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pat hattori

new upgrade prices

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Thanks Charles and Mark for the congratulations. Here is an M8 photo, which, erm, will not benefit from the upgrade given the new prices (to stay somewhat on topic):

 

 

She is just about to get rescued from a photo op she didn't enjoy. She doesn't like things on her head and she doesn't like sitting, so it was a bit much. 15 seconds later we had removed the hat and she was happy again

 

Btw, Jana is not my daughter, but the daughter of my ex-girlfriend. She still visits us though.

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... thereby creating the throwaway, disposable Leica. I think they need to seriously reconsider the morality of charging €2000 to fix problems (quiet shutter, accurate framelines, durable LCD glass) which users might reasonably have expected from the outset. My Nikon D3 - barely more than the upgrade charge - may be a noisy beast but it does do 9 - 11 fps, has accurate framing and a tough LCD screen which is unmarked after 20000 exposures.

 

To put it bluntly, Leica are taking the piss and we badly need some competition to show them the way.

 

I agree Mark and the sooner they start putting direction signs up in the town of Sohms saying Leica-Panasonic the better .Or even better Leica ( a division of Nikon ).I am really pleased with my M8 and the rest of my M gear but Leica pricing structure is becoming silly.

 

Brian

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wow, jaap not defending Leica anymore...this is groundbreaking news. THE moment of 2008

 

We'll there is a point in which we as high paying customers have been pushed around enough. I was already on the edge with 3 dead M8's in a year (1 broke down and two dead replacements

luckely the shop took responsabillity instead of Leica) but now they gave me a great push in the wrong direction, and am trying to keep my balance (meanwhile totally ridiculled in another forum for having a Leica)

 

I propose we all send a angry mail towards leica's m8 support and invite them to come to the forum to defend this totally insane price increase

 

Or better we all march to Solms comming sunday and tear the place down

(no really, stick to the angry mail first)

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This is fascinating, given that right after the US Fed lowered interest rates and shot off the whole ammunition barn in an effort to kill the recession, the Dollar took a dive compared to the Euro. But, as others no doubt have noted, the US price has stayed the same at $1700 for the full works.

 

I am normally a Leica defender and bitter ender, but this is a significant public relations error, caused, I would bet, by accountants looking at foreign exchange ratios, and seeing EFX has gone haywire, rendering Leica's upgrade pricing haywire too.

 

And yes, the suspicion remains that somewhere, someone in Solms said: if the upgrade costs 2kEuros, maybe they'll just go for the M8.2....

 

I am sorry this has happened, and this is one of those times that Leica representatives, who we know do read this forum, should issue a statement explaining why a 50% cost increase was necessary. We may not buy it (the explanation), but offering transparency and open communication to partly negate the sense of tone-deafness and gouging here would, no doubt, go a long way.

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Guest stnami
(meanwhile totally ridiculled in another forum for having a Leica)
................now that's surprising

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Mmmmm.... perhaps Leica had their money with somebody named Madoff.

 

Yeah, that doesn't make any sense a price increase in Europe and not in US (and the math just doesn't add up - 2000 euros is a lot more than $1700).

 

Mine went off today because of a number of niggly issues (one being a re-repair of sticky framelines). It would make sense that when they have the thing stripped apart on the bench they could do the upgrade as well but it doesn't work that way. Anyway, I just want it working well. I think I'll hold out for the M9, though I doubt that'll be in my budget (I am a working photographer after all

)

 

Carsten,

 

Man she does not look happy! Doubt I would be either! Best of luck.

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I am normally a Leica defender and bitter ender, but this is a significant public relations error, caused, I would bet, by accountants looking at foreign exchange ratios, and seeing EFX has gone haywire, rendering Leica's upgrade pricing haywire too.

 

I completely agree, and I have also been a staunch Leica defender throughout the M8 evolution--even after starting out with three consecutive sudden death incidents during which no camera operated more than 8 days. This increase is way out of line and flatly says, "Screw you!" to the people who supported Leica with their M8 purchase in the first place. Someone in the upper echelon of that company needs to develop a sense of fairness.

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I contacted Leica on 11/27 and again on 12/2--specifically, Ursala in Solms. She quoted me a price of 1320 Euros for the frameline/sensor/screen upgrade. She also recommended I send it to Solms during the 8th week of 2009. So I just wrote her back and said that I am still planning on sending it, and am still expecting to pay the original quoted price since we have corresponded on the subject and I was quoted a price two weeks ago. It will be interesting to see what the response is.

 

SP

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Yup, its just one thing after another that just pushes me away further and further, I am in the US but I feel the European pain. It is part of a pattern and only a matter of time before we get it here. I spend money that is more than most people spend on Canon or Nikon products. Leica has priced me out. I guess I am a customer they don't need or want. I got your message Leica!!!

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I think this has much more to do with Leica deciding they do not want to be in the camera upgrading business and would much rather users dumped their M8s on the secondhand market (thereby creating the entry level digital M that's badly needed) and bought M8.2s instead.

 

The way to do that would have been to make the M8.2 a much more compelling buying proposition instead of the luke-warm makeover it is.

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I have not been a Leica defender, you know the old saying fool me once shame on me fool me twice shame on me. Well leica is at again nice to see people finally saying enough is enough.

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Yup, its just one thing after another that just pushes me away further and further, I am in the US but I feel the European pain. It is part of a pattern and only a matter of time before we get it here. I spend money that is more than most people spend on Canon or Nikon products. Leica has priced me out. I guess I am a customer they don't need or want. I got your message Leica!!!

It's not only a question of pricing people out: there's a substantial portion of Leica customers who like the rangefinder so much (and have enough money, I should add) that they accept paying high prices for a pleasurable, niche product - as long as there is some form or rational argument behind these (hand-made, short series, German labour costs, etc.)

However, even those people don't like being insulted. There's a fine line that cannot be crossed, even in a "luxury" market and I'm afraid for Leica that they are doing just that - crossing it.

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It's all about balance sheet, folks.

 

Why would Dr. Kaufmann pull money out of his pocket to subsidize your expensive hobby?

 

I wouldn't do it, he wouldn't do it ... anybody else who runs the company wouldn't do it.

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... The way to do that would have been to make the M8.2 a much more compelling buying proposition instead of the luke-warm makeover it is.

 

Fully agree Mark. Just put in a better sensor (not necessarily full frame, just better at high ISO); we could even live with the darn UV/IR filters, now that we've gotten used to them.

And, btw, just say that they have plans for a smaller CL-type camera; maybe even get Panasonic or Olympus to design one for them. Also, keep developing new lenses: we love them and will buy them.

Finally, while you're at it, admit defeat on the S2 and R10: everyone would understand this in the current economic climate. I would only feel sorry for the R users (I was briefly one of them several years ago), but it may well be a matter of survival for the company and, anyway, Canikon will always be a couple of steps ahead (and cheaper) in the DSLR market.

Now, that would do it for me: a sense of direction, and no more random decisions that end up pissing off their customers. Until this happens (and it won't I'm afraid), I can't justify spending more on new gear from a company that I feel is insulting me.

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It's all about balance sheet, folks.

 

Why would Dr. Kaufmann pull money out of his pocket to subsidize your expensive hobby?

 

I wouldn't do it, he wouldn't do it ... anybody else who runs the company wouldn't do it.

 

And why should M users subsidise wrong business decisions?

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Carsten,

 

Man she does not look happy! Doubt I would be either! Best of luck.

 

Oh, she's fine. Kids that small wear their emotions on their sleeves. Here she is a few moments later, smoldering. She had just heard about the Leica price increases:

 

 

Here is a more normal photo of her:

 

 

Anyway, enough of that. The problem with photos of my baby is that I cannot see when they are no longer good photos, as opposed to just good of her. I used to be able to with other people's babies, but I lost the ability, so I'd better stop posting photos of her.

 

What bothers me about this situation is that it is so unnecessary. Leica will not die from having to do upgrades, but they did put them on the market, and they did price them high the first time around. Remember all the heated discussions back then about the price? But it was okay. Now they cost more than some of their lenses!

 

While not wanting to criticise any of our American members personally, the whole situation with the pricing in the States just gets me so mad. Europe generally subsidizes lower pricing in the States by paying more. The pricing is often done at numerical par, ie. something that costs 500 dollars will cost 500 Euro. I am not happy about this, but realize how price-sensitive the American market is. Somehow, if Americans don't get a better deal than everyone else, they don't buy. I can accept this with products like Apple computers, since after all they are designed in the States (Macs for Europe are built in China and assembled in Ireland). I can also accept this with Japanese products, since the States is their primary export market, but when this starts coming from European companies, it just gets me so mad. And Leica just went much further. They priced the upgrade numerically way above what Americans pay, never mind the not insignificant exchange rate.

 

It is one thing to drop an offering due to lack of demand, or lack of desire to keep it going. Pricing it out of existence is an insult though, especially to those of us who wanted to do it, but have been waiting for various reasons. I was happy when I heard that the quieter shutter was offered. I was really happy when I heard that the framelines had finally been fixed. And now I won't have either. I really feel shafted by this. I really feel so mad that I find myself looking around at my options. An A900? Maybe. Maybe a Nikon, now that there is a Leica R to Nikon F adapter on the market. I just feel the urge to do something. The very least that will happen is that all my Leica M purchasing decisions have been put on hold, and my S2 thoughts have been canned, like my Noctilux plans were canned when they raised those prices. I cannot plan around a company which consistently raises prices on a massive scale. Anything I want in their lineup could be placed out of reach anytime.

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It took me a couple of months to convince one of my best friends (a real good amateur fan of FM2 and M6 and traditional b&w) to go to digital and of course to the M8. He was ready to buy one M8 for Christmas with two additional WA lenses.

 

I just informed him (and I had to do) about the way Leica is dealing with its own faithful (for how long?) customers with this new update pricing (and not forgeting to tell him how painful the first year was with my M8 (purchased in December 2006 with still some lenses not properly focusing even after repairs, one adjustment of the viewfinder, and not counting on this rather curious initial choice of framelines (for which we have to pay to come back to something we have had for years with the M6!, ...).

 

Now he is really doubting... and asked me whether I ever thought about a N... D700 or a S... A900 with other good lenses (there are other German lens manufacturers ...)!

 

Viel SpaB Leica!

 

And if, as discussed in this thread, such decision may have been taken to decrease the flow of M8s for update during the first half of 2009 and shift more ressources to the S2 line, I would think that strategicly and taking into account the current financial and economic situation, it is better to keep its traditional clients than dreaming on a new market penetration with a superlative offer which might at the end just be a beautiful collector for the most fortunates.

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When I bought my two M8s 15 months ago I did not know what I was getting into, this forum here was undiscovered territory for me. My accomplishment was to secure financing with meiner Finanzministerin in charge of our household treasury. Reading about the mishaps other people went through or currently experience I consider myself very lucky.

 

 

So I'm glad about my second thoughts after the Photokina 08 of mailing them to Solms, paying 1600 euro and risking the bliss of perfectly functioning M8s for more quiet and less shaky shutters.

Dr. K.'s latest marketing decision confirmed mine to deal with the company in a most reserved manner. Let others fall for the Leica (or Jaguars from the 60ies etc. ...

) game, that we are more interested to buy than they are in selling to us.

 

Why not take pictures instead and enjoy it?

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This is why several of us working pros bailed out when we did or earlier in the case of some of the top dogs I know. You just can't count on a darn thing they are doing now. Then enter in this nutty economy and you wonder just how Leica is even going fiscally get to the next digital M.

 

I have an M6, MP3 and two M3's with all the glass I will ever need, I am set. Maybe one day they will blow me away with a mature digital product that does not even need upgrading outside of the usual firmware update.

 

If I did not care about the company, I would just say stuff it, but they are Leica for pete's sake, up until this chapter, they have been a world apart from other cameras.

 

This is simply insane, I am glad I got out of the M8 race when I did. The Canon G10 I just replaced it with ( for super light, climbing, skiing work ) is incredibly good! I have even figured out how to tame ISO 400-800 in raw. For what, the gnarly price of $400 bucks?

 

Jason Stoller, tell Leica to Wake the heck UP!

 

... or won't. I agree with your analysis re Leica's financial difficulties but, to be honest, this increasingly starts to look like a scam... This price hike seems like a desperate attempt to get some revenues - either through the upgrade or, perhaps, by hoping that their current (unbelievably loyal) customer base will decide that the M8.2 is now better value than M8u, buy it, sell their M8 on eBay, so that the new owners of a used M8 will start buying lenses from Leica... Sounds too good to be true these days.

Perhaps I'm too pessimistic but I don't see how, in the current economy, the S2 and the R10 (next year?) are going to keep them out of trouble, particularly if they insist on pissing off their current M customers...

 

I, for one, was going to have my M8 upgraded AND buy a second M8.2 body as soon as my dealer would receive the 24/1.4 that I had pre-ordered (hopefully sometime in Feb next year).

Now, I found the 50% price increase so outrageous that (a) I won't get the upgrade, (

I cancelled the order for the lens and the M8.2 today and © promised to myself that I will not buy a new M camera (or lens) until they come up with a better sensor (if they ever do).

At the end of the day, I'm realising that my investment in the M system is basically a bunch of Leica and CV lenses and that, rather than counting on Leica to "protect my investment" I'd rather do it myself by buying a couple of film M6's on eBay (about the cost of the upgrade) and enjoy the glass and the rangefinder experience for the next couple of decades...

 

Sorry, but I had to let some steam off...

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