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Iron Flatline

My M8 is all out of whack...

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Guest tummydoc

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I can't beleive Leica could continue to sell cameras at the clip they have if 'most' buyers or even a large minority of buyers had the problems some have described here.

 

Why not? How many M8 owners participate on these internet forums? Maybe a couple hundred? Let's get ridiculous and say there are ten times more M8 owners who "lurk" and to get even more ridiculous, let's say they've not chimed in only because none of them have had a problem. That still only accounts for just 2200 M8 owners out of 15,000! So there are 12,000+ out there who never read a forum thread or spoke about the M8 with anyone other than a sales clerk. Very easy to see how so many people could buy a product blissfully unaware of problems, and very easy to see even if a large proportion of them experienced problems, that neither we nor other off-line potential buyers would know about it.

 

 

I certainly would not have stuck with the system (I have not had any problems) and I am pretty sure most are like me, pretty intolerant of equipment that can not be depended on.

 

Another faulty assumption as concerns the M8. A number of people have indeed reported on the forums that they have gone through several M8s before landing a keeper. The M8 is unique, not only in that Leica fans tend to be tolerant to a fault when it comes to anything with the red dot even if they aren't tolerant of other defective purchases, but also in that unlike a dSLR, there isn't any other comparable camera out there. If you've got a spate of M lenses and a hankering for a digital M rangefinder, you either commit to the M8 or hunt down an Epson and deal with its defects whilst accepting 60% of the resolution and abominable after-sale support.

 

Lest I give the impression I am minimizing the problems and failure that have been related on this forum I am not. Those who have put up with the headaches and are still here. You are more patient and better then I.

 

In the case of the M8, patience is indeed a virtue

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Why not? How many M8 owners participate on these internet forums? Maybe a couple hundred?

 

 

a hankering for a digital M rangefinder, you either commit to the M8 or hunt down an Epson and deal with its defects whilst accepting 60% of the resolution and abominable after-sale support.

 

It doesn't matter how many people participate in this forum, products that don't work, don't sell. If the M8 was such a lemon it would fail. Leica forum participants would probably be the most committed to the brand. The average photographer who plunks down his/her hard earned dough and gets burned goes elsewhere. Problems at introduction and for early adopters are one thing but once you get past the initial shakedown it just wouldn't fly.

 

I waited a long time to get back to a rangefinder and a more traditional UI and if I had to wait a little longer I'd just keep shooting a DSLR. I'd bet there are lots like me who hadn't used a Leica in years and were brought back by the M8. However I survived without a Leica for years and if the M8 was a headache I could survive without it again.

 

The fact that sales did not take a nose dive after the initial orders were filled and that the market is not flooded with used M8's leads me to believe a lot have had the same experience I have. That is to say, all good -no problems.

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Hope you get yours back soon!

 

I haven't had a lick of trouble with my M8, but 3-out-of-4 CV lenses I bought had focusing issues. I sent one back, it 'supposedly' went back to the factory for complete adjustment (confirmed problem by the dealer!), but I had to call the shop after 9 weeks to "remind" them, and the lens they sent back to me had the EXACT SAME back focus issues (40mm Nokton- I strongly suspect this to have been my original lens!), but was packaged "as new" in the wrong foam, in a plastic bag that showed lots of wear, dusty...

And now I have a dealer I can't trust.

And a lens that takes a piece of electrical tape to make it go.

 

At least they are helping you out. Not everyone in our little niche is decent about things.

For some it's not just about the money, it seems, but about making a point somehow.

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Guest tummydoc
It doesn't matter how many people participate in this forum, products that don't work, don't sell. If the M8 was such a lemon it would fail. Leica forum participants would probably be the most committed to the brand. The average photographer who plunks down his/her hard earned dough and gets burned goes elsewhere.

 

You obviously have no inkling about the Leica market. There are thousands of wealthy older gentlemen who buy every item Leica produces as it comes to market. That has been Leica's mainstay market for new equipment for many years. Very few "average photographers" pay for new Leica products (putting aside the re-labelled Panasonics). Also the lion's share of M8s have probably seen very little use. Forum participants who've bought an M8 (or two or three) tend to be prolific shooters, hastening the time to failure if such is to be. Many M8s "out there" may not fail for a year or more, or ever...not due to lack of the phantom transistor of death, but due to lack of use. But I believe that the later M8s are probably much more reliable than the earlier ones, so the failure numbers should have been decreasing steadily, and the M8 is probably on solid ground at this point.

 

The fact that sales did not take a nose dive after the initial orders were filled and that the market is not flooded with used M8's leads me to believe a lot have had the same experience I have. That is to say, all good -no problems.

 

Again, that's a safe conclusion with any other brand, but Leica has an eccentric market, the sensible gentlemen on this forum excepted

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You obviously have no inkling about the Leica market. There are thousands of wealthy older gentlemen who buy every item Leica produces as it comes to market. That has been Leica's mainstay market for new equipment for many years. Very few "average photographers" pay for new Leica products (putting aside the re-labelled Panasonics).

 

I have no idea about the actual demographics of M8 buyers (not buyers of limited edition film cameras) but is this just you speculating or do you have solid information on which to base those statements? I know everyone likes to repeat the cliche of all of Leica's customers being a bunch of rich doctors/dentists/accountants (no offense meant to any of these honorable professions) but I think especially when it comes to the M8 it may be an exaggeration and the amateur owners of Nikon D3's and Canon 1 Ds III are drawn from the same demographic yet no one assumes that purchasing a 1Ds III which is quite a bit more expensive then an M8 is done for any reason other then to take pictures. So the digital leica market may not be that much different from any other $5,000 camera market - a small percentage of pros and a lot of amateurs with relatively high net worth or a real dedication to their hobby.

 

I was referring to the average photographer in the market for top of the line $3500 to $7500 cameras not the whole photographic market.

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I don't think Iron is a pro, not a photographer anyway

Good Lord, no - I'm not a pro. I wouldn't be able to afford my lifestyle if I was a photographer. I studied to be one in NY, and even finished my education, but I prefer being a suit guy. I do shoot on a pro-bono basis, and I take that work seriously.

The offer stands, and towards the end of the month I will be around and have no plans. Let me know if the need arises.

Well.... I have to admit something really embarrassing (haven't told the wife yet) - I've had my eye on an Epson R-D1 for a while, as a quasi back-up. I just called the guy and made an offer..

 

I know, I know....

 

But hey, maybe we can shooting together. IF it ever stops raining long enough! Today is beautiful though. Wish us luck for the weekend!

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Hehe... I asked the Leica store guys if the company would adjust and calibrate my CV lenses as well, or if I could order and then camera-match-calibrate one of the new Summarits right now... no dice.

 

But hey, I'm getting my lenses coded while they're back at the mothershop.

 

Iron,

 

I will be in Berlin next week. Can you tell me where the Leica shop is? Also, do they code lenses there or send them to Solms? What services do they offer that I might take advantage of while there? The nearest Leica dealer to me is 4 hours away and if I could get some adjustments, calibrations done while in Berlin that would be great. Thanks.

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Leica Store Berlin

They're not owned-and-operated by Leica, but they have an exclusive deal with them. Lens work, etc goes out to Solms like any other dealer, don't know about older gear.

 

They are QUITE skilled at selling you cool older lenses that you don't really NEED, but really really WANT.

 

It's a dangerous place, I tell ya'....

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BUMMER.

 

Epson gone - must wait for my M8 to return....

 

Canon 5D giving me shoulder damage at my rotator cuff - and subjects are startled by the loud camera...

 

...but auto-focus is a pleasure for a change. </blasphemy>

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Guest tummydoc
is this just you speculating or do you have solid information on which to base those statements?.

 

Serious Leica collector here, participant in numerous auctions (not the e-Bay type either

), have met a lot of mega-collectors. Most of the boutique dealers in the US have a number of those customers, however the largest portion seem to have been from Japan ( though that's slacked off quite a bit until the M8).

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Serious Leica collector here, participant in numerous auctions (not the e-Bay type either ), have met a lot of mega-collectors. Most of the boutique dealers in the US have a number of those customers, however the largest portion seem to have been from Japan ( though that's slacked off quite a bit until the M8).

 

I am sure the big ticket collectors as a group have much more impact on Leica revenues then on other camera companies but I doubt very much that they are driving M8 sales. Digital cameras are not really collectibles they will be junk in a few years while your M3 will be still as functional as the day it was made. Leica's moves in lens manufacture in and digital seem to be destined to produce products that will be less attractive to those looking for rare and exclusive hand-made products.

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I know for a fact that a windfall (umm like $1350 for a 35 lux asph for example) I got on some used leica M lenses a few years back from my local dealer were all trade ins from a local doctor who the dealer said changed high end systems like they were suits, and couoldn't care less about the trade-in value. Honestly, I know of no working pros who would buy new really high end R (even some M) lenses. My dealer said this doctor would though, and then he'd have to suffer through the doctor coming back and showing him boring pics of his yacht taken with a $10k (or whatever) R 15mm. One of the reason most pros shoot Canon or Nikon is because one can rent lenses, extra bodies, etc in most metro cities. Need a 400mm 2.8 for a day? It's yours for $35, not $5K. Same can't be said for Leica, so it's the truly wealthy that's buying this stuff. And these days, the photogs that are making bank are spending their cash on MF digital backs, prophoto lighting gear, etc for the most part, not esoteric $10K Leica lenses.

 

I think pre-M8 there were a lot of wealthy amateurs that bought into the Leica M mystique and then were like what the hell! when it came to actually making pictures with the gear. So the cameras/lenses eithe sat on the shelf or were sold/traded for something easire to use. Of course, with the M8 the rangefinder photographic process has been made a whole lot easier with access to instant feedback, and it's been a success, bringing in both wealthy amatuers and pros who'd moved on and are now coming back. That's one of the reasons it's so impossible to find used lenses right now! I'm glad I got all mine a few years back, at what seem now bargain basement prices.

 

So Leica need to concentrate on that middle ground. For example I personally would love a WATE, but that's nearly 10 months rent on my photo studio! So I'll be picking up the Zeiss 18mm when it comes out instead. Yes, the WATE is probably a better lens, but once the picture hits the magazine page and the ink has dried, will it really be almost $4k better? I doubt it.....I'd rather spend that money moving about in the world actually taking pictures.

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Guest tummydoc
I am sure the big ticket collectors as a group have much more impact on Leica revenues then on other camera companies but I doubt very much that they are driving M8 sales. Digital cameras are not really collectibles they will be junk in a few years while your M3 will be still as functional as the day it was made. Leica's moves in lens manufacture in and digital seem to be destined to produce products that will be less attractive to those looking for rare and exclusive hand-made products.

 

As much sense as your assessment makes in the world at large, in the microcosmic world of Leicas, you are wrong. Aside from true collectors, there is an even larger segment of Leica's market, that being middle-aged and older gentlemen with huge sums of disposable income who fancy themselves ecclectic, indulging themselves with the most-expensive of any marque of consummer goods (does anyone think Leica presented the Sultan of Brunei with a one-off platinum R6 because he never bought any Leica equipment previously?

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As much sense as your assessment makes in the world at large, in the microcosmic world of Leicas, you are wrong. Aside from true collectors, there is an even larger segment of Leica's market, that being middle-aged and older gentlemen with huge sums of disposable income who fancy themselves ecclectic, indulging themselves with the most-expensive of any marque of consummer goods (does anyone think Leica presented the Sultan of Brunei with a one-off platinum R6 because he never bought any Leica equipment previously?

 

Do you have a source for this claim, or somewhere one can read this?

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Guest guy_mancuso

Geez i am not wealthy, healthy or wise. I am not a doctor, dentist or lawyer. I don't own stock or trade gold and silver. My oil well never spouted and my inhertence is not to be. My banker laughs at me and my wife certainly prays for me but having loads of money is not meant to be because I own leica which has drained me. My kids soak me dry my car never drives and this poem is making me cry. What i am is a silly pro that loves the look of the pixels that grow on me.

 

ROTFLMAO

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Guest tummydoc
Do you have a source for this claim, or somewhere one can read this?

 

Which claim, Carsten?

 

That Leica's market includes a large percentage of collectors and other wealthy individuals, primarily older men? Look at the rank and file of the three Leica Historica groups, US, UK and German. Most are retired men of means aged 60 and above. Depending on the individual and your relationship with them, a Leica stockist might be candid about the demographics of his customer base, as several have been with me over the years. Christie's no longer has camera auctions, but if you've ever been to theirs, Sotheby's, Westlicht, or even Tamarkin's, what you see are wealthy retired older gents (and I'm not talking about pensioners endorsing over their social security checks

), and Asian businessmen in their forties/fifties with some astonishing resumes. Beyond that, there's common sense that Leica couldn't possibly sell as much as they do at the prices they charge if they depended on the majority of their customers having to go in-to debt to afford them, although that would make a wonderful addition to the mythology.

 

Or that collectors are the brunt of sarcastic flaming on internet forums? For that, just google leica rich collectors

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Yes, that claim. I know that some older gents and ladies own Leica cameras, but I don't see any evidence that they dominate anywhere but in auctions. I was asking you to substantiate your claim, yes.

 

C

 

 

Which claim, Carsten?

 

That Leica's market includes a large percentage of collectors and other wealthy individuals, primarily older men? Look at the rank and file of the three Leica Historica groups, US, UK and German. Most are retired men of means aged 60 and above. Depending on the individual and your relationship with them, a Leica stockist might be candid about the demographics of his customer base, as several have been with me over the years. Christie's no longer has camera auctions, but if you've ever been to theirs, Sotheby's, Westlicht, or even Tamarkin's, what you see are wealthy retired older gents (and I'm not talking about pensioners endorsing over their social security checks

), and Asian businessmen in their forties/fifties with some astonishing resumes. Beyond that, there's common sense that Leica couldn't possibly sell as much as they do at the prices they charge if they depended on the majority of their customers having to go in-to debt to afford them, although that would make a wonderful addition to the mythology.

 

Or that collectors are the brunt of sarcastic flaming on internet forums? For that, just google leica rich collectors

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Digital cameras are not really collectibles they will be junk in a few years .

 

i hear this a lot. i know of Kodak 760's, Nikon D1x's and Fuji S1's (all about 2001) that are actively being used, with no problems. I've been using a Betterlight scanning back since 2001, and it works as well as the day i bought it. I have a Canon 1dsmk2, and see no reason to upgrade it to anything.. it exceeds most medium format film, and is built like a tank. My M8 is an excellent camera, and if an M9 comes out with better IR filtering, i'll probably stick with the M8 (i like the IR response of this camera)

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Guest tummydoc
Yes, that claim. I know that some older gents and ladies own Leica cameras, but I don't see any evidence that they dominate anywhere but in auctions.

 

Where else do you gather your statistics? If it's internet forums, you've got a skewed perception because a younger demographic dominates on the internet...although on Leica forums despite the odd outliers, the majority are over 40 (which, at not quite 42 admittedly might bias my definition of "older"

If you look at the Leica clubs, their membership is primarily age 60+. Those are verifiable facts. Will that change? I certainly hope so, and Leica has to be banking on it because otherwise their customer base will erode from under them. However to do that Leica is going to have to make some concessions to modern technology that will send some of the old guard into a vein-popping rage.

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i hear this a lot. i know of Kodak 760's, Nikon D1x's and Fuji S1's (all about 2001) that are actively being used, with no problems. I've been using a Betterlight scanning back since 2001, and it works as well as the day i bought it. I have a Canon 1dsmk2, and see no reason to upgrade it to anything.. it exceeds most medium format film, and is built like a tank. My M8 is an excellent camera, and if an M9 comes out with better IR filtering, i'll probably stick with the M8 (i like the IR response of this camera)

 

Jim I was thinking more like 20 years from now. When I used film a lot of my cameras were 20 or 30 years old. A lot of photographers bought a Hassy/Leica/Nikon at the start of their career and where using the same equipment when they retired. I still keep Mac system 9 installed on one disk on a Mac to run the software for my 7 year old Scitex Jazz scanner but the OS and software are no longer supported and it's a pain have to keep a legacy rig running for one device.

 

I'm always hearing a certain sort of Leica user talking about passing their MP down to their children as if it was a Swiss watch. While you don't have to upgrade with every new digicam introduced it's not likely you will be passing your M8 down to the kids.

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