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Author Topic: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!  (Read 59952 times)

budjames

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I satisfied a lifelong desire to own a Leica M camera by purchasing an new M10 a month ago. With the camera, I purchased the Summilux 50mm f1.4 and Summicron 35mm f2 lenses. The camera and Summicron 50 was purchased new from the Leica Store in Washington, DC. The Summicron lens was purchased new from B&H Photo.

I shot Canon SLRs and Pro DSLRs for 40 years before switching to Fuji X cameras and Fuji lenses about four years ago. The recent Leica purchase was a "bucket list" purchase decision. I love my Fuji X system and own a bunch of Fuji XF lenses along with the XPro2, XT2 and X100F cameras which I will continue to use as my main system.

As I started shooting with my new Leica, I realized that the image quality was hit or miss and disappointing compared to the excellent IQ of my Fuji cameras.

I took my new camera and lenses to the Leica repair facility in north New Jersey yesterday, a 1-1.2 hour drive from my home in PA. The technicians checked out the body and lenses. The body was fine, but both lenses were out of calibration and creating the random IQ results. I had to leave both lenses with them for recalibration. The bummer was that with their work load, the lenses would not be done until after the Christmas holiday. It will probably be a month before I get them back.

It was good news that the problem was not me, but the lenses. However, I'm bummed that I just spent over $13,000 on my first Leica and two lenses and could not consistently produce acceptable images. So much for the "legendary" Leica quality.

Has anyone else had such a terrible experience with recent lenses purchases? Just curious.

Regards,
Bud James

www.budjames.photography
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 05:15:03 am by budjames »
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Bud James
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KLaban

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 06:56:35 am »

What I can tell you is I have bought 3 Leica M series lenses and 1 Zeiss ZM lens that were all perfectly adjusted out of the box.

But there should be no excuses, it's so simple to test lenses now with the aid of an EVF or the LCD. When receiving a new lens I'd test focus at 10x magnification, if the rangefinder doesn't match the magnified focus then the lens would go straight back to the supplier for exchange or refund.

The fact that lenses slip through the net is inexcusable.

BTW, it's good you had the body checked as well, more than one lens that's out could indicate the rangefinder is in need of adjustment.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 07:03:21 am by KLaban »
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budjames

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 08:34:15 am »

KLaban,

I didn't mention that I also have a new (1 week old) Leica Summicron 75mm f2 that I had them test at the same time. This lens was well calibrated.

I also purchased a use (9+ condition) Leica Summicron 28mm f2 lens from B&H Photo 3 weeks ago. This lens has produced some very sharp images in my limited usage so far. I did not have this lens in my bag when I visited the Leica repair facility.

While I await the return of my 35mm and 50mm lenses, I will shoot the 28mm and 75mm a lot to get my focusing technique down and prove to myself that I can produce great IQ with my Leica M10.

Regards,
Bud James

www.budjames.photography
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Bud James
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kers

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 08:40:44 am »

...
I didn't mention that I also have a new (1 week old) Leica Summicron 75mm f2 that I had them test at the same time. This lens was well calibrated.
...

did you say new ' Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ' ?? ;)
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BAB

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 09:45:16 am »

Why you wouldn’t take your lens issues up with Leica Washington is my first question? Obviously the defective lenses were exchangeable being just purchased. It seems you have complicated the process by invoking anonther party?
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budjames

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 02:03:41 pm »

did you say new ' Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ' ?? ;)

No. I own the Summicron 75mm f2. The Noctilux prices are insane.

Regards,
Bud James

www.budjames.photography
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Bud James
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budjames

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 02:06:26 pm »

Why you wouldn’t take your lens issues up with Leica Washington is my first question? Obviously the defective lenses were exchangeable being just purchased. It seems you have complicated the process by invoking anonther party?

One lens was bought with the camera from Leica, Washington, DC. The Summicron 35 was purchased from B&H Photo. Both would require shipping for replacement and I might end up with the same problem. The Leica repair center was about an hour drive from one of my office that I happened to be at yesterday and I wanted them to check the camera too.

Good suggestion though.

Regards,
Bud James

www.budjames.photography
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JeffS

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 11:13:42 pm »

The good news is that, once calibrated, the system is a joy to use and capable of fantastic images.....depending on you.

If you haven't already, you should visit the Leica User Forum and read lots of related discussions.  And you can read the M FAQ pages, which offer loads of tips on using your system.

One tip is to be sure your eyes are fully corrected, for any distance and astigmatism issues, before you make any final judgments about RF focusing.  The focus patch, by the way, is set at a virtual distance of 2m.  I use glasses for distance and astigmatism, and further use a +.5 diopter for my aging eyes.  One can test diopters at the Leica Store, or visit any good local optician to place trial diopters over the VF for assessment.

Jeff
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David Eichler

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 02:14:15 am »

When I used Leicas many years ago, their own service had a reputation for being very slow. It does not surprise me that this reputation abides.

It is possible that the lenses in question left the factory performing well and got knocked out of alignment in shipping. I would think that the highest-quality equipment would be less susceptible to this, but nothing is perfect. If it had been me, I think I would have exchanged the lenses with the dealer.
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Chris Livsey

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 06:16:55 am »

The volume of work in replacing defective M9 sensors has stressed the Leica repair chain. Some Monochrome owners have been waiting 12 months for a new batch of their sensors. Free replacement of the original, and first batch if now corroded replacement M9 sensors, if defective, was announced as ending so a rush ensued of owners sending them in for checks. The M10 had a faulty batch of iso knob adjusters resulting in returns, if you are promised after the Christmas holiday you have been most fortunate.
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Rob C

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 07:16:54 am »

Perhaps there's new perspective to be explored: is there, in reality and common sense terms, a finite value to the cash value of any camera generally destined for the non-pro market, much in the manner of how expensive can the best steak in the world be before its price degenerated into madness and eccentricity?

Rob

KLaban

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 08:42:28 am »

Perhaps there's new perspective to be explored: is there, in reality and common sense terms, a finite value to the cash value of any camera generally destined for the non-pro market, much in the manner of how expensive can the best steak in the world be before its price degenerated into madness and eccentricity?

Rob

I see folks here in the non-pro market spending over a relatively short period many times the amount that I spent over many years in the pro market. Apart from a few high flyers the non-pro market is where the money is. But people who work hard really don't have to justify playing hard.

I - as someone making images for sheer pleasure and therefore now belonging to the non-pro market - find value and amusement in letting other folks in the non-pro market take the monetary hit and benefitting from buying their cast-offs. That said, an introduction to the Leica M series purchased new is not beyond the means of many: witness the success of Leica.

On a personal level my wife and I have led a comparatively frugal life, have paid our dues and ensured a comfortable 'retirement': no madness and eccentricity involved and certainly no justification needed.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 09:45:20 am by KLaban »
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Rob C

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2017, 11:15:05 am »

I see folks here in the non-pro market spending over a relatively short period many times the amount that I spent over many years in the pro market. Apart from a few high flyers the non-pro market is where the money is. But people who work hard really don't have to justify playing hard.

I - as someone making images for sheer pleasure and therefore now belonging to the non-pro market - find value and amusement in letting other folks in the non-pro market take the monetary hit and benefitting from buying their cast-offs. That said, an introduction to the Leica M series purchased new is not beyond the means of many: witness the success of Leica.

On a personal level my wife and I have led a comparatively frugal life, have paid our dues and ensured a comfortable 'retirement': no madness and eccentricity involved and certainly no justification needed.

There's frugal and there's frugal: my wife and I went through a couple of years or ten where lunch was always accompanied by a bottle of Freixenet semi-seco where madness would have substituted Dom Pérignon; in the end, we settled for common or garden Viña Sol which I still, now and again, buy as challenge to the red that three cardios have insisted I must use. That's eccentricity with an undertone of Russian Roulette; puffing a revolutionary pack of Gauloises Blondes would complete the photo.

Anyway, she made the best steaks in the world, bought from the local specialist butcher/deli who also stocked the finest smoked salmon ever. Boy, were those skinny bits of fish expensive, even fifteen years ago! Fact was, we eat out very infrequently - seldom more than perhaps twice a fortnight if left to our own devices, and usually as part of a drive to a distant beach where there used to be a cheap restaurant (now, second-generation, not cheap at all!) that served lovely, honest food, and where the lady showed Ann how to make paella. Today, it's almost impossible to find simple anywhere; even inexpensive can't manage to avoid faux sophistication, all of it a result of booming tourism and perverted tastes. Of course, there is also cafeteria fare where my own cooking compares not too badly - on a good day (mine!).

The snap below was made on that beach circa '84/'85.



Justification? It's need is a drive born of highland puritanism and doubts and bouts of conscience, something the last Baptist preacher I had to listen to called the "again bite of un-wit" whatever the hell the latter actually meant. (Considering I was fifteen at the time, and I can remember that, he must have been a powerful orator or just struck lucky, once!)

Observing our supposed betters, and how they justify nothing, not even their existence, I don't think you or I need give it a second thought, Keith.

;-)

Rob
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 01:00:49 pm by Rob C »
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KLaban

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 01:16:37 pm »


...Observing our supposed betters, and how they justify nothing, not even their existence, I don't think you or I need give it a second thought, Keith.

Does that mean I can buy that car?

;-)
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JeanMichel

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 02:31:58 pm »

Has anyone else had such a terrible experience with recent lenses purchases? Just curious.

Regards,
Bud James

www.budjames.photography
[/quote]

Mine has not been terrible at all. This past year I purchased a new 50 Summicron and a slightly used 35 Summicron. Neither lenses required any recalibration. Both lenses were purchased to replace a 1967 50 'rigid' and a 1962 35 'goggled' Summicron; I kept both lenses. The older lenses needed tweaking when I bought a M9 in 2011, the 50 by Leica and the 35 by DAG.

A bit of a warning: given that you have 4 lenses (28, 35, 50 and 75), you will soon want/need a second body. While you can mount different lenses on the camera, I found that I pretty much keep a single lens on a body and switched lens/bodies  rather than stop and switch lenses. The  were the days of my M3, 4 and 6. It took me a few years to add an MP to my M9, and I'm happier now. I also have  a 21 and a 135, but those are not used that often.

I would not discount getting a used M9 (with a new sensor) to mount your secondary lens on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the M9 files, well skin tones need a small tweak in Lightroom, easily done with a preset. And, in spite of is lower resolution, I make prints sizes of up to 20 by 30 inches from this files.

If you wear glasses, I would suggest the you take your camera to your optometrist or optician shop and try some diopters between your glasses and the eyepiece. You may well find that a diopter, a +0.5 in my case, greatly helps.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 04:12:32 pm by JeanMichel »
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Rob C

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2017, 03:58:28 pm »

Does that mean I can buy that car?

;-)


Only if Viv specifically says do it!

Never take risks like that upon your own shoulders.

:-)

Rob

KLaban

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2017, 04:10:08 pm »


Only if Viv specifically says do it!

Never take risks like that upon your own shoulders.

:-)

Rob

Understood.

;-)
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Rob C

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2017, 04:12:58 pm »

Understood.

;-)

The same philosophy served me well in the past!

Rob

Telecaster

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2017, 05:08:24 pm »

I bought my first new Leica lenses ever this past summer: the 35 & 90mm f/2.4 Summarits. (This was after getting a used 75/2.4 and being very impressed.) Both are spot-on in focusing. Sometimes, no doubt, QC fails to catch miscalibration and a lemon gets out of the factory. I would've returned the two in question myself, though in the past I've kept defective (AF) lenses and sent 'em off for adjustment. Had great service from Canon in particular when doing this, though it was annoying for sure to need it in the first place.

-Dave-
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budjames

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Re: New Leica M10 and Summilux 50 and Summicron 35 lens disappointment!
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2017, 05:36:45 am »

The good news is that, once calibrated, the system is a joy to use and capable of fantastic images.....depending on you.

If you haven't already, you should visit the Leica User Forum and read lots of related discussions.  And you can read the M FAQ pages, which offer loads of tips on using your system.

One tip is to be sure your eyes are fully corrected, for any distance and astigmatism issues, before you make any final judgments about RF focusing.  The focus patch, by the way, is set at a virtual distance of 2m.  I use glasses for distance and astigmatism, and further use a +.5 diopter for my aging eyes.  One can test diopters at the Leica Store, or visit any good local optician to place trial diopters over the VF for assessment.

Jeff

I had Lasik surgery on both eyes about 13 years ago to correct astigmatism and near sightedness. Today my vision is 20/20, so the Leica rangefinder system works fine.

Regards,
Bud James

www.budjames.photography
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