growing old waiting
Old 11-17-2017   #1
wpm
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growing old waiting

Is anyone still waiting for the elusive sensor replacement for the MMI?
I sent mine to Leica N.J. at the end of May and got the 20 week wait line.
Two months ago, I began calling them on a regular basis to check up on them. Well, two weeks ago I called and the person said it was in her hands and was finished but her supervisor had a question about it. I called back 3 hours later when she said she'd call me back in one hour to be told, oh, their bad, it wasn't ready and that they were going to send it to Germany but then changed their minds and would fix it in house.
Well, then after being told to call back in a week, I was told apologetically that I was at the top of the list and that they would be getting some sensors in this week and that I should have it back before Thanksgiving. Well, today I got the following:

Good Morning Mr. Maas,

I wanted to update your on the status of your Monochrom, unfortunately at this time it’s going to be at least another 4 weeks before we get more sensors in from Germany. If you are interested, we can offer you an upgrade from the options below.

Upgrade from
Description
Monochrom
Upgrade to M (Type 240),
$3,100
Upgrade to M-P (Type 240),
$3,500
Upgrade to Monochrom (Type 246),
$3,750
Upgrade to M (Type 262),
$2,750
Upgrade to M-D,
$2,750
Upgrade to SL
$2,750
Upgrade to Leica "Q"
$2,100

Your camera is on our priority list if you would still like to wait for the repair. Please let me know which option you choose
If you have any further questions please let me know.

Oh, I had questions. Mainly, would I get the camera back in 2018?
Leica needs to get its act together.
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Old 11-17-2017   #2
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Send them a legal notice to the effect your Heirs and Assigns will keep in contact and hopefully it will at least be ready for the estate sale.
Kind of snarky, but sounds like they deserve it.
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Old 11-17-2017   #3
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Never does good to piss of the people in control of the situation. What other option do you have? You might request that they send it to Germany. I bet they'd be relieved to have it off their back.
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Old 11-17-2017   #4
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I sent mine at the end of July. My first thought when I saw this thread was, "That reminds me! I should check in on this." After reading your post, I think I'm better off not peering into how the sausage is made.

I am fortunate to have other cameras to keep me occupied while my MM is having its sensor replaced. I did consider upgrading to another body when the opportunity arose, but realized that the MM has a special place in the stable - a rarity among digital bodies!

I look forward to having it back, but have also learned the hard way that patience is a necessary ingredient when dealing with Leica repairs.
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Old 11-17-2017   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Send them a legal notice to the effect your Heirs and Assigns will keep in contact and hopefully it will at least be ready for the estate sale.
Kind of snarky, but sounds like they deserve it.
My sentiments exactly. At the risk of disturbing the force, I think 6 months should be enough. I too have other cameras, some even not Leicas. I told them to keep it and fix it whenever, though I'm sure now I'm knocked back down to the bottom of the list. We should expect better from them. I hope others fare better. I do know they are swamped and are getting sensors in dribs and drabs.
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Old 11-17-2017   #6
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Don't hold your breath. My M9s were forever too. Kinda forgot I even had them by the time they came back. And one had to be returned for oil on the new sensor, a separate several week ordeal. The kind of service one should expect for free I guess...

But then one pays for service and it is just as bad. My MP was there nearly a year.
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Old 11-17-2017   #7
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There are no excuses for this kind of poor service .... condolences to all caught up in it.

Poor research and no contingency planning.
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Old 11-17-2017   #8
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My monochrom is MIA as well in NJ, to this point I've chosen not to do the checking in thing and just see what happens. Maybe it's time to start. (My M-E just magically appeared one day with no notice at all)

Joe
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Old 11-17-2017   #9
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In my experience when firms can give you a definite indication of the time delay even if its something like "There are 20 people before you and we estimate that it will take 6 months to complete your repairs - we will phone you when we start on your job so you have a more exact indication of when you will receive it" all except the most unreasonable people are willing to accept that.
But when they screw you about with no feedback, then give contradictory messages when you call people get "antsy" and annoyed. Least I would. A little honest communication goes a long, long way with most people.
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Old 11-17-2017   #10
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I've been very understanding and patient over the phone in my conversations with each different person every time. I just heard back from the person who sent that email. She was very understanding and pleasant. She told me Germany is having the same problem with getting sensors and she stated again that I was at the top of the list and would get a sensor in the next shipment. Not sure I'm convinced after having been told I'd get one this week. I'm old enough to be skeptical. At this point, I'll just sit back and have it show up out of the blue like Joe's M-E. My one year old grandson might get to use it when he's in high school. Now I'm just praying the ISO knob on my M10 keeps cooperating.
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Old 11-17-2017   #11
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Like assembling a Japanese bicycle, being a Leica owner requires great patience.
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Old 11-17-2017   #12
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This reminds me I have to put in a order for single use silver halide sensors for my M4-2 and other cameras. I live in the PNW, order online with B&H and they always appear on my doorstep in about a week.

Fortunately so far these sensors have always been in stock, amazingly fit all my 35mm cameras, and I can even install them myself.
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Old 11-17-2017   #13
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Originally Posted by wpm View Post

Oh, I had questions. Mainly, would I get the camera back in 2018?
Leica needs to get it's act together.
Think about earning your income with your camera gear and having to deal with this stuff from Leica. It's why most pros won't buy Leica gear. This is something Leica created, their whole digital camera mess. I honestly think they don't see this stuff as a problem.

Boutique-ism .. as long as it looks good, it doesn't have to work right.

Good luck to you. I hope you get your camera back soon. If it were me, I would sell it on it's return.
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Old 11-17-2017   #14
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I honestly think they don't see this stuff as a problem.
Since most of their customers don't buy their camera to take pictures, it isn't a problem. Lots of other fashion accessories in the closet.
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Old 11-17-2017   #15
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Think about earning your income with your camera gear and having to deal with this stuff from Leica. It's why most pros won't buy Leica gear. This is something Leica created, their whole digital camera mess. I honestly think they don't see this stuff as a problem.

Boutique-ism .. as long as it looks good, it doesn't have to work right.

Good luck to you. I hope you get your camera back soon. If it were me, I would sell it on it's return.
I foolishly bought an M9 and seriously regretted it. It 3 new lenses and my old 90 Apo spent almost half the time I had them in the shop. I fortunately sold it and the 4 lenses before the sensor issue came to light.

Each time I'd send my equipment in I'd call and explain I've used Leicas professionally since 1968. I explained I make 100% of my living with my equipment. I'd ask if there was a pro priority service and the answer was always , NO. I'd ask if there were loaners while my equipment was in the shop and the answer was always, NO ( you're not a rich dentist).

I've tried to forget the experience now but in the end after footing the shipping up every time and months and months without my equipment and it failing again a few days after receiving it back from repair I finally said I want the problem resolved or replaced or I'm going to get my attorney to deal with this and I'm going to tell everyone I know about the S**T service I've received and the junk your pawning off on us. This got their attention and they replaced one of my lenses which resolved my issue. Let's say I sold all of it as quickly as I could. I vowed to the guy at Leica NJ that I'll never recommend anyone buy any new Leica lenses or new or used digital and I'll never buy personally buy any new or used digital Leica gear or new lenses.

I primarily use Nikon and have been an NPS member for decades. Service has never been more than two weeks and free loaners are available whether bodies or lenses. Repairs carry a 20% discount as well. Everything about NPs and Canons CPS is to support the pro customer. There's no charge for Nikon NPS. It's obvious Nikon totally supports the pro base that built their company. They've never forgotten us. Leica on the other hand, nothing but abuse for every customer. Why people continue to buy Leica gear I don't know. I certainly won't.
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Old 11-17-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
This reminds me I have to put in a order for single use silver halide sensors for my M4-2 and other cameras. I live in the PNW, order online with B&H and they always appear on my doorstep in about a week.

Fortunately so far these sensors have always been in stock, amazingly fit all my 35mm cameras, and I can even install them myself.
Dude, I love your snarky attitude. PKR, I do think your point is well taken. I use Leicas, not because I'm such a fabulous photographer or because I wear them well, but because I like the form and the output. I also use Fuji, which I like but it ain't a Leica. I need to maybe go back to those silver halide sensors as well. Then again, I thought it would make a good looking, very expensive paper weight.
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Old 11-17-2017   #17
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Received an update today. My MM has also been in since July. It will be after the first of the year at a minimum for my camera. Very slow stream of sensors from Germany, which is where the bottleneck is at.
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Old 11-17-2017   #18
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I sent my Monochrom in August to Germany and got 2 emails one in October and then a few weeks ago about shortages of spare parts. Disappointed yes but meanwhile I'll use up my film stockpile. I still have 9 cans of Arista branded Acros in the freezer! The MM is a camera I will be using for the next decade as long as nothing else breaks. A few more months of waiting won't matter to me, not like I am using it to put food on the table.
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Old 11-17-2017   #19
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Meanwhile M4s still shoot Tri-X just fine.
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Old 11-17-2017   #20
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I foolishly bought an M9 and seriously regretted it. It 3 new lenses and my old 90 Apo spent almost half the time I had them in the shop. I fortunately sold it and the 4 lenses before the sensor issue came to light.

Each time I'd send my equipment in I'd call and explain I've used Leicas professionally since 1968. I explained I make 100% of my living with my equipment. I'd ask if there was a pro priority service and the answer was always , NO. I'd ask if there were loaners while my equipment was in the shop and the answer was always, NO ( you're not a rich dentist).

I've tried to forget the experience now but in the end after footing the shipping up every time and months and months without my equipment and it failing again a few days after receiving it back from repair I finally said I want the problem resolved or replaced or I'm going to get my attorney to deal with this and I'm going to tell everyone I know about the S**T service I've received and the junk your pawning off on us. This got their attention and they replaced one of my lenses which resolved my issue. Let's say I sold all of it as quickly as I could. I vowed to the guy at Leica NJ that I'll never recommend anyone buy any new Leica lenses or new or used digital and I'll never buy personally buy any new or used digital Leica gear or new lenses.

I primarily use Nikon and have been an NPS member for decades. Service has never been more than two weeks and free loaners are available whether bodies or lenses. Repairs carry a 20% discount as well. Everything about NPs and Canons CPS is to support the pro customer. There's no charge for Nikon NPS. It's obvious Nikon totally supports the pro base that built their company. They've never forgotten us. Leica on the other hand, nothing but abuse for every customer. Why people continue to buy Leica gear I don't know. I certainly won't.
Yeah X-ray, I understand. I've been an NPS member for years and with an office in my city. I get anything I need including a long term equipment evaluation now and then.
Repair time is usually days to a week, with a loner in 24 hrs if it's something not stocked in the office.

I used Leica film gear for years M4s, M2. A local repair guy was excellent, and a short drive across town. The only guy I knew who got really good service from NJ repair was Jim Marshall. He got royal treatment because of his fame. Jim would often call NJ for his friends in order to get major repairs done in a reasonable time. So, the problem is decades old. Many, who used M film bodies as their primary camera, had up to 6 bodies, to be assured 2-3 would be working. With digital gear and the complications of electronics, the problems with Leica repair have become a joke.
pkr
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Old 11-17-2017   #21
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I sent them my 28mm R lens back in June. In August they said it was being repaired. I contacted them in early October, saying that their techs must take awfully long lunch breaks since my lens wasn't done yet. The last communication I had with them said it would be done and shipped to me "by the end of next week." That would have been Nov 4th. Today is the 17th.

So I feel your frustration, Mr. Maas. If I ever get my lens back, I might just sell off the whole kit. I've got plenty of other cameras to keep me happy.

PF
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Old 11-17-2017   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
In my experience when firms can give you a definite indication of the time delay even if its something like "There are 20 people before you and we estimate that it will take 6 months to complete your repairs - we will phone you when we start on your job so you have a more exact indication of when you will receive it" all except the most unreasonable people are willing to accept that.
But when they screw you about with no feedback, then give contradictory messages when you call people get "antsy" and annoyed. Least I would. A little honest communication goes a long, long way with most people.
Spot on Peter. You can always work around the truth but you can't work around bull****.
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Old 11-18-2017   #23
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... The only guy I knew who got really good service from NJ repair was Jim Marshall. He got royal treatment because of his fame. ...
pkr
I know of one guy who does get great service. Similar situation. I wonder if they have the tech just wait a lot of the time in case an important repair might come in...
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Old 11-18-2017   #24
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The last time I sent one of my Canons in for a CPS warranty repair they apologised as it may take four days rather than the normal three (thats door to door).
Both my M8 and M9 have been back to Leica a couple of times and always found customer service very good at keeping me up to date, but the time the repairs take is just way too long, it seems just the repair department getting the camera takes a week.
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Old 11-18-2017   #25
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It seems to me that this has gone on too long to be anything but a cost/benefit business decision. With a commitment to funding and training, a service department is not that hard to improve. It seems obvious that, for whatever reason, Leica has chosen to not invest in service.

John
If that's the case, it's been going on since the 70s. Maybe longer?

To quote a pal who worked for Nikon: If you have poor customer service: it means you don't want any customers.
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Old 11-18-2017   #26
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I don't wish any bad on Leica but I made it clear back when my M9 went in for service the final time that I would be selling it and my M8 as soon as it returned from repair. I told this to a Leica rep himself and that my experience with my M2, M4 and M4-P were amazing but Leica had a long way to go with digital. Sold those cameras and never looked back when it came to digital images. I still have an M4 and a 50mm DR Summicron which will be the last Leica gear I own.

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Old 11-18-2017   #27
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Like assembling a Japanese bicycle, being a Leica owner requires great patience.
Within manufacturing, the Japanese and Germans share a trait...they don't like to be told they're wrong.



Quote:
Originally Posted by G Dogg View Post
Received an update today. My MM has also been in since July. It will be after the first of the year at a minimum for my camera. Very slow stream of sensors from Germany, which is where the bottleneck is at.
I would call BS (on them) on that. Leica have no idea of the service "realm".
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Old 11-18-2017   #28
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Within manufacturing, the Japanese and Germans share a trait...they don't like to be told they're wrong..
I had a client that did some of his annual report printing at Di Nippon (spelling?). These were $100k-200k lithography print jobs. Some were web printed, where a color correction took many minutes and half a pallet of paper to see. He said the press operators would agree, bow and then do nothing. They knew best.
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Old 11-18-2017   #29
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Like assembling a Japanese bicycle, being a Leica owner requires great patience.
This doesn't quite make sense to me. The quality control of Japanese bicycles has always been high enough that variation between frames is minimal and the builds usually go off without a hitch.

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Old 11-19-2017   #30
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No good to irritate them unless you want to feel better.

USA has always had terrible to poor service except when a repair man was promoted to manager 20 years. He was a master.

My solution has been to use DAG or Sherry for what they can do and keep backup cameras.

Found my Nikon D750 on recall list which I never registered, Called and said it works properly and do you still want it? Yes.

2 or 3 weeks back at my house because they were out of shutters. Other report 1 to 2 weeks door to door. 2 to 3 months is good for leica. Partially why I have my M8.
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Old 11-19-2017   #31
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  • When my M9 needed a new sensor, and I chose to upgrade to the M-P240 instead, Leica USA had my new camera in my hands four weeks from mailing in the M9.
  • When my X2 needed a repair to the four-way controller, Leica USA turned it around to me in three weeks.
  • Most of my other Leica services (lens cleaning, body cleaning, viewfinder clean/collimate/calibrate, etc) have been done through independent service folks and usually took eight weeks.
  • Servicing my Nikon D750 for the recall (twice) took three weeks each time. Servicing my Nikon 35Ti once upon a time took five weeks. Servicing my FM (top cover replacement) and 20mm lens (bezel replacement) took four weeks each.
  • Having my Nikon F overhauled by a respected third party Nikon specialist took nine weeks.
  • Getting a part from Sony for my A7 took three months.

Sorry to hear that your sensor replacement is taking longer.

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Old 11-19-2017   #32
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Do these Leica M digital cameras actually need replacement sensors 'cos they suddenly can't produce images, or the image quality has dropped or the new sensors are just so much 'better'?

Don't need to do that with proper cameras.

Analogue 1 0 Digital.

Again.




Sorry, but I couldn't resist that.
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Old 11-19-2017   #33
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I`m afraid that we`ve had a few remarks like this recently.
I think that we should try and be supportive of members if they`re having difficulties.
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Old 11-19-2017   #34
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i have been told, by a Leica Field rep, that NJ receives 1-2 sensors per month, or at best, 1:1 exchange for each defective sensor. If this is true, then something is terribly messed up in this entire replacement process
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Old 11-19-2017   #35
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I`m afraid that we`ve had a few remarks like that in this thread.
Hardly very supportive taking delight in somebodies misfortune.

Makes me ashamed that I still use film.

I was merely asking a question about these expensive (to me) cameras possibly 'needing' expensive replacement parts not very long after they've been made.

I wasn't 'delighting' in others' misfortune, I just added a bit of gentle teasing that is nowhere near the realm of the 'light the blue touch paper and retire' statement of "Isn't shoving a film up a camera's bottom a silly way to load film?" Which always gets irate replies along the lines of "Do You realise the imprtoance of the invention of 35mm cameras?"

Yes I do. But it's still a legitimate, and funny question.
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Old 11-19-2017   #36
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I`m afraid that we`ve had a few remarks like that in this thread. Hardly very supportive taking delight in somebodies misfortune.
Offsets the remarks of those that aren't phased by 6-12 month repairs because they have several other Leica bodies to use.
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Old 11-19-2017   #37
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I`ve amended my original post .... sorry chaps .
Thanks both replies accepted and noted.

I certainly wouldn`t defend Leica .... its a terrible way to treat customers and the main reason why I won`t buy a digital Leica
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Old 11-19-2017   #38
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i have been told, by a Leica Field rep, that NJ receives 1-2 sensors per month, or at best, 1:1 exchange for each defective sensor. If this is true, then something is terribly messed up in this entire replacement process
I'm pretty sure the CCD sensors are all special order as it is, and won't be available much longer.
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Old 11-19-2017   #39
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The sensor corrosion issue is obviously something that shouldn't have happened in the first place and Leica is trying to make good on it. Not that this is going smoothly ... waiting for months after you sent the camera in ... and poor communication on top, well ... it just sucks.

I had a corrosion issue earlier this year, only on careful inspection, sky shot, stopped all the way down, the characteristic specs have been visible.
I send an e-mail and asked if I can come in for someone to take a look and confirm. So I drove to their office (I do live close by), the camera was taken to the back and 10 min. later he came back: "Yes corrosion. We have sensors and you can have the camera back next week." It worked out and I had my camera back within 5 working days.

Obviously this only works with personal drop off and when sensors are in stock. The situation apparently got worse, as more and more people lined up.

They should have given out tickets and cameras to be send in a particular order when they get a new batch of sensors in. More difficult coordination but at least people could still use their cameras instead of MM's piling up in their facilities waiting for month to sensors in for replacements. And there is no excuse for poor communication, ever.
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