Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Camera Strap 1, Lug 0: Evris lowers his lugs involuntarily

Camera Strap 1, Lug 0: Evris lowers his lugs involuntarily

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Evris Papanikolas is best known to us for this successful range of TieHerUp camera straps. He’s also a keen photographer and he came upon the idea of straps quite by coincidence. He had gone to a local craft shop in Athens to get a leather dog lead made up. Instead he came away with a prototype camera strap. TieHerUp has taken off in a big way with endorsement from such luminaries as Thorsten von Overgaard and stocked by leading camera retailers such as Red Dot Cameras in London. 

This is by way of a preamble to a mini disaster that has overtaken Evris and his Leica Monochrom. We all have a sneaking worry that one of these days our strap will let us down and the camera will go clattering to the pavement. In Evris’s case, though, the strap held up. It was the Monochrome’s lug that unexpectedly sheared off as you can see from the above picture. 

I’ve not heard of this phenomenon before and I would be interested to know if it has happened to any other M240 owners. I remember that in the early days of the M240 there was a recall based on a loose-lug problem. I sent mine back to Wetzlar at the time and it came back looking exactly the same but with, presumably, beefed-up lugs. But Evris’s M246 is a later model and I would have expected any teething troubles to have been ironed out. [Note: When writing this I assumed it was a 246 but Evris now tells me that it is the original Monochrom, which explains why it is outside warranty].

The sad news is that the camera is out of warranty and Leica has asked €850 to repair the lug. Evris feels that a major rupture of this nature should have been covered, even outside the warranty period. I cannot say I disagree. What do you think?

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Mike:

    I think that if this is a material failure that can happen again under normal circumstances, Leica will probably not refuse to fix it free of charge. To me the damage looks like there has been considerable force involved. Hard to tell what actually happened…

    Frank

  2. If that happened to any £5000 camera that I owned, I would expect a free repair, no I would expect a replacement!

    There are plenty of £850 cameras around that would not fall apart like this, so I would get one of them and tape over the leak on the monochrome and use it occasionally. I would not have nice things to say about the manufacturer’s attitude.

    Well, one might as well, the difference in performance is negligible and the reason that people like Leica’s is perceived quality, once it is demonstrated that it is only perceived, the custom will abandon the company.

    After all, the company is very quick to trumpet how strong their products are, like when they fall from tall buildings, go to war, or get involved in motoring accidents.

  3. That’s a pity. I was at a Leica Academy session about two weeks ago and the only one of the current models that attracted my attention was the M246. Now I am having second thoughts. I was waiting anyway to see what Leica might produce at Photokina. Leica needs at the very least to re-affirm its commitment to quality construction. I have never seen an LTM model lose a strap lug (introduced with the III in 1933) .

    As for the incident itself, the price proposed (for the lug alone?) seems outrageous and certainly would tempt one to reach for a tube of superglue. The M246 was introduced in April last year and so this cannot be just outside of warranty by very much. Where did Evris buy the M246 and what does local sale of goods legislation provide either in his own country or in the country of purchase? Most legislation of this type has a ‘fit for purpose’ provision and certainly a failure of a significant structural part after a little more than a year in a so called quality camera costing six or seven thousand Euro would certainly come under this type of description. In most cases the consumer would have a choice of jurisdiction between his own country or the country of purchase. None of this would be applicable if the camera suffered an accident or ill treatment of some kind which caused the lug to break loose.

    As for the Leica HQ service, I have never been impressed with it. Some years ago the aperture mechanism in a lens I had failed with a known issue. They insisted in charging me for this but the worst part was that the tracking information I got indicated that the lens was repaired fairly quickly, but then it sat there for nearly 3 weeks doing nothing other than admiring the surroundings in Solms. It was only when I contacted them that they decided to send the lens back to me; I had paid them for the job when I sent the lens to them. Dr Kaufmann needs to look at repair/service function rather than opening any more swanky Leica Stores. User experience is far more important then flashy marketing.

    William

    • Dear William, thanks for your thoughtful response which I am sure Evris will find useful. Before going on, I should apologise for the fact that I only assumed the camera was a Mk.II 246. You comment about warranty time got me worrying so I contacted Evris and he says that the camera is the original MM and was bought from a friend in Greece. It is about four years old, which partly explains the warranty problem. However, this is such a rare occurrence (I hope) that the response from Leica could benefit from some flexibility. As you say, lugs don’t drop off M3s or even IIIfs.

    • Leica certainly needs to improve their repair/service functions. It’s the same situation here in USA which Leica has repair/service center at New Jersey. Customer communication is minimal if not near zero E.g. If you called them for status (sorry, there is no on-line tracking) you will find that their voice mails are always full or that they are not responding your message promptly if not at all.

  4. Generally sale of goods provisions don’t apply to private sales. In this case I assume that the friend was not a dealer. If he was, then that might give arise to some rights.

    I hope that Leica have put some good lugs on the M246 as I am still thinking about that depending on what comes out of Photokina.

    William

  5. It appears the "lug" did not fail at all, but rather, a portion of the base metal was ripped out of the camera metal cover. I cannot imagine this happened just as the result normal- or moderately abusive- to camera use. It also appears the only conceivable way to repair this, i.e. bring the camera back to like-new condition, would be to replace the entire camera outer casing; I assume that would mean a pretty comprehensive disassembly/assembly operation. I would guess the cost to Leica would be about the same as they pay for labor to assemble a new camera. The price seems cheap……for what will be involved.

    • I think I agree….there is a hole and the lug has just sheared off. I can’t imagine what trauma caused that and I suppose we have to accept that it could simply be metal fatigue. There is also the question of whether this was one of the early cameras subject to the loose-lug recall. The guy in Greece might never have heard of it, nor responded, and the camera could have been faulty all its life. I agree with you that this is probably a body replancement and the €850 sounds almost reasonable considering the amount of work involved.

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