Leica M9 Warranties and Used bodies

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by carbon_dragon, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. It looks to me as though Leica no longer offers it's super deluxe passport warranty on the M9. Instead there seems to be a 2 year international warranty which I have a hard time finding out any actual information on. What does seem to be available is that Leica doesn't recognize any warranties on used bodies even if they are within the original warranty.
    Anyone with an M9, purchased used (or new) care to comment on the warranty? Thanks.
  2. If it says it is transferable, it is, most mention to the original purchaser, which leads one to believe it ends on the resale of the item, even if is "only a week old".
    It also might vary depending on which country it was sold in to the retail customer.
  3. All I know is I registered my warranty online when I purchased the camera, I think the dealer also registered it in my
    name. I looked at a second hand camera and was advised the warranty was transferable, leica have responded to my
    emails, perhaps they would respond to this specific question.
    Regards Richard
  4. My warranty card states that when a claim is made it should be sent with the camera to the Leica service centre. I expect that if you have the warranty card it would probably be respected even if you are not the original purchaser. As you don't seem to have it, which is often the case with a second hand purchase, perhaps you can contact the seller to determine that he in fact registered the camera on-line, or otherwise, and call Leica to confirm that they will or would honor a claim from you. There is no statement in the warranty card about the warranty being transferable, or not, to a subsequent owner, so that doesn't help to answer your question.
    I'm not sure about the old 3 year passport service, but it seems to have been discontinued in the age of the digital Leicas. The M9 warranty also states that it is null and void if the camera has been subject to improper handling or serviced by non-authorised persons or workshops.
  5. I don't have a used M9 right now. I'm trying to evaluate the economic viability of being able to stretch to buy a used one by evaluating whether I'd be covered by a warranty even if I bought a fairly recently purchased one.
    It's a little like buying an Italian supercar though. Even if someone gave it to you, you have to wonder if you could afford to drive it. The price for an M9 is bad enough, there seem to be some available on the used market for a some price savings, but even if you buy the camera (yes I know they're typically reliable, I have an M8 I bought used) can you afford to have it repaired if it does go wrong? Would it be under warranty? If so how good a warranty? If not, would Leica repair it if I bought it used and if so, what would repairs be likely to cost?
    I suspect the end result of this exercise is buying a NEX-7 but I'd prefer a M9 so I'm trying to evaluate viability of being able to cover the maintenance of the camera if it DOES turn out to need repairs.
    Sorry if I didn't make all that clear initially.
  6. You don't necessarily need a full Leica warranty. Just carefully choose from a
    reliable seller a camera in nice condition that offers some kind of return policy. Or you could get it from
    one of the used dealers who offer their own warranty. With KEH it's 6 months.
  7. I appreciate that this question is pertinent principally to the USA and that the responses may be correct; but equally, the replies probably don't apply to any other country. There are different issues concerning warranties/guarantees in different countries, and some of these are major issues.
    In The E.U. for example, consumer statutory rights make manufacturers' warranties quite superfluous or even null and void: this is because the 'contract' is between the purchaser and the seller, not the purchaser and manufacturer. Also in the E.U., sending a camera direct to Leica for warranty repairs (regardless of what Leica suggests or offers) risks diminishing the customer's statutory rights, especially to make any claim against the seller such as obtaining refunds or replacements.
    In other countries all you may have is a manufacturer's warranty and few other safeguards. The question of 'second users' complicates matters in either situation and also varies country to country. In other words, even the best advice is only relevant within its correct context.
    Post script: It seems that Leica tries to meet all of the obligations of E.U. law itself, without involving the seller (i.e. shop), but 'rolling-out' an international, universal one-size-fits-all warranty that meets the stautory requirements of any and all jurisdictions is a particularly tall order. Thankfully, Leica generally has a very 'mature' approach to after-sales service.
  8. I bought the M8 from Tamarkin (and I am in the U.S.) and that was great, but they don't seem to really have used M9s. I do see used ones at KEH and B&H (I live a short distance from KEH here in Marietta, Georgia) but at $2500 or so, I guess I felt a little easier with the decision than close to $6000. I couldn't afford to impoverish myself to buy an M9 and then have a breakdown immobiize it and then have Leica refuse to fix it because I wasn't in their customer database, or say they WOULD fix it for $3000. I'm trying to get a feel for how I would be treated.
    I've bought used equipment from both KEH and B&H Photo before but never at this kind of cost. It could well turn out that I'm better off waiting for the M10 to try to find a used M9 at a price that has a little padding for unexpected events.
  9. @David,
    Photokina is coming up this September. Hopefully, Leica will release M10 and the current M9 users start dumping their gears in the used market to upgrade. As for me, I'm sticking with my M8. If I want to shoot full frame, I shoot my MP, which is a much better camera than M9.
  10. I guess that the best thing would be to contact Leica USA and raise the issue of transferability to them (is the fact that the camera has been registered with them sufficient, or do you need warranty card, etc.?).
    If you decide on an M9, maybe the extra $1000 for a new one may be worth it. Some have upgraded the M9 to the M9-P near the end of the two year warranty on the M9 and have apparently then received the upgrade with an additional year warranty.
  11. They say no. I sent an email when someone above suggested it.
  12. David, Are you saying that Leica states that a current warranty (guarantee) is not transferable?
    If this is the case, well P**s on them!!
    This really is a major departure from the 3 year Passport days. Even the American automobile industry isn't that callous.
  13. Why are we so critical of Leica? Here is the Nikon statement in their 2 year warranty information:
    "THIS WARRANTY MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED OR COPIED AND WILL BE VALID ONLY WITH AUTHENTIC PRODUCTS SOLD BY NIKON CANADA INC. This warranty is NON-TRANSFERABLE and applies to the original purchaser of the product from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer."
    I would not be surprised if the very same applies in other countries. Even the original Nikon purchaser must provide his warranty card and other information when seeking service under warranty and Nikon clearly states that malfunction due to normnal wear and tear are not covered at any time during the 2 year period.
    I think I would take a chance with a near mint condition Leica M9, especially as the bugs were worked out with the M8 (mainly problems caused by third party suppliers of the LCD monitor or the Seiko shutter.
    I believe it was Erwin Puts, who is very familiar with Leica optics and cameras, who stated that the M9 is the best built of any Leica camera to date. I know this will get a lot of gasps and feedback from MP or M3 or Leicaflex owners, but I would put some faith in Mr. Put's evaluation. He has also come out against some Leica qualities in his past reports and doesn't put the M9 at the very top of the list of highest resolution and dynamic range 35mm system digital cameras.
    The 3 year Passport protection was nice while it lasted, but it obviously cost Leica too much to continue it. How many car manufacturers would give you a new vehicle if you crashed it accidentally? It couldn't last.
  14. Generally, if you send in the camera for a CLA or an upgrade, it comes with a 1 year warranty. It might be worth doing if you are apprehensive about it. It would be worth checking out with Leica in Germany, or Leica USA. You have to spend the cash for the CLA or upgrade, but you get the certainty of knowing that the camera is in perfect working order and another year warranty on it.
  15. Arthur, My criticism of Leica is due to (a) we are paying high prices for their products and subsequently expect a superior product and superior service (b) this practice represents a complete 180 degree departure from previous practice. Prior to their Passport programme, ( a relatively short timespan in the history of the company), I believe Leitz/Leica guarantees were transferable.
    With one third of Leica's production time spent on QA, it should not be unreasonable to expect a transferable guarantee of product reliability.
    My comment regarding the automobile industry was not analagous to the Passport programme, but rather, the "transferability" of a warranty/guarantee.
    And yes, some Leica products are more expensive than some new cars!
  16. I'm not criticizing myself, I'm just trying to understand and gather information. It would seem that Leica currently has a 2yr warranty against defects that is fairly limited against what seemed to be a pretty liberal 3 year PASSPORT warranty. I don't know if the old warranty was transferrable, but the new one is not. Because of the term, there's less chance that the 2yrs would still be in force anyway.
    I don't have a good feel for how often these things need to go back to Leica and what the average expense is, but some of the stories of some going back 3 times scares me a bit. But it's not because I think it's not well built. Any piece of electronics (or any camera for that matter) can have problems.
    My Contax RTS III looks like it's repairable after all but I've been waiting over 5 years to find the parts so that my technician could fix it. There's it wasn't the money I was worried about, it was availability. At least that isn't an issue with Leica. My M8 has never failed once for any reason so that's somewhat of a confidence builder. I wish I knew if the M10 was coming this year. I'd still buy the M9 over the M10 but it might get me a better deal. If I did buy an M9 I would probably buy it from KEH used because of their 6 month warranty and keep my M8 for infrared work.
  17. Colin and David,
    I don't want to gild the lily in my remarks, but whether it is a 7000$ Nikon or a 7000$ Leica the non-transferable warranty seems to often be the case with the major manufacturers. The entry of digital sensors, on board little computers and extensive electronics is quite different from the mechanical systems of earlier Leicas. As Stuart mentions, the one year warranty after service is quite good.
    I would suggest that you guys have a look at the other recent posts dealing with members' experience with Leica repairs, which seem to indicate a very fine service. I had a camera replaced completely due to a Seiko shutter breakdown on the M8 (or it may have been in the Leica firmware, I know not) within the warranty period. The replacement M8 has worked well for 5 years and the only other issue was (again) a third party component (LCD screen) that started to show a dull spot. the camera was then 3 or 4 years from purchase, but Leica still honored a service and replacement at no cost to me, except the cost of one-way shipping the camera to them. Nikon may have suggested in a similar case that my problem was normal wear and tear, and may not have accepted the responsibility for a third party component. I respect Nikon quality, but have you tried getting parts for some of their older models from the 90s or early 2000s? The 8008 (an older film camera model) was supplied with parts for considerably less than 10 years after its entry to the market. I don't believe we will have similar problems with Leica. The problem with some brands (Kyocera's Yashica and Contax models, Minolta, Konica,..) is that the company has relinquished the lines or gone out of business. Some thing that L-C-N and possibly Pentax, Olympus and Sony do not look like they are considering.
  18. "I'd still buy the M9 over the M10 but it might get me a better deal."
    I don't think prices are going to drop that much if an M10 comes out. The Monochrom is on the way and that's probably already had a small effect. Costs of like-new M9's are already 1K below brand new ones, excellent condition M9's $1500 or more less.
    Another thing to consider is that if you have a 6 month warranty, or even a 2 week warranty, that's going to give you a chance to get familiar with how reliable the camera is going to be. If the electronics don't break when the camera is young, it's more than likely you'll be set for quite a long time.
    That said, if we were to talk pure practicality here, then what's wrong with the M8? As you probably know from having one, it's a very capable camera.
  19. The M8's a good camera, but I want the increased resolution and I want my 35mm lens to be wideangle again. The M8's sensor is decent, but I think it's showing it's age.
    In regards to the warranty, yes other camera makers do it too, but most of those other camera makers camera lines are much cheaper than an M9 so the consequences of getting stuck with a problematic camera aren't so severe. If I'm buying a blender I'm a lot less worried about the warranty than if I'm buying a car. If we were talking about $2000 I'd be a little worried but I'd buy without too much soul searching. I'm not Mitt Romney, this amount of money is very meaningful to me.
  20. @David,
    The M8's a good camera, but I want the increased resolution and I want my 35mm lens to be wideangle again.​
    I hear you. I've felt the same. But rather than spending $5000 on a perishable electronic camera, why don't you spend $3000 on Summicron 28/2 for your M8? Wait another five years. Used M9 prices will be half of what they're today, but the lens will likely hold most of its value. Sell the lens and buy a used M9 then.
  21. I could do that, but I'd still have the 10MP sensor. I have some wider angle lenses in Voigtlander's line which do work as wideangles. But its a good point.
  22. I bought a used M9 a few weeks ago by mail-order from a top UK dealership (London Camera Exchange). On inspection it had a minor rangefinder misalignment at infinity which seemingly affected focus accuracy elsewhere. The dealer asked for it to be returned to them for attention; they immediately sent it on to Leica Camera AG in Solms.
    The 'repair' took under 3 weeks from door to door. The Leica invoice shows they corrected the r/f, and focus issue, checked all camera functions and adjusted them where necessary, cleaned the sensor and finally provided a test certificate. The invoice (to the dealer) states "Please note that this is a guarantee repair. The repair costs without guarantee would amount to EUR 319.10".
    That represents excellent, no-quibble service here in the UK/ Europe from both Leica Camera AG and London Camera Exchange (Bristol). My warm thanks go to both.
  23. I purchased a one year old M9 and had the registration transferred over to my name with the included form with the Leica passport. I then received an updated passport from Leica with my details printed on it, so I would say it is transferable. Extensions are also possible.

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