M8 Oh Drat
Old 02-24-2013   #1
mike_j
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M8 Oh Drat

Clicking away happily this morning, loud buzz and on LCD: Err - shutter fault.

Changed batteries and tried everything but it is the real deal so off to Solms. But how much will it cost and is it worth it? The M8 is unmarked but getting brassy at 14,000 actuations and I have been thinking of upgrading to a user M9. So is resale value of M8 - repair costs - ebay and paypal charges worth the hassle or should I just put it on the shelf with the other once loved but now unused cameras ?
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Old 02-24-2013   #2
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try to install firmware once again.
sometimes it helps
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Old 02-24-2013   #3
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When my shutter gave out around 30,000 actuations, I sent mine back to Solms. Leica usually mandates an estimate (around €40) and then charge for the camera repair and a CLA. In total, the final cost amounted to €600, with a turnaround time of a month. The M8 came back like new, and has a year's warranty from Leica.

14,000 actuations is on the low end. I would email or call customer service and see what they can do about it. Worst case, you could resell the fixed M8.
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Old 02-24-2013   #4
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Tough call, I see ebay sold's at $1500 and up.

If you get Solms to fix it, you'll be getting a warranty, I assume. That warranty may be worth every penny, especially if it is a year long or so.

If you but another M8 off ebay, it wouldn't come with a warranty and might fail without warning, leaving you with two dead cameras.
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Old 02-24-2013   #5
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Back in April 2012, I had the shutter replaced on my M8 (after 20,000 actuations). The cost through Leica NJ was $475. In addition, they'll CLA your camera and provide you with a one-year warranty. It was worth it then, and IMO would be worth it today. However, if it happened to me now, I would push to see if I could pay extra to trade for an M9 or M9P or ME instead. (They do that for LCD problems, but I'd push to see if they make an exception for a shutter problem.)
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Old 02-24-2013   #6
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I think you´ll get the current silent up to 1/4000 speed shutter, the camera is far softer with such improvement....and nicer i think you won´t want to sell it....after all is a terrific camera!!!
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Old 02-24-2013   #7
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I am apaled to Realize how these shutter go bad after extremely low usage. It seems that 30k clicks is as far a M8 can go. Aren't these shutters rated for at least 150K??
Any DSLR is considered mint when i has 20k on the shutter count.

What's 30k clicks... 20 weddings? 30 serious assignments? That's bad.
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Old 02-24-2013   #8
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It may not be as bad as you think - there is one shutter fault which can easily be rectified without taking the camera apart - and the repair is cheap. Send it in.
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Old 02-24-2013   #9
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Shocking experience, always. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
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Old 02-24-2013   #10
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With such a camera, it seems that you limit tbe number of actuations as if you used a film camera.
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Old 02-24-2013   #11
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With such a camera, it seems tht you limit tbe number of actuations as if you used a film camera.
Just another way a leica make you a more real photographer
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Old 02-24-2013   #12
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With such a camera, it seems tht you limit tbe number of actuations as if you used a film camera.
I hope you aren't serious. A film camera is only limited by the roll of film. If film rolls had 1000 exposure capacity, would you be saying the same thing?
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Old 02-24-2013   #13
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15000 actuations is pretty low, but mechanical things can fail unexpectedly, even the best ones. Did you make all those actuations yourself? Was the camera new or used when you got it?

I'd just send it in, see what it costs to fix, and repair it if I liked the camera. Same as I do with any camera, including my 1950s folders and Rollei 35S most recently. Sure, I can often replace the camera cheaper, but what's better: a camera you like that you know has been inspected, repaired, etc, or another camera in unknown condition?

At any rate, 15000 exposures is about 415 rolls of film. I don't know about anyone else, but for my use that represents a good bit of value for the repair money. Better than the repairs and CLAs on most of my film cameras...

G
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Old 02-24-2013   #14
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At any rate, 15000 exposures is about 415 rolls of film. I don't know about anyone else, but for my use that represents a good bit of value for the repair money. Better than the repairs and CLAs on most of my film cameras...

G
That's only about 22 rolls of bulk film. I'd be in total shock if my csmeras would need a CLA after only 22 bult rolls.

The reality is that Leica totally cheaped out on cheap items such as the shutter. Even the worst dslrs have standardized shutters that are rated for at least 150K.
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Old 02-24-2013   #15
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I hope you aren't serious. A film camera is only limited by the roll of film. If film rolls had 1000 exposure capacity, would you be saying the same thing?
I was thinking of the cost of film photography and that some people take more photos with digital cametas.
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Old 02-24-2013   #16
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does not seem like a parallel comparison. It's NOT a film camera. For better or worse, whether you like it or not, digital lets you shoot a ton more pictures without worrying about running out of film, or cost of processing. It's up to the individual photographer whether you make the best of this, or just waste a ton of clicks. but it seems to me that a digital camera should be able to accomodate the very working style that it lends itself to.
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Old 02-24-2013   #17
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Just another way a leica make you a more real photographer
I am not happy at all for such a weak spot in the M8. It is shameful of Leica not to better cover such camera failure.
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Old 02-24-2013   #18
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That's only about 22 rolls of bulk film. I'd be in total shock if my csmeras would need a CLA after only 22 bult rolls.

The reality is that Leica totally cheaped out on cheap items such as the shutter. Even the worst dslrs have standardized shutters that are rated for at least 150K.
I think you're being overly negative and making an unwarranted over generalization, Clint. ANY mechanical device can fail, even extremely good ones, even at a very young age for reasons that might not surface in the inspection process during QC. I've seen this happen with Nikon, Canon, Leica, Hasselblad, Linhof ... film or digital.

No one's "cheaping out" ... some bits simply prove more fragile in actual use than any testing can determine. Or have flaws in materials or design that were not apparent in development and testing. Or QC. The whole point to incremental, continued development of a camera, from the manufacturer's point of view, is that you find some things that didn't work out as well as you hoped and improve them in subsequent models.

I can point you to a friend of mine who's new M6 and Summicron-M 50mm lens went back and forth to Leica four times in the first six months he owned it during the early 1990s. They just couldn't seem to figure out why it wouldn't focus correctly, and why the meter was so far off. They finally replaced the entire viewfinder/rangefinder mechanism and the entire meter circuitry. He's been shooting with it happily ever since, now alongside his M8.2 (which, btw, has already made four times as many exposures, since he got it used two years ago, as the M6 has in the past 19 years).

G
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Old 02-24-2013   #19
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I had the same fault on my M8. Took the battery out and left it for a day. I also changed the SD card. Put the battery and a new card in and the shutter finished its cycle and worked perfectly until I sold it over a year later.

Here is what I think. The firmware is basic and uses a simple 'state machine' principle that it must complete each state before moving on. If, like me, your SD card is suddenly defective mid-write then the cycle cannot move to the next state and a shutter fault shows.

Incidentally, it was a SanDisk card and I switched to Kingston thereafter.

Of course, in your case it may be a genuine shutter fault. It could be dirt on the shutter blades, which if you can get the shutter to actuate again will eventually disperese, or it could be the shutter fault I had where a recharged battery and a new card is all that was needed.

Hope it resolves itself.

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Old 02-24-2013   #20
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Mean Time Between Failures is just that: it is an arithmetic mean between the two ends of the bell curve. The shutters don't get "rated." In order for the MTBF to be accurate, there has to be something to the left of the mean failure point, if you know what I "mean."

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Old 02-24-2013   #21
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"14,000 actuations is on the low end." ???

My M8 failed after just 1 month. I had the dreaded "shutter fault" error. Sent it to Leica NJ. Easily rectified as it was jammed. Had it back within 2 weeks.
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Old 02-24-2013   #22
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Actually what happens is that one of the " fingers" that sense the position of the sensor gets stuck, maybe by a spot of dust on the magnet. The shutter is a development of a Copal shutter, the same one used for the R8 and R9. Nearly all brands use these Copal shutters.
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Old 02-24-2013   #23
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Know how you feel. Clicking away happily with my Sears Tower Type 3 and suddenly the shutter developed a different sound. After removing the film I looked inside and lo and behold only one shutter curtain was moving. I took out the battery and SD...ummm, wrong camera. Sorry!

Point is, everything needs repair at some point in time, even those wonderful little digital cameras.
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Old 02-24-2013   #24
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Quote:
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Mean Time Between Failures is just that: it is an arithmetic mean between the two ends of the bell curve. The shutters don't get "rated." In order for the MTBF to be accurate, there has to be something to the left of the mean failure point, if you know what I "mean."

Ben
Exactly.

It's no fun to be in the wrong tail of a Gaussian distribution curve. But somebody has to be there.

I hope your shutter issue is resolved quickly and inexpensively.
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Old 02-24-2013   #25
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"It's no fun to be in the wrong tail of a Gaussian distribution curve. But somebody has to be there. "


LOL ... I like that!
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Old 02-24-2013   #26
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I love seeing so many statistical concepts being infused here!
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Old 02-24-2013   #27
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I love seeing so many statistical concepts being infused here!
Yes, Statistics is the study of confused numbers....
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Old 02-24-2013   #28
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The low numbers bothers me! My cheap Canon Point and shoot digital S590 has shot more than 75,000 images. Numerous gravity tests by fumble fingers.A few very long air trips. Severe weather conditions.My Leica M3 has reqd. many services and repairs. Some very major and VERY expensive.
The flash is history. Everything else still works..Any of those bumps, bad memory cards, faulty batteries would have cost dearly on a Leica.
The Canon cost new $107 incl. taxes., 4 years ago.
If it was only this Leica M8 in question, it would be OK. The fact he problem is elsewhere is disturbing. Do all the reqd. Use a new SD card. Fresh battery.
Check the contacts are clean. If still "no go" send to Leica.
Let us know the result..
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Old 02-24-2013   #29
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Nowadays virtually every Nikon, Pentax, Sony or Canon DSLR is good for over 100,000 shutter cycles. Not sure why a cheap, plastic DSLR can last over 100,000 cycles and a $7000 Leica dies at 20 or 30k. So much for the Leica name.
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Old 02-24-2013   #30
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Nowadays virtually every Nikon, Pentax, Sony or Canon DSLR is good for over 100,000 shutter cycles. Not sure why a cheap, plastic DSLR can last over 100,000 cycles and a $7000 Leica dies at 20 or 30k. So much for the Leica name.
How does one defend that 14,000-30,000 actuations is acceptable...how is it that Leica has gotten away with this...???

My Nikon F4 has at least 35,000 shutter actuations that I have personally put on it and I bought it used and I've shot over 9,000 pictures with my used F5 and what I paid for both of these cameras together is a fraction of what digital Leicas are going for...just doesn't sound like a good deal to me...
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Old 02-24-2013   #31
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I can point you to a friend of mine who's new M6 and Summicron-M 50mm lens went back and forth to Leica four times in the first six months he owned it during the early 1990s. They just couldn't seem to figure out why it wouldn't focus correctly, and why the meter was so far off. They finally replaced the entire viewfinder/rangefinder mechanism and the entire meter circuitry.
Terrible customer service, I think. If new camera failed they should have sent him replacement set and take in failed one, not making customer sick by 4 (FOUR !!!) repair iterations. By today's laws customer in first six months in a case of failure can take back money if he chooses so; well, this depends on country but this what I can choose from).

In another thread Bill Pierce writes how young photogs slowly turn off Leica. Truly, I wonder why this happens so slowly! With upcoming mirrorless rise (Fuji especially) some of old brands will slip away at faster rate. Because there's reason.
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Old 02-24-2013   #32
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Nowadays virtually every Nikon, Pentax, Sony or Canon DSLR is good for over 100,000 shutter cycles. Not sure why a cheap, plastic DSLR can last over 100,000 cycles and a $7000 Leica dies at 20 or 30k. So much for the Leica name.
You'll find cheap plastic DSLRs failing at 10k releases as well - it does not get noticed that often, as consumer DSLRs usually won't even see 5000.

But technically they all use a shutter from the same maker (Seiko Copal), same family and with similar specs as the shutter on the M8.
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Old 02-25-2013   #33
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When Yoshihisa Maitani designed cameras for Olympus, he demanded that the shutters be good for at least 100,000 actuations, and that was half a century ago. One would think that 50 years later we could do better.
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Old 02-25-2013   #34
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Thank you all for the comments and advice especially loiusb. The camera was still dead yesterday afternoon but this morning I put a battery in and it worked normally.

I think that the SD card can be exonerated, as can the battery which was quite adequately charged when the failure occurred so I suspect the firmware.

I will report it to Leica but expect that they will just tell me to send it in for a checkup.

The problem is that I can't now trust it, I lost an exceptional photo opportunity yesterday and so will have to take two cameras all the time.


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I had the same fault on my M8. Took the battery out and left it for a day. I also changed the SD card. Put the battery and a new card in and the shutter finished its cycle and worked perfectly until I sold it over a year later.

Here is what I think. The firmware is basic and uses a simple 'state machine' principle that it must complete each state before moving on. If, like me, your SD card is suddenly defective mid-write then the cycle cannot move to the next state and a shutter fault shows.

Incidentally, it was a SanDisk card and I switched to Kingston thereafter.

Of course, in your case it may be a genuine shutter fault. It could be dirt on the shutter blades, which if you can get the shutter to actuate again will eventually disperese, or it could be the shutter fault I had where a recharged battery and a new card is all that was needed.

Hope it resolves itself.

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Old 02-25-2013   #35
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I always remember listening to the staplegun 'wallop' of the shutter in my M8 when I first got it and wondering how long it could keep that up!

Now I know!
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Old 02-25-2013   #36
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When Yoshihisa Maitani designed cameras for Olympus, he demanded that the shutters be good for at least 100,000 actuations, and that was half a century ago. One would think that 50 years later we could do better.

We probably could if anyone was willing to pay the price. But I guess the attitude with digitals is "why bother" - the chances are the camera body will be obsolete in a few years anyway. Its a different matter with Nikon etc - they have volume so its not a big deal as they can amortize their R and D costs oevr a larger production base. And their cameras are routinely used by pros not dilettantes like me who use Leicas. :^) Anyway, perhaps the Leica M8 is that first model piece of technology that everyone tells us we should not buy (but I did!).

Oh and Keith you are right about the shutter sound. Its appalling. KLOPP, like someone dropped a wooden clog into a toilet bowl. I have kinda gotten used to it (but not quite). I tried someone's 111f the other day and it was streets ahead in terms of the shutter sound.
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Old 02-25-2013   #37
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this is one reason thats been pushing me away from digital Ms. shutters failing before 50k is unacceptable and cost of repair being above $600 is too. my 5d must have at least 250k on the shutter and it looks like its been through hell and back yet it works without fail.
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Old 02-25-2013   #38
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For all interested, there is an M8 shutter life database with dead/still working reports. The number of users who have input data is still pretty small and unlikely to get much bigger this far into the M8 product cycle. It probably gives a usable worst-case estimate for anyone who is concerned about the shutter life, though.

Some are lucky, some are not. I know of a user with well over 200k shutter actuations on his M8 who still had the original shutter and no service done. I can't verify the part about no service, but I did access the service menu to check the actuation count.


Edit. Please note that through the site map you can access a survey for pretty much any other digital camera, too.
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Old 02-25-2013   #39
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For all interested, there is an M8 shutter life database with dead/still working reports.
That fact alone is all the information I need.
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Old 02-25-2013   #40
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That fact alone is all the information I need.
You mean the fact that there is such a database also for M8? There is one for about 100 or so Canon models.
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