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hassiman

The beginng of the end for Leica

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I think it is a "cumulative" issue.

 

It's not one thing, it's a host of things which add up to an impression.

 

People that have a long history with Leica have built certain levels of expectations. Lots of different problems with one camera isn't one of those expectations.

 

Most M8 owners didn't go through the rangefinder patch white-out problem that caused all the controversy some years back. Lots of yapping about that one also. But it was real, and Leica fixed it if you yapped loud enough. Wasn't a recall, nor tagged as an "epidemic" ... it just effected every M camera they made after changing the viewfinder to save money.

 

I do have a high level of expectations for Leica Products. They earned that over 30+ years of my using Ms. Why would anyone be surprised if a pack of problems in a single year would irk me?

 

What I do not appreciate with any company's products is when they make their problems my problems. I don't care about their problems ... I have enough of my own.

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Jamie and Guy:

 

The true accuracy of statistical claims is not at all relevant to Leica's survival.

 

It is the perception of such product quality and reliability assertions that can kill Leica. That my M8 shutters have been fine, Jamie's are fine, Guy's are fine, Joe Bagadoughnuts' are fine...is meaningless. That Cordell had two out of two failures thunders damn loudly through Web lore.

 

I am sure that the urban landscapes of Europe and America are littered with abandoned factories in which can be found brown, molding notebooks stuffed with "high product quality reports".

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Statistics for the shutter or SDS are one thing, but so many people post that they have sent back a camera or a lens for various issues that it surely would concern anyone who reads this forum.

 

If one buys a basic new system for a pro to supplement a DSLR system...let's say two M8s and 5 lenses. That will be around $20-25K depending on lenses.

 

1. What are the odds that cameras will be fine right out of the box and no lenses will have to be sent back to Germany for adjustments? And if a lens is off, does one or both of the cameras have to go with it?

 

2. What are the odds that under moderate professional (but not abusive) usage that nothing will break or need adjustment in one year?

 

3. Should something break or need adjusting, what are the odds for the repair (from the US) to take...

a. two weeks

b. one month

c. two months

d. longer than two months

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I am sure that the urban landscapes of Europe and America are littered with abandoned factories in which can be found brown, molding notebooks stuffed with "high product quality reports".

 

They would be, but for the fact the factories in the UK have been largely torn down to be replaced by shopping malls selling Chinese imported goods.

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They would be, but for the fact the factories in the UK have been largely torn down to be replaced by shopping malls selling Chinese imported goods.

 

And the days are long gone when "Made in China" meant christmas cracker novelty quality.

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And the days are long gone when "Made in China" meant christmas cracker novelty quality.

 

I can't say that I've noticed.

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I hope not too soon. I am very recent to the leica world ( what with folks talking about

30-40 year old leicas ).

 

But it is discouraging when forum members imply ( however nicely ) that **it happens and

one should bear issues re: leica with above average patience.

 

I see only 2 choices for me if i reach a point when i have had enough with leica. fight or flee,

and considering that i am in a remote leica corner of the world and am a cardiac patient, the

choice might not be hard to make with the acccompanying financial loss.

 

as some of my forum collegues imply..**it does happen, and it leaves a filthy smell.

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Arguing statistics is a shell game. Saying that troubled users should be silent and grin a bear it belies the disappointment of unmet expectations that the company itself has promoted.

 

Leica needs to act on this. It needs to tighten it's own internal standards and that of it's vendors just like any other company touting peerless excellence has to do.

 

As I see it, most of us buy into a Leica because it makes great images ... which is mostly due to the optics. In that regard we are already very tolerant ... paying a King's ransom for high performance lenses unequalled in price.

 

I also think that none of us want them to go belly up. But I don't want to go belly up either. I don't want a M8 to go down just as I shoot an irreplaceable shot. Yes, that could happen with any camera ... but it comes down to wether you trust that it won't. It's the shooters responsibility to select the tools that they think provide the highest level of reliability. Once Leica M was at the top of that list for me. Now it isn't.

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I have been a Leica M/R owner since 1970. I have long loved their cameras and lenses but I have come to the realization that in today's digital world the time of the Leica camera as we know it may just about be at an end.

 

...

 

Phhhhhhhhht!

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Haha, there are some real fanboys with Leica gear.

 

I thought I had seen them on the BMW, Audi and Porsche forums, even the AV Forums with the Panasonic vs Pioneer plasmas, or the Merdian vs Tag McClaren in the Audio world, but the patriotism that some customers show to Leica is a whole new level. Very impressive!

 

 

I bought my first Leica this month, and I was really looking forward to joining this community, but it seems (as a newbie and maybe I have joined at the wrong time) that unless you have anything but praise, you better shut up and keep away?

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{snipped}I bought my first Leica this month, and I was really looking forward to joining this community, but it seems (as a newbie and maybe I have joined at the wrong time) that unless you have anything but praise, you better shut up and keep away?

 

No--that's not true, and welcome to the community, glzz.

 

But if you don't have facts, it's maybe best to be quiet until you do. And FWIW, calling anyone "fanboys" or "rabid apologist" (thanks Cordell!) before you know them or the forum context isn't exactly the best way to join any community.

 

@ Karen--I'm not suggesting in the slightest that anyone should be a good soldier for Leica, or that they should not report a failure.

 

I hope you agree with me that there is a world of difference between suggesting that Leica--who has all the facts of units sold, etc..--look into a potential problem with their shutters or SDS (and message carried forward by Sean or Guy or the forum itself) and someone bursting onto the forum with a claim that there *is* a general shutter defect and a conspiracy of silence at Leica (oh wait, the upgrade program is the conspiracy--I forgot!!

)

 

I've had problems with all kinds of non-Leica gear. Some of it simply astounding, and some on the job. Some of it was also mentioned by other shooters on the 'net, some of it has not been to my knowledge. Failures do happen, but none of them mean that there is a general problem (or that there isn't).

 

I wish Leica was a bit more active in this regard, though. I know, for example, that Canon specifically has employees on the forum to monitor for potential problems.

 

And again, I'm sorry for the shutter problems you had. I read all the posts on them at the time as well.

 

The difference, BTW, between the green streak issue and the "shutter issue" is that the green streak can be reproduced on *any* M8 and that Leica has acknowledged the problem. Statistics here aren't necessary: while rarely occuring, it is a flaw in the camera.

 

@ Ken--you're right--Cordell's experience (and others like his) gains a tremendous amplification on the 'net. I'm not saying he--or anyone else--should be quiet. But it's the attitude of all-knowing-ness that gets me, especially in the absence of facts, sort of like some other well-known digital photography forums

 

@ Marc--absolutely right about trust. I'm sorry that Leica seems to be going through all the business changes at this point too....talk about disheartening and confusing. I wanted the new sensor too; especially the full frame sensor. Without the green streaking, too.

 

I also think they do need to step up to servicing post-sale, especially in calibrating old lenses to new bodies.

 

IMO, there shouldn't be any posts at all about "I sent my wide angle lens into Solms for a year and it came back backfocusing by 4 feet at f4"--that's simply ridiculous at any statistical level, as is the need to send the lens to Solms from NA!

 

Why they don't just hire DAG directly--or do something similar--in NA and other non-European markets--is beyond me

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No--that's not true, and welcome to the community, glzz.

 

But if you don't have facts, it's maybe best to be quiet until you do. And FWIW, calling anyone "fanboys" or "rabid apologist" (thanks Cordell!) before you know them or the forum context isn't exactly the best way to join any community.

 

Jamie, sorry I didn't mean it like that at all, and I wasn't aiming it at anyone in particular, I don't recognise people from post to post yet to know who is saying what.

All I was trying to say is, as someone new joining the Leica community the negativity at the moment is a little disheartening, and rather than a positive responce there seems to be a lot of 'well that's Leica and you have to live with it'.

 

I think this topic completely off on a tangent from the original post amyway. I am sure teh original poster was asking 'in this day an age when tech is out dated so quickly, does Leica need to rethink its product?'

People started discussing the sacking of the CEO, which in my mind has little to do with what we see as consumers, and all sorts of other stuff, like a few faulty units etc. None of which will be the end of Leica imho. The only thing that will finish a company like Leica is taking the customer for granted, not keeping them up to date with new products and product updates etc.

 

I think better to say, there is a new sensor for the M8 coming in 2009, or there will be an M9 arriving in 2009 that you can use all your existing glass on, and anyone who buys and M8 now will have a very attractive upgrade opportunity.

These are the sort of things I want to hear as a customer, these are what I need to hear to keep me buying product.

 

I called apple on Monday and asked them about news on the new Macbook Pro, mine is a 2.0ghz duo and 18 months old, I fancied an upgrade but knew there was talk of new models soon. They swore they were a few months off, so I bought a new imac to replace our desktop PC instead. Yesterday the new macbook pro is released!!

It is things like that that annoy me, they must have known Monday night that they were coming, as a customer I feel a little shafted.

 

That seems to be how Leica work too, and it just jarrs me off.

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Guest Cordell
And FWIW, calling anyone "fanboys" or "rabid apologist" (thanks Cordell!) before you know them or the forum context isn't exactly the best way to join any community.

 

There are rabid apologists on this forum. I would never have suspected you for one of them, so I have to wonder why, based on the number of times you've referenced the remark, you seem to be assuming it was directed at you. I was not my intention to imply such.

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Yes, all cameras break, some more and some less but most all will need service at some point. I think Leica would do well at looking long and hard at their service department as

a large part of the dread hanging over the M8 is the fact that if something does go wrong you are looking at 2-3 months downtime (at least here in the US) with it no matter what the problem.

 

On my 2nd body (I mean the replacement for the first lemon) I had some sticky framelines. Shouldn't be a big deal to replace and/or lube (or whatever) the frameline masks. Two months. Not everybody, even working pros, can afford a second body for backup (I generally revert to my D200 or M7).

 

I think Leica dealing with this issue of turnaround time on repairs would go a long way in assuaging users concerns over potential damage or defects. Hey, if I buy an M8 for $5K plus and six months later it develops a problem, I wouldn't be so put out if Leica could get it back to me in 2-3 weeks. But 2-3 months! And with no to little communication. That's when you start to lose customers.

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I called apple on Monday and asked them about news on the new Macbook Pro, mine is a 2.0ghz duo and 18 months old, I fancied an upgrade but knew there was talk of new models soon. They swore they were a few months off, so I bought a new imac to replace our desktop PC instead. Yesterday the new macbook pro is released!!

It is things like that that annoy me, they must have known Monday night that they were coming, as a customer I feel a little shafted.

 

I think that Apple have a 14 day money back programme. Worth asking.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Yes i would walk that sucker right in the store and go return please. No question you have a few days to make a return. I think Andy is right on 14 days but worth certainly walking in and doing it. The new ones are very nice.

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I will order the new Macbook anyway, the new imac is nice, for the first time I am starting to use Lightroom, C1 etc. on the desktop, and the extra real estate of the bigger monitor is as bonus, as is having a seperate drive that backs up all photos as I install them.

 

It was just a little annoying to find out 24 hours after you ask about a new system and being told it was a while off to find it in the store the next day.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Not sure i could sit still for that myself. I am a latest and greatest junkie i guess and computers it does matter on resale.

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Right. There are still people using wet plates too. The Leica is a street camera. The professional DSLR is a wedding camera.

 

Wet plates? You bet:

 

21st-Century Cowboys - National Geographic Magazine

 

Chuck Close: Process & Collaboration

 

Sally Mann

 

Leica as just a street camera, no, I use mine for more than that.

 

Oh, and I don't use my pro DSLR's for weddings...I don't do weddings.

 

By the way, one the links in your sig says studio in it. I clicked on it and found no studio type images......................................strange.

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Wet plates? You bet:

 

21st-Century Cowboys - National Geographic Magazine

 

Chuck Close: Process & Collaboration

 

Sally Mann

 

Leica as just a street camera, no, I use mine for more than that.

 

Oh, and I don't use my pro DSLR's for weddings...I don't do weddings.

 

By the way, one the links in your sig says studio in it. I clicked on it and found no studio type images......................................strange.

 

Easy there. If you read carefully you'll uncover the fact that I didn't say "just a street camera." I said it's a street camera. Yes, you can shoot all kinds of pictures with a street camera . You also can use a DSLR on the street, and I frequently do. But the Leica is best on the street. The DSLR is best in situations where you're being paid to bring back a result rather than an excuse.

 

Sorry my "studio" doesn't satisfy your idea of "studio type" images. Actually I don't do "studio type" images, though I did some of those back in the sixties. Unfortunately, so may people have glommed on to .com extension names, hoping to make a killing re-selling them, that it's a bit difficult to find exactly what you want.

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