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hassiman

The beginng of the end for Leica

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Guest Cordell

At the root of those numbers have to be causes. One for certain is the laughable quality control that's plagued Leica since the 70's. And ever since the advent of the internet the packs of rabid apologists have been making matters worse by supressing and denying any mention of the problem. A case in point are the M8 shutter failures which even though reports continue to come, the denials of it being widespread continue to drone on. I agree with those brave souls who've spoken up and believe it's the probable real reason for the so-called upgrade. Both of my M8's shutters sprung (blades bent) and I got a "shutter error" and had to send them to Germany. But of course I'm not a forum big shot so I am easy to brush off. But here's a very recent posting from Mrs. Tina Manley, well-known and highly-respected Leica photojournalist:

 

LINK

 

who believes her M8's shutter wore out after only 15,000 actuations:

 

LINK-2

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At the root of those numbers have to be causes. One for certain is the laughable quality control that's plagued Leica since the 70's. And ever since the advent of the internet the packs of rabid apologists have been making matters worse by supressing and denying any mention of the problem. {snipped}

 

To say nothing of those unfortunate people who suspect their own individual misfortune--which may or may not be statistically significant--is evidence of a general fault or even a conspiracy!

 

The internet doesn't allow them a voice at all...

 

And I'm sorry for Ms Manley's experience. It's not mine, after 10s of thousands of actuations on the same shutter. So there.... which is right?

 

So really, despite your calm declamation, you don't know the truth, Cordell, and neither do I. Only Leica truly knows, and they're not telling. So there's the statistical end to that, ok?

 

Let's not, please, turn this into dPreview. Of course effects have causes. But that doesn't mean there is a root cause to explain mechanical anomalies, or that anyone posting here knows the frequency or the depth of the issues.

 

FWIW, I am not an apologist either: I know exactly what some of the real issues that plague the M8 are, since some of them are not a statistical guess. The green banding you get when shooting bright point sources on the short edges of the frame, for example, is well-known and acknowledged by Leica.

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The thing is, what you should all remember is...... Oh, what's the point!

 

I agree 100% with Biglouis' posts.

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A 4th qtr loss is disturbing but the world has slipped into a bit of a slump. Everybody's expenses are up and sales are down. The real question is if some holding company bean counter is going to pull the plug or not. I, for one, hope not. I love my M8 despite its poor frames, IR filters, secret codes and all of its other eccentricities. And, if anything should happen to Leica, I will continue to use my M8 until it is no longer repairable. However, I suspect Zeiss, Epson or Cosina has a rangefinder camera on the drawing board and that it will use a Sony 22+ ff sensor or the 12 + CMOS APS sensor and that it will take all of the Leica/Zeiss/Voigtlander lenses, so its not panic time. And, if that does not happen, well I suspect that my 40 year old M4 will still work just fine.

 

Tom

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Seriously the beginning of the end of Leica will be when it stops believing in what it is doing. OR starts to do something it doesn't believe in.

 

I don't know anything about Leica's finances but I do know that it concentrates very well on its USPs. Which is important for a relatively small company. Canon probably employs more people in its marketing dept than Leica employs in total.

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Guest Cordell

 

And I'm sorry for Ms Manley's experience. It's not mine, after 10s of thousands of actuations on the same shutter. So there.... which is right?

 

Is there any reason you believe this is an issue of right vs wrong, that one of you has to be fibbing?

 

Only Leica truly knows, and they're not telling. So there's the statistical end to that, ok?

 

Well, actually, not so OK. Is there any reason why you think there's no other option but to depend on Leica's statistics? Someone said Leica admits to 5 or 6 shutter failures. There are most definitely more than that reported. Unless you want to assert that a bunch of complete strangers have conspired to fib about their failed shutters, including Tina Manley, I feel safe believing Leica's statistics underestimate the problem. If you choose to believe the opposite, that of course is your choice. However so believing doesn't change the facts, and illustrates exactly my point that Leica has real QC issues that need to be addressed, and the necessary first step to that would be to admit the problem exists. I believe the so-called "upgrade" shutter is tantamount to such an admission. Again, it is anyone's choice to believe otherwise.

 

Let's not, please, turn this into dPreview.

 

I'm not familiar with the reference.

 

Of course effects have causes. But that doesn't mean there is a root cause to explain mechanical anomalies

 

I'm sorry but I would not characterize the shutter failures as anomalies. Both of my M8's, bought months apart, suffered identical failures, identical to the one Tina Manley described, and identical to several other reports on the 'net. I'm not a complete disbeliever in coincidence, but to make that stretch in this case I'd have to start believing in gremlins.

 

 

The green banding you get when shooting bright point sources on the short edges of the frame, for example, is well-known and acknowledged by Leica.

 

And I've never seen it, in thousands of shots with two M8's. So should I be asking which of us is right and which is wrong?

 

We can go round and round with this little exercise in semantics, but in the end it's nothing more than a diversion from the issue I raised in the beginning: that Leica has quality issues, which I suspect can only have a negative impact on their financials, both from a standpoint of lost customers as well as the cost of warranty repairs. There, to me (and once again anyone is free to disagree and I'm sure they will) is somewhere Leica can and should concentrate their attention, rather than hatching controversial marketing ploys and continually purging the ranks of their corporate officers.

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Is there any reason you believe this is an issue of right vs wrong, that one of you has to be fibbing?

{snipped}

 

Sigh.

 

Cordell, I'm not saying anyone is fibbing. Or lying. But it's plain to me you don't understand these issues are statistical by nature.

 

I'm very sorry you had two identical shutter failures. I can find owners of twin M8s who have never had a shutter failure.

 

I can find owners of Canon equipment whose 24-70 zooms have never focused correctly. I can find owners who've never used anything but 24-70s.

 

What I can't say--and you can't say--is that any of that is statistically significant. Get it? I'm sorry for your bad experience, but your experience (or even the collected experiences of people here on the "internet") doesn't really mean squat about Leica's quality.

 

To know that, you'd need to know 1) how many M8s were actually sold 2) how many shutters actually failed 3) the reason for the failure.

 

Otherwise, you're simply speculating, and not saying something that's true, despite your feeling that Leica's shutter, for example, must be defective.

 

This is not about semantics. It's about facts--which neither of us have in this case. Only Leica has access to the information I mentioned above; that's why only Leica can really say whether the Seiko (IIRC) shutter they use in the M8, the same one used by numerous Nikon cameras (again IIRC) is actually defective "by the numbers" or not.

 

No-one is saying yours weren't defective. Or Ms. Manley's weren't. But you don't know if your experience is representative. So it's not a very good example of Leica's quality control.

 

Now, as to the green banding image defect, that can be demonstrated at will, if you want. Just search this forum you will find lots of examples of it, and though it's rare it is there, is a serious flaw, and has been acknowledged as such by Leica.

 

So it's not the same at all as your *claim* that the shutter is essentially defective.

 

Again, I'm sorry for your shutter experience. But the Internet, back to your first point, also brings to the foreground people who suspect things that may (or may not) be significant, and it can actually be pretty convincingly argued that the Internet makes more noise about bad things than are actually happening, since the silent majority often tends (not always) to be satisfied.

 

As for your notion of "rabid apologists" I think you should re-think your remarks. But that's just me; I'm looking for balance, and I tend not to tag helpful people with such epithets.

 

Finally, I do agree with you that Leica service needs to be improved, especially here in NA. I hope they continue to do this in their time of business transition.

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As posted previously in another thread my camera dealer in NL has sold 50+ M8's with 0 shutter faults so far. So the statistics based on that are about 2% failures or less. As there have been about 20.000 M8 sold and maybe max. 10 reported failues on this website another estimate is 1/2000 failures so the shutter reliability is between 0.05 and 2%. The lower end is fine the higher end is too much but presumably is unrealistic.

 

Anyone else have relevant data? We want numbers not speculation.

 

And yes I do understand that i) not all M8 owners come here to report that their new toy just fell apart and ii) of the ones that do come here those with problems are more visible. It will remain a guestimate at best.

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[quote=Jamie R

 

What I can't say--and you can't say--is that any of that is statistically significant. Get it? I'm sorry for your bad experience, but your experience (or even the collected experiences of people here on the "internet") doesn't really mean squat about Leica's quality.

 

Jamie

On most issues I tend to agree with you but I am not following your logic here.

Did we need to know how many M8's had been sold to know that SDS was happening and a real issue?

 

To know that, you'd need to know 1) how many M8s were actually sold 2) how many shutters actually failed 3) the reason for the failure.

 

Again - why would this only be true for the those with shutter defects and not those with 'circuit board' issues as in SDS. Is there some magic number of SDS sufferers that had to be documented by someone here on the forum before it became and 'issue'?

 

This is not about semantics. It's about facts--which neither of us have in this case. Only Leica has access to the information I mentioned above; that's why only Leica can really say whether the Seiko (IIRC) shutter they use in the M8, the same one used by numerous Nikon cameras (again IIRC) is actually defective "by the numbers" or not.

 

Mmmn, so if Leica had turned around and told all those who had SDS that it was their fault and not statistically of any importance, that would be okay because 'only Leica has the facts? '

 

Now, as to the green banding image defect, that can be demonstrated at will, if you want. Just search this forum you will find lots of examples of it, and though it's rare it is there, is a serious flaw, and has been acknowledged as such by Leica.

 

jamie -- search this forum and you'll find shutter defect problems documented here too!

 

Again, I'm sorry for your shutter experience. But the Internet, back to your first point, also brings to the foreground people who suspect things that may (or may not) be significant, and it can actually be pretty convincingly argued that the Internet makes more noise about bad things than are actually happening, since the silent majority often tends (not always) to be satisfied.

 

So in this logic, if you're shutter goes south and you dare to suggest that this is more than just one isolated shutter - you're suddenly not a good little leica soldier any more?

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So in this logic, if you're shutter goes south and you dare to suggest that this is more than just one isolated shutter - you're suddenly not a good little leica soldier any more?

 

No not at all. The point I think Jamie was making is that in order to have an idea of whether a problem in endemic or not you need to know how many cameras have been sold, and how many shutters have failed. The problem is that every mechanical or electronic system will have some failures - whether they are cameras or space shuttles. In the case of the space shuttle is pretty easy, you divide the number of launches by the number of failures and you have a failure rate. In the case of the M8 we have neither figure.

 

Let me put it this way, if several tens of thousands of cameras have been sold and there have been say 50 shutter failures then the problem is relatively insignificant statistically. Only Leica know is the actual figure is 50, or 5 or 500.

 

I'm not saying that an individual shutter failure isn't a disappointment and a frustration to the person who bought the camera, but statistically it's of no value in itself.

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"The beginng of the end for Leica"

 

I heard that so many times..

 

- when the world started buying SLRs

- when people found out that SLRs must have more modes than a VCR

- when people forgot how to focus manually

- when people started to shiver and found stabilizers are indispensable

- when customers started buying storage media instead of film

 

Leica was dead so many times...

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Guest guy_mancuso

What folks fail to realize in all this is the numbers are quite low both with shutters and with SDS. take me as prime example . There is no one on this board except Brent that had SDS to the same camera twice. There are no such cases but for someone that was very involved with SDS and and the issues of it this was more common than any shutter failures in the beginning . I don't know the numbers and leica won't tell me anyway but it was far more than any shutter , that i know for sure because i helped many folks with SDS and getting there camera's fixed or replaced. Don't ask i won't tell you but it was a lot but the point being there was never a point were a recall was done on said issue. There was with another hardware issue and camera's went back we all know of that one. But SDS or shutters was never considered epidemic in any way shape or form and leica will never say there was or is. so first get over it , shit happens and that is just the way it is. Sorry it happened but my body spent months in Germany too. This things are actually considered normal and we can rant and rave all you want but this happens in the Nikon camp and Canon camp also. Look at the AF just in the Canon camp , did they call that a epidemic or anything like that. Never will get those words from any OEM. Stuff happens , shutters fail and SDS as weird as it was happens. Look at any electronics out there and weird stuff just surfaces and the product simply does not function.

 

 

The issue is and more to the point is you simply can't say the shutter has a issue, that is not the case. Yes shutters have failed, yes we have SDS but until that number is somewhat close to actually production numbers than it is just simply a failure not a epidemic in proportion. Even if there was 100 shutter failures out of 25 k units than it simple is considered a failure just like SDS there was at least 50 maybe a lot more. Do we call that a epidemic proportion and have a recall like they do with cars. No that number never hit a certain point were it was considered a design or production failure.

 

No question it sucks for the end user been there and done that but i can't say leica your a screw up and every M8 made has a design flaw with the capacitor that created SDS. That would be wrong it is not every camera and it is not a design flaw. What it was simply some bad capacitors that made it into some bodies. Just like a bad shutter it could have happened at Copal and a certain run went south in the design or production of it. We may never know what the true reason was but the numbers don't come close to epidemic scale or to a point leica goes oh shit we have to many and need to make a recall.

 

This constant the shutters have failures and leica is covering it up statements need to be thrown out the door. It simply is not true. I may have more shutter actuations than anyone without ever a issue. i know i up to 30 k in shots on my 2 M8's . Now maybe mine and others missed a production point that Copal or whoever made the shutters did not have a issue and some at a certain point had a run go south, we may never know this but this stuff does happen. Leica does not make these shutters folks, they buy them from a vendor just like any other OEM out there that buys shutters from Copal or whoever is making them. Yes Nikon and Canon i believe also buy from vendors.

 

What the issue is here is many of you never experienced SDS and the issue that happened with it in the early stages . It makes these shutter issue failures look like peanuts compared to it. It was constant and deadly and if you had a failure you knew it right away and your body spent months in leica repair looking for a real answer to repair it. i know this better than anyone and believe me not something I am proud to say either.

 

I think one has to be careful here. You simply can't blame Leica for every problem that comes up and rears it's ugly head. This stuff simply happens all the time with others as well. I been around a long time and seen a lot of this. This is nothing new. Now should Leica improve and all that , no question they should and they need to be even more careful in the future and test to make sure everything hitting the streets is in good working order. But this takes time and people too and given there small makes it even harder. Someone said canon marketing maybe bigger than leica as a company. You know what that statement maybe not far from the truth folks.

 

Trust me I feel for anyone that had any failure, it is not fun , not productive and time spent away from you the shooter. The simple fact is your mad , disgusted and just plain old pissed off. Normal feelings but this stuff happens and you just want to blame someone. The hard part is accepting that stuff happens and moving forward is hard to do.

 

Bottom line you can sit here and blame leica, God and everyone on the planet but it won't get your camera working and that is the part that hurts. It's called acceptable failure and how you deal with it.

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No not at all. The point I think Jamie was making is that in order to have an idea of whether a problem in endemic or not you need to know how many cameras have been sold, and how many shutters have failed. The problem is that every mechanical or electronic system will have some failures - whether they are cameras or space shuttles. In the case of the space shuttle is pretty easy, you divide the number of launches by the number of failures and you have a failure rate. In the case of the M8 we have neither figure.

 

Let me put it this way, if several tens of thousands of cameras have been sold and there have been say 50 shutter failures then the problem is relatively insignificant statistically. Only Leica know is the actual figure is 50, or 5 or 500.

 

I'm not saying that an individual shutter failure isn't a disappointment and a frustration to the person who bought the camera, but statistically it's of no value in itself.

 

Steve

Yes, and did we need to know the number of units sold to know that SDS was statistically relevant?

I'm just not seeing the same statistical rules applied across the board. If only Leica knows the number of units sold and the number of SDS occurences and they're not telling - then does that mean SDS was just all speculation and in fact those who experienced SDS were just 'anomalies' or somehow misusing their equipment?

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Yes, and did we need to know the number of units sold to know that SDS was statistically relevant?

 

Yes, of course if you want to know if something is statistically significant you need to know what the failure rate was. If you are referring to the recall that Leica had of the early cameras than in my opinion they realised that there was a problem and that was why they issued a recall.

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...It's called acceptable failure and how you deal with it.

Depends on the level of acceptance which is inversely proportional to the price one pay and/or the time one loose generally.

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Guest guy_mancuso

I think that recall was for ghosting images at the time with low light and high ISO's and also trying to remember here it also fixed the split processing times between the two sensor channels. We had those two fold looks

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Guest guy_mancuso
Depends on the level of acceptance which is inversely proportional to the price one pay and/or the time one loose generally.

 

Exactly LCT Exactly. Never a fun proposition

 

And the thing that really get's your goat is when the darn thing works it is a glorious image maker but when it don't just another hardware paper weight and that is frustrating.

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I think that recall was for ghosting images at the time with low light and high ISO's and also trying to remember here it also fixed the split processing times between the two sensor channels. We had those two fold looks

If I recall correctly the recall (LOL) was to fix streaking which could occur when there were bright areas, such as a window with panes in frames in the frame (LOL). The streaks would extend horizontally from the dark areas in the highlights across the rest of the frame. I think it was fixed by adding a grounding strap or something similar to one of the circuit boards.

 

Bob.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Yes Bob that was part of it also. Good memory

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Although as has been pointed out, one person's experience is rather meaningless, I'll chip in for 32,000 shutter actuations without a problem.

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