While I was in Margate (a place in the UK which has a new gallery - the Turner - worth a visit) last week walking around with my M9 I noticed that it was rattling. As I moved it something went clonk! At first I thought it was the battery but closer inspection revealed that my 35mm Summicron seemed to be literally falling apart. The whole front section of the lens was loose and moved back and forward by a couple of millimetres - that's a lot BTW. Now I have had a front element retaining ring work loose after repeatedly screwing and unscrewing filters but I have never had a complete lens start to "fall apart" like this. This lens is only a few months old so I quickly sent it off to the Leica office in the UK listed on my guarantee documentation and followed that up with an email to Leica UK saying it was on the way. Much to my surprise I received a reply to the following effect:
1. The office mentioned in the documentation closed 18 months ago or some 12 months before I bought the lens (brand new from a UK Leica dealer).
2. I couldn't just send the lens back. I first had to contact Leica UK, go through a form filling exercise and then contact UPS who would collect the lens and send it to Germany
3. The repair time is 20 working days and if I want it done more quickly that would be 200 Euros please
Royal Mail duly returned my lens and I am now going to make a special trip to London to drop the lens off at Leica's office but I will still have to wait 4 or 5 weeks for the repair.
First of all I just wanted warn any UK Leica users about this address issue and secondly ask if anyone else has had this kind of problem. In 40 years of camera ownership I have had a few self inflicted problems (oops!) and a few wear and tear problems with my equipment but I have never had such an expensive and very new piece of kit just start to fall apart. I can tell you I am looking at my Leica kit with new and suspicious eyes from now on1