Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2007/05/06

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Subject: [Leica] Re: M8 rebuttal
From: lrzeitlin at (Lawrence Zeitlin)
Date: Sun May 6 21:13:26 2007
References: <>

On May 6, 2007, at 10:03 PM, Sonny wrote:

> But why so many complaints about a new digital camera when older
> Leicas are cherished for their reliability.
> ----------------------
> If they are so reliable,  why does DAG, Sherry,Ken Ruth, and  Leica  
> have
> such a backlog?

Of course the estimate of the M8 failure rate at 6% is a guess. But  
it is irrelevant to my argument. I based the 6% rate purely on  
assumptions derived from reading posts on the LUG. If you have any  
better estimate, I would be happy to accept it. Of course Leica  
could, but probably won't, publish the correct figures. But Canon  
did. In an article in the Photo District News, Canon's DOA rate was  
reported as less than 1%. My disappointment was that a camera  
presumed to be the acme of German optical/electronic engineering  
would have a malfunction rate sufficient to evoke comments in many  
Leicaphile web sites. Five thousand bucks is a lot to spend for a  
camera body. It's a real test of faith. Apparently I'm not a true  
believer. All the little M8 problems may well be corrected in a year  
or so. But they should not have existed in the first place.

As far as the backlog of cameras at DAG, Ken Ruth and Sherry Krauter,  
most of those old Leicas are in for CLAs or repair of normal wear  
after many years of use. The M8 is less than a year old and the rate  
of complaints on the LUG is far greater than those posted for the M7  
or M6. The bitching about the M5 was for its unLeica like  
characteristics. Sherry Krauter had my two M3s in for CLAs several  
years ago. They were both functioning fine but I felt a little guilty  
that they hadn't been attended to for more than 20 years. She lubed  
them and replaced a worn shutter curtain in one, touched up the  
vulcanite and replaced the film speed reminder disc on the back of  
the other. No other repairs were necessary. The cameras were  
purchased in 1954 and 1956. That's 50 years of use without a problem.  
Each will sell on the used market for more than I paid new. I know  
the real value of money is far different than in the 50s but I have  
had many years of use of the cameras.

I certainly wish Leica well and I hope the company makes a successful  
transition to the digital age. But I would be very surprised if the  
M8 lasts 50 years. Hell, I'll be surprised if it lasts five years.

Larry Z

Replies: Reply from sonc.hegr at (Sonny Carter) ([Leica] Re: M8 rebuttal)
Reply from lug at (Steve Unsworth) ([Leica] Re: M8 rebuttal)