Regulars on this forum may have seen that I've had problems with my Leaf Aptus 75 in cold weather (unreliable), and have troubles to get the problem fixed. It's now finally fixed and all is good, so I'm finally enjoying my Aptus 75 without issues.
(It haven't seen true winter yet but my lab tests passed without issues so I have no reason to believe there will be any issues when winter comes.)
It's a very very long story; I'll try to compress it. The back (originally bought second hand) has been sent away four times from September 2012 to June 2013 before it was finally solved. I changed dealer mid-term due to pricing and competence issue with the first, the second was hard to get service from causing very long delays. During all this time I contacted both Phase One web support and Leaf centrally a number of times, and I got conflicting reports concerning what I should expect from the back in chilly weather. Leaf guaranteed function within reasonable range, the Phase One web support told failure even a centigrade below freezing could be expected. The second dealer had problems finding any error in the back at all so I had to push to get the e-box replaced (ie most electronics except sensor), since I knew the Leaf factory had found e-box issues in the first service round (which I did with the first dealer).
After e-box replacement the back became a bit better, some of the strange things disappeared, but it was still unreliable in chilly weather. After some lengthy discussion I sent it in again, and got it back with no action: "no error found". Then I really went to the bottom and made a isolated test in my refrigerator with the back only using a
wakeup cable to trigger fake images, just to not involve the camera at all, and the back failed repeatedly in +5C. However, the back had to be fully chilled, preferably overnight, and only the first attempt before heat was let into the refrigerator would cause the back to fail, so it was not super-easy to trigger in "lab" conditions unless you knew how to do. I filmed the test showing the failure as it happens and sent the film both to the dealer and Leaf and explained how the test should be made to show the error. This was in June this year. Then Leaf centrally reacted and I finally got a replacement back which I have tested in the same way and it passes the test with no issues. Wohoo! Shooting during winter without issues will be great fun!
For a while I had lost the confidence in the Leaf Aptus and Aptus-II series for outdoor use, I thought that if you got a copy that did not work in chilly weather you were out of luck, but looking back there was never a doubt from Leaf centrally -- they said from start that if there was a problem they would make sure it would be fixed in the end, and they did. I was more or less decided on trying to switch to Hasselblad, but now my next back may actually be an Aptus-II (likely the 10), because I think the Aptus
series has better user interface and (compared to Kodak-based backs) better tech camera integration than both Hasselblad CFV and Phase One P+.
So I have now full confidence in Leaf. Although I cannot know for sure I do actually think there is a cold weather issue with the Aptus backs, in the way that some copies don't do cold so well (based on getting two failures in a row and having heard some other users have issues, in parallel with many others that have experienced no issues), but as Leaf eventually step in and help out if you're unlucky I'm okay with that. MFDBs are small volume products mainly used in studios so I don't expect them to be as well-tested as journalist type DSLRs.
It should be said that the support chain is not working very well though; the quality of dealer service is varying to say the least, and having web support and Leaf centrally state different things about their products is not so good. If you get a tricky problem like this it takes considerable time and effort to get through the layers and get to Leaf, and had I not been as technical as I am and able to do that demonstration video, the replacement would probably not have happened. This means that if you are a professional user you must have some backup solution from day one, not just a DSLR to cover a few days, if you want to shoot MF you need a backup back that can
cover the many months the main may be away. It took almost a year from I first discovered the error until it was fixed, say 3 months of that delay is due to myself though as I've been busy with other stuff (I'm an amateur photographer and have periods when I don't shoot at all), but still 9 months of back-and-forth, it's a lot of time and you need to be prepared to put in effort to make things happen. If I have nagged more and made daily phone calls rather than sending a mail now and then it probably would have been faster though. Possibly the allocate less time for amateurs using ancient gear too, I don't know.
The important part for me is that the problem was finally solved, so I'm pleased.