Monday, March 15, 2010

Leica Is Confused

Here's a little story for you. I bought a used, though never registered Leica M8.2 from Ken Hansen, (a dealer out of NYC). I then wanted to register the camera. I found paperwork in the box about getting registered and then receiving 2 free IR filters. (This deal is due to Leica's botching of their M8 and M8.2 sensor; it not being able to render a true black in the files produced by these cameras. The remedy is to give two IR filters to offset all the angry customers. Yeah, I know. What if you have more than two lenses?)

The camera was then registered by doing as the paperwork said, which was to send certain required copies of paperwork to Germany. I emailed Leica to ask about filter sizes, as I didn't know what they'd be sending. Yes, I mentioned that the camera was used though never registered. As soon as I sent that email on its way, I found a link on Leica's website (not easily), which led me to the free IR filter order page. With some email help from another Leica customer service person, I figured out which filters to order for my lenses. (I had no clue!) This customer service rep was helpful and we emailed back and forth until I knew exactly the size filters I needed.

About 1-2 weeks go by when I receive an email from Leica stating they wouldn't honor the "two free filters" for me due to my camera being used. (This was a response to my original email.) Needless to say, I was quite pissed off. I called Stan Tamarkin, where I just purchased a 90mm Summicron E55 lens used, and told him about my dilemma, that I needed to purchase an IR filter from him. Stan said that's ridiculous. "It's like being almost pregnant. You either are or you aren't. If the camera hasn't been registered, then Leica should send the filters, because they hadn't for that particular camera." It's almost as if they were getting away with not fulfilling their obligation to make good on the screwed up M8, M8.2 sensor.

If I never sent that original email asking about the filters, I wouldn't be in this predicament, as the camera was never registered. Had I just ordered the filters following registration, (without sending that email) Leica would have just sent the filters, which was the proper thing to do. (Remember, this camera had not been registered so no one received any filters for this camera).

After buying an IR filter from Tamarkin for the 90mm lens, (expensive) I went on with my life figuring Leica is a richer company for screwing its customer. It's my fault for being honest and admitting the camera was used. If I didn't do that, for all Leica knew, the camera was sitting on a shelf waiting to be purchased. No one registered it! Leica didn't give 2 filters for this camera! (Should I start lying and cheating instead of being honest? LOL!)

Well, today I received a package. In it were two brand new Leica IR filters. Apparently, Leica employees don't speak to one another and I got my filters, (as I should have anyway! Shame on the person who refused me my filters!) I think Leica's customer service should really look at this incident and change their ridiculous policy of refusing a customer IR filters just because the camera is used. If the camera wasn't registered, Leica was obligated to send the filters for that camera. Period. Now, if the previous owner registered and received his two filters, then Leica needs to keep track of this, to prevent sending filters out more than once to those cameras registered. My camera wasn't registered, so if they kept accurate records, they'd see that particular serial numbered camera didn't have the IR filter order fulfilled.

I guess being honest is a good thing. It worked out in the end. I got my filters.


  1. Glad you got your filters! How was the experience of getting an used M8.2 from Ken Hansen? I contacted him to get an used M8 or M8.2. He's going to let me know when he gets some units in. Also, what made you decide to go for a M8.2 instead of a M8? Thanks!

  2. My experience with Ken Hansen was fantastic. He sold me a lovely M8.2 and a 35mm Summircon 2.0 ASPH lens, both used and in mint condition.

    I chose the M8.2 due to the improvements made, but they have M8s that have been updated to M8.2s also, via software updates. The M8 is also a wonderful camera. I just wanted something newer in serial number. Less likely to get one of the older M8s that had issues. The improvements are worth it for me. They may not be for you. I wanted a M9, but waiting for one of those is painfully slow I hear. Having never tried a rangefinder, I decided this would be a cheaper way to et involved, and if I didn't like it, sell it.

  3. Glad you got your free filters! That is very aggravating that Leica wouldn't honor it in the first place. Would have thought their customer service is better than that.

    Do you find that shooting prime lengths is limiting? Is it pretty fast to change lenses on the Leica?

  4. It's fast to change the lens. No problems. Same as if I was using the Nikon. I use primes on the Nikon too.

    Yeah, I was surprised at that email reply. Luckily that's not who I was dealing with when I ordered the filters.