Jump to content

Totally feeling sad and heart broken. Bye Leica...


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

TLDR; Leica cameras are not meant to be used professionally. They just can't keep up in product quality and customer service. 

I am a full time wedding photographer for the past 8 years. Have been shooting Leica since 2012 (Got my first M-240) and it was love at first sight. I invested in premium glass and gradually built up a nice small kit for personal photography. In late 2019 I moved from my Sony/Canon kits to the SL2 and later the SL2S with the Summicron SL 35/7/50 combo for my professional work. I was in love with the kit. Genuinely nothing else would come close. 

Then recently the entire Leica system started falling apart. I thought cameras break and can be fixed. right? Well, with Leica, they can be fixed but Leica does not care about when. 

First the SL2 started giving System Errors. It won't turn on to the main menu. The shutter was stuck. After much back and forth I sent in for repairs. After more than 3 weeks, I hear it might take more than 3-4 weeks further even though its been repaired in the USA. It could be even later as they are moving. So might be another 2 months. This is unacceptable. As a professional, I cannot have a spare $7k camera at all times. And no, they do not have spares or loaners. 

Then the SL2S started acting up. SD card error with every brand. Camera freezes on continuous shoot. Extreme shutter lag. Needed repairs again. Same long patient wait for repairs and absolutely no update from them. I did update the latest firmwares to try found a solution. 

I do take care of my cameras like a baby. Even after years of use they are in mint condition. Never dropped or nicked them. The issues are just mechanical and quality control failures. 

Well, I thought I will wait and rent 2 Sony's while I wait since both my cameras are out of commission. 

I rented a Sony and a SL2S but now the SL75 has started acting up a bit. 

Furthermore, I have been a manual shooter most of my carrier and bells and whistles don't matter. Having shot more than 300 weddings solely on manual focus lenses, I don't care much about fancy options on my camera. The leaner the better. That's why I loved my Leica. 

Not any more. Sold my lenses yesterday and will sell my cameras in a bit (when I get them back). Since the prime Wedding season is here, I had to buy an entire new Sony kit which costed thousands I had not planned. Fortunately the Sony A1 has a great color profile, so I do not miss my Leica that much. 

But I am sad to let me beloved kit go. 

I sincerely did not expect such an expensive investment to be so worthless. After all, Leica was known for customer support and quality. I will stick with their manual glass on my Sony. But sadly their SL camera bodies are just overpriced crap. Can't say that about the M line as I haven't used them professionally. 

Well, rant over. Just wanted to share my experience.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 120
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

abphoto

Sorry to hear you are leaving Leica. I am a full time pro and shoot with only Leica M digitals. I have 2 M 10s and an M 10 Mono. Moved form Canon in 2015 with absolutely no regrets. Loved it when Canon had a CPS service center here in the Chicago area, Itasca. It was there until the 1980s and then they brought it back in the 2000s and it is now closed again. It is a great service and do wish Leica had something similar. I would drop cameras or lenses off, get loaners and pick the repaired c

LocalHero1953

This is perhaps the third or fourth user posting here who has had problems with the SL2 or SL2-S. That is a very long way from concluding that the camera is substandard across the board. I also wonder how much we would be discussing the quality of the camera if the users had not had a typically frustrating experience (common to many many more of us here) of getting cameras and lenses fixed in a timely manner. If Leica had been able to offer quick responses and repairs I doubt we would be discuss

PBart

I hear you. I've been on the fence for years about my decision to exclusively use Leica professionally. I've had 9 repairs go back to Germany over the past 10 years. Each time this involved a lot of complaining on my end to get things moving faster. Most repairs were with the S-System and I eventually sold that system. It's was awful and I lost confidence in it. The SL System has been much better but had 2 lens repairs for minor things like tight focus ring or weir noises happening. If Leic

Posted Images

Sorry to hear you've had those problems.  I know the feeling.  Before moving to Leica, I used Hasselblad gear and when it took them almost a year to repair a lens, that was it.  They actually ended up replacing it because they damaged my lens in the repair process.  

I was looking at a Sony A1 before getting the Q2.  I thought the A1 was geared a lot towards video and that I'd be paying for something I'd never use.  Q2 was more practical as a travel camera and is a nice compliment to my M system.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I feel bad but I’ll get over it. For what it’s worth, for weddings, I probably won’t use anything else than the A1 and successors. The AF is freaking unbelievable. I pick up the camera and there’s already a person locked on. I was able to capture some moments in my last 2 weddings which were not possible with my Leica. Plus my Sony battery gives me over 1500 shots with continuous AF all day. I did a 10 hour wedding with just 2 batteries. 
 

There was always this mental anxiety with the Leica and the couple walking in to the reception in backlit situations. I always missed 80% of the shots due to the auto focus not working. Still managed to get useable shots every time. The Sony nails 100% of the shots and doesn’t even hunt. 
 

my love for Leica is still gonna be an ongoing pain. Lol. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Darthaddie said:

IAs a professional, I cannot have a spare $7k camera at all times

I learned the hard way that that's what you should have if the mission is critical. I'm talking here film stuff. We always rent a second body to avoid a situation you don't want to be in. 

Leica is not Canon nor Sony, or Nikon. It's a little, independent European company that can't be compared to the big Japanese Three for the better or worse. They have a professional programme for repair and loaners, but that's limited to the S cameras, AFAIK. Or you have to build a relationship beyond receipts.

I'm sure Sony et al. are more suited for your work. That's what 98% of professionals use anyway for a reason. The biggest reason for not using Leica besides AF for an event or journalistic assignments is the punishing return on investment, and the client's expectations, who tend not to care about the little extra Leica provides for the aficionado.

In fashion, lifestyle and other genres, that can be quite different. I imagine that wedding photography can somewhat overlap with lifestyle photography, and thus Leica makes sense. But that might depend very much on the clientele.

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Darthaddie said:

Having shot more than 300 weddings solely on manual focus lenses, I don't care much about fancy options on my camera. The leaner the better. That's why I loved my Leica. 

so which leica cameras were you using with manual focus lenses?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

5 hours ago, Darthaddie said:

After all, Leica was known for customer support and quality

Sorry to hear about your experience, which is clearly not satisfactory.

But Leica is notorious/infamous for how long it takes to repair things. This has been the subject of numerous rants and threads n the forum. All camera companies like to advertise themselves as suited to professionals. Most of them, including Leica, only do that to tickle the interest of their target market, which is amateurs. Yes, professionals use Leicas - but not many.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Darthaddie said:

Fortunately the Sony A1 has a great color profile, so I do not miss my Leica that much. 

 

 

I'm just a hobbyist and don't use the SL system (too big), but my experiences with Leica USA when I needed repairs have ranged from not-very-good to absolutely *TERRIBLE* - I could not imagine relying on them if I needed my gear for work. 

My experience with Leica USA p*ssed me off so much though that I would have switched to Sony IF I could have gotten the colors to work! But I'm just a hobbyist and I can't, at least not with the a7c. 

So if you have any Sony color tips, having just made the change, I'd love to hear them!

Edited by gotium
Link to post
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, gotium said:

I'm just a hobbyist and don't use the SL system (too big), but my experiences with Leica USA when I needed repairs have ranged from not-very-good to absolutely *TERRIBLE* - I could not imagine relying them if I needed my gear for work. 

My experience with Leica USA p*ssed me off so much though that I would have switched to Sony IF I could have gotten the colors to work! But I'm just a hobbyist and I can't, at least not with the a7c. 

So if you have any Sony color tips, having just made the change, I'd love to hear them!

https://www.cobalt-image.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, gotium said:

Thanks, in fact I am using those. With Leica, Ricoh and Panasonic S5 files I can get where I want with a few seconds of sliding. With the a7c, often never. 

The cobalt color profiles are what comes closest to the Leica for me on my A1 RAW's. I also got their Fuji profiles and am really happy with those. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

Sorry to hear about your experience, which is clearly not satisfactory.

But Leica is notorious/infamous for how long it takes to repair things. This has been the subject of numerous rants and threads n the forum. All camera companies like to advertise themselves as suited to professionals. Most of them, including Leica, only do that to tickle the interest of their target market, which is amateurs. Yes, professionals use Leicas - but not many.

I totally get it now. I am pretty much sure that the SL line of cameras and great outside but substandard inside. Both the Leica SL2 and SL2S exhibited similar issues around the same lifespan. It was not the shutter count or the shutter itself. It was faulty mechanics. So if you work involves taking photos in studio and controlled environments they might be fine but at weddings they totally failed on me. Lesson learnt 

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, hansvons said:

I learned the hard way that that's what you should have if the mission is critical. I'm talking here film stuff. We always rent a second body to avoid a situation you don't want to be in. 

Leica is not Canon nor Sony, or Nikon. It's a little, independent European company that can't be compared to the big Japanese Three for the better or worse. They have a professional programme for repair and loaners, but that's limited to the S cameras, AFAIK. Or you have to build a relationship beyond receipts.

I'm sure Sony et al. are more suited for your work. That's what 98% of professionals use anyway for a reason. The biggest reason for not using Leica besides AF for an event or journalistic assignments is the punishing return on investment, and the client's expectations, who tend not to care about the little extra Leica provides for the aficionado.

In fashion, lifestyle and other genres, that can be quite different. I imagine that wedding photography can somewhat overlap with lifestyle photography, and thus Leica makes sense. But that might depend very much on the clientele.

The SL2S served as a backup. What does one do when both the primary and the backup fail. 😆

More than the clients, it was me overjoyed even single time with the RAW files. and my work and style improved a lot. I wasn't even concerned about ROI. It was a choice I made. I understand they are a small company but they do sell pretty high end gear. Being small does not mean they can loosen up on customer support. I've seen a lot of small companies with luxury products which excel at customer support. The early Apple days being a perfect example. I remember my iMac suddenly dying in 2002 and getting a replacement almost immediately. I have not one single good thing to say about Leica support in this regard. Why do I have to care that they are moving locations when my camera is already under repair for weeks. 

I avidly remember my lowly cheap canon EOS R having a sensor issue in 2019. the roundtrip for repairs was 4 days. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Darthaddie said:

I totally get it now. I am pretty much sure that the SL line of cameras and great outside but substandard inside. Both the Leica SL2 and SL2S exhibited similar issues around the same lifespan. It was not the shutter count or the shutter itself. It was faulty mechanics. So if you work involves taking photos in studio and controlled environments they might be fine but at weddings they totally failed on me. Lesson learnt 

My SL bricked in the first few weeks of use.  The dealer gave me their demo, and the camera was replaced a few weeks later.  Hasn't missed a beat since (including after the strap failed and the camera fell about a metre onto concrete).

Before the SL release, Leica had a string of problems with each new camera - failing strap lugs, cracked sensors etc etc.  The SL was the exception for being complete, well conceived and pretty much flawless (not sure why my first camera bricked, but it was sorted promptly).  It's the best new product release I've experienced in years.

As I understand it, the SL2 and SL2S had significant input from Panasonic (not sure how much input they had with the original SL).  Could that be the issue?  In all seriousness, the original SL release was exemplary.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is perhaps the third or fourth user posting here who has had problems with the SL2 or SL2-S. That is a very long way from concluding that the camera is substandard across the board. I also wonder how much we would be discussing the quality of the camera if the users had not had a typically frustrating experience (common to many many more of us here) of getting cameras and lenses fixed in a timely manner. If Leica had been able to offer quick responses and repairs I doubt we would be discussing the statistically small number of failures in the same way. 

(I write as another statistically insignificant sample of one who has had no problems with SL and SL2-S, having owned both since launch).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Darthaddie said:

Not any more. Sold my lenses yesterday and will sell my cameras in a bit (when I get them back). Since the prime Wedding season is here, I had to buy an entire new Sony kit which costed thousands I had not planned. Fortunately the Sony A1 has a great color profile, so I do not miss my Leica that much. 

But I am sad to let me beloved kit go. 

As a pro I always have 3 systems at hand. I do as much as I can with my M10-R (of course not everything can be done with it), the rest is done with Sony on G-Master glass and Fujifilm GFX. I TOTALLY get you, you find a system you love but it acts up under heavy stress. That really pisses one off, especially after the investment in it. And it used to be that the ole' mechanical M Leicas were the most reliable cameras under all conditions...
Of course as someone mentioned Leica is a very small company compared to the big names of CaNikOny and they try really hard. It is a miracle that they are where they are. But still, so is ARRI and their cameras are the most reliable in the industry...

 

Edited by Al Brown
Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear you. I've been on the fence for years about my decision to exclusively use Leica professionally. I've had 9 repairs go back to Germany over the past 10 years. Each time this involved a lot of complaining on my end to get things moving faster. Most repairs were with the S-System and I eventually sold that system. It's was awful and I lost confidence in it. The SL System has been much better but had 2 lens repairs for minor things like tight focus ring or weir noises happening.

If Leica could just get their customer service and repair issues taken care of all would be much, much better. I've been telling people at Leica this over and over. Even if this means giving out loaners to hold people over.

I'll pay for a professional services membership yearly if they offered it. Just give me some security when things break down.

Sounds simple right? It's maddening. Leica should act on this since service is crucial and part of deciding factors when investing into camera systems. They are losing current customers and keeping away new ones. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, IkarusJohn said:

My SL bricked in the first few weeks of use.  The dealer gave me their demo, and the camera was replaced a few weeks later.  Hasn't missed a beat since (including after the strap failed and the camera fell about a metre onto concrete).

I had a similar experience with an SL Typ601.  Strap gave way, camera fell onto concrete sidewalk from waist level, I picked it up and continued shooting.  Not a problem.  Used it for some months then sent it in to have it gone over.  The body was totally out of alignment and Leica USA repaired.  However, you wouldn't have known there was damage from looking at the files it had produced.

13 hours ago, IkarusJohn said:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Leica needs a worldwide program for working photographers. Now they have the flash thing sorted it’s the last major impediment in the system. And not like Canon’s CPS where you just buy into it, even if you’re a dentist. A real one where real, full time, working photographers can get expedited repairs.

Having said that, until I retired Leica was my main system (or only system) for ten years as a working photographer. I didn’t have any more issues than I did with Canon/Sony or Fuji but you needed to be better prepared. More than one backup. When I shot weddings I knew that Canon couldn’t help me on a Sunday if my gear was stolen on a Saturday. I also spend a couple of years shooting weddings on an island. That prepared me for shooting Leica, professionally. I acted like I was on my own if there was an issue. Because even as a CPS member, often, I was.

When I had M9’s I had three of them and CV backups to my Leica glass. When I moved to M240’s I kept one of the M9’s. When I got into the SL I got a TL2 and later a CL as soon as they were available. I’ve shot hundreds of weddings and thousands of commercial jobs on Leica gear. It’s not a cheap way of doing it. And that cost is a barrier to many. In that case you need to consider whether Leica is suitable. With my M240’s I did eventually settle on a couple of XPro 2’s as my backup. They had issues…Fortunately My M9’, 240’s and M10’s never died on a job. I had one SL away and several lenses. But that was it. Both my XPro2’s failed. I had a Canon EOS1V rendered unusable by a single grain of sand. The front of a 24-105L fell off mid shoot. Doorways are the arch enemy of the hotshoe flash. Apart from the SL body I’ve not had any issues with my L gear. I dropped my16-35, but that’s not Leica’s fault. I’d rate my SL’s as my most reliable system.

The above is a horror story and I feel for the OP. But it’s not that common an occurrence. And it can happen with any brand. The difference is that you can’t just drop into your local camera shop and pick up a new SL2 if one goes down Friday night. If I were still shooting professionally I’d have a couple of Panasonic S5 bodies in a cupboard at home. At least with the L mount you have those options now to get you through. Not as easy when you’re an M shooter.

Still, Leica need to get this sorted.

Gordon

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...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...