Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica X1 and X2: That pesky Battery Clip

Leica X1 and X2: That pesky Battery Clip

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Such a simple device, but this clip breaks and springs out with no warning. Why can't Leica produce a stronger clip to avoid repeated repairs?

Own a Leica X1 or X2? If so, you have probably experienced the dreaded battery clip exodus. The little plastic retaining catch is notoriously brittle and springs out at the most inconvenient times. I call it the clip clop

Twice, the plastic clip has sheared off on my X1. And it has just happened on the X2 which I have had to send back to Leica for repair.

John Shingleton in Australia, known to Macfilos readers as Mr X1, has experienced this on at least two occasions. In one instance he was about to pack the X1 for a distant vacation when out popped the clip. He took another camera instead, but it was near miss. If the clip had clopped a day later he would have been left high and dry in a photogenic location without a camera to his name. That, as you know, is exquisite pain for a keen photographer.

Such a simple device, but this clip breaks and springs out with no warning. Why can't Leica produce a stronger clip to avoid repeated repairs?
Such a simple device, but this clip breaks and springs out with no warning. Why can’t Leica produce a stronger clip to avoid repeated repairs?

Standard fare

What I find most frustrating is that this mechanism is nothing special. It isn’t beyond the wit of man (and of Leica) to get it right. Such a plastic clip is standard fare on almost all cameras with bottom battery access. Click in the battery and the spring-loaded clip keeps it in place. So what’s up with the Leica X1 and X2 version? I think it happens also with the X-Vario, but I haven’t had reports of it being a problem with other Leica cameras.

We can only presume the original clip was too brittle and they keep replacing faulty ones with faulty ones. It’s probably not worth the effort of making a special order for a more substantial piece of plastic.

For the moment, it looks like Leica has stocks of these little clips. But at the rate they fail, I can envisage a time when they run out. And that would be sad because the X1 and X2 are great little cameras, despite having been designed in the naughties.

Have you experienced the Battery Clip Clop? And did it leave you in straightened circumstances? Let us know your experiences, just in case John and I are plain unlucky…

36 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, same happened on my X-Vario a while ago… Since, I’m not trying to fix this anymore, I’ve learnt to live w/o this clip. Biggest drawback isn’t it is lacking mechanically to maintain the battery, the biggest issue is you have to set again date and time each time you open the battery + SD access.
    I wish Leica would have made clever investigations about that, and kindly make a proposal to X-Serie owners. Rather disappointing from a brand so proud of its engineering …
    Meanwhile, I have to admit lens on X-Vario is a killer. So I decided to compromise and keep the X-Vario.

    • Eric, you do not have to reset the date and time each time you open the battery and SDcard access on the X Vario ot the other X cameras.
      The date/time is powered by by a small internal battery which is kept charged by the main battery. If you leave the camera for an extended period of time without a battery or with an exhausted battery then the internal battery discharges and you lose the date and time. If you have left the internal battery discharged for an extended period of time then it may well have been damaged and will need replacing.

  2. I´m another “victim”: both my X1 and my X2 are “clipless” now. And I have more or less given up; I use them without the clips and hope for the best. Both do work without a hitch; the contact springs seem to be long enough to ensure a good contact even when the battery is kept in place by the battery comparment door. But, I´m worried about the extra stress on the door lock: a piece of thin sheet metal resting on a plastic tongue the size of a hen´s tooth, or thereabouts… Not very reassuring!

  3. Rubber bands, Sellotape and Blu Tack are essential camera accessories. I have a 1950s Reid IIIa which had problems with the slow speed settings and my CLA guy fixed it with the slow speed connections from a Leica IIIa. However, this left lovely holes for light leaks coming in the sync connections at the front of the camera. Rather than send it back, I put Blu Tack into the holes and now all is good. One of my I Model As now has a cut up toothpick as an infinity stop in place of the usual screw which has gone missing. Modern cameras are a bit more difficult when it comes to ‘home repairs’, but I would have thought that a ‘running repair’ on the battery door might be possible with Sellotape or a rubber band. Battery compartment doors are a weak spot on a lot of digital cameras.

    William

    • I am sure it is possible to botch a repair but that’s beside the point. A simple mechanism shouldn’t keep failing. So far, Leica has been helpful in repairing these clips, but how long that will continue I don’t know.

      • I fully agree that Leica should repair such faulty parts. My contribution was addressing emergency repairs while on holiday etc.

        William

        • I carry gaffer tape that is black and leaves no residue. I also have leica logo stickers that I can put on the tape so it looks like an official part:)

  4. Out of four X’s this has only happened on one X1, but I think because it is in a half case, it keeps the battery door closed and relieves pressure on the door. Still have to send back to repair.

  5. So far, so good, it has not happened to my X tho 113, but I suspect it lurks just around the corner. I am hopeful that keeping mine in a decent half case and only sparingly opening the camera to switch batteries and cards, means I am being extra careful. But it is the one issue that concerns me most.

    Hopefully my X will remain serviceable and productive for years to come.

    • Swapping cards or opening the door makes no difference. The plastic clip retaining the battery is the one that shears and flies out. A big carpet search (hopefully not grass) reveals a broken bit of plastic…

      • Mike , I have just done a recount and my X1 clip has failed three times not twice and each time the clip has sprung out. The clip on my X Vario has failed just once and in that instance the plastic clip broke. So the clip retention mechanism is inadequate and the clip material is inadequate.
        If the X1/X2/X Vario were cars they would be the subject to a mandatory recall in many markets including the US and Leica would have a team of engineers working day and night to come up with a long term fix.
        The sad part is this problem does not require rocket science to resolve. Just a little application.

  6. Yep – happened recently to me with my X1 – a quick email to my Leica store and they sent me a free replacement, although I also found that the camera continued to work fine with the broken clip, albeit you had to be careful when opening the battery door!

  7. In the summer, I was packing up my X1 for a Leica repair; I was removing the battery by request, and out popped the latch for the first time in ten years. Replacing it was free, fortunately. If I could not replace it with a spare, I would improvise to keep this excellent little camera going. Worse things can happen.

  8. This happened to me too while on holiday last December. It was a big shock seeing something pop out and disappear. Luckily I was able to find it. It has happened a couple of times when I forget about it. But most times I place a finger to keep it in place when removing the battery. Thought it only happened to me. Nice to know I belong in such an exclusive club.

  9. By the way, what’s up with the comment section? How come the latest ones go to the top of the pile?

    And oh, I forgot to mention that I have an X Vario.

    • I set the comments to show the latest at the top and then forgot about it. Do you prefer it the old way? I thought it might be more logical but, on reflection, it may actually be confusing.

          • I have checked and can find nothing has been changed. It is set to display avatars or generate one if missing. I’ve tried all the other settings, and none currently produce the random avatars we saw before. I do note, however, that my avatar does appear on all my comments. This could be because it is stored locally, but I don’t know. I suspect some change has been made globally and I don’t understand how it has happened. I will try to make some enquiries.

            I notice that all the examples of generated gravitars are missing from the selection list in Discussion Settings. Something must have changed, perhaps as a result of another change on the site. If any reader has WordPress experience I would be interested to hear from them. This is what should be happening:

            https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-change-the-default-gravatar-on-wordpress/

            Twenty four hours later and the avatars have returned, no thanks to anything I have done. I have no explanation for this. But now I shall let sleeping dogs lie.

  10. Unfortunately the battery clip she had to send the camera to Leica and it has failed again, amazing that I could not do better, I fixed it by adding the Hand Grip that holds the battery cover. It’s amazing that a brand like Leica wants to look so bad with its customers for a sad clip …

  11. Yes, my X Vario was clip clopped 9 months after purchase. Thought it was only me. I guess it was designed in the same department that created the Leica Q lens cap. ‘Hey, let’s make it out of metal so folk might hear it when it inevitably drops off’

  12. “If the clip had clopped a day later he would have been left high and dry in a photogenic location without a camera to his name.”

    This simply isn’t true. I’ve had the clip on my X2 replaced twice, but it broke for a third time last year, and I am done having it replaced. The camera functions just fine without the clip, and I no longer have to worry about its breaking.

    • The guy at Leica also made this point but a kludge fix doesn’t seem to work for everyone. For me, I tend to get discouraged if everything isn’t functioning properly and I probably wouldn’t persevere if I couldn’t get the clip repaired. But it’s nice to hear it can work!

  13. Leica Mayfair does not have replacement battery retaining clips in stock but are on order and have advised me this morning they will send me one when available … thus assume fitting is a DIY job. When the existing broken clip is removed, hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to fit the replacement.

    • BTW … Leica X1 and Leica X Vario battery retaining clips differ and are not interchangeable … just found out when attempted to remove the X1 clip and insert into the X Vario … and the X1 clip broke in the process. Leica Mayfair will send me one of each when available.

      • Just received replacement X1 and X Vario battery retaining clips from Ludivine Combe,
        Customer Care Adviser, Leica Store Mayfair London UK. Each clip is slightly different … but the X1 clip also fits the X2. Fitting the clips was quite fiddly … first one took 20 minutes .. but second took less than 20 seconds. The ‘secret’ is the use of tweezers to ‘lay’ the clip’s tiny 2 prong flexible / compressible plastic fork ‘tip’ in the mouth of the slot in the battery compartment. Once the clip is properly aligned, use a small screwdriver to ‘push’ the clip home … as it is pushed (it requires a ‘firm’ push), the fork on the bottom of the clip is compressed inwards … enabling the whole clip to slide forwards to the ‘home’ position … whence the 2 prong fork will ‘decompress’ … thus securing the clip via its two barbs. The barbs will break if the clip is removed … so please do not attempt swapping clips between cameras.

  14. Leica repair send me a new clip for free. It looks fragile and is tricky to get it in right. Since the battery is relatively heavy I thought is would be a good idea to stick a piece of adhesive foam padding on the inside of the door. This relieves pressure from the latch and when you put the camera down hard or it gets banged around in it’s bag, the impact of the battery is not fully the tiny clip. Haven’t experienced a broken clip since on both my X-Vario and X2.

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