The above image is a Leica M9 camera sensor underneath a fiber optic inspection light, captured with the iPhone 6 which is in many ways to my mind a modern concept of what the Leica camera was back in 1924. That however is another post that I’ve been pushing around in my head that should get written at some point.
That said, the image above is apropos of nothing other than its sibling, a Leica Monochrom has gone back to Leica to be serviced for a sensor that has delaminated/corroded. Its has already been at Leica service for a month now and I just heard back that they’ve deemed the sensor to be defective. The good news is that Leica will replace it for free. The bad news is that it could be several months before the camera comes back and Leica cannot give me a date at which the work will be complete.
This of course strikes me as completely absurd for a camera company, particularly a “premium” brand. After all, more “pedestrian” brands like Canon and Nikon have Pro service programs that are pretty good. They could all use a bit of improvement of course, and as @duncan noted: When it’s not tracked as well as a FedEx package, something is wrong. That said, I’ve been a Canon CPS member for years and I’ve always been happy with their service and their offer of loaners on very short notice. Even Fuji has a loaner service geared towards pros and they are much newer at the camera game than the traditional giants. But Fuji also seems to really care about the customer which is something special indeed.
So, what is the point of all this whinging? Not much other than to say that my experiment with Leica is wearing mighty thin. I’ve really jumped in on this experiment with both feet and do enjoy the enforced simplicity and challenge of photography that the using the Leica encourages, but this sort of service experience, particularly for a working photographer would be a show stopper. This reinforces the concept for me at least, that the Leica M series is a hobbyist camera for the über wealthy and not one that is used for anyone that expects to accomplish work. Do they generate beautiful images? Yes. Yes, they do. But…