My Leica failed me

Leica SL2-S broken
Broken | Jerusalem | 2022

Sometimes the worst case happens. You are on vacation, bringing your best gear to capture all the magic of the places you visit. And then disaster strikes. My Leica failed me. My brand new SL2-S decided to stop working while we visited Jesus’ baptism site on the River Jordan this morning. “System Error” was the bright orange message on the display. Switching on and off, removing and re-inserting battery, changing SD cards and lenses. All the tips I googled in the Leica forum, nothing helped.

I send a message to the Leica store where I purchased the camera, pointing out that I was three days into a once in a lifetime vacation and I needed help to reset the camera (the SL2-S seemingly has no hard reset) or with whatever trick they have up there sleeves to somehow overcome the failure.

Well…I even got a return message two hours later. They wrote that they talked to Leica Service and they indicated it most likely is a shutter failure and they need to resend the camera to the factory for repairs.

Leica, in case you read this: My Nikons never ever failed me like this. My Olympus workhorses never ever failed me like this, whatever I did to them. This Leica SL2-S is a brand new camera that costs triple what I payed for these other cameras. And it simply stopped working, without warning, being handled and operated with care. Shutter Failure. Are you kidding me? And I’m simply being told I will have to send in the camera for repairs. No apologies, no nothing. A suggestion that I might want to look for a retailer in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv that maybe can take a look. Not even sending me addresses or phone numbers. Not even a simple sorry for having a new high end 5000 Euro camera fail on vacation.

Leica, your customer experience sucks! I would have at least expected some kind of “sorry”. Or a proactive suggestion how I could get it looked at here in Israel. And even when I get this thing repaired within warranty…how can I ever confidently take this camera on vacation again or use it on a wedding gig? So disappointed…so disappointed….

Now the old M240 and my iPhone 12 will have to cover the rest of the vacation. At least I brought a 10 year old backup and some vintage primes. And the iPhone camera is also quite capable. I’m looking forward to the challenge to get the best of the failed SL2-S luxury camera. To still capture all the memories of our trip to beautiful Israel.

Thanks for nothing, Leica!

Marcus

Israel Explored – Sea of Galilee

Boatride on the Sea of Galilee

The first day of our trip to Israel took us to the holy sites at North Shore of the Sea of Galilee. A first opportunity to take out the Leica and capture some vacation memories. Classic travel photography, so to speak. Being part of a tour group, the day and the evening are fully packed. So I decided to just dump the memory card onto the Macbook and share some out-of-camera jpgs captured with the Leica’s high-contrast monochrome program for a first episode of Israel explored – Sea of Galilee….

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Impromptu Indoor Portrait Session

Homeshooting Portrait of a young lady
1/125 sec | f/2.8 | ISO 1600 | 59mm

Having had the opportunity to test a Leica SL2-S full frame mirrorless system over the weekend, I have asked Big Girl to pose for an impromptu indoor portrait session. I wanted to do another test of the high ISO capability of the camera and find out how usable the files are in terms of noise when shooting at higher ISO. And, I have to say, the Leica performed admirably. But see for yourself…

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Nocturnal Street Photography

Walking the dog next to a museum
1/160 sec | f/2.8 | ISO 12500 | 70mm

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to test an amazing camera, the Leica SL2-S, bundled with the Leica Vario-Elmarit 1:2.8/24-70mm Asph. I was particularly interested in the low light capability of the 24mp full frame mirrorless camera. So I headed into town to do some nocturnal street photography…

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Big Girl

Portrait of Big Girl
1/350 sec | f/2.8 | ISO 1600 | 50mm

Haven’t posted a portrait of Big Girl in a while. She doesn’t look like having worked 4 consecutive night shifts as pediatric nurse on the oncology ward of Nuremberg’s Children’s Hospital.

Image taken with my Leica M (Type 240) and the Summicron 50mm F/2. Jpg out of camera.

Have a great Thursday

Marcus

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Shooting with a 60 year old lens

Winter Portrait of a Lady
1/125 sec | f/4 | ISO 1600

I was very much looking forward to this, shooting with a 60 year old lens. My Dad gave me a vintage 90mm Leica Summicron F/2 for Christmas (thanks, Dad, for the awesome present). The beauty of the Leica M system is that you can attach any lens from the Leica (M)esssucher (=rangefinder) system introduced back in 1954 to modern Leica digital cameras with an M-Mount. And as I have acquired a (for digital camera standards also vintage) used Leica M (Type 240) about a year ago, the 90mm is a great addition to my small collection of Leica prime lenses.

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From a distance

Social Distancing
1/125 sec | f/8 | ISO 320 | 35mm

From a distance – wasn’t there this song by Bette Middler? It’s the core theme of these days, with countries slowly returning to the “new normal” and people trying to find the right balance between staying safe and the necessity of somehow have to carry on with their daily lives.

This photograph of a mother and her child was also taken from a distance. I was standing on the balustrade above the “Liebesinsel” (Island of Love), a small island in the River Pegnitz in Nuremberg’s Old Town.

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Standstill

boy wearing a protective mask in downtown Nürnberg
1/350 sec | f/9.5 | ISO 1600 | 35mm

Public life has come to a total standstill on the Streets of Nuremberg. Bavarian state authorities have issued a 24/7 curfew for the next two weeks. We can leave our homes only to go to work (if we have a pass from our employer), to seek medical assistance or to buy groceries. Single persons (or people living in one household) can also go for a walk outside. Only grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and places selling take-out food are open. When things got bad in China and the government locked up 15 million people in Wuhan, we all said that would be impossible to do in our western democracies. Four weeks later we know better. Crazy world. Amazingly, the majority of the affected population is fully supportive of the measure. Including me.

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One Exhibition, one lens

Photographing art with a smartphone
1/125 sec | f/2.8 | ISO 1600

Last Sunday, together with good friends, The Significant Other and I visited the exhibition of contemporary German painter Christopher Lempfuhl in the Museum Würth in Künzelsau-Gaisbach. Frequent readers of this blog know that I love shooting street photography in an exhibition. Taking my recently acquired used Leica M for a spin, I gave myself the challenge to shoot a small reportage with only a 35mm prime lens. One exhibition, one lens.

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