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M11 service problems: a sign of bigger underlying issues


Patrickfoley@mac.com

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I'm experiencing a similar issue with my Leica M10-R Black Paint camera. The camera's 6-bit sensor can identify most of my Leica lenses, but it fails to recognize a couple of them, even though my M10-M works perfectly with these lenses.

The camera's 6-bit sensor seems to be in good working order and is clean from any debris. I'm suspecting this might be related to a firmware problem (although it has the latest). Right now, Leica has my camera for examination.

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1 hour ago, Fred Miranda said:

The camera's 6-bit sensor seems to be in good working order and is clean from any debris. I'm suspecting this might be related to a firmware problem (although it has the latest). Right now, Leica has my camera for examination.

If it is placed slightly off, it doesn't read the lenses and will show them as unknown. 

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On 10/14/2023 at 8:57 AM, jaapv said:

Leica CS regularly offers loaners on request, if available. 

This may depend where you are. 
 

Here in New Zealand, Leica is represented by a third party not by themselves. The only service work possible here is rangefinder adjustment. Anything else and it’s off to Germany. 
 

I’m not sure Leica in Germany would send a loan unit all the way down here. 
 

I wanted to try a pair of Noctivids and the NZ agent made the dealer near me sign a guarantee that he’d be liable for their loan unit if it was damaged whilst he had possession of them trying to sell them to me! They only agreed to even send them because I created a bit of a stink about them expecting to sell $4,500 binoculars without the customer being able to even look through them.

 

 They’re not especially customer centric. 

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This is a side note but, I'm also a little disappointed with Leica service center but with the NJ facility, not Germany.

My M11 was freezing up so I sent it in to have it serviced, and they sent it back with firmware 1.6.2 and replaced a part in the camera.

The problem is that the new replaced leatherette (it's marked as replaced on the invoice, this isn't something I just never noticed) is misaligned and sort of bunched towards the top and showing a very small gap at the bottom of the camera on the right side.

Just disappointing because sending in your camera to have it serviced shouldn't come at the cost of sacrificing the cosmetic condition of the camera. And now if I were to sell it, I think I'd have to mark the price down a little because of this visible defect. It also makes me worried about the inside of my camera. If the tech couldn't do something correctly like align the leatherette, what about the more complicated parts of a repair process?

I've emailed Brian Roy, their service manager at the NJ facility (at least as I understand it) and am awaiting reply.

I don't mean to hijack your thread, just wanted to share another repair service story that I thought was inline with your own experience in some ways.

EDIT: Also worth noting that the M11 was freezing up that I sent into service was my second M11. Leica had replaced the first one which also had the same issue, and I had only had this new one for a week before sending it off to repair. It was like new. Had been sitting in my humidity case for most of the week because I didn't have time for photo walks. That's another reason why it was so disappointing to get back what was basically a brand new camera from service but with cosmetic defects from the service work itself.

Edited by Photojoejoe21
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2 hours ago, Photojoejoe21 said:

This is a side note but, I'm also a little disappointed with Leica service center but with the NJ facility, not Germany.

My M11 was freezing up so I sent it in to have it serviced, and they sent it back with firmware 1.6.2 and replaced a part in the camera.

The problem is that the new replaced leatherette (it's marked as replaced on the invoice, this isn't something I just never noticed) is misaligned and sort of bunched towards the top and showing a very small gap at the bottom of the camera on the right side.

Just disappointing because sending in your camera to have it serviced shouldn't come at the cost of sacrificing the cosmetic condition of the camera. And now if I were to sell it, I think I'd have to mark the price down a little because of this visible defect. It also makes me worried about the inside of my camera. If the tech couldn't do something correctly like align the leatherette, what about the more complicated parts of a repair process?

I've emailed Brian Roy, their service manager at the NJ facility (at least as I understand it) and am awaiting reply.

I don't mean to hijack your thread, just wanted to share another repair service story that I thought was inline with your own experience in some ways.

EDIT: Also worth noting that the M11 was freezing up that I sent into service was my second M11. Leica had replaced the first one which also had the same issue, and I had only had this new one for a week before sending it off to repair. It was like new. Had been sitting in my humidity case for most of the week because I didn't have time for photo walks. That's another reason why it was so disappointing to get back what was basically a brand new camera from service but with cosmetic defects from the service work itself.

@Photojoejoe21 Thanks for sharing the service issues you’ve experienced; also really disappointing to hear about the leatherette alignment as that would upset me as well. Leica really needs to do better.  I’m also really curious about two things you mentioned- 1) does the invoice say what ‘part’ was replaced?  2) should we assume that the new “part’ is supported by 1.6.2?  Can you tell us when that camera body was originally manufactured? Thanks!

 

Edited by RMF
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All these stories around QC issues and repairs needed - makes me so paranoid about my recent M11 purchase.  I think i got lucky because i’ve had the camera over a month now and haven’t had any issues at all.  The camera froze once or twice but i think it was related to the brand of SD card i was using and so i made a switch based on a recommendation and haven’t seen a freeze since.

But what concerns me is that if something was wrong with my M11, I’m looking at it being sent for repair and waiting for over three months or sometimes even longer.  I’ve heard similar stories with longer lead times with the SL2 and SL2-S, which are supposed to be cameras directly competing with Sony, Canon and Nikon, at double the price!  I know that if any of my professional Sony bodies needed repair, as a Sony Pro Support member i’m entitled to a loan if the camera is in repair for more than 5 days!  i know Canon and Nikon have similar programs.  Professional or not, paying $10k for a camera that is hand made and supposed to provide the absolute excellence in engineering shouldn’t be making people wait for their cameras being repaired for almost half a year.  It’s the reason why i chose to stick with my Sony kit for my professional work, and keep my M system for fun and leisure.

i agree with the growing popularity of their system recently, i think they haven’t properly scaled up their business to meet this new influencer led demand in their cameras.  They do need to do better and offer a little more white glove service for such a luxury brand or i feel these stories will cost them their popularity.  Especially for that price point.

 

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5 hours ago, petereprice said:

All these stories around QC issues and repairs needed - makes me so paranoid about my recent M11 purchase.  I think i got lucky because i’ve had the camera over a month now and haven’t had any issues at all.  The camera froze once or twice but i think it was related to the brand of SD card i was using and so i made a switch based on a recommendation and haven’t seen a freeze since.

But what concerns me is that if something was wrong with my M11, I’m looking at it being sent for repair and waiting for over three months or sometimes even longer.  I’ve heard similar stories with longer lead times with the SL2 and SL2-S, which are supposed to be cameras directly competing with Sony, Canon and Nikon, at double the price!  I know that if any of my professional Sony bodies needed repair, as a Sony Pro Support member i’m entitled to a loan if the camera is in repair for more than 5 days!  i know Canon and Nikon have similar programs.  Professional or not, paying $10k for a camera that is hand made and supposed to provide the absolute excellence in engineering shouldn’t be making people wait for their cameras being repaired for almost half a year.  It’s the reason why i chose to stick with my Sony kit for my professional work, and keep my M system for fun and leisure.

i agree with the growing popularity of their system recently, i think they haven’t properly scaled up their business to meet this new influencer led demand in their cameras.  They do need to do better and offer a little more white glove service for such a luxury brand or i feel these stories will cost them their popularity.  Especially for that price point.

 

I have my Leica horror story with customer service too. I'll make a separate post about it soon, but in short, I bought a new M11 in November last year. After about a month of usage I detected a problem with the rangefinder (vertical alignment was off at close distances but spot on at infinity) so I dropped it off at Leica Mayfair to be sent to Wetzlar. It's been back and forth 3 times in 10 months after insisting it was not good enough, until they conceded to replace the VF mechanism rather than just adjusting it, as there was something clearly wrong. It's now better but still not as spot on as my 4 other analog M's, nor the loaners I was sent during this period. Worst thing is that either Leica UK or Leica Germany actually damaged the finish on the camera and are now denying responsibility. The best thing they can do is offer me a 35% discount to replace the top plate. Honestly, this makes me never trust the brand ever again. Absolutely appalling for a camera that costs £7800, when they could have so easily have just replaced my defective unit.

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On 10/16/2023 at 4:49 PM, Jon Warwick said:

In that regard, does anyone know how long Leica in Germany is currently taking to repair M lenses? I ask, given I have one that needs a CLA.

Also - with regards to repairs via Leica Germany, I assume one is only asked to pay the invoice once the item is repaired, and not upfront? ....especially given the potentially long wait for some items to be repaired (eg, especially applicable for M analogue cameras i read on another thread)?

I see that the club of customers disappointed with Leica CS is quite crowded. I am also a member of the club of course.

Too many times I had to send in again my gear because it returned in the same or even worst conditions, after weeks of waiting. This time I sent a digital M to Wetzlar to fix a stuck pixel with vertical line and they sent me a loan M11 for the duration of the repair. I appreciate that, even if that doesn't solve the critical problems of the CS.

Anyway, according to CS Germany, these are the timings as of three weeks ago:

Analog M cameras: 8 months + shipping
Digital M cameras: 10 weeks + shipping
Modern lenses: 5 weeks + shipping
Old/classic lenses: 7 months + shipping
Compact cameras, Q, S, SL: 6 weeks + shipping

The repair is scheduled and brought on only after the customer accepts it and pays upfront.

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30 minutes ago, alex7075 said:

I see that the club of customers disappointed with Leica CS is quite crowded. I am also a member of the club of course.

Too many times I had to send in again my gear because it returned in the same or even worst conditions, after weeks of waiting. This time I sent a digital M to Wetzlar to fix a stuck pixel with vertical line and they sent me a loan M11 for the duration of the repair. I appreciate that, even if that doesn't solve the critical problems of the CS.

Anyway, according to CS Germany, these are the timings as of three weeks ago:

Analog M cameras: 8 months + shipping
Digital M cameras: 10 weeks + shipping
Modern lenses: 5 weeks + shipping
Old/classic lenses: 7 months + shipping
Compact cameras, Q, S, SL: 6 weeks + shipping

The repair is scheduled and brought on only after the customer accepts it and pays upfront.

It's a little reassuring that they offer loaners.  I didn't know they did that.  Are you based in the US, Europe, Asia or elsewhere?  I'd be curious if this offering is regionally dependent.

With all of that said, I do find that this occurrence of getting your camera back either with the same problem or with cosmetic or new mechanical issues is quite disturbing. 😬

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23 hours ago, Photojoejoe21 said:

The problem is that the new replaced leatherette (it's marked as replaced on the invoice, this isn't something I just never noticed) is misaligned and sort of bunched towards the top and showing a very small gap at the bottom of the camera on the right side.

I've emailed Brian Roy, their service manager at the NJ facility (at least as I understand it) and am awaiting reply.

I had a similar issue earlier this year where the replacement leatherette was misaligned. The NJ crew took care of it really quickly, sent me a new shipping label, told me to mark it as “rework” and I had it back within a week.

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1 hour ago, cmoxon said:

I had a similar issue earlier this year where the replacement leatherette was misaligned. The NJ crew took care of it really quickly, sent me a new shipping label, told me to mark it as “rework” and I had it back within a week.

Oh awesome! So they expedited their repair for you is what it sounds like...?

Oh and @RMF I'll black out some stuff on my invoice and upload it here so you can see what they did. How do I check when my M11 was made?

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2 hours ago, Photojoejoe21 said:

Oh awesome! So they expedited their repair for you is what it sounds like...?

Oh and @RMF How do I check when my M11 was made?

Thanks for uploading your invoice @Photojoejoe21. You can find the manufacture date on both the grey outer box, on the white sticker with bar code , as well as the product box: you’ll see a date stamped by the bar code label (the date is printed vertically).

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After two faulty M11 bodies and an almost unusable Q3 (all with freezing, buggy firmware, 4-second startup times, charging issues, bricking etc etc), unbelievable snobbery, a fundamental lack of customer service and aggressive treatment in flagship stores I have removed myself from the Leica cult mindset. 
Any other brand releasing effectively beta products whilst charging such an immense premium would be roundly criticised and held to account. For whatever reasons Leica seems to either not give a damn about their customers or simply have the unchecked arrogance of a brand that used to be great and is now slowly but surely undoing decades of hard won reputation building. 
I am amazed at the justifications I see from people who feel it is ok to charge nine grand for a camera that is unreliable, at times unusable and in desperate need of urgent firmware updates to simply make it basically functional. 
It is really sad the Leica story. I used to be such a fan and yes the recent M11/Q3 can take sensational photos but they are ridden with bugs and issues that make them too much of a risk to rely upon, let alone use professionally. Got rid of all my recently launched bodies and am sticking with my M10-P which is, for me, the last Leica camera worthy of the badge. 
Once the trust is gone, especially in a luxury brand, it is almost impossible to earn back. 
The last time I was in a Leica store, I bought the M11M. On a whim I decided to also buy the new 50/1.4 that was launched at the same time. When I asked to see the silver version in the flesh (I wanted to check the weight and see how it looked on my new M11M body, the store manager just said no. Buy it unseen or don’t buy it at all. He made it seem like he was doing me an enormous favour by allowing me to spend my money on such a phenomenal brand. 
That, in addition to the hardware and software bugs, was my final wake up call. 
 

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5 hours ago, James1975 said:

After two faulty M11 bodies and an almost unusable Q3 (all with freezing, buggy firmware, 4-second startup times, charging issues, bricking etc etc), unbelievable snobbery, a fundamental lack of customer service and aggressive treatment in flagship stores I have removed myself from the Leica cult mindset. 
Any other brand releasing effectively beta products whilst charging such an immense premium would be roundly criticised and held to account. For whatever reasons Leica seems to either not give a damn about their customers or simply have the unchecked arrogance of a brand that used to be great and is now slowly but surely undoing decades of hard won reputation building. 
I am amazed at the justifications I see from people who feel it is ok to charge nine grand for a camera that is unreliable, at times unusable and in desperate need of urgent firmware updates to simply make it basically functional. 
It is really sad the Leica story. I used to be such a fan and yes the recent M11/Q3 can take sensational photos but they are ridden with bugs and issues that make them too much of a risk to rely upon, let alone use professionally. Got rid of all my recently launched bodies and am sticking with my M10-P which is, for me, the last Leica camera worthy of the badge. 
Once the trust is gone, especially in a luxury brand, it is almost impossible to earn back. 
The last time I was in a Leica store, I bought the M11M. On a whim I decided to also buy the new 50/1.4 that was launched at the same time. When I asked to see the silver version in the flesh (I wanted to check the weight and see how it looked on my new M11M body, the store manager just said no. Buy it unseen or don’t buy it at all. He made it seem like he was doing me an enormous favour by allowing me to spend my money on such a phenomenal brand. 
That, in addition to the hardware and software bugs, was my final wake up call. 
 

This is a "Me Too"..........Back last early Spring I went into a US Leica Store and wanted to buy a Q2-M, I told the salesperson that I already had one myself but this would be for a gift for a friend back home in France as he was having problems buying one there so I'd  like to return with one for him. Out came the grey card-paper boxed Q2-M and I asked if I could just check it over in the store with an SD card that I already had with me because if it had a problem returning it from France would be more than difficult. "You say you have one, aren't you familiar with the Q2-M? Why would you want to check it out when you already own one?" was the response, then "I can't open the box until you pay for the camera". He also asked me if I knew the price of the camera in the US, sort of implying that maybe I couldn't afford it, ( I had just come off working an all-nighter on a film set, so maybe a little worn and scruffy, but my credit card was nice and clean and more than ready for the task.......). Rather than having him taking it back to the stock room I suggested an alternative place for it, unpacked, and left the Store. Found another, mint, used, still Leica warrantied and less $$$, ( not in a Leica Store ), before leaving for home a week or so later............I do have a favourite Leica Store here in France and have done a lot of business with them, but I agree with you as many of the others that I have wandered into around the world have given me a real attitude problem.......Maybe it's just me, could be. Must get a haircut.

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19 minutes ago, Smudgerer said:

Must get a haircut.

I am also a little scruffy looking at times. I hadn’t considered that 😂

The manager of the store (major European capital) then suggested I should buy online instead of in person. 
They are shootings themselves in the foot time and time again. It wouldn’t be acceptable even if the products were absolutely impeccable and ready for the job out of the box. But investing so much money and then waiting hopefully for a few firmware updates months down the line that may or may not make the cameras usable…? No thanks. 

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On 10/21/2023 at 10:28 PM, RMF said:

Thanks for uploading your invoice @Photojoejoe21. You can find the manufacture date on both the grey outer box, on the white sticker with bar code , as well as the product box: you’ll see a date stamped by the bar code label (the date is printed vertically).

Sure thing. Okay so my recent M11 that had issues with freezing was produced November 9th, 2022.

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4 hours ago, Photojoejoe21 said:

Sure thing. Okay so my recent M11 that had issues with freezing was produced November 9th, 2022.

Thanks @Photojoejoe21 mine is dated July 21st, 2022 but haven’t seen any significant issues to date. Thanks again for posting about your issues; hope the leatherette alignment gets sorted out quickly for you.

 

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