 3rd party batteries is that the designers or manufacturers might not be sufficiently technically skilled - or might simply cut corners to save a little money - to make sure the proper safety circuits are installed and operating; you have no way of knowing.

I'm not being alarmist (there's plenty of available evidence) and most 3rd party batteries are probably fine but you asked what risk there is, so there's one.

Pete.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, farnz said:

  The risk with [...] batteries is that the designers or manufacturers might not be sufficiently technically skilled - or might simply cut corners to save a little money ...

Oh, you mean like Profoto (a premium brand of flash equipment)? I.e., it's not just 3rd party manufacturers who screw up, OEMs ship bad products too.

Their battery pack design for the B2 flash discharges the cells past the minimum just sitting in the package. I've unwrapped unused B2 batteries still in the box that were dead as a door nail. There are numerous complaints about this on the interwebs. Inside the B2 packs are four standard 18650 cells manufactured by Samsung. The exact same cells are used in high current power tools.

A new B2 battery pack costs $245 USD and has $20 of actual batteries inside. There's a bunch of electronics in there too (and most likely that's were the discharge problem lives), but not $220 worth of electronics.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, andyturk said:

I've unwrapped unused B2 batteries still in the box that were dead as a door nail.

I recognise that we've gone a little off-topic but do you know whether the batteries were charged before shipping?  I have no knowledge of Profoto equipment but batteries can discharge slowly while sitting on the shelf, particularly if the temperature and humidity are unfavourable, so if you've been sent a long term shelf queen that hasn't had a freshen-up charge before shipping then it could arrive with its charge partly or completely depleted.

It also depends on the type of battery involved because some battery technologies survive while disconnected better than others.  Some batteries such as NiCad (nickel-cadmium) or NiMH (nickel metal-hydride) can become slightly reverse-biased when fully discharged, which means a tiny charge is set up that resists recharging.  Li-Ion batteries don't suffer from this.

I can't comment on the level of Profoto's skill of course.

Pete.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/3/2019 at 12:32 AM, mikelevitt said:

I find Leica's pricing policy on accessories ridiculous.  Having owned 2 M8s, an M9 and 2 M10s, I've felt the brunt of the battery scam personally.  I use 3rd party batteries in the M9 and they work perfectly, and charge fine on my Leica chargers.  There is no "risk" at all.  Risk of what?  Holding on to an extra $150 when you only have to pay $25 for the same battery every other manufacturer charges $25 for.

I understand that building lenses by hand in Germany to high tolerances is expensive, and I have no problem paying for that, and in fact own 4 or 5 recent lenses purchased new.  But charging $175 for a battery that probably costs them $10 is customer abuse IMO.

I was going to buy an SL2 system as well, and put my name on the list at 3 different dealers.  But while I was waiting, I checked the price for a vertical grip.  $1000 - which is twice as much as the most expensive grip on the planet for any other camera system.  Canon grips with equal functionality sell for $200-300.  So I decided that while I was willing to pay $600 for a body, and spend probably another 10-15k for lenses, there was no way in hell I will pay $1000 for a vertical grip.  

I just don't think it's good business to make your customers feel like they are being taken advantage of, and the price of those batteries and that grip certainly leave me feeling foolish to have participated in their game....

+1. This is why Q series are more attractive in this regard: They take Panasonic batteries. I only wish Leica to have more respect for manual focus users with Q...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
Posted (edited)

If I would buy an SL2-S tomorrow, I would undoubtedly need maybe three extra batteries. It's $750, a lot. If the same battery can last double or triple, perfect. I can pay that much. Then I think of my Nikon D5 battery ($150), which most of the time, I never change. I own two in total. It lasts enough for 4,200 (I think it's my record). The idea of using the D5 with one battery, and two cards by 128GB, makes me very happy. I don't worry at all, all day long, about cards and battery. Oh yeah!
So, Would I pay up to $500 for a spare battery like this for the SL2-S? Yes.
Happy to pay $250 for a battery that lasts less than 500? Or $200 for the M10? Not at all. But I know that OVF vs. EVF is making a massive difference in terms of % battery usage.

Edited by Dennis
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...