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Update: Leica Passport warranty service results...

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I recently posted a question re: my new M6's (non TTL version) out-of-adjustment rangefinder mechanism. The rangefinder patch was out of alignment on the vertical axis, making focussing very difficult. Several respondents were kind enough to answer my question and suggest some solutions. Thanks again to all.




The end result was that I decided to send it to Leica for warranty repair/adjustment, and I promised to post my experiences with this process when completed.




I called Leica, in N.J., to discuss the problem and the solution. I half expected someone with a clipped, German accent to answer the phone; someone by the name of Wilhelm, or something similar. Instead a rather dispirited sounding woman, with a New Jersey accent, answered the phone.




I briefly discussed the problem with her. She immediately told me to send it in, but that their "turn around time for repairs was running about six to eight weeks". I asked what would happen to my Passport warranty if the adjustment were to be done by someone else, at my expense. She told me not to do that. I took that to mean that this would void my warranty.




I persisted--in a firm, yet professional manner, of course--and told her that six to eight weeks was not acceptable for Passport warranty repairwork. I wanted it repaired and returned sooner. She then put me on hold, apparently to discuss this situation further with someone in authority.




When she returned she told me it was a very simple adjustment and to send it in right away, marking the box "attention..Brenda Olesin", a supervisor in repair. She said "Brenda will take care of you, honey". I asked what "take care of you" meant in actual days/weeks. She just responded that "she'll do a rush, and you'll have it back as soon as possible".




Well, to make a long story short, I sent it to Leica by 2nd day air. It arrived there on the 16th. I got it back this morning at 8:00 AM, the 23rd, by UPS Next Day Air. It was carefully boxed and packed, and the body was inside a sealed, plastic bag, with the Leica logo printed on it. The packaging alone impressed the hell out of me.




I checked it out and it works beautifully! The rangefinder patch is so precisely aligned now that the correct focus just seems to pop into place, making focussing effortless. No more back-and-forth, trying to get it to focus with the screwed up vertical axis adjustment. And it was NEVER this well aligned when I first got the new camera. Sounds like a quality control problem at the factory.




They even put a new battery in it. Why, I don't know, since the adjustment had nothing to do with the meter. I guess they also checked out the meter while they had it apart.




One more thing I thought I'd mention, since I've seen this problem discussed at length on this forum. They apparently cleaned (?) or polished the viewfinder and rangefinder glass/mirror/optics when they had the top off to adjust the vertical alignment (yes, you have to take the top off to do this, it's not as simple as turning a screw someplace).




The viewfinder is now brighter and clearer than I ever remember it being, and the tendency to flare-out when pointed into a light source has now totally vanished. Maybe this tendency the new M6 rangefinders have for flaring is due to a lack of factory assembly cleanliness inside the viewfinder optics? Interesting!




Bottom line: I'm very pleased with Leica's service. I have my camera back, in perfect working order. All's well with the world again.













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To do the vertical adjustment you do not have to remove the top

plate but the tech probably removed the top plate to clean the

finder. To adjust the framelines you do have to remove the top

plate and possibly this may have needed tweaking as well. I

think that shipping is a big factor in rangefinder misalignment. If

you have ever seen packages being "handled" by a courier you

will know what I mean. I also had my vertical alignment (my fault)

adjusted under passport and was very impressed with the

speed of the service (Canada) and the return packaging (think

small TV sized box). On the new website Leica mentions an

upcoming new professional service which may expidite things

even more for those who depend on their Leicas for their bread

and butter.

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I have always been impressed by the professionalism of Leica in the

repair department, particularly from Germany. Last year I had to send

in my R6.2 and it took about two months to repair - I only got it

back by getting my dealer to complain. Also my Leica CL took 3.5

months to repair - I wondered whether I would ever see it again! To

be fair, they were waiting for new CL meter cells to arrive. Still

these two experiences have rather taken the edge off the idea that it

is always trivial to send something off to Leica for repair. They

said that they had no staff to repair R cameras at one time! I did

feel that if I was a pro this would not be a salutary experience,

whatever the good reasons. Of course - at least I can still get a

camera that is 25 years old repaired by the manufacturer, something

that can be said for very few other cameras. This does show that

contrary to many Leicaphiles world view, Leica is basically a small

niche company without huge resources. Of course repairs are not

cheap - to repair the CL (repair r/f and replace meter cell & bring

up to specs) cost $400! Ouch.

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You are very lucky to get your camera back so soon! My new Leica M6

TTL camera's shutter jammed after only 3 months of light use. I too

was forced to deal with that "dispirited sounding" person on the

phone! I was told it would take at least one week before anyone could

take a look at it, and then another 4-6 weeks to repair the camera

(under USA Passport Warranty of course). I was very unhappy with this

experience, but didn't know whether my protests would have any effect

on the repair time. I did get my camera back after 4 weeks, and it

has been working perfectly since then................................


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It seems as I search the web,Leicas have definite QC problems.It didnt happen yesterday either...The problem for me goes back 33 years.My Leica M3 arrived without RF roller cam etc.The RF was invisible....to a real photographer,he would have seen the RF square but to a fool....Anyway at the time,my guaranty had 3 signatures of very happy and optimistic party-event people at Leitz.I had to wait for my camera while assembly was finished at my agent.I really should have recvd another M3.Tue there was a letter of apology later.The good news one can have the thing repaired all these years later.Getting technicians is difficult.

Its world wide problem.I was offered work in SWitzerland after completing a course at the worlds best watch manufacturer.They were desperate.It was not R*l*X.True everybody can find problems...but this is one very expensive piece of equipment.One can buy a Hasselblad for same or less.Pro wise the Hassie would look more pro and easier to get great clear enlargements.I cannot focus the swedish box,tried all the different screens.Leica needds to get its act together.

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