What Happens When Something Goes Wrong?

A True Story About One of My Leica Cameras

What Happens When Something Goes Wrong? How does your camera brand manage repairs?  Here’s a real-life experience I recently had with my first Leica SL2-S.  For some unknown reason, and it remained a mystery … my Lecia would freeze up and brick on me.  I did all the standard practices to reboot the body.  I shut off the camera, and took out the battery.  I took out the SD cards.  Turned it back on. I also updated and reinstalled the camera’s firmware.

While visiting Berlin one morning over coffee and carrot cake I used my iPhone to photograph my first Leica the Typ [601]. I’ve neglected photographing my SL2-S. Next time I’m out and about, I’ll do that.

“It was reassuring to know that Leica had my back each step of the way and took pristine care of me and my camera.”

It was still bricked. Reset the camera to the factory setting.  Still bricked. The body would turn on the LCD screen, which was black, and so was the EVF.  I would get a warning sign that the lens was incompatible.  I was using both the Leica M Adapter L with M lenses and Sigma L lenses.  I even tested it with Leica glass.

The SL2-S is not serviced in the United States.  It must be sent to Leica Germany for repair.  But before that, it’s sent to Leica New Jersey for testing.  So, off it went to New Jersey. The bricking issue was intermittent. Sometimes it would just happen, sometimes it would work properly and then other times it would suddenly brick up.

The first time, it came back from New Jersey and they said they couldn’t replicate it.  So they sent it back to me. After a short while, it bricked up again. I called Leica Los Angeles, and they agreed to have it shipped to Germany. 

But the first stop is Leica New Jersey, then off to Germany.  Leica Germany didn’t bother to test it to see if they couldn’t replicate the problem. Instead, they upgraded the firmware and tested it with their own lenses. Leica Germany stated that they could not replicate the issue.  The SL2-S came back from Leica, Germany. 

I opened the box and tested out the camera.  And yup, you guessed it.  It bricked up again.  At this point, I was extremely frustrated. I asked Leica, Los Angeles for a replacement body. They were hesitant to replace my camera.  But I was persistent, plus my SL2-S body was still under warranty.

After going through many layers of Leica management & approval, culminating with Leica New Jersey’s head of customer care, Leica Los Angeles agreed to replace my SL2-S with a mint condition refurbished body with a full warranty.  I’ve not had an issue since their replacement. 

Leica in Berlin
I need to photograph my SL2-S more often when I take it out to coffee or a pub. This was photographed when I visited Berlin Typ [601]

I should also mention, Leica Los Angeles generously gave me a loaner SL2-S [each step of the way] to take on my months long trip to Venice and Paris. Leica handled all facets of this frustrating experience with empathy and a professional, pro-active ethos.  It was rasurring to know that Leica had my back each step of the way and took pristine care of me and my camera.  This is exactly what you’d expect from a luxury camera brand.