Does Leica need money fast (M8 horror story)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by reinier_de_vlaam, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Last summer I took my M8 to greenland. It took some amazing shoots in the first 5 days and I was quit happy. Then came a day it started to rain. So wisely I decided to put the M8, that was in a side-pocket on the belt of my backpack, inside the backpack, between dry cloths. When we came back to camp, it proved that some condensation was present on the camera and the camera was dead. I tried to revive it by drying it in the sun the next few days, but it remained dead. Luckely I also brought an M6 as back-up, just in case the batteries of the M8 would have run out. I had to shoot the remaining 2 weeks with the M6. A guy with the 400D and kitlens who was less carefull with his camera than I was had a smile on his face the rest of the tour As the camera was only 8 months old I returned it to Leica when I came home, expecting waranty as other M8's survided worse treatment I read on the web. I send it together with a well cared for, always filter mounted 50mm summy to have it coded. To my ashtonisment Leica came back to me: M8: waterdamage, cost 3340euro, yes your read correctly 3340euro. My god, that is almost the price of a new one. What will they do, just screw the serial number on another body and take a big profit??? I had some mail conversation with them, but got only 1 short mail. We see waterdamage (some pictures attached of 2 components with green corrosion on them), we have no weatherseals, so no waranty. After that no more responses. Even the importer (transcontinenta) was stunned by a) the price quote and b) the attitude of Leica in this case. Accoridng to Leica the summy was havily used with severe wear on the glass, over 500 euro's of cost. I had an expert look at it and he told me that beside some paint wear the summi was in great condition. Fortunaly I was insured and they paid for the camera. But they are so anoyed by Leica that anyone in the Netherlands now wanting to insure an M8 can not cover it for waterdamage as they are "fed up with the way Leica expects us to clean up their mess". Now what is going on here. Does Leica need money fast? Over the backs of their existing users? Did the S2 development cost too much? I don't know but it is not what I expected from a reputed company
    00QzFD-73775584.jpg
     
  2. You have passport coverage?
     
  3. I think passport is a thing of the past.

    One possible explanation might be that the water damage visable is very small and the circuit board is repairable or replaceable although getting it out to repair might be expensive. They could be concerned with more hidden damage that must be covered by the original quote. They have more than likely seen this before and they know what they are getting into.

    I must admit the whole thing is a poor design if it can`t take a few drops of water. I will also say you should have dried it before sealing it up. The external moisture evaporates and seaps everywhere as water vapor.

    I am totally turned off by this machine, its poor design, high cost, and low reliability. I have many Leica film bodies, M, R, and a few screw mounts and none have issues like the M 8.

    Now they come up with a $15000 MF reflex (body only)that is so outragously priced it it beyond consideration.
    All in all, when film is gone to feed the film bodies, that is the end for me and Leica. My Nikon digital collection is nearly complete at thes time.
     
  4. You couldn't give me a Leica. Well, you could, but I'd sell it. I've had my fill of Leica "quality."
     
  5. Leica lists a customer service phone number on their website. Did you ever try phoning them? I sure would have.

    Also, in certain situations if you purchased in a reputable camera store they might handle warranty issues for you.
     
  6. actually I loved the M8. It is digital rangefinder almost as it should be. Image quality is good, I stunned a pro with 5Ds
    with them...

    However I'm totally turned of by the fact that it went dead after a few drops of condense water and totally put of by the
    behaviour of Leica in this case...

    It is sad a reputed company comes to this low

    Now I'm looking what to do, rangefinder in part of the way I work so I love it. Nikon failed to make the rumors of a
    digital RF true at the kina so I think I have no other option that an M8 again. And I'm pissed of by that...

    sure will not be a new one, not going to reward Leica for bad behavior...
     
  7. Sorry to learn of the camera's vulnerability and the 3340 Euro quote for repairs -- that is an awfully steep price.

    I didn't realize that in the UK -- not where I am, and evidently not where Reinier is either -- there is still a form of all-inclusive "Passport Warranty"

    http://uk.leica-camera.com/news/news/1/5808.html

    As I recall, the Passport was not offered with the M8 in the U.S. (I don't have an M8.)
     
  8. Incidentally, Reinier, assuming I have found your site, I enjoyed a number of shots there. Because of my own interests, I turned to your street pictures -- after first learning that the word is 'straat' :) -- and especially appreciated this photograph and several others.
    I know that does nothing to ease the sting of a 3340 Euro repair charge. Very bad luck on that M8 affair, and a disappointing company response as well.
    - Michael
     
  9. An elecrtonic item that "saw water" often is a TIME/MONEYsink hole for a repair outfit. Folks say that the camera got some rain; often its salt spray. The item has to be taken apart; each board, each trace, each IC cleaned, vacuumed, swabbed. Any trace of salt or crud WILL with time make stuff grow back; the unit then gets flakey and dies later on; the "repair" boomerangs back to you with a mad customer. One can remove a board; or just stick it dangleing in an ultrasonic bath to remove alot of the crud; then when it dries there is more crud growing back. The labor to do this is alot. Often if folks just removed the batteries and dried out the item a unit will work; IF its not salt spray. Typically folks leave the batteries in; trying to power it up when there is still moisture; this makes crap grow; traces/pins get shorted; some IC's get ruined. Customers want their baby electronic item to work like new; the repair chaps have this hokey screwed up mess that requires a complete disasembly and rebuild; with massive labor, and a repair that often will fail again.

    In laymans terms a water damaged item is a simple fix; just like a flooded car is; or a camera that was dropped off a skyscraper; or a cellphone that was used a hockey puck; or a car that hit a wall at 15mph.

    From a repair standpoint water damaged electronic items often get returned if the repair was not complete. Its radically worse for a modern electonic design where the traces are tight; componets small. Here I have a 1964 Magnavox stereo that when under salt water during Katrina that still works with NO repairs; the caps; resisitors; transistors are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart; salt didnt ruin it. With a cell phone, AA battery wall clocks, radios that didnt get flooded; just the that water/salt in the air ruined them; plus it ruined "weatherproof" P&S cameras that were on shelves that didnt flood; just the water vapor ruined stuff.

    The almost the price of a new one. has to be for water damage is often a ticking cancer for an electronic item. If they "absorb" the repair for free the money has to come from somewhere; ie higher prices of other items they sell. From a repair persons standpoint dealing with customers on water damaged items is a time sinkhole; they think the repair should cost little; your experience is often you loose your rear fixing the item(s). Like cars many consumer items get "totalled" when the repair costs grow huge; or where the repair will not hold with time.

    Maybe if the repair folks took a cut in pay; or benefits; or vacation time the repairs could be done for a lower fee too. OR Leica could "eat" the repair like a welfare handout and spread the cost to all other customers; or water proof cameras could be built and each items cost made a few grand more? If it was MY camera I would take it apart myself if repair cost approached a new unit. This has huge risk; a new camera doesnt have repair docs, one doent know even the "tricks" to get it apart. A failed IC or chip might be not available; or cost as much as a summicron.

    The story is not about 'horror" its about the issues faced with alot of other water damaged items; ie massive labor costs where the item's owner thinks the repair should cost 1/10 of actual. Here I get calls from folks who just got their dslr, or P&S "a little wet"; or got "a little sand on it"; or "it just saw a little drop" and are outraged that the other repair folks want XYZ dollars; close to what they paid for the item; and think I can magically fix the item for nothing. Water damage, dropping, sand is considered abuse and not wear and tear of most warrantys; if it is then somehow these repair costs have to be paid for.

    Water damage is often not "real small"; it the owners understanding of the problem that is "real small"; thus in simple terms the repairs are easy. The camera repair might work to bring the unit "up/alive"; then one repair chap discovers the sensor has crap on it or has water damage too. This is what happened to a friends Canon dslr that "got repaired" for water/moisture. The "horror" if any is dealing with repair customers; they are rarely happy when their baby item needs repairing; but really needs to be scrapped. Many digital cameras and cellphones are really never repaired when dropped or when they see water damage; the costs are too high. From a repair standpoint the lower end arena is like TV's; you chuck them out. With a higher end camera folks often consider a repair; but are dumfounded why the cost is alot.
     
  10. That is a horror story. I've just sent my M8 in again for repairs. If I get this sort of b.s. I'll get rid of it. No professional
    camera should be this fragile.
     
  11. Maybe Leica could just fix any M8 within 3 years; for any reason and just bump up the initial price to pay for these costs? Many folks would be happier! :) Or the M8W could be built thats waterproof; that costs twice as much? Or water damaged items could be fixed at a loss;and the welfare costs spread to other company items? or maybe one could sue the weatherman? :) Its nothing new that water damage is abuse; it was like that 50 years ago too.
     
  12. Sadly, Kelly is right. A electronic product that isn't waterproofed that was exposed to liquid will typically cost as much to repair as it cost to
    begin with. Same with computers.

    Modern electronic devices are built from a handful of expensive components rather than tons of tiny mechanical bits. And liquid seeps in
    and gets everywhere and destroys things in moments.

    Sucks, but that's how it is.
     
  13. You'd think there'd be at least a bare minimum level of protection - even if splashproofing was not provided. That's a very sad
    experience...
     
  14. Here I am abit paranoid about my Epson RD-1/s getting wet. I have gone thru more cellphones than I want to admit with dumb accidents too; one went into the bathroom sink; another fell out of a pocket while replacing plywood decking on a roof; hitting the concrete slab. With many Olympus D360L 1.3 Megapixel digitals I use to shoot repair photos; many have failures but they still work in klunky way. One wont allow deleteing images; another drains the batteries quickly like bypass cap has leakage ; another has a door/camshell switch flakeyness. The first unit D360L cost 350 bucks new; a MINIMUM repair quote was 120 bucks; the 3 spares via ebay cost less than 80 bucks total; some with several cards.
     
  15. Yes I would be "ticked" too if my camera was an M8 and required 3340 euros to repair for "a little water damage". Its really an unknown what abuse (shock, vibration, water) a consumer item can take and we only learn after folks like Reinier have had a loss what one repair cost is; of an unknown amount of water that invaded the camera.
     
  16. Reiner-
    Did Leica bill you for the 3340 euros? Or did they send you an estimate?
    In USA, we have courts where such matters can be contested.
     
  17. Even if a major electronic component or two were lost, you wouldn't expect that much cost. Being that it is electronic, you'd think they'd take extra measures to protect its innards. [Snide paragraphs about watchmakers, brass hammers, and soldering irons were removed, for the sake of brevity, by the author]
     
  18. Did Leica bill you for the 3340 euros?

    I recently took photos of a golf tournament in constant, on/off rain, all day. I was using a D200 which I was constantly wiping down……I was expecting it to go pop any moment…..it didn’t.

    Real world conditions, no second chances, no excuses….

    Get your act together Leica.
     
  19. Being an electronic engineer I will comment that, in my opinion, the entire PCB assembly should be replaced in this instance. There may well be multiple PCB assemblies inside the M8 - I don't know. The cost of the complete, assembled, PCBs will definitely not be more than a few hundred Euro's, probably significantly less. They probably use at least one dedicated chip which may be more expensive. I also cannot believe disassembling the body, replacing the PCBs, reassembling, and functional testing would take longer than a couple of hours. Considering the age of the camera and the reported careful use, this sounds like a very bad scenario. I only own an old, but very nice, Leica III and will acquire an M3 when I can afford to - but that's it. Until Leica return to the real world and offer quality products at a realistic price, backed up by excellent customer service, I will stick with my much cheaper Canon DSLRs which outperform Leica in many aspects, such as cost, reliability, customer service. Nobody can honestly say there is too much wrong with the image quality of a 5D fitted with good L lenses...... In fact I would rather go to war with my 350D than with an M8!
     
  20. Kelly is the one all wet here, you ought to read the post better. Reinier said he was in Greenland and the camera was not hit by rain but temperature condensation.

    I must say any electronic device intended to go outside should be designed to handle some temperature variation causing condensation. Thats point one.

    next, this is an extremely expensive camera made of the same magnesium as Nikon and Canon use with a lot less features, electronics and a smaller and less sophisticated sensor. Leica mechanical cameras could at least say they had better mechanics, this camera has the same electronics in common with other digital camera. Point two.

    Finally, after paying twice as much than superior digital FF products that are built to actually go outside come back inside and not die from simple condensation I am sure these problems don't don't occur with the Nikon and Canon. Heck for that kind of money one expects the camera would have enough profit margin to fix the repair.

    Nobody here should be making excuses for Leica, unless you are a Leica toadie, Reinier I agree with you I would get a lawyer and sue them, maybe contact Ralph Nader to find out what to do. Its like a lemon a camera that cannot function outdoors without even getting rained on.
     
  21. In laymans terms the repair cost of a water damaged item such as a camera; cellphone; car should be little, ie minor.<BR><BR> In like matter the cost Photographers charge for a wedding shoot should be little too; or the cost of calling a plumber?<BR><BR> In lay terms the other chaps job is easy; he is always ripping you off; his time is worthless; materials and tools are free, gold bars arrive in the mailbox each day to support free repairs or lowball ones.<BR><BR> A huge amount of consumer electronic items today are often chucked out when they fail. Some new "save the planet" lead free solders are less robust; they often are harder to deal with in repairs. We get a cleaner planet and more expensive repairs.<BR><BR> The pitch between the legs of an IC is radically smaller; any crap that bridges two pins can cause a fault. Folks are less educated; there is a massive amount complex tiny IC's; a rats nest of flex cables a small amount of water can short out and cause alot of damage when the circuits are still powered up. The voltage accelerates the damage; crap grows from IC pin to pin. Ther can be a trace/whiff of crud that tracks between traces and acts to rebias a circuit. A unit "fixed unit" that passes all tests can fail in a week; month, year. you get the darn unit back again; the customer wants another free repair. A water damaged item is often a time bomb with another failure around the corner. One spends all this time with a stereo microscope looking at all, the possible bridges growing on traces; pins; IC legs brushing them off'; attempting the fix. Most of the time is far cheaper to swap out an entire board if the device is designed to be repaired; rather than fart around replacing an IC thats a pinhead in size. One pulls off the IC and finds not only is the IC bad; but there is more crap ie bridging on traces running under the IC. If one has connectors for the board; this adds cost; less reliability and a further area where water can cause corrision.<BR><BR> In lay terms repairs are easy; free; the repair chap has infinite time; no other camera to fix; no family,zero wages; free parts, free healthcare, things are easy to take apart; the water damage "repair" is easy and confined ; the water ruins just one part; it takes only minutes; the entire repair is pure profit; like what msot photographers make! :) <BR><BR>Whats the actual actual basis of "feeling the repair should cost alot"?
     
  22. Yes. Obviously Leica needs money fast. Your repair alone will keep them functional for at least 2-3 minutes. Didn't you post this whole thing on another website...? Are you just making the rounds so you can whine in as many different places as possible? How about taking out the battery next time if you put it away wet. You know, the really funny thing about this, is I've used my M8 IN THE RAIN, and have never had a problem with it....
     
  23. the really funny thing about this, is I've used my M8 IN THE RAIN, and have never had a problem with it....

    Steve, it is not weather sealed in any way. Not good advice for someone who has just dropped an arm and leg on a
    cam.

    Not a statement Leica would be very happy with either. Second thoughts, maybe not, when you can charge a small
    fortune for the repair.
     
  24. Harvey the post says Then came a day it started to rain. So wisely I decided to put the M8, that was in a side-pocket on the belt of my backpack, inside the backpack, between dry cloths. When we came back to camp, it proved that some condensation was present on the camera and the camera was dead.

    All the repair place knows is there is water damage; ie the camera insides got all wet; not me. One really doesnt know if the camera got rained on; or if the backpack was waterproof; or if the camera got chilled to the outside air; or what the air temp was. There has to be more than a little "Simple condensation" to ruin most electrical items.

    An 1950's and 1960's method was to place the camera next to ones body/under a coat so it stays warm; so water doesnt condense in a lens or camera. Most Digital cameras are sold to NOT be used in the rain. A failure from just condensation sounds abit of a stretch.

    So if Leica gets sued because this M8 got water damage whats the spec for how many drops; cc's, liters of water its warranted for?

    How about folks removing the battery from a damp or sprinked unit before attempting to turn it on? Thats what the National Camera folks courses taught in the 1960's. Greenland is darn dry compared to say New Orleans; its colder too. The dry bulb versus wet bulbs temp is often just a degree or two on a Summer day in New Orleans, condensation can occur by just carrying your camera outside. Greenland has a super low humidity; the wet and dry bulb temps are radically way apart in temperature. If the camera was allowed to reach the colder outside air the condensation probably occured after the camera was in a warmer inside room; ie a building; since the camera was below the dewpoin of the inside air. A 1950's camera book will mention to allow time for a radical the change to avoid condensation in a lens or camera body; the body kept wrapped until its warm.



    If there is/was a problem with condensation with M8's in Greenland where are the complaints from folks in moist Singapore; Bangkok, New Orleans?
     
  25. And I will put this story everywhere I can, not to whine, but so as much others can learn from my great expirience...

    I'm an electronic engineer too, I know what IC's these days looks like and I also know it is pretty easy and cheap to protect them agains basic moisture. No not water, but certainly condensation. A 4K camera, instended for outdoor use, should be able to withstand this. As said, tourmenbers treated there much cheaper camera's far worse. One even took a dip, when falling over in a stream we were crossing. No problem at all.

    I was a Leica fan. I loved there camera's, owned R4, R7, M6 and M8. Even the M8 is a great camera in its way. I'm even considering getting a used one to replace the M8, simply because I love to use RFs. But if there was an alternative, I'd be out this second after this expirience.

    I kno leicophilias will protect there brand until death follows. I used to be one, though a critical one, but now I'm cured forever.

    My insurance paid up, to give you an indication: they questioned me a lot and there conclusion was, you did nothing wrong, this should have been waranty, and we will kick the M8 out of our insurances (se above). So that is the response of real-world people ;-) to this case

    and btw I have witnesses on how I treated the camera, I'm no winer about my loss, this is a true case. No salt water, no heavy rain. No when the first drops came I put it in the backpack between dry cloths to protect it. This is pure condensation water and should not have been a problem. It will happen here in holland as well so I would love keeping and M8 but would I ever trust it again...??
     
  26. Kelly Flanigan, are you for real? It amazes that there's always people who will defend the camera companies when there is no reasonable defense. Just admit that Leica is wrong, and it's Leica being Leica.

    And I thought Nikon biotches drank the KoolAid. This is taking it to whole new level. What's in it for you?
     
  27. "Steve, it is not weather sealed in any way. Not good advice for someone who has just dropped an arm and leg on a cam."

    My arm, my leg....not your wallet - why should you care? But, it's worked fine in two situations in the rain. I just dried it off and put it back in the bag. BTW - the camera kicks butt...I've been making 20x30 prints from the files after figuring out the correct work flow.

    The camera + 4 lenses fits into a bag that is not much larger than my Hasselblad 500cm camera, PME viewfinder, and 50mm lens. Couldn't say enough nice things about it....but, as always, your mileage may vary depending upon how you treat your equipment. As John Wayne once said, "Life's tough." "It's even tougher if you're stupid."
     
  28. Jeffrey; it just sounds real odd that a camera would fail due to condensation after being used in a dry area like Greenland. <BR><BR>There is "nothing in it for me". It just doesnt add up; a camera with "water damage" that died in a dry climate; radically drier that the rest of the world due to condensation only. <BR><BR>Getting moisture to condense in a super area requires a larger temperature difference; ie like a stone cold camera was brought into a warm room and the water condensed on the item; like a cold beer glass; or it got rained one and one was unlucky.<BR><BR><BR><BR> I really am not for or against Leica; I dont believe in getting a free camera for one that went underwater; or that folks should keep quiet if the camera only got a few drops on it either<BR><BR>.<BR><BR> A camera can just fail due to a bad solder joint too; with the moisture problem of corrosion NOT the real failure mode. The many comments that folks make about folks thinking a moisture damaged electronic item as being a simple and inexpensive thing sort of comes across abit bizzare.. I guess most folks here have never worked in repair of consumer goods, or worked on electronic items that have seen water damage since the dogma preached is the repair should be cheap; easy or for free. In Katrina areas often cars, cameras even houses etc were totaled out because of the publics lack of understanding about water damage and the costs of repair involved.<BR><BR> I spent many years in the disc drive industry dealing with failures in the field; failures often do not follow the tenured chaps little models at all. In several cases the units that ran hotter lasted longer due to LESS moisture problems; it the real life test units have a perpendicular line to the dogma groups Arrhenius curve. If the M8 in question was taken apart; the failure mode becomes less of a guess; more like detective work; this helps with making the design more robust if the design can be improved. There can just be decent water resistant seals that do not work well at lower temps; a la space shuttle. Or there can be just a part left off; or the camera had a bad solder joint. This is just one data point; one camera; the Koolaid drinkers here may not grasp that it doesnt apply to all M8's. <BR><BR> I bought a NEW Nikkormat FTN-K in 1974 that had a MTBF of about 2 to 5 rolls of film; it lived in the Garden City repair for more than I owned; ie died three times; finally it was stolen. Yet some used Nikkormats FS; FT Ftns never failed; even the new one I bought in 1973. Yet a used NIkon F I got in 1962 has never had a CLA; it never even had "foam" either and peanut gallery always say one should add foam; get a cla too. <BR><BR>One might ask others how many M8s of died due to condensation or rain; since this thread implies the camera dies with a hint of moisture. Folks with a closed mind cannot accept that this is a grey area; moisture damage. With my own cameras such as my Epson RD-1/s I dry it off if it gets a sprinkle; its allowed to air dry; its not stored away wet. <BR><BR>
     
  29. Pentax has a digital body-lens camera unit that is good for 15 feet of water depth. Light moisture and 3,340 euro makes for one "not-so-good" initial investment.



    Good luck in your future trips....
     
  30. So what does it say in the M8's owners manual's boilerplate about rain and moisture? This might be critcial if the goal is to sue and get another camera. Many consumer electonic items mention to dry the unit off; take the batteries out; and allow the unit to be dry before trying to turn it on again.
     
  31. Here's my problem with this whole story. He first posted this on 8-08 on another Leica forum, and the story gets more convoluted,and less his fault every time he's posted it. Now, he's got new, revised versions on two other forums...at first he just put the camera in the side pocket of his back pack, now it was neatly packed between towels...etc. Not that packing it in towels would protect it from condensation. But, where did the towels come from?

    Apparently, he just can't get enough sympathy.
     
  32. "So what does it say in the M8's owners manual's boilerplate about rain and moisture?"

    Page 125 of the M8 Instructions:

    "Ensure that water cannot get into the Leica M8, e.g. when it is snowing or raining and on the beach. If salt water spray gets onto the Leica M8, wet a soft cloth with tap water, wring it out thoroughly and wipe the camera with it. Then wipe the camera with a dry cloth."

    Condenstation:
    If condensation has formed on or in the Leica M8, you should turn it off and leave it to stand at room temperature for around an hour. Once the camera temperature has adjusted to room temperature, the condensation will disappear by itself."
     
  33. Steve,

    While you are at it, why don't you kick his dog?
     
  34. "My arm, my leg....not your wallet - why should you care"

    Well, Steve, it goes like this.....

    Why should we care about anything as long as we are, alright?

    Unfortunately in the real world not all folk have fat bulging wallets...not having the tough choice, of the day, as to what
    to gorge their money on. So, they and look on the internet seeking information on what cams are value for money,
    and how good they are..places like this.

    So, i don't think it is very nice to pull someone’s pants down, feeding them a load of nonsense, about the superiority
    of a very expensive cam...when is just not true.

    Perhaps then they will purchase a more sensible option, and be able to feed and cloth their children, and pay their
    mortgage this month......perhaps then the world would not be in the mess it’s presently in.....
     
  35. Typical Leica. Leica Geosystems is exactly the same way (I know, different branches, but they act the EXACT same way).

    I've never met a leica rep that wasn't an arrogant prick. They are unrealistic, these pieces of crap are tested in a lab, not in the real world, and it shows.

    My $50 cell phone has gone through the washing machine and still works... 3 years later. What the hell is wrong with leica that they can't invest $100 into their products in the form of weather sealing? Is rubber really that expensive these days?

    This is exactly the reason i would NEVER buy a leica.
     
  36. Why is there always so much bickering in the Leica forum? Regardless of what it says in the owners manual, if I had a
    camera that cost that much and dies after being exposed to a bit of condensation, I would be pretty annoyed. Even
    more so when the manufacturers tried to land me with a bill like that to fix it! It's a box of circuits, I'm NOT an electronics engineer but I honestly cant imagine that they cost that much to produce.

    Anyway, for a camera that allegedly aimed at pro photographers it's pretty poor that it isn't protected somehow. So
    much for Leica quality. This is taken from the Leica website:

    Robustness & discretion
    The new LEICA M8.2 is the very first professional digital camera to use an ultra scratch-resistant sapphire crystal as
    coverglass for the camera monitor. It is so hard that it can only be worked with special diamond tools. The camera also
    sports a new easy-grip and specially robust "vulcanite" finish.

    Ha!!! Reinier, don't you feel lucky that they thought of that 'ultra scratch-resistant sapphire crystal', at least your LCD
    screen isn't damaged!
     
  37. Ah, just noticed my mistake. You have the M8 not the M8.2. If only you had paid for the 1320 EURO (!) upgrade, they
    might have thought to put a bit of rubber tubing in there somewhere...
     
  38. I actually had considered the M8.2 until I read this story. I don't care what sort of glass they use for the monitor. If the
    camera cannot deal with condensation it's not worth it. Too bad Leica is this lousy about backing up its flagship M camera.
    When working the M8 is a great camera to use. But if ever I go to Greenland it will be with an M6 and an M2 as a backup.
     
  39. In August I took the ferry from Burlington, VT to NY to go to Ausable Chasm. If I had known that the water level in the chasm was so low I would have brought a camera. The walking/hiking path is no problem but we went on the raft ride too. As it turned out the water was calm and I could have taken a camera but I left body and some lenses in a knapsack in the car instead. After the raft ride I went back to the entrance area and got a few nice shots of the waterfall area. I do not generally like to leave any camera equipment in a car but I wanted to be able to have it for later in the day and for the ferry rides. What I have thought about for a while but have not yet acted on is getting a late model Nikonos with the standard 35/2.5 lens. I would be interested in knowing the name of a place which specializes in servicing and maintaining Nikonos VF (non-SLR) cameras. I have two of the yellow Minolta 110 underwater cameras somewhere even though I have never actually used them under water. For prints up to about 5X7 you can have some fun with these.

    There was a thread recently which discussed the issue of when people would be afraid to bring an expensive camera. When you see a TV show on lobster fishermen in the Bering Sea, the company shooting the episodes has an adequate budget for ruined equipment. The average person doesn't have as large a budget for this. I don't take pictures for a living so I woudn't bring any electronic camera to a place where it might get wet. It's just the wrong equipment for that purpose. If the weather is iffy I will take an old Nikkormat. It would have to get really wet for the battery or meter to stop working and the shutter is mechanical. Would I take a Minolta X-700 or Konica FT-1 in the same weather? No I wouldn't.

    In the summer of 1973 I went with my parents across Canada fro Winnipeg to Vancouver Island. In between was the Columbia Ice Field. We took a ride on a half track type of vehicle on the glacier. It was snowing pretty hard and I was afraid to take out my Konica Autoreflex T2. I used my father's Konica Auto S1.6. To protect the camera I removed the UV filter and put a plastic bag over the camera. Then I screwed the filter in over the bag to cut a hole in it. After that I removed the round piece and caught the edges of the hole when I put the filter back. The camera was protected and I got some nice shots. Using an expensive electronic camera without protection in bad weather or near water is just not recommended. There are alternatives.
     
  40. Not trying to be funny, but don't people pretty much buy Leica for the name, like spending $6,000 on a Prada bag or pair of
    shoes? I have heard bad things about Leica service, and that even their newer (film) cameras still use technology that has
    not evolved since the 1950's and '60's. I'm not saying that Leicas are garbage, I'm just suggesting that money would be
    better spent buying a camera that is actually designed for practical use. It's like buying a $150 pair of Timberlands versus
    $6000 Alligator shoes. Sure, you can walk in both, but which one do you think you will wear anywhere and not worry
    yourself stupid about scuffing them, or if they will hold up for what you need them for?
     
  41. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Using an expensive electronic camera without protection in bad weather or near water is just not recommended.
    I use a Canon 1DMk3 in wet environments all the time. It's not about electronics, it's about weather sealing. BTW, some of these environments have non-water fluids and that hasn't been a problem either.
     
  42. Too bad, but to be expected.

    Leicas are not made for professionals. They are made for yuppies. This has been the case for many, many, many years now. They don't expect you or anyone who owns one to blink at that sort of repair cost, or to get a second opinion. If you want a camera to do well in difficult situations, you need a pro body, and this has always been the case. The M8 is great, but fragile, obviously. Leica is doomed, and for good reason. They ought to just be smart and sell off to Nikon or Canon.

    IMHO, get an M2, M3, or M4 and a nice film scanner if you must use a Leica.
     
  43. OT - Jeff Adler asked "What I have thought about for a while but have not yet acted on is getting a late model
    Nikonos with the standard 35/2.5 lens. I would be interested in knowing the name of a place which specializes in
    servicing and maintaining Nikonos VF (non-SLR) cameras."

    Jeff the place is http://www.southern-nikonos.com/ I believe they bought all the spares / repair parts from Nikon
    when the Nikonos was discontinued. I have had good luck dealing with them.

    You can buy a fully mechanical Nikonos III w the 35mm lens for just over $100-. I believe every photographer who
    lives an active lifestyle around the water should own one, even if they are not a diver.
     
  44. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    If water is bad for the M8, I'll bet Champagne isn't.
     
  45. This is indeed a sad tale Reiner and as an M8 owner myself, I find your story very disturbing. You have my
    sympathy - 3340 euros for the repair seems outrageous to me and based upon what you have told us, it looks like
    Leica is giving you the brush-off. As a fan of many of Leica's offerings and a fairly heavily invested customer
    myself, I am very disappointed to hear this.

    Contrary to what the press is saying, perhaps Leica is actually doing really well if they can afford to treat
    their existing customers like this!

    Reiner, you're sure to get one or two of the (thankfully) minority of mean-spirited souls here who will basically
    tell you to stop whining, but such schadenfreude is easy to indulge in when they're not the one who is suffering.
    As Alex points out, putting even more money into an M8 for the upgrade seems much less appealing in light of this.
     
  46. I don't think I would throw good money after bad by buying another M8. True, the images I have seen from them are nearly as good as film (sorta). So just shoot film. The fragility and complexity of a digital RF camera that costs many thousands of dollars is a dead end street unless you are shooting w/ other people's money. It is just an accident waiting to happen. Now that your accident has happened, don't drive into the same tree w/ the same car. Buy yourself a perfectly good film RF camera and some good glass. Get a good scanner and some pro film. Prepare to be absolutely pleased by the results. If you could get an M8 for a reasonable price I would say differently, but you can't.
     
  47. When I posted I was reluctant to say I am an EE because there is nothing wrong with what was done here according to Reineirs post. The problem is in shoddy design. Why my $39 atomic Casio watch which has a radio inside to receive clocking from the Colorado atomic clock, solar cells, lcd display, and other electronic subsystems comes with me to the pool, showers and whirlpool and still works? Its the design, proper seals etc.

    Leica is a premium cost item with so so IQ that can be matched at less than half the cost. Sticking a customer who spends that kind of money for the repair for condesation is amazing.

    About this notion that dry cold means that condensation will not take place is dumb. If I take a beer mug and stick it in my frost free freezer let it cool for a half hour which is equivalent to the camera here and then put it in the warm bag and take it indoors where the temperature is much warmer its going to sweat. The air indoors can hold more moisture and the temperature differential insures condensation.

    Asking someone to fiddle with removing batteries, not switching it on and waiting for gradual camera warming is a good way of saying your camera will miss that photographic moment you took the camera along to capture.

    Even a cheap P&S will do a better job than this for one tenth the price.
     
  48. Here's my problem with this whole story. He first posted this on 8-08 on another Leica forum...
    Yes, and I asked why he didn't CALL Leica Customer Service and he ignored the comment.
    Looks like a lot of people are getting hysterical about this, just on the basis of hearsay..
     
  49. Alex, you must be on first-name basis with the Leica folks in Tokyo, you've sent your M8 in so many times! What a lot of
    hassle for a lot of money!
     
  50. Now what is going on here. Does Leica need money fast?
    Yes. The likely culprit is Leica's slumping sales, reported in this Wall Street Journal article, which in turn was discussed in this thread. The most relevant text from the article is as follows:
    Leica reported in August that revenue for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30 fell by nearly half to €26.999 million from the year-earlier quarter, and reported a net loss of €3.85 million. It reiterated that it expects a loss approaching €10 million for the fiscal year ending March 2009, and break-even or slightly positive earnings in the following fiscal year if sales of new products take off. Mr. Kaufmann estimates that annual sales have to climb by about two-thirds to at least €250 million to finance the R&D spending for Leica to survive in an industry that rolls out improved digital cameras every few months.
     
  51. I recently dropped my M8 down a flight of concrete steps and on to a concrete pavement ..all in all a slow
    motion horror story. I had been meaning to get a decent strap for while - my fault as the strap that comes with
    the camera is a shocker.<p> The camera had my favorite all time lens on it at the time a chrome 35 asp lux - with
    a screw on Contax hood. The camera was dinged at base plate and top plate - adding to previous dings - and
    rangefinder was ( as you would expect) put out in both vertical and horizontal positions. The 35 lux focusing
    movement was completely stuck. Local dealer suggested that the best thing I could do was toss the lens away or
    use it as a paperweight as the cost to fix the focusing helical was thousands.<p>. I sent the camera and lens to
    Leica 5 weeks ago. I got the camera back last week. Body working perfectly and rangefinder fixed and lens CLA'd
    and working as good as new for a total cost of $500. I think this is pretty good service - I expected much less
    given horror internet stories.<p> I would never use a Leica M* against manufacturers instructions - ie when it
    could get wet. If people wish to use cameras in a manner for which they were not designed - then they shoudlnt be
    surprised when bad things happen. Doesnt really matter how much teh tool cost to buy =- it is about using it as
    designed - pretty much liek anything else. If you wanted a waterpoof camera - buy one. <p> I laugh at constant
    put downs of Leica in this forum.
     
  52. I sent the camera and lens to Leica 5 weeks ago. I got the camera back last week. Body working perfectly and rangefinder fixed and lens CLA'd and working as good as new for a total cost of $500. I think this is pretty good service - I expected much less given horror internet stories.
    That is good to hear, Peter. Have you got a strap now? :)
     
  53. Peter, I'd like to read your message here if you got hit with a bill for 3340 euros. What's that, $4,600.00? God forbid if you happen to get a little condensation in your camera when the weather unexpectantly changes:

    "But Mr. Scheissekoph, I still have the clear protectant film on the LCD screen."

    "And the manual doesn't say anything about the dewpoint hitting 60."

    "But Mr. Scheissekoph, I know the camera isn't waterproof. It wasn't even raining."
     
  54. For a camera so expensive Leica should be ashamed of themselves. My Canon 350D has been through hell and back and has been soaking wet on numerous occasions. It has never complained. Even cameras that aren't weather sealed should at least be capable of withstanding some amount of condensation entering the body.

    Leica are finished and I predict they will soon be no more. The M8 just doesn't cut it alongside today's modern cameras and their new MF digital is destined for failure at that price.
     
  55. Vivek Iyer [Subscriber] , Sep 28, 2008; 04:15 a.m. That is good to hear, Peter. Have you got a strap now? :)
    Vivek I got a Luigi from teh local camera shop in his used junk bin for $50.
    Jeffrey Prokopowicz [Subscriber] , Sep 28, 2008; 04:26 a.m.
    Peter, I'd like to read your message here if you got hit with a bill for 3340 euros. What's that, $4,600.00? God forbid if you happen to get a little condensation in your camera when the weather unexpectantly changes
    Jeffrey the only point I am making is that people should use a camera according to manufacturers recommendations - jsut like any other product. The fact that an M8 has lousy high ISO compared to camera XYZ should form part of teh buying decision BEFORE some one buys not after. I knew that I wasnt getting a Nikon D3 or canon 1D series set of functions when I bought the M8- I bought the M8 for what it is - not for what internet commentators say it should be. That is an entirely different conversation - based on hypotheticals which I can't buy
    Note also that Leica have made a big point of stressing weather proofing in their new camera just announced - the S2.
     
  56. "...Leica are finished and I predict they will soon be no more. The M8 just doesn't cut it alongside today's modern cameras and their new MF digital is destined for failure at that price."
    Jamie - I would prepared to make a wager with you - that you are wrong regarding Leica's demise.
    However the wager would be conditional:
    1. What is the duration of your prediction ie within how many years - if you say within 1, 2 or even three years then I will bet.
    2. The bet has to be meaningful - how about units of $10,0000 ( you can choose to wager as many as you would like) deposited in T notes with hedges in place for the US/AUD exposure ( can't trust banks anymore) and of course the winner gets interest on the capital deposited - ie winner takes all.
    We can get our lawyers to haggle over terms of bet - I have attorneys and legal firms in the US/UK and Cayman Islands ( not to mention poor lil old Australia) , so let me know who you would like to represent you and where
    3. Let me know when you are ready to back up your strong view with hard cash.
    btw - why should Leica be ashamed of making a product and putting it on the market? - no one is forcing anyone to buy the product you know - there are enough internet experts condemning the company and its products to have given people plenty of warning about just how inferior Leica is to the mighty Canon 350D.
     
  57. This should be interesting........
     
  58. Yes. The likely culprit is Leica's slumping sales...
    It's really getting thick..
     
  59. I see that many old Leica hands (and fans) from this forum have pitched in here on the topic and I am naturally
    sympathetic to Reinier's unhappiness based upon his stipulated state of affairs. I have a strong hunch -- and no
    disrespect to Reinier -- that the real situation was more as has been described in many of the "counter responses"
    (the water damage was indeed material). Anyhow, enough said but I would have preferred the suggested follow-up on
    the customer service line since the sheer volume of the endless diatribes that this heading generated frankly takes
    away from the simple joy of photography (with some getting up in righteous arms)...

    Simply put, the M8 is not perfect. Its not full frame, its not weatherproof, filters are needed for the IR problem (which
    I almost never use), etc. It also simply takes better pictures than any other small format digital camera I have seen.
    By far. And as we all know, pictures are a subjective and sensitive affair. Its versatility remains unmatched except
    when trying to take pictures of moving objects... Thus, better the M8 than no M8.

    No doubt a big part of its success as such is due to the lenses. The recent Leica M lenses that go with it are also
    simply unmatched -- I cannot say enough about the 50f1.4 Asph. As an example, I used it handheld super close up
    to frame a South African cricket (gigantic and scary) next to a pound coin. The image quality was mind boggling --
    you would have thought it was a special macro lens set-up. The 16-21 lens also just amazes me as does the 28f2.
    From basic prinicples, the M8 does the job of the camera extremely well.

    Could the M8 be better, well no doubt. Does Reinier have a legitimate gripe? I don't know. The tradeoffs between
    the M8 and the 400D are many. Picture quality for me being the most important.

    As for the S2, I'm going whole hog. Simply fantastic. I am estatic that Leica is investing so heavily in all of its
    porducts (including a brand new line). For those who don't like the price, the R10 will be coming along and will no
    doubt be a scaled down version of the S2.

    Lets help that these products are all successful so that Leica can continue to make great imaging products.
    Including in the future a near weatherproof, full frame M8.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  60. Leica deserve to have slumping sales. They have been short product for some time - ie product that ticks the cost / value box well enough to deliver revenue / cost results that a rational investor would back. The general background to this parlous state of affairs is history a history, well documented and well understood and pilloried from pillar to post by internet gurus.
    However, Leica are now blessed with a much more logical ownership structure and fortunately a more sound capital structure.
    The fact of the matter is that the company has struggled to find a niche that will deliver a competitive position from which to properly focus scarce resources.
    A cropped M8 with less than optimal specs - especially regarding certain eccentric and peculiar attributes - eg the need for an IR filter in front of lenses was only ever going to be a short term band-aid solution at best. The demise of the excellent DMR through no fault of its own ( the merger of Imacon and Hasselblad) did not help matters.
    The company's inability to find meaningful growth via innovative high end product - it can't compete in the commodity end of the market, saw the transformation of the ownership and capital structure of the business.
    The company is now betting the business on the success of the S2 - a move which is aimed at positioning the company as a niche player much like the MFD arms of Sinar/Jenoptic, Phase One , Hasselblad and Leaf.
    This is an interesting and risky move on the part of the company.
    However it seems to be very clever from a strategic point of view, as I dont think that the world needs another DSLR copy cat camera - the Japanese manufacturers are much better at his segment than anyone else - by a long shot.
    So we are now in a much more mature place regarding chip manufacture in larger than 35mm ff size.
    This allows Leica the luxury of trying to go high end - with a twist.
    it seems that the economics of truly higher end digital capture chips have changed significantly ( witness Hasselblad's announcement last week of a 40% price reduction in its top of the line systems). This change in manufacturing economics - will change the price points which traditional MFD manufacturers compete.
    Leica has decided to mate its worthy reputation for very excellent optics - to a platform which can charge a premium and compete against far weaker opponents than the Japanese CaNikon et al giants.
    It is a sensible strategy - but this will not guarantee success or survival. Time will tell. In the meantime - everything is mere conjecture.
     
  61. If the problem was condensation, then the camera would have had to have been airtight, not merely watertight, to prevent this from happening if the temperature drop was great enough. If the camera was placed in a location where it got colder and colder, at some point (the dewpoint, in fact) the water in the air would have condensed inside it, on the increasingly cold surfaces. Since we do not know the temperature, dewpoint, or other conditions, no one can say whether the camera should have able to have withstood the conditions. This is true for all brands. I do not see this as a Leica issue. It is a general digital camera issue.

    Keeping a camera out of rain or salt spray is only half the challenge when one is dealing with extremely cold conditions. I don't know that one can assume that Greenland is going to always have dry conditions, given the polar maritime air that can come into that region.

    What we are probably hearing is a reminder that modern electronic cameras are likely to fail in conditions that simpler cameras would have survived.

    --Lannie
     
  62. <Jeffrey the only point I am making is that people should use a camera according to manufacturers recommendations - jsut like any other product. The fact that an M8 has lousy high ISO compared to camera XYZ should form part of teh buying decision BEFORE some one buys not after. I knew that I wasnt getting a Nikon D3 or canon 1D series set of functions when I bought the M8- I bought the M8 for what it is - not for what internet commentators say it should be. That is an entirely different conversation - based on hypotheticals which I can't buy

    Note also that Leica have made a big point of stressing weather proofing in their new camera just announced - the S2.>

    But what does that have to do with the bargain basement customer service, and the outrageous bill for what probably amounts to 25 bucks in parts?
     
  63. Reinier, I stand in solidarity with you, Jeffrey just said in his last sentence how I view this sad situation.

    We all want to have a competitive and reliable digital RF or at least an M with an EVF to mount our manual M lenses on. If I were new to photography I would not be drawn to the M system again, the digital paradigm being almost completely electronic and magnesium being used by most of the better digital cameras eliminated Leica's mechanical expertise, and build quality because they too use Magnesium.

    The nice old lenses we have are not necessarily designed well for digital sensor. If you are going to get a new body that has ultrasonic sensor cleaner why not in camera anti shake reduction. It seems to me if we don't get a economical RF system soon this is the end of the line for our lenses. The investment in optics we have will not span the to this digital era for most of us who cannot justify paying $6k for a less than stellar performing M8 when we can get a Nikon D700 or similar well sealed camera with up to date FF sensor
    a great VF and better customer service.
     
  64. Its interesting that Reinier got repaid for the loss of the camera by insurance and there is almost 2 months worth of complaining going on the web; about the cost to fix a camera ruined by water damage. IF he sues Leica whats it going to be for; a loss of photos; another vacation? Was the repayment equal to cost of a new body; or just a used one? Would the suit be for pain and suffering; loss of income? Maybe a hallmark case is in order that pays millions and just raises the pricers on all brands? Was the insurance paid too low; ie not enough to buy an equalvalent camera m8 with the same amount of wear?

    The comment of the "with severe wear on the glass, over 500 euro's of cost" for the summicron is odd too. Is Leica, Canon, or Nikon responsible too for the wear and tear we place on lenses? Is it that since Leica makes good lenses they should fix and repair stuff for free?

    If one owned a car that got basically totalled due to water damage; and one had insurance that paid for the car; why would one spend two months on a crusade to say the car was poorly designed; or the repairs chaps are overchargeing to fix the floaded mess?

    Fortunaly I was insured and they paid for the camera. But they are so anoyed by Leica that anyone in the Netherlands now wanting to insure an M8 can not cover it for waterdamage as they are "fed up with the way Leica expects us to clean up their mess". Here the insurance paid up but doesnt want to insure another. Is it news really news in the Netherlands that insurance companys dont want to reinsure items after a major loss? Here in the USA after a major loss insurance companys revaluate the users claims paid out; the risks and often bump up rates, raise deductables, or drop coverage. If one tends to drop cameras and total them each year; most all companies will bump up your rates; or drop your coverage. Still another chap might still be able to get insurance on a M8 in the Netherlands; and the person who had claims not if its the way insurance works in the USA; where folks with claims/payouts are analyized to the Nth degree.

    Do folks on CAR.NET threads complain when a flooded car is paid for with insurance; ie the cost of repairs too much; the car should have be better sealed since it was a BMW?

    Have other insurance companies been contacted in the Netherlands about camera insurance?

    Here I lost enough camera gear in Katrina to buy a dozen M8's and the Good Neighbor didnt pay a dime; even with the inland floater policys. Reinier got paid. Here I got nothing. Reinier is lucky since he got paid for a loss; but seems upset that the insurance company doesnt want to play the game anymore. Maybe higher premiums are in order; like houses in Katrina areas?
     
  65. What would make Reiner happy? <BR><BR>Having the insurance company reinsure another M8; with the cost of the Premium passed on to house and car insurance?<BR><BR>For Leica to absorb the cost of the repair; pay the squeaky wheel; and these costs paid for by all other users?<BR><BR>To have the claim paid out more that the camera was worth; to deal with all this unhappyness? <BR><BR>
     
  66. Well, from all of the above, I guess a contributor in another thread really had it right when he said the M8 is a fine art cam; rather than a robust tool to be used by photojournalists in adverse conditions...
     
  67. Well, I'm sorry I not going to respond to all your comments individually...

    a few points that I notices in most commenst

    1) I will take any bet that I can not come up with written statements on how I treated the camera and when it failed by tour members, if needed. Condensation was they one and only cause for failure.

    2) I was pised of by it breaking down in greenland. But as a clever guy ;-) I took a back-up camera (M6) with me. I realize those things can happen. As I read about the ruggedness of the M8 on other posting on the web I think I can safely asume this should be an exception and something wrong with my camera and thus waranty

    3) I was totally pissed of when the came with the statement it wasn't waranty and even more pissed of by the fact that the bill was outragous. As stated, this is almost the price for a new one, including profit for leica, the importer and the seller.

    4) I loved my m8, I impressed a 5D owner with its image quality (he took it for a week to India). For those who love working with RF, it is a great camera. That the reason I'm really considering buying another, eventhough a D700 may proffesionally be a better choice. And even though I know this camera does not live up to expectations and promisses of ruggedness and quality.

    5) Yes, I will post this where-ever I can. Not everybody reads many fora and I'm going to share this expirience with as much people as possible. This is a real-life Leica expirience and ,as a shopowner with who was in contact yesterday stated, this is not a case on its own.
     
  68. oh BTW..thinks for the kind words about my website ;-)
     
  69. <Here I lost enough camera gear in Katrina to buy a dozen M8's and the Good Neighbor didnt pay a dime; even with the inland floater policys. Reinier got paid. Here I got nothing. Reinier is lucky since he got paid for a loss; but seems upset that the insurance company doesnt want to play the game anymore. Maybe higher premiums are in order; like houses in Katrina areas?>

    Every time you take to the keyboard Kelly, you've made yourself seem from harmlessly innocent, to naive, to "there's a sucker born every minute." Now your crusade is taking up for the insurance companies, one of the greediest, most corrupt industries on the face of the earth, and the final indignity (for you) is that whether insurance paid for Mr. de Vlaam's loss is totally irrelevant to the shenanigans perpetrated by Leica Camera. That's the issue of this thread, besides the fact that ridiculous insurance claims cause everyone's premiums to go up if not the insurance becoming unavailable, but besides the point even though it renders your insurance argument impotent.
     
  70. Reiner - "That the reason I'm really considering buying another, eventhough a D700 may proffesionally be a better choice.
    And even though I know this camera does not live up to expectations and promisses of ruggedness and quality."
    No offense, and I am not trying to be a jerk, but you just said that you are willing to spend that kind of money on a camera
    that does not live up to expectations of quality. Why the hell would you do that. You must love disappointment. If you have
    a problem once or twice, that's one thing, but you're saying that you are willing to spend a lot of money to set yourself up
    for likely problems in the future.
     
  71. I once had an Olympus Stylus Epic that cost about $80. One day while sea kayaking I found it sloshing around
    in 3" of salt water in the bottom of my kayak. When I got home, I took the film out, flushed the camera with fresh
    water, then dried it as best I could with a hair dryer. After a few days of air drying, I then used it without problem for
    another few years.

    If Olympus can make a waterproof camera for $80, why can't Leica make a waterproof M8 for $6,000, or whatever it
    is they cost?
     
  72. It just goes to show that price and quality are not always directly proportional.
     
  73. Sorry but anyone thinks tah condensation is a threat to electronics is a bit out of touch. They all have specs for operating and storage values of temperature and RH. It looks to me that this is an example of unsuitable materials, a vulcanic eruption (even a small one) of corrosion like this for a brief exposure to non operating condensing, high relative humidity is not acceptable.

    I have no dog in this fight, but that board is a defect if I ever saw one in over 30 years of depot to field level maintenance, including sea side military air surveillance facilities, strategic systems to airborne tactical mapping and now ATM and EV-DO networks.

    My "pro" policy from Inland Marine doesn't cover flooding. I don't know of a US policy that does, there is always a few Pelicans stuffed with cameras, lenses and desiccant, as long as the plastic holds, the cameras would survive floating for a week. I let an Ericsson TDMA base station get rained on for 18 hours, after drying out, it ran corrosion free for years (yea, bad move I know I know, I never got nabbed for it, man was I freaking out when I turned it back on for the first time).

    When I scratch a digital itch it will be with a used K10D.

    Hey, Jet Man is on TV, tchau.
     
  74. This thread just just points out how most all folks dont have a clue how much time and labor it takes to repair a moisture damaged electronic item; the risks; the time bomb factor having the unit failure due to unchecked hidden corrosion. Maybe many folks here dont really work; or live in a bubble; or have any little real world experience with repairs; or are tenured goverment workers on a socialist Planet. If this was having to be explained to a little kids it would make more sense than grown adults.

    Water damage is expensive to fix/repair on most all complex electronic devices; this is nothing new. Its even expensive for a pure mechanical camera too.

    Repairs often do not hold; corrision comes back; the unit comes back for repair again.

    Part of the repair cost is dealing with customers who want something for nothing; a handout; a welfare event. Saying it should be low in cost just points to folks lack of understanding of the problems involved; you are in a bubble, watch too much TV, you want something for nothing.

    Water damaged items typically are super expensive to repair; the unit may "never be the same" no matter how much labor is spent.. Whining about its cost is not going to make a car or camera that got water damage any cheaper to repair; it makes it more expensive.

    A water soaked item in the eyes of an owner thats naive should be low in cost since there is no experience with moisture related repairs; its risks; the return rate; the whining; the time sink hole; the labor.



    In flooded/soaked/wet cameras that are repaired that are just a pure mechancial cameras; problems can arise after the repair. Thus the units come back an order of magnatude more than another repair types.. PART of the repair cost in the first round is to absorb the return; plus the factor that some customers will again get the unit wet; and claim it was the first event; not the second. Or the customer is careless.

    With an modern complex electronic camera one has these ancient moisture problems of the mechanics/greases/optics coupled with the electronics that are less robust with a drop of water.

    The higher repair tags for a wet/floaded camera is what they did at a camera repair outfit I worked for in the 1960's for awhile. One would get a repaired item back the viewfinder would be fogged by crap that out gassed; water and grease; the water trapped in a speck of grease one didnt fully get out in the first round. Or the mirrors would get some streaks; the flash shutter contacts would be flakey; the shutter curtains would come off the rollers. One gets this crud growing on the aluminum parts; white dust. With smokers one would get tar crap on the optics; the leather might smell off Lucky Strikes, Salem, or Larks. The leather would come off with moisture; folks would want new leather.

    With a moisture damaged lens thats got an auto diaphrame; it would tend to stick; the iris varying in "stopped drown Fstop" went it was on a motor drive; but lessor for a still shot. Customers would rotate the diaphram ring on a lens that saw moisture and the IRIS pivots would shear off; then want a "repair" for a few bucks. One would have to take the whole lens apart; pray to God that one got all water soaked grease out; regrease it; find new iris bladess or pivots; replace them and then hear the Customers bitching why the repair cost alot; why the water ate some of the coating off. With an old all brass 1950's lens the darn things would often still focus if soaked in salt water; the brass being abit more robust than aluminum. The failure mode would often be the IRIS petals; the water (even fresh water) quickly corodes the high strength steel blades of the diaphram; the customer shears the pivots off the diaphram blades "glued" together.

    It that 1960's era of mostly mechanical camera repairs many customers then wanted something for nothing too; but less than today. The concept of "repairing" a camera that saw moisture being expensive was hard to grasp THEN; since "it just saw a little water".

    Its worse today;cameras are packed with electronics; cameras go obsolete quicker; folks have a lessor sense of being responsible for their actions; whining is in. Repairing consumer items is done less today than in the past; folks sue more; health care costs are radically higher; repair folks get little respect at all. Even the National Camera Repair courses in the 1960's pointed out the hassles and risk of fixing a water damaged photo device; and the ill will customers will spue out over costs and returns.

    Some folks on this thread have their brains hard wired that a water damaged/soaked camera, lens, car should cost only a few bucks; the repair should make it good as new; the time spent nanoseconds and a free loaner air-frieghted in for your trouble; maybe it does happen on another Planet; or in a make believe world. Thus the cost of a water damage repair has to be mocked; since it doesnt fit the make believe simpleton model where its easy; quick, holds forever and the repair makes a boatload of cash. The reality is dealing with customers over water damaged item repairs is often like talking to a brick wall; nothing seems to sink in. You waste alot of time.
     
  75. ////////the hell would you do that. You must love disappointment. If you have a problem once or twice, that's one thing,
    but you're saying that you are willing to spend a lot of money to set yourself up for likely problems in the future
    /////////////



    very simple, I love rangefinder, I love they way they give me control over DOF and make me think about exposure and
    composition. And the fact that they are compact compared to DSLR. I owned a few digi compacts like GX-100, they
    were never satisfying. Just the time it takes to control it in MF is horrid, together with the non-existing DOF due to
    the small teeny-weeny sensor. And I love the image quality of the M8 compared to digi-compacts. And again, I
    impressed a 5D owner with the M8's image quality in lower iso. There is no argue in that.
    And won't spend extra money, just use the insurance money

    If Nikon would have lived up the rumours and come with a RF with D3 sensor at the kina, there would have been no
    doubt and I would have switched. At this moment there is no alternative for an M8, maybe that's why Leica can afford
    to have this attitude...

    I learned a bad lesson that it is not as rugged as the price and M history make you expect, and that Leica has a real
    bad customer support. I'm however still considering

    Oh, I did not use the phone number, that is correct, I used mail conversation instead.
     
  76. In one repair batch we got many electronic items (O-scopes, Function generators, Power supplys, spectrum analyzers, etc) in that were in "the next lab/office away" where a dinky fire extingisher was fired off for a cig dumped in a wastepaper basket; that got some papers moldering. The darn fire extingisher left a fine dust on all the circuit boards enough to cause alot of weirdness. It was the wrong type to fire off around electronic items; one would have units fails with time; one would clean off gutsl they would then sometime die later. These unsit were from the lab across the hall; not the ones were the extingisher was fired off.
     
  77. Michael;

    At the the TRW ham radio swap meet in El Segundo California I have bought alot of surplused milatary electronic equipment; probably a ton or two. Many times the equipment just requires a trival fix; say Navy depot from Subic Bay (closed in 1991) "de milled" the units to scrap them out; to buy new gear. Thus one would be a nice DEAD HP transistorized distortion analyzer for 25 bucks. One would open up the top and reconnect the analog meter; the null meter. The Navy repair depots would purposely scrap out great working gear by opening them up; cutting a few wires inside; or even just the AC sockets hot wire. The repair tag would say the unit was not worth repairing; your tax dollars at work... The total cost of repair was often just stripping the cut wire; and ONE wire nut.

    OR one got the scrapped out equipment with ash after the Mount Pinatubo exploded that required alot of cleaning to make stuff work; these should have been scrapped; a heck of alot of cleaning an labor to make stuff work well.

    Or one got a water damaged Transit like a open frame Gurley G-15; or closed unit like a Wild T2 theodolite that one just bought to play with; with many times the screws basically corroded in place. One would try PB nut blaster; WD40; some freon type solvents trying to get the optical assemblies apart. One would freeze the units then try a hair dryer to shock the assemblys screw threads with as temp difference to try to break the bonds.

    This "struck crew problem" with dinky screws happens in water soaked camera and watch repairs too; a dinky screw is basically corroded in place; one needs time; solvents, a perfect screw driver and luck to free them. The surface area of the threads to cross section is huge on a dinky screw; any corrision makes it easy to bust the head off.
     
  78. Micheal wrote
    Sorry but anyone thinks tah condensation is a threat to electronics is a bit out of touch. They all have specs for operating and storage values of temperature and RH. It looks to me that this is an example of unsuitable materials, a vulcanic eruption (even a small one) of corrosion like this for a brief exposure to non operating condensing, high relative humidity is not acceptable.

    this is fact.

    For what its worth imho I would not get an M8 even for a studio camera since its xsync speed is low. I would get a Nikon D700 or perhaps after we get tests results on the new Canon 5D2 production model. For what Leica wants you could by two cameras so you have backup or one set up with an alternative lens or color and black and white. I have no confidence in what Leica is selling.
     
  79. Hey Kelly, over the years of reading your posts,I am always amazed at your depth and breadth of experience, you have my respect. But I still feel that this board is maybe made of materials that may not be up to the task. I'm at a customer site that has 2 ATM switches running voice and data circuits, and the rest of the room is stuffed with legacy circuit switched vocoders, all went through an electrical fire then chemical powder extinguishing agent a few years ago. AC power on an air conditioner went flame on, everything is still covered with soot and powder and is still chugging along, dual 56 gig fabric cards and a few hundred E1s.

    I don't buy that condensation would cause corrosion like the photo shown, or it shouldn't. I've been living and working in environments much more damaging then the OP mention and have never seen this on quality pc assys.
     
  80. Hey Harvey, I just want a dRF where my 35 lux stays a 35 lux. I love my MP. The 75 lux is totally magic. I shot my pooch at rest with it on TMax100, he seems to be sitting in a pool of focus, it's a nice photo, but it was "made" by the 75 lux. So for me, it's an MP and a couple of lux's. I'm swimming (uncomfortably high RH) in a Lagos hotel, and shot a few frames at Alpha Beach this afternoon (it was pretty wild, just add beer), and came back to Lagos on an Okada (pictures to follow after they get processed back in The World). The OP has been around for a while on PN, he doesn't seem to need to bs the issue. Kelly, your posts always amazeme, you mention things that I maybe heard of or saw one! Cool stuff, I'd love to see your garage!
    00R03Q-74157584.jpg
     
  81. It's really getting thick..
    Isn't it? But this is yet another dimension to the phenomenon. A few threads ago, I surmised that Leica needed to do something drastic to improve their market visibility to the younger generation of photographers who are accustomed to the kind of service and quality that can be had for as little as $600 for a digital Rebel (and, having never shot film, to whom a removable baseplate would seem an especially idiotic "feature"). However, now it seems like attracting new customers may in fact be the least of Leica's worries when they're pissing off the few customers they already have.
     
  82. Micheal Leica says that they cannot make a FF because of the short flange to sensor distance and the state of microlens technology not being able to handle the acute angle of light hitting the outside of the frame.

    I too want a FF drf but if not then a 30x24mm 5:4 ratio frame like the option on the Nikon d3 would be nice since it wastes no pixels for printing 8x10" and 16x20" size prints. If fact someone made on with 12mp it would be equivalent to a 35mm FF digital with 15mp resolution cropped to print size. The cropping factor is 1.2x.

    This would have a minimal effect on your lenses. You might add a 25 or 28 mm to act like a 28 or 35mm and your 75mm would become a 90mm,

    I have 5 nice M lenses and all will find a home if someone can make a $2k or less drf with a close to FF sensor. I figure Bessa has the best chance since their film cameras are about $600 leaving room for the digital part of the camera and of course getting rid of the gears etc. All I want is lens couplings and an EVR instead of optical rf is OK with me as long as a guy with eyeglases can focus the camera.

    I don't need fancy metering etc. it would be nice to get the exposure right using a historgram though. It would also be nice if it didn't break on a humid day.

    Funny thing about Leica is its the ultimate street camera but if you fear taking it outdoors because it may rain or be humid what good is that. The D700 is way better in low light and flash than a Leica and has real weather sealing protection. At half the cost its still above my target price but I have tons of Nikon lenses for FF collected over dozens of years and 4 previous Nikon bodies that work perfectly as backup.
     
  83. The sad fact is the poor manner of response from Leica. I had similar problems with them Leitz, actually, in the past. The sheer arrogance is the main problem. One of my problems was a litle rust on a diaphragm. I was told it was "my fault" and a huge bill was estimated. I casually called Pentax and Nikon agents, in my country.
    Pentax and Nikon both accepted liability without any hesitation stating rust only on the blades was a manufacturing error! The blades were cleaned by an independent service technician for less than a tenth of Leica's estimate! It never occurred again. I lived in a very dry climate... I posted this before and it was DELETED. i guess one shouldn't cuss in a Cathedral filled with worshippers.
     
  84. The absurdity of the comments above have reached their limit: the $80 Olympus Stylus Epic (film camera) that survived an hour of sloshing around in 3" of salt water (and so should an M8 then?) and the above stated serious concern about the M8 breaking down "on a humid day" (really?). Bernard and Harvey, why don't you guys just stick with the Epic and the D700, respectively? Why waste your time complaining about the cost of the Leica cameras? Nevermind that the US Dollar has fallen in half versus the Euro over the last decade (where as the Yen has stayed more constant due to Japan's Lost Decade), you both can't really seem to get over the fact that the M8 is not weatherproof -- and somehow thats Leica's fault! Leica has never advertised the M8 as "weatherproof" but you guys somehow insist that it must be for the price. Its not and yet people like me still buy it. (You'll never guess why...)

    Some time ago, I had a M6 get covered in an enormous wave that broke over some cliffs in Bali. It dried out and worked fine afterwards (and I sent it to Leica for a full check up). If it hadn't worked, would I have gone "boo hoo hoo," Leica charges too much and its not waterproof! Boo hoo hoo. No, I actually didn't expect it to work and it did. If it happened to an M8 (with a digital back) I would have expected no such miracle... However, I did take my M8 to Iceland this summer and took a great many photos of the wonderful salmon fishing that takes place there. I was chest deep in the rivers barely holding the camera above the surface. Lots of humidity and splashing water (wanted to get very close to the fisherman to get the right shot). No problem. Got fantastic photos. If it had fallen in the water, I doubt the M8 would have survived (my expensive phone didn't). I didn't have insurance nor would have asked anyone to pay for it anyhow if I had dropped the camera into the water. I certainly would not have bitched to the world about Leica to be followed by lots of silly comments about how expensive it is, etc. etc.. But there you go, The M8 is simply a fantastic photographic tool. Its not perfect. Its also expensive. A rubber ducky is a terrible photographic tool, but it is certainly waterproof (and floats in case you drop it overboard!). I prefer the former. The latter is definately cheaper though...

    In summary, giving Leica a hard time here is ridicolous and childish. It speaks much more about the commentators than the Company who still is making a great effort to invest in some amazing new M lenses, a new R digital camera (with some new lenses) and the exciting new S camera with 9 lenses! Oh, and some day, a new M digital camera if the peanut gallery can stand it (I'll predict 2-3 years). At least they are making a great effort at providing premium photographic tools for their customers that can both appreciate and afford them. Who could realistically ask for anything more from them? Could any of us seriously do any better? I doubt it.

    I really enjoyed my M8 today by the way. It was, however, a beautful sunny day in London.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  85. Well said Stephen.
     
  86. Would Canon, Nikon, Pentax etc charge 3340 euro to fix similar damage?
     
  87. Jason; Be real carefull with a corroded diaphram if you get another! Re "One of my problems was a little rust on a diaphragm Here I have personally goofed up too many by forcing them; and seen others who have too. At first it might stick abit; and rotating the fstop ring works. But if the lens is settup for awhile the corroded blades advanced from just flirting; to being engaged; to being married. Getting them divorced without ruining the pivots is difficult; unless one takes the entire lens apart to get to the iris. The pivots are what the iris petal/blades pivot about. One can have lens with a tad of moisture and the iris petals get frozen together; unless one moves them every so often. The iris blades are often a decent high stength steel and they can corrode quickly. If the factory has spares the cost might be higher just because they are going to swap out iris blades; if cleaning appears dicey. Here I have a nice coated 50mm F1.5 Summarit in LTM that has one iris petal that got stuck to another;and the pivot sheared or jumped; the iris still works but one petal doesnt fully open.
     
  88. Okay, I'm a Pentax guy, and from reading this thread I have learned two things:

    1. Don't tick off Leica people. Especially Kelly. Some of you engineers might stab me with a slide rule or something.

    2. No, Pentax will not charge you 3340 Euros. If they do, they have probably sold you the "Orbiting Pentax-scope," a
    prototype for use on future space stations. I have never had a Pentax repair bill over $150.00. Including salt water
    damage, drops and pure idiocy on my part. After the repairs, the camera kept working for another 20 years. It konked
    out on me again, the day before yesterday. I'll probably get it fixed one more time, and then retire it to the bookshelf.

    I'm sorry to read about y'all's troubles with your cameras. If you guys are good enough to use these expensive cameras,
    you are good enough to find a way to deal with these problems. Okay, so maybe that M8 design is the Edsel of Leicas.
    Didn't these guys put out other cameras that you love? You can get them to do a little better. Like maybe one area
    would be to stop trying to cram digicam designs into a housing that looks like the other, film, cameras. I wonder how
    much of the engineering flubs are related to that?

    I know you guys might slam me for saying anything; but, it was an interesting thread to read; and, you've got my email
    address. Y'all are so smart and successful, you don't need to be arguing. Good luck. J.
     
  89. John I also have a Pentax LX, K2 and two Pentax 67 camera, never had a moisture or any other problem, the LX had the eventual sticking mirror, it was service for under $150 including a CLA, back to me in two weeks.

    Nah none of the majors will give you the Leica runaround. This is no surprise, the M7 was Leica's first real M with electronics and as simple as it is many had problems such an expensive camera should not have. I know a lot of former Mercedes Benz owners who switched to Lexus because they had low repair frequency and liked the attitude of the dealers better.

    Steven and Kelly are hopeless toadies, if they got a 3600 euro bill they would change their tune if they were not taken care of with a smile in a nanosecond.

    I have not complained here about my occasional bad warrantee business, I just think Reinier is doing us all a service because as the saying " Forewarned is foretold" and he is a good guy to make sure its told widely.
    For he is faultless here and Leica is the one who has the shame of less than industry standard service for outrageous prices.


    If you are going to charge premium prices two things you must understand. One, people expect a superior product in every way. Two, they expect to have problems to be taken care of with a smile.
     
  90. Expensive+Unreliable= German engineeing. You are expected to know this when you buy it so when it breaks alot
    and costs alot to fix don't be suprised. German automobiles consistently finish at or near the bottom of just about
    every reliability study. Leica is a variation of this theme and if you are put off by it (I would be and it seems as
    though the OP is as well) then speak with your wallet and buy from another manufacturer. Unless Reiner is outright
    lying (I don't think he is) and really dropped his camera off the side of a boat, there is no reason for such a repair bill
    due to the described usage. Now if this was a story about a Canon or Nikon I would be a little skeptical of the
    person posting it but, considering Leica's track record, I think a manufacturer error/defect is a real possibilty. Best
    of luck with round two of your fiasco should you decide to submit yourself to such pain again and get a second body.
     
  91. Harvey its not a bill for 3600 euro; but a repair estimate/cost of something that was NOT fixed; an item that got water damage; basically it was "totalled". <BR><BR>Typically many companies and folks do not repair items that approach the cost of another new or decent known used one; since repairs often are illusive and do not hold; ie its a bad bet; ie unwise; ie wreckless. In many industries there is a fractional ratio where the unit(s) cannot be fixed if they exceed 1/X of new or refurb unit's cost. This applies to stuff as low tech as house; when flooded and ruined many banks; lenders, goverment agencies will not procede when the structures damage say exceeds say 50 percent; or some other number; UNLESS the building has some vast history to be saved. In the case of the water soaked M8; its not old; not worth a risky repair when it might fail again due to being ruined with water. <BR><BR>Its foolish to throw bad money away on a device that has a radical increased risk of failing; ie to spend almost what a camera or car is worth if it has water damage; if its not historical. This concept of totalling an item is done all the time with cars; cameras, AC units, TV's etc. It would be far cheaper for Leica to give Reinier a known M8 demo camera than fart around with an iffy sick water damaged camera thats been invaded with water.. The disc drive industry has done this for many decades; you dont get back the same serial number. <BR><BR>It appears that many think that a water damaged electronic item that comes in dead on arrival to a repair place should be easy to fix at a low cost. Or is it that water soaked/floaded cellphone, car, camera, or TV should be always "fixable" no matter how much the costs? <BR><BR>Cameras, cars, TV's, cellphones are being scapped out each day when the the repair costs exceed what they are worth; or approach a fraction of it. <BR><BR>Maybe the real "horror story" is the air of lack of wisdom about the reality of the amount of labor and risk involved with water damage "repairs"; ie basic business. New Leica items have ALWAYS been expensive; thru all decades. Damage repairs with water soaked items has also been iffy; risky and expensive. Thus how could an expensive DOA product that got invaded with water ever be inexpensive to fix? In repairs and insurance claims too one also doesnt even know if the unit work ok; or at all before invaded with water.
     
  92. German engineering means high performance and precision which come at a cost. High performance equipment, whether it's a camera or a vehicle require proper care and maintenance. A Porsche may not be as 'reliable' as a Toyota or a Lexus, but I'd rather be in a Porsche or a BMW anytime.

    The JD Power studies consistently report that customers of high end German car manufacturers still give them a high customer satisfaction index even though they may not fare as well in reliability. I think that Reinier has expressed the same feeling about Leica. The only reason I don't own a M8 is because I can't afford the entry fee!
     
  93. Daniel; in repairs one only can guess what the customer actually did with the items. <BR><BR>All one has is a dead device; one does the Dana Scully post morteum autopsy; with an open mind. <BR><BR>Sometimes customers have already messed and opened up the unit, seals are broken; the screws in the wrong place; <BR><BR>batteries backwards, <BR><BR>floppys jammed into zip disc drives<BR><BR>Army men inside VCR's that foul the mechanism; green men with lost heads!<BR><BR>Electric chains saws with gasoline in the bar oil reservor!<BR><BR>Brand M slr's lens on a brand N slrs bayonet; saw that at Franks camera once!<BR><BR>An slr camera thats "just been sprinked on"; when the lens is removed has the mirror box full of salt water.<BR><BR>Early Vivitar 202 strobes that are a molten glob; with nicads; with a day glow no- nicads sticker.<BR><BR>Auto level with no compenator, no objective; GIANT Box lumber store duffus sold a non working display to a customer!<BR><BR>Totaled out scapped units mixed with demos and returnes; you get back a unit from anothr customer you scrapped out 6 months ago!<BR><BR>You get a lens thats 120 degrees off; customer tried to clean item; could not figure how it put it together right; returns it as a warranty repair. <BR><BR>One gets a Broncia S2 with a jamed shutter; one sees the tripod socket's hole has a slight hole at the top in the deep bore. One removes the wayward piece of tripod socket jammed in the shutter mechanism; then requests to the the tripod the dude uses. "Oh I never; ever, ever have used a tripod at all". <BR><BR>One gets a lens that wont focus; one removes the front element cell(s); and figures that the chap has reversed one; then you reassemble it.<BR><BR>You get a dead Retina; you add film; now it works!<BR><BR>
     
  94. The absurdity of the comments above have reached their limit: the $80 Olympus Stylus Epic (film camera) that survived an hour of sloshing around in 3" of salt water (and so should an M8 then?)
    Point missed. Nobody suggested that an M8 should survive a sloshing in salt water. The point was, if an $80 camera can survive that, how come a $5,000 one can't even handle a bit of condensation? It's a valid question, especially when you can get a 5D-II and D700 for half the cost, both of which are dust- and weather-sealed.
    It speaks much more about the commentators than the Company who still is making a great effort to invest in some amazing new M lenses, a new R digital camera (with some new lenses) and the exciting new S camera with 9 lenses!
    Nobody asked for these "amazing new M lenses." By and large, Leica photographers wanted a full frame dRF that can match a $600 digital Rebel's performance at ISO 800-1600, not a $10,000 f/0.95 collector's item. The "new R digital camera (with some new lenses)" are, as of this writing, still vaporware. As for "the exciting new S camera with 9 lenses," I find it a little hard to describe something as "exciting" when 1) nobody's seen a file from it yet and 2) it won't be released until summer 2009 (and that's barring any unforeseen problems), and nobody knows what the competition will look like by that time.
    The S2 is interesting, but at this point it's nothing more than a "Don't jump ship! We're not finished milking you for all you've got yet!" red herring that Leica is dangling in front of its congregation to distract them from the company's REAL problems (as pointed out by the WSJ article I linked earlier).
     
  95. somewhere up there someone said that "no one takes expensive camera equipment into these environments" while talking about a quick jaunt on the columbia icefields. Well, on the Wapta Icefields (50km south), during 4 days of -30 Celcius, whiteout conditions, and 100km/h wind gusts, my rebel XT and lens survived perfectly. Was able to get some incredible pictures too. Shoulda seen the condensation after spending 6 hours skiing in a blizzard and transferring into a crowded ski hut at 8,000' with wet gear drying everywhere steaming up the room. No weather seals either. And heck, the pictures even turned out great... go figure.
    00R0KY-74279784.jpg
     
  96. I'd write them a check, except those are the guys who said I could not have a dealership unless I sold their binoculars.
     
  97. One could just buy TEN waterproof one use 27 exp 35mm cameras for that 80 bucks too! They have them at the check-outs at walmart; they work at the beach; in canoes; underwater too!.
     
  98. the critics on my post do have a point in some way...You always have to take care of your equipment. I got sympathy mails from people who share their story that Leica did not pay up when their camera fell from the tripod on the concrete floor and died. Sorry but I can live with that. An M6 of mine dropped from 1mtr high on the concrete and the rewinder was broken. I went boohoo and had it repaired, no swearing at Leica or whatever, sh$t happens (for those who doubt, wanna see the repairbill?). If my camera would have dropped into the river and died on me, indeed I would also have gone boohoo en gone to the insurance company. For those who doubt the story once more: I take any bet that I can not come up with written statements from tour members on this case. Point is, if it would have been submerged into water or rain, the pictures (here is another one) would have looked very different from the ones I received. Then it would have been a mess inside. As you can see it is not. These clearly have been drops of water at different points. Yes, I try do dry it as good as I could before trying to use it, Yes, I took very good care of it by putting it the the backback between dry clothes when it started to rain (and the backpack had a raincover). And NO this is not what you can expect from a 4K camera of which the own representatives state that they make a camera of highest quality and that can withstand worse conditions.
    00R0Lv-74293584.jpg
     
  99. It's a valid question, especially when you can get a 5D-II and D700 for half the cost, both of which are dust- and weather-sealed.
    El Fang, point missed. I want a sports car, it has flaws, but it's the only one on the market with some of the features I want. You're offering a truck that is more reliable, but I don't want a truck. I want a sports car.
    Get it?
     
  100. El Fang, point missed. I want a sports car, it has flaws, but it's the only one on the market with some of the features I want. You're offering a truck that is more reliable, but I don't want a truck. I want a sports car. Get it?
    Pointed missed again. I'm (I'm?) offering a sports car that does the exact same things as the sports car you want, but is 1/10th the price, performs better on the racetrack, doesn't need to be shipped back to its home country for an oil change, and doesn't come with a horse harness welded to the front bumper as a "cute" artifact from one of transportation's bygone eras. On top of that, my sports car is made in a country that currently produces the most reliable and innovative sports car technology in the world; while your sports car is from a country that once prided itself on the finest horse-drawn carriages ever made, but is now dabbling in sports cars. Get it?
    To the OP: I'd really recommend against getting another M8 for the time being, at least until Leica's sinking ship miraculously rights itself (assuming that ever happens). Being that Leica Germany is the only place an M8 can be serviced, with Leica's uncertain future, you could be looking at re-investing in a very expensive paperweight.
     
  101. To: Peter A.

    In reply to your dogmatic response yesterday:

    I happened to mention that I predict that Leica will soon be no more and you start waffling on about making daft bets. Can a user not give his opinion without having to open his wallet? Why not just give your own opinion and leave it at that? To be honest, this is typical of forum chat. Everyone gets heated very quickly because nobody is sitting in the same room face to face. People like to get clever and demonstrate how superior their knowledge is compared to other users.

    I don't pretend to be an expert and I don't target other users if I disagree with their views.

    Now... for those readers that do value reading someone's opinion, here's an expansion of my views: The M8 was a bit of a disaster. I admire Leica for calling it the M8, rather than the M digital or some other catchy name. It was good marketing and the camera looked every bit the M7 replacement rather than an alternative. That was the only thing they did right. The camera looked great and was marketed superbly but the end result was below par. Leica shunned a full frame sensor because they wanted to keep the look of the M series unchanged. Leica couldn't fit a 35mm style full frame sensor into an M series shell so rather than alter the design of the camera, they shrunk the sensor... BAD move! That was effectively an admission that they put looks before performance, always a bad thing. Leica has always been about the utmost quality.. using a shrunken sensor was the first wrong move. Next thing we hear is that Leica recommends M8 owners to use a special filter to reduce noise. All that nonsense should have been sorted out during R&D, not when they've sold a heap of M8s.

    Next thing we hear is that an M8 can be ruined by a few drops of condensation. Remember, the guy wasn't out in a downpour.. when rain appeared he put it in his bag with care. Next thing he knows, the M8 is dead. $5000 gone just like that. No excuse Leica... cameras are designed to be used outdoors.... not in a climate controlled room. Unforgiveable. Then to treat the customer to a 3340 euro bill for repair was the final straw.

    Here's a few excerpts from a press conference with the head of Leica at Photokina 2008:

    Leica's CEO Andreas Kaufmann insists that the firm is firmly committed to avoiding the 'strategic mistakes' of the past. He praised Leica's workforce for their 'high motivation' during times of 'crisis'. He warned that there is still a 'long hard haul' ahead for Leica. 'Leica will continue towards a digital future but we will not compromise basic brand value,' he explained, telling invited guests that early digital technology did not satisfy the company's requirements.

    We all know that the M8 was a disaster even if certain folks can't admit it. Even Leica's CEO speaks of strategic mistakes of the past (surely the M8).

    No doubt they plan on making Leica successful again but that isn't going to happen with the S2 (my prediction... no bets or wagers invitied). If they do actually get the M9 right this time then they have a chance. If they don't they are on the road to ruin.

    Now... back to Mr. Peter A:

    'btw - why should Leica be ashamed of making a product and putting it on the market? - no one is forcing anyone to buy the product you know - there are enough internet experts condemning the company and its products to have given people plenty of warning about just how inferior Leica is to the mighty Canon 350D.'

    Correct. No-one is forcing anyone to buy Leica. But I can understand people buying the M8 thinking it will live up to Leica's previous reputation for unrivalled image quality and build quality. However, these people weren't to know that they would soon need a bolt on filter to buff up the dodgy image quality and that they could no longer take the camera outside in anything other than glorious sunshine for fear of receiving a 3340 euro bill. Of course, anyone buying the M8 now is a fool if they are aware of its shortcomings.

    Mighty 350D? Yep, you just about got that one right. My £300 GBP camera (about 1 tenth the cost of the M8) can suffer a good downpour without a worry. Hey, if it gets trashed the maximum bill I will get is £300 GBP for a new one. I would also speculate that the image quality of my little friend is superior to the M8 although that may be tempting a few more silly wagers from the Leica brigade.

    As I am now awaiting my new Canon 5D2, I wonder how many M8 owner's out there still really actually seriously believe they are the owners of a world class top quality camera they can take anywhere. As the 5D2 costs much less than an M8 I really find myself questioning the sanity of some Leica digital fans (Leica film users excepted).
     
  102. I haven't read the whole of this thread, just the first quarter or so. I sympathise with the OP over his loss. On the other hand, I'm with Kelly about the likely nature of the repair. With all respect to Reinier, those photos of the damage look far worse than I would expect after a few drops of rain, carefully dried out again. There have been threads on this forum before about successfully drying out electronic circuits, and the basic message was: take the batteries out and dry the thing, don't wait for oxidation to occur.

    Someone above mentioned that the M8 doesn't have any weather-proofing. Surely there are pros and cons to seals? If the camera was perfectly sealed, it would not be possible to get rid of consensation without placing a dessicant inside.
     
  103. Fango - why do you think ISO of 1600 is so important? Oh what the heck on a Canon it would make no difference what ISO you shoot - the in camera processing is so foggy and plastic - the output all looks the same doesn't matter what 'ISO' you are shooting hahahhahahahahah<p> Wasnt goign to say - if that rust was a result of some minor condensation - my name is Elle McPherson. hahahhahhahah - oops did I just say that?<p> Hmm Mr J. Robertson - how am I dogmatic - you are teh one making statements - I merely disagreed and suggested you put your money where yoru ovely loud voice is. I can still hear your feet running down the corridor in hasty retreat! hahahhaha nver mind - POMS are typically gutless wonders - well known fact.<p> Gloves off to you anti-Leica nuts - we Leica nutz are farting back.
     
  104. Rainier,

    Thanks for actually showing the damage. I kinda agree with Leica on this one. Whether it should it be more
    waterproof for the price, I think we hashed this out for some length above. Needless to say, it would be better if it
    was, but it isn't and we really can't judge the entire circumstances by which the damage occured. Frankly, I'm sorry
    that it did -- I've had worst disasters in the field although not with the M8. The M8 has been a fantastic travel camera
    for me (India, South Africa, Iceland) with absolutely no compliants. Anyhow, don't blame me when you buy another
    camera that is waterproof, you'll probably be much more disappointed by the pictures than anything else...

    Which leads me now to respond to Jamie above:

    I'm glad that you have now conclusively determined that the "M8 can be ruined by a few drops of condensation." Oh
    well. Let me assure you that my M8 had more than a few drops of condensation (at least on the outside) from
    Iceland this summer and it was just fine. Anyhow, I wouldn't necessarily conclude the opposite that the M8 cannot
    be felled by condensation (although I've never heard of it until this post). Its probably fairly unlikely though.

    Moreover, to take the point out of the Leica context, I have much more expensive equipment which I would dare say I
    would avoid going near water (particularly salt water). A Hasselblad 205FCC (my favorite camera ever due to its
    incorporation of the zone system) and a 300f2.8 Suprachromat easily come to mind. But most of all by far would be
    the 16MP digital V-back that I sometimes use with it. Phenomenally impressive equipment -- for photography that
    is. And I'll bet you that none of this equipment would probably not be the best in any "condensation" trials.

    But here's the real scoop: why bother with the M8 when you've got all of the whiz bang Canons and Nikons to
    choose from? Its kinda of a big secret, but here it goes: the quality of the images. Nevermind I also like the way a
    rangefinder works. Thats not to say some of Canon's longer lenses are not superlative, but in the realm of the M8
    (wide angle to short telephoto), they just don't come close. Sorry if that disappoints you. (And just so there's no
    accusation of prejudice here, the Minolta TC-1 was also a great little film camera). But again, these things are
    highly subjective. You "wonder how many M8 owner's out there still really actually seriously [and truly?] believe the
    they are the owners of a world class top quality camera they can take anywhere," but we don't wonder: we just like
    using the M8 to take pictures with. Thats all. We see the results and could not be happier. Sure, the M8 could
    be better (it can always be better). But I'll take the M8 over any other digital camera on the market. Right now and
    even after the NEW 5D2 comes out. The M8 with the modern M lenses produces vastly superior images.

    You even wonder about the sanity of some Leica digital fans (thats a lot of well known reviewers by the way). Thats
    strange because I have a similar worry but its more about the people who go the Leica forum and spend all of their
    time trying to convince Leica fans how good their Canon or Nikons are (which are all digital now), how antiquated and
    expensive Leica really is (wish more read Ansel Adam's " The Camera," by the way), etc., etc (and I'm not
    insinuating this about Rainier's compliant by the way). I wonder why are there no Leica fans trying to convince the
    members of the other such forums how good their Leica really is? Now whose sanity should we be concerned
    about? Worrisome indeed.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  105. David,

    By the way, I have taken my M8 on many ski trips to Saas Fee, Switzerland, starting at 4000m altitude (altough not quite as cold as -30 degrees Celsuis) and have had no problems either. Its actually a perfect camera for such a purpose.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  106. You can not be serious calling this severe water damage. These are single drops that apperantly occured on the wrong place. There was discussion on another forum on why this happens specifically on one place while other places are super-clean and the agreement was that these parts must have been under power to form this kind of corrosion. I ofcourse dried the camera as good as I could, but on several occasions used the battery to check if there was life again. And ofcourse it took us 3 weeks to get home and into civilisation again after this occurence, time enough for corrosion to grow even after removing the battery.
    Looking at the situation and treatment this should not accor to any camera, if it was nikon/canon/or others. The insurance company has the same opinion, that is much saying, more than Leica haters that are present, more than Leicophilias, which are also present.

    This means that if you take this camera into similar circumstances you are playing russian roulette. As long as the drops form on places where there is no power, you are lucky. And that I call bad design.

    If I buy another M8 is still doubtfull, I had some offers for demo's/2nd hands but I'm very reluctant to buy one again knowing I can not rely on it (and not insure). And I'm reluctant to give up on RF.

    I now know the qualities but also the troubles.
     
  107. Nobody asked for these "amazing new M lenses." By and large, Leica photographers wanted a full frame dRF that can match a $600 digital Rebel's performance at ISO 800-160[0]
    The new 21mm f/1.4 wide angle prime would seem to be just the kind of lens that are needed by M8 users to do what M cameras have been traditionally used to do. There is no point in talking about a full frame 24x36 digital RF since it would not work with existing lenses.
     
  108. Reinier, I think the important point is not how much water got in, but the fact that 3 weeks elapsed before you were able in a position to dry the camera properly (and even then, did you?). Plenty of time for corrosion to occur, with or without power. Even the metal chassis is substantially corroded (RHS of your second photo). I'd like to know how many Greenland-experienced pros would nowadays EXPECT a trouble-free trip with so technically complex a camera? Only 2 decades ago, arctic veterans favoured mechanical cameras over the electronic ones of the day, and even had the oil removed from their shutters. Maybe the guy with the 400D was also pushing the boat out, but he just lucked through. Sample size, one of each - so it doesn't make a valid comparison. As a stand-alone incident, you knew that Greenland was not 'civilisation', as you put it: your risk, your accident.

    And to think that anyone would complain at 'having' to use an M6!
     
  109. Stephen Pitts:

    You make a very valid point about the likes of the 16MP digital backs etc. I too wouldn't take a chance in the rain with them. That is a very good argument and one I hadn't really considered. I just get the sense that the Leica M series has always had the image of a throw in your bag, take anywhere sort of camera (unlike a 16MP digi back or a Hassy 501 for example). It appears from this post that the M8 doesn't quite live up to that idea. Perhaps this was indeed a bit of a freak disaster and I don't doubt there are countless users who have had no trouble at all with them. I just think that for the hefty price tag it should be built to last for generations, not for the short term.

    Regarding your reasons for using an M8: 'the quality of the images'. Sure, they're good... but there is no way on God's earth they are equal to those from most decent DSLRs. To even suggest that an M8 used with modern M lenses can produce images with quality that surpasses those of full frame DSLRs (especially the upcoming 5D2) is absolute utter nonsense. The old 5D trounces it and, yes, I have seen many results from both cameras. Anyone with any shred of photographic knowledge will agree with me on that. Heck, I may be tempted with one of Peter A's famous wagers on that one! Even Leica themselves are admitting to mistakes as of late. I actually agree with you that the M series cameras are a joy to use. I have no doubt the M8 is an absolute pleasure to work with and I also love the rangefinder format myself. Rangefinders have many advantages over a 'whizz bang Canon or Nikon' such as compactness, bright viewfinder, quietness etc etc. I do not dispute any of that whatsoever. All I am saying is that a very expensive M8 with very expensive lenses should have the ULTIMATE image quality to match and the longevity of a lump of granite (ultimate image quality defined as equivalent to a FF DSLR).


    Peter A:

    Poms gutless? I didn't hear you lot shouting that when we thrashed you in the Olympics and Paralympics! :)
    (Now that was a bit of friendly forum banter for you!)
     
  110. I have a Sony 717. A few years after I bought it, well after the warranty had expired, the sensor died. Apparently
    dampness had affected the adhesive holding the sensor wires in place. I contacted Sony by phone. They emailed me
    a prepaid UPS pickup label. I sent the camera to them. I got it back a few weeks later, fixed, shipping paid, no
    charge, even though the warranty had expired. Now that's a company I'll do business with again.

    I'm sure many Leicaphiles will say my Sony 717 doesn't take the same quality images as a M8 . I'm sure it doesn't
    but I'm also not sure which is better! My 717, for which I paid about $600, wears a very nice looking Carl Zeiss Vario-
    Sonar lens. It takes very nice pictures and it doesn't require a special filter to correct for infrared.

    Personally, I think Leica is ripping people off. Leicas were once sold in Hermes boutiques and I believe Hermes was
    once a part owner of Leica. If you visit the Hermes web site you will find $975 beach towels!!! Also, this myth of the
    invincibility of German engineering is just that - a myth - that probably had its genesis in the Second World War -
    Tiger tanks, V2's, etc. But that's over now.

    Save yourselves, learn to love all things Japanese :)>.
     
  111. Well Jamie,

    To take an expression from a more vulgar context regarding wives, then we won't have to worry about stealing each
    other's cameras! Anyhow, having a perhaps a "shred" of photographic knowledge, I've looked at photos of the 5D's
    big brother (the 1Ds), the M8 and the Hasselblad 16 MP V-back. The latter wins hands down (apparently the 9
    micorn pixels are well matched to the lenses), the M8 came in a strong second and then the 1Ds. This comparison
    was done about 1 1/2 years ago at a store in London which only rents out professional equipment (including Canon
    and Hasselblad but not Leica so there was no inherent bias). The comparison was also done at a level of
    magnification that was well below where you stressed out the pixels. Moreover, I don't remember what lenses were
    used so the comparison was not entirely scientific. Nonetheless, your 5D "trounces" the M8 might a bit on the
    strong side (to say the least!). As long as you able to get the shot you want, I personally think it has more to do
    with the lenses and the pixel size, the nature of the pixel technology, etc. than the number of pixels (as long as you
    have enough which I would argue the M8 just barely does for most common situations). While Canon uses CMOS
    technology (which they are admittantly very proud of) for a variety of reasons (speed of clearing the frame, etc.); all
    high-end medium format digital backs (Hasselblad, Phase One, Sinar, etc.) use a CCD technology which apparently
    gives a better image (so I am told by enigneers at these places). The M8 no doubt enjoys this same advantage.
    Again, this is all assuming you get the shot in the first place; Canon has a lot of technology just dedicated to getting
    the shot (weatherproofing for example!). Anyhow, if I was a bird photographer now there is no doubt that the Canon
    lenses and technology are completely dominant in this regard. For street and travel photography, I'll take the M8.

    Perhaps someday one will have the ULTIMATE image quality (i.e.as you define it, a full frame M8), but for me overall,
    nothing currenlty beats the M8. A full frame M8 will no doubt require some extensive microlens work, etc., which we
    can only hope becomes feasible. Maybe two years or more... But I'll have shot my M8 for a long time by then...

    In the meantime, I am very excited about the S2 program as it really seems to hit a sweet spot in the professional
    digital market. Its definately more of a competitor to Hasselblad than to Canon or Nikon unless each of them also
    wants to make such a leap. There are rumours on Nikon, but I doubt it (they have enough on their hands right now).
    For me, it has enough pixels to never worry about enlargements, many of the features which users of Canon, for
    example, have enjoyed (to help you get that quick in-motion shot), etc. And again, those lenses! I'm betting that
    the new S2 lenses will set new standards (except for Zeiss Suprachromats, the Zeiss Biogon and 40IF and, of
    course, Canon's telephoto lenses).

    Cheers,

    Steve
     

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