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The unofficial statement from Leica on M8
Old 11-22-2006   #1
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The unofficial statement from Leica on M8

just received this information today. It is not official until released by Leica. But this is what has been passed down to RFF. Again, This is passdown and we will wait for Official Leica statement.

Dear All:

I just received the M8 announcements, and I mean Announcements. There is a letter for the agency, one for the dealer, one for the consumers that have already purchased an M8 and one additional one that is a question and answer memo. About 25 pages in all. Since all letters have to be read and re-read to make sure there are no inconsistencies for our market, I thought it best to just give you the highlights which can be shared with your dealer or consumers. Christian and Shirley will make sure all the appropriate letters are mailed on Monday. The info is also due to be on the Leica Web-site on Friday.

1. The "Banding" and "Mirror/Ghost" effects have been thoroughly investigated and the root cause has been identified and eliminated. The remedy will enable every M8 to meet and exceed Leica performance standards. All customers that have purchased and taken delivery of an M8 will be entitled to an upgrade performed in Solms, free of charge. Specific measures will be taken to enhance customer loyalty that will be outlined in detail in the memo's issued Monday. In summary, every one of these customers will be entitled to purchase a new M lens at a 30% discount directly from the factory in Solms.

2. The above average sensitivity for infrared light can be compensated by using an IR filter. Leica will make available two free IR filters of any size (there are 7 filter sizes for the current M lenses) for M8 purchasers. I am sure the logistics of this is in the memo's but I have not read all 25 pages. Delivery of these free of charge IR filters will commence in February, 2007.


Again, further details will follow, but now you know what I know. Shipment of the M8 will resume sometime next week - though the specific day of arrival and quantities deliverable are yet unknown.

Thanks again for your patience and support over the past couple of weeks. I have no doubt in my mind the M8 is back on track for becoming one of the most successful products in Leica history!
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Old 11-22-2006   #2
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Apparently attention to detail does not extend to proper use of the apostrophe.
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Old 11-22-2006   #3
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Specific measures will be taken to enhance customer loyalty


I think it's foolish on Leica's part to make this particular statement. In my experience 'loyalty' is earned, not bought and as soon as any company starts trading on assumed loyalty from it's customers they are treading on dangerous ground. Loyalty to any manufcturer is gained by the quality and reliability of it's products and service. It will be shown by sales success for what is a comparatively expensive item in the market place.

We know that Leica are not perfect ... and expecting perfection first up from any manufacturer of a ground breaking new product is just asking to be dissapointed!

However, the way that they deal with this current problem will ultimately be far more important for their ongoing success than the actual (minor teething) consumer encountered problems with the camera itself!
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Old 11-22-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trius
Apparently attention to detail does not extend to proper use of the apostrophe.
This reminds me of those dysfunctional families, where the wife that cleans, cooks, does everything to perfection, only to be told instead of what a good job she did, just how dumb and inconsiderate it was not to use the brown steak knives instead of the red steak knives.
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Old 11-22-2006   #5
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Wow - is that the nicest admission ever? They'll be losing a lot of money giving away those freebies / discounts.
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Old 11-22-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kully
Wow - is that the nicest admission ever? They'll be losing a lot of money giving away those freebies / discounts.
The recall is the big expense and they probably had little choice. 1500 cameras in the field..the rest reworked before shipping. The lenses direct from Solm ? at 30% how much was the dealer getting.??? Nice strategy to build a backlog of orders for lenses......30% is enough to get 1000 lenses on order without affecting the existing dealer stock. Filters committed to in major quantity ..lots of leverage on the manufacture because of the of all the demand from M8 users to purchase additional filters. This looks like the making of a brilliant business strategy....just hope the solution is a keeper.
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Old 11-22-2006   #7
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I appreciate how he (she?) cares not enough to read a simple 25 page memo about the pivotal that Leica has put out in recent lifetimes.

If I was a PR guy and wanted to assure confidence in the public, I'd make sure that I knew every letter of every possible reason as to the logistics behind the IR problem. Thenagain, that's just me.



I still want an M8.
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Old 11-22-2006   #8
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I'm still in. I think pros outweigh cons.
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M8 the Best Digital M -- for now
Old 11-22-2006   #9
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M8 the Best Digital M -- for now

I just spent a week testing a loaner M8 from Leica. I believe it to be the best digital M out there, for now.

Epson is just looking for a quick exist strategy. The only place end users will find an RD-2 is their dreams. That 6 MP will only look smaller as time goes by, along with even worse parts and repair situations.

I believe it will be a year or longer until another digital M platform will be available in the marketplace, if that soon. Personally I expect to see some sort of M8 Mark II before I see a digital Zeiss ZM. This is my own opinion, not inside information.

Granted, a $5000 not perfect digital M is a tough pill to swallow, but if its the only viable M digital we have right now, it is the only viable M digital we have right now.

I can't help thinking though, that a good part of the outraged posts are coming from people who would never buy any $5,000 camera anyway.

Who will buy the M8 and who will not, time will tell.

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Old 11-22-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest

I can't help thinking though, that a good part of the outraged posts are coming from people who would never buy any $5,000 camera anyway.

Stephen
I haven't posted any opinion about the M8 anywhere up 'til today, but I'd like to ask you if the fact, that somebody would not ever buy the M8 is enuff to make his opinion irrelevant ? Or what shall the remark above mean ? Does one need a bank reference to be allowed to call an emabarrassing desaster an embarrassing desaster ?

I read a similar remark at the German LUF and if I haven't understood anything completely wrong then I find this remark as embarrassing as the desaster itself.

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Old 11-22-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertram2
I haven't posted any opinion about the M8 anywhere up 'til today, but I'd like to ask you if the fact, that somebody would not ever buy the M8 is enuff to make his opinion irrelevant ? Or what shall the remark above mean ? Does one need a bank reference to be allowed to call an emabarrassing desaster an embarrassing desaster ?

I read a similar remark at the German LUF and if I haven't understood anything completely wrong then I find this remark as embarrassing as the desaster itself.

bertram
anyone is certainly entitled to any opinion they have, or want to have.

how revelent that opinion is, is another matter.

my point is that many people are likely complaining about a camera they don't have the ability to buy, or would not buy even if they could easily afford it, because they would not buy any $5,000 of any make.

it's like voting. If you are not registered to vote, you can't vote. on the other hand, you are welcome to any political opinion you have.

in the M8 world the only opinions that really count are the people who can afford and would buy a $5,000 camera IF they want to.

They will determine the success or failure of the M8 in the marketplace, not people who want to spend time complaining about a product they would never buy anyway, even if it were perfect.

Stephen
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Old 11-22-2006   #12
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I don't see why anyone's ability/desire to own an M8 should have anything to do at all with what opinions they express about the Leica / M8 situation. I'm not making this a personal issue and I have no intention (currently) of owning an M8, but surely, hypothetically, a person has the right to make a judgement and pass an opinion on a product by a manufacturer who has already removed a large amount of money from their bank account.

I know there are a lot of doomsayers out there just itching to see what they perceive as a 'rich boy's toy' fail miserably in a market dominated by cameras costing half as much, but ... there's also a lot of people like myself with collections of Leica camera gear dating back to the thirties that have enough money tied up in them to buy a decent car!

The mere fact of spending $3500.00 on an M7 definitely gives a person the right to pass comment on the successor M ... whether they intend buying one or not!
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Old 11-22-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest

my point is that many people are likely complaining about a camera they don't have the ability to buy, or would not buy even if they could easily afford it, because they would not buy any $5,000 of any make.

it's like voting. If you are not registered to vote, you can't vote. on the other hand, you are welcome to any political opinion you have.

in the M8 world the only opinions that really count are the people who can afford and would buy a $5,000 camera IF they want to.

They will determine the success or failure of the M8 in the marketplace, not people who want to spend time complaining about a product they would never buy anyway, even if it were perfect.

Stephen
I have to disagree with you as well Stephen. I had an M8 on order and after all the problems started coming up I canceled and purchased the MP3 kit. That kit is a 1k more then the M8. My money goes to the quality product. I still spent the cash on a Leica product just not the flawed one.

I could be the only one that had the money and shifted away from the M8 but I doubt it.
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Old 11-22-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertram2
I haven't posted any opinion about the M8 anywhere up 'til today, but I'd like to ask you if the fact, that somebody would not ever buy the M8 is enuff to make his opinion irrelevant ? Or what shall the remark above mean ? Does one need a bank reference to be allowed to call an emabarrassing desaster an embarrassing desaster ?

I read a similar remark at the German LUF and if I haven't understood anything completely wrong then I find this remark as embarrassing as the desaster itself.

bertram
How would you solve it? I believe they have decided to try and solve this problem in decent and acceptable way. Could you honestly ask for Leica to give more to early buyers?

enough of senseless bashing.
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Old 11-22-2006   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest
Epson is just looking for a quick exit strategy. The only place end users will find an RD-2 is their dreams.
That's what I think, too. Too bad, because the R-D 1 was a terrific concept in search of better quality control, and the more I use it, the more I think that like Frosty the Snowman's hat, there must have been some magic in that unheralded Ediart image-processing chip.

Quote:
That 6 MP will only look smaller as time goes by, along with even worse parts and repair situations.
If 6 MP is enough for your needs now, it will still be enough as time goes by. The parts-and-repair situation admittedly is a bit worrisome, but that's true of any lame-duck camera. Thank goodness Epson used a non-proprietary battery type!

Quote:
Personally I expect to see some sort of M8 Mark II before I see a digital Zeiss ZM.
Personally, I expect to see purple flying pigs before I see a digital Zeiss ZM, but Stephen's instincts are almost certainly better than mine...

Quote:
Granted, a $5000 not perfect digital M is a tough pill to swallow, but if its the only viable M digital we have right now, it is the only viable M digital we have right now.
"Not perfect" is to some extent a matter of perspective, and there's probably still a lot that Leica can do to mitigate the PR damage out in the big wide world (as opposed to the tiny world of Internet discussion forums.)

Yeah, the bleeding and green ghosts were definite defects that it sounds as if they've positively ID'ed (probably circuitry faults, just like Mark Norton had been saying all along on the Leica forum) and a warranty fix for this problem is no more than purchasers deserve.

As to the magenta issue, try this mental exercise -- Suppose that right from the time the M8 was officially announced, Leica had described it this way:


"The Leica M8 is optimized for black-and-white photography, with a sensor design chosen for maximum sharpness and texture rendering. Photographers wishing to use the M8 for color photography may need to employ a lens-mounted infrared cutoff filter for critical results."


I'll bet that would have made real Leica nuts even MORE rabidly enthusiastic about the M8. They'd have cheered Leica's commitment to monochrome tradition and reveled in the esoteric complexity of IR cut filters. The occasional appearance of magenta blacks wouldn't have shaken anyone's confidence in the camera's overall quality; Leica buffs would blame the photographer for not following Leica's recommendations.


Well, I think they can still reach that position, even now that the horse is out of the barn. If they consistently emphasize that the need for IR-cut filters is driven by Leica's desire to optimize image quality (which is true) and not by some defect in the camera's design, I think most Leica enthusiasts eventually will come around.


So while this (still unofficial) program may not give everybody everything they hoped for, I think it will strike most reasonable people as an appropriate response. Personally, even though I can't afford an M8 right now, this announcement (assuming it pans out similarly to Jorge's inside info) pretty much restores my interest in owning one eventually. Who knows, maybe the increased demand for IR-cut filters will ramp up their production and lower the price!


[Speaking of IR filters, eventually somebody will have to eat the cost of the free ones mentioned in the unofficial plan -- but maybe they can bury it within the inflated price tag of some collector-targeted special edition model. "Leica M8 F_ck-Up Commemorative Edition," anyone? With a certificate of authenticity on which Leica's CEO has written "I will not rush products to market" a thousand times?]
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Last edited by jlw : 11-22-2006 at 21:11.
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Old 11-22-2006   #16
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does anyone seriously think the ir design flaw won't deter enough buyers to make the m8 flop?
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Old 11-22-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlw
As to the magenta issue, try this mental exercise -- Suppose that right from the time the M8 was officially announced, Leica had described it this way:


"The Leica M8 is optimized for black-and-white photography, with a sensor design chosen for maximum sharpness and texture rendering. Photographers wishing to use the M8 for color photography may need to employ a lens-mounted infrared cutoff filter for critical results."


I'll bet that would have made real Leica nuts even MORE rabidly enthusiastic about the M8. They'd have cheered Leica's commitment to monochrome tradition and reveled in the esoteric complexity of IR cut filters. The occasional appearance of magenta blacks wouldn't have shaken anyone's confidence in the camera's overall quality; Leica buffs would blame the photographer for not following Leica's recommendations.


]

Truer words are rarely spoken.
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Old 11-22-2006   #18
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mmm.....M8 owners should be able to pocket a few bucks from purchasing lenses for others(if they don't want one themselves). On a $3000 lens that's a $900 savings with the 30% discount....split it with the buyer and you keep $450....not bad.
Good fix. Of course, there'll be a pile of Leica denigrators who had no intention of even buying one in the first place....
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Old 11-22-2006   #19
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if color is going to be nigh useless, they may as well have gone for a monochrome sensor.
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Old 11-22-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost
if color is going to be nigh useless, they may as well have gone for a monochrome sensor.
Who told you that? Some of the comments on my M8 shots are "glorious colour"
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Old 11-23-2006   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
Who told you that? Some of the comments on my M8 shots are "glorious colour"
the (relatively few) shots in color that i see on flickr are nowhere near "glorious". there's a definite preponderance of purple in photos of people in normal social situations.
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Old 11-22-2006   #22
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Bertram,

I think the point that Stephen and others are making is that it's easy to criticize when you have no stake in the outcome. On the other hand, I can see your point that one doesn't need to buy a duck to know it quacks.
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Old 11-22-2006   #23
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Quote:
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I think the point that Stephen and others are making is that it's easy to criticize when you have no stake in the outcome. On the other hand, I can see your point that one doesn't need to buy a duck to know it quacks.
True. I'll let the quacks quack all they want. When a number of solutions were proposed, the quackers went humorously silent. Some are simply ignoring facts and repeating the same filth over and over. Perhaps the quackers think that if they quack long enough, they'll turn the very thing they hate into quack?

quack quack quack (it's contagious)
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Old 11-22-2006   #24
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endustry: It's a slippery slope. And it's NOT just the interent (you knew that) ... plus this person is a PR person, as in someone who WRITES FOR A LIVING.

However,
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Old 11-22-2006   #25
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I don`t understand. What more can they do? They will fix the cameras, provide some filters , and heavily discount some glass, properly coded of course.

If you are not happy with the solution, trade the camers in for something more pleasing .
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