Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/05/22

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Subject: [Leica] Ted Grant on CBC Radio
From: tedgrant at (Ted Grant)
Date: Thu May 22 19:59:06 2008

Geoff Hopkinson asked:

Subject: RE:Ted Grant on CBC Radio

>>Tina and Ted, please tell us about the 'standoff on the steps'

Hi Geoff,

A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away a photojournalist known as
"Ted the Terrible"

became somewhat annoyed with, at the time "LEICA CANADA" about an R4 Leica. 

It had been back and forth between Victoria & Toronto for so called service
more times than you can imagine. Well Ok 4 or 5 times and twice out of box
after service in exactly the same state it had been sent for repair.

Upon receiving the camera in Victoria once again with complete assurances
that it was perfect I was once again the proud and happy owner of 3 motor
driven R4's!

However? Only to find right out of the box it was the same as it left here.

To say the least I was a tad "upset!" Once again! I mean how many times can
something, well the same thing, be wrong on an R4?

So with a Toronto assignment on the horizon in a few days I called Leica
Canada and gave them this gentle but firm notice.

"I'm arriving in Toronto next Monday and bringing back the R4 that just
arrived from your service department in the same state it was when I sent
it! However this is the 4th time this same camera has crashed and burned in
similar condition so I want a brand new replacement. No if's and or but's. a
new one. No your service department isn't going to have a look again. It's
new camera replacement or I'm going to smash this one to pieces on the front
steps in full view of the local Toronto media, TV and newspaper

I arrive at the Leica office a few days later R4 in hand and ask about the

"Oh Ted we know you, always joking around let us leave the camera for the
service guys to have a look and we'll take you for lunch. When we get back
all will be fine."

"OK," says I. But if you don't give me a new camera after lunch the media
will be here and I'll smash this one and it'll be on the 6 o'clock news."
"Ya ya Ted, relax all will be well." :-)

We go to lunch, at least they paid. :-) Upon return sure enough there are TV
camera crews, several newspaper photogs, some saying "Hi Ted when you going
to do this Leica smashing thing?" 

"As soon as I don't get a new camera!"  :-)

The Leica head people thought I was joking when I had told them the media
would be there. However when we went inside and they wanted to give me back
the same R4, once again assuring me it was perfect, I offered in return.

"Nope it's a new camera or a smashed camera!" See I didn't have anything to
lose the damn R4 was a lemon, as some were. Not fit to be an anchor on a

Yep my 2 other R4's worked perfectly, this one was as yellow lemon as a
lemon could be. So what the hell I might as well smash it as it wasn't ever
going to work right. Nor could I trust it to shooting paying assignments.
ERGO!  Smash it and have an expensive Leica camera smashed to pieces on the
front steps of LEICA CANADA in front of TV cameras and newspaper/wire
service photographers.

Now that should get some attention in the camera world. Maybe even in
Germany! :-)

When the head guys realized I wasn't kidding about smashing it, all of a
sudden. Somebody turned up with a brand new R4 in box and. "Here Ted a
replacement camera just for you!" And they were all smiles. Mean while the
original lemon camera disappeared! :-)

So there you go as close as I remember the "Stand Off on the Steps!":-)






Replies: Reply from hoppyman at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] Ted Grant on CBC Radio)
Reply from Jim at (Jim Hemenway) ([Leica] Ted Grant on CBC Radio)
Reply from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] Ted Grant on CBC Radio "STAND OFF ON THE STEPS!" :-))
In reply to: Message from hoppyman at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] Ted Grant on CBC Radio)