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swordmanc

Got my second M-A and it's a little different

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Actually it's the 4th brand new M-A I've touched so far. I noticed the latch on the bottom plate has changed its finish from chrome to black, and there's a WEEE symbol (no trashcan) sticker.

 

 

Like all previous 3 brand new M-As, this M-A also has some minor issues, e.g. its frame counter doesn't reset and gets stuck at "20". I have to hold the camera tight and push the top plate from back, to somehow release the tension inside and then it will reset.

 

 

Another thing I notice is the front facing viewfinder glass is now more embedded in the frame, rather than almost perfectly level to the frame in my previous M-A.

 

 

After a couple M-As, I am not expecting a perfect camera anymore. They all have some issues here and there. The first one has a loose lens mount, though I got it fixed by Leica later, it took months. Besides, its shutter release button is still not the smoothest.

The bottom plate of the second M-A has a lot of play and makes an annoying cracking sound when you hold the camera to change lens.

The third one has the same issue with the bottom plate, plus a big dust specs in the brand new view finder, and the frame counter doesn't reset. That's why I returned it and exchanged for the fourth one, which I think I will keep it despite the extra effort to reset the frame counter, and its release button is a bit tight.

I still like the M-A, its viewfinder is really bright and enjoyable, although I wish it can have a 0.9x version for 50mm lenses (without extra magnifier), and that's why I'm getting a second one. However, it's really not easy to get a great copy of it these days. The price of M-A even increased this year, but based on my experience so far, I really doubt it's living up to the price tag.

 

So just share my experience with you.

Edited by swordmanc

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Bought my M-A in 2017 (camera was manufactured in 2015) and everything is fine, and I use it quite often. The only one issue with it was "nipple" on back cover - it dropped off, but in Leica service they glued it back for free, though camera's guarantee already expired. This was the only issue with M-A, all other things work as expected, and no any glitches or misalignings, no any dust and no any film scratching.

Maybe, quality control standards changed since that time?

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I don't think it is being too fussy to expect the frame counter to properly reset without having to squeeze the camera in a particular way. Personally, I'd have it sent to Wetzlar to be sorted. In being fixed, the camera will get the proper attention of the technician there.

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A little disappointing to hear about all of the issues with recent batches of M-As.  Like @Antban I bought my M-A in 2017 and, dare I say it, it's been flawless.

I'd definitely send the camera back and have the frame counter repaired under warranty.  Or, if your dealer has another M-A that doesn't have the same issue, I'd request an exchange.

Edited by logan2z

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Agree it is a shame that these issues get through Leica QA. I always get a good CLA when I purchase a second hand M, it seems that one needs a good CLA for a new M as well! If Leica can fix the QA, and put in a 0.9 finder, then... better not go there!

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That’s a bummer, pretty unacceptable for something that should be mechanical perfection..

Have these all been purchased new from the same dealer? Any idea if they all belong to same or different batches?

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As another disappointed buyer I wonder if Leica its just passing around the cameras that get back from customers asking from exchanges without doing any additional work on them, the number of people coming here with issues looks to high to be just a QA issue.

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2 hours ago, dom said:

That’s a bummer, pretty unacceptable for something that should be mechanical perfection..

Have these all been purchased new from the same dealer? Any idea if they all belong to same or different batches?

 

The four M-As are from 3 different dealers, their production year are between 2019 and 2020. The last two are from the same recent batch.

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Sorry to hear about your issues. I'd definitely send anything back with such an obvious issue as an inoperable frame counter.

My M-A from 12/19 has been flawless, but as my first Leica of any sort I really don't have anything to compare it to. I can tell you that my VF window is just about perfectly flush with the body and it does not have the trashcan symbol on the bottom plate (just the standard 'CE').

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I wonder if these recent QC issues with film cameras is partly as a result of making the film M’s in batches rather than a regular production line camera. 

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3 hours ago, Prosophos said:

As someone who was considering getting an M-A, reading this has persuaded me to stick with Leica's 50+ year-old film bodies.

Thanks for the information.

―Peter.

Yes, M camera quality peaked in the mid 60’s.  No way would I spend three times the price of a mint serviced M3 for a lesser modern camera.

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vor 6 Stunden schrieb Prosophos:

Thanks for the information.

That's no information. It is just some rant.

Yes—there's some problems with quality control. I bought a Leica M-A in 2015, and I kept replacing it until the third one. The first had an issue with the film transport (today I wish I had it fixed rather than replaced). The second had an issue with the film frame window; one of the corners wasn't perfectly straight. And yet, I am so happy with my decision to buy an M-A (or Emma, as I prefer to call her). The third body is close to perfect—the frame counter won't advance beyond 38, but that's it. I absolutely love this camera. I contemplated buying an M3, or M2, or M4, or M4-P, or M6, or MP ... but today I couldn't be happier than with my current-production old-style Leica M-A. It's a singular camera. It is ... magic.

If you order one, order it via a dependable Leica dealer and be prepared for some drama. Return the camera if something is wrong. Repeat until satisfied. In the end, you will absolutely love the final result.

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This is ridiculous. What is this company doing really? I guess probably focusing on digital cameras. 

I can bet anything that Leica employees watch this forum. And if they don’t, stupid move. Please stop making film cameras if you’re not willing to do it right. WTF are we paying for? To wait for months after service? Disclaimer: I sent my camera to Wetzlar personally and it came back in 2 weeks (I live in Europe). This was about 2 months ago. Now I find my lens mount slightly loose. Not sure if normal, and not sure if it affects image quality. Probably not. I’m sick of worrying about this camera and discovering all kinds of issues about it, like my viewfinder having dust inside. I love using it, but it hurts to see things like this. 

I wish I could just take photos and ignore all of this. And I probably would if the camera costed 400€, not 8000€ (with lens)

Edited by gabrielaszalos

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vor 12 Minuten schrieb gabrielaszalos:
vor 32 Minuten schrieb 01af:

It's a singular camera. It is ... magic.

This is ridiculous. What is this company doing really? I guess probably focusing on digital cameras.

If you don't understand it then just shut up.

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Independent of cost, in my view, Leica Company doesn't earn much profit with film M (M-A/MP).

So when in 2014, I purchased two when Leica launched M-A, it was (for me) kind of miracle, time to replace my old stuffs MP/M4.

If Leica stops making M-A/MP *, I don't blame them, and I don't need more for the remaining of my living.

As company, Leica must do profit to last, I understand that making film Leica these days (selling a couple of them per year ! ) is a couragous choice.

 

Some people sees MP/M-A as costy jewels, others just use them as tools to do what they want with film cameras.

funny read here

 

* price would rise, but I don't care, I'd not sell them even at twice or triple price of what I paid for them

Edited by a.noctilux

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18 hours ago, 01af said:

That's no information. It is just some rant.

Yes—there's some problems with quality control. I bought a Leica M-A in 2015, and I kept replacing it until the third one. The first had an issue with the film transport (today I wish I had it fixed rather than replaced). The second had an issue with the film frame window; one of the corners wasn't perfectly straight. And yet, I am so happy with my decision to buy an M-A (or Emma, as I prefer to call her). The third body is close to perfect—the frame counter won't advance beyond 38, but that's it. I absolutely love this camera. I contemplated buying an M3, or M2, or M4, or M4-P, or M6, or MP ... but today I couldn't be happier than with my current-production old-style Leica M-A. It's a singular camera. It is ... magic.

If you order one, order it via a dependable Leica dealer and be prepared for some drama. Return the camera if something is wrong. Repeat until satisfied. In the end, you will absolutely love the final result.

A person sharing his experiences in a calm and sincere manner is characterized as engaging in a "rant"?  I'm puzzled by that conclusion.  If anything, I'm impressed by his restrained commentary, despite a series of obviously negative experiences.

17 hours ago, 01af said:

If you don't understand it then just shut up.

That response is just as puzzling, and quite a bit rude.

―Peter.

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