Leica Shoot A Real Keeper In Customer Service

Okay, so by now, we all know the story that Leica have had some compatibility issues with their M9 and the SD cards used in them. Here at ST84Photo Blog, we’re really hoping this gets fixed by the time the penny jar has filled up enough to drop several £k on becoming a Leica user.

I’m quoting a story here as reported in Amateur Photographer magazine, although I’ve read it in a few places now. It regards a photographer who suffered from this compatibility issue…

“On his blog, he wrote that a SanDisk Extreme Pro 8GB card ‘crashed and became unresponsive’
The photographer – who has since complained to Leica – added: ‘ Afew days after, I had a high-profile portrait photo shoot for an important client… I took the M9 and my beloved 90mm with me, together with a new SanDisk SD card, not before installing the newest firmware update. It was a very long photo shoot with heavy production [and] a tight schedule…
It was just before the end of the shoot that the other new SanDisk Extreme Pro card crashed inside the M9, making the camera dead and the card unreadable in any device. With all the embarrassment, I had to shoot everything all over again with my back-up equipment.'”

Now, my initial reaction upon reading this was: hang on, you experienced problems with your M9 and SanDisk memory cards, and then you decided to use that very same combination of tools on a “high-profile” shoot for “an important client”? And one with “heavy production [and] a tight schedule”?!?

It seems a fairly rookie mistake to make – use the gear combo that might well be duff, as evidenced from earlier use of said combo. I’d be loathe to use that combo in a professional setting again until I was convinced it was not going to go all sad face on me.

But maybe that’s just because I spent some years working as a techie on tour, so I’m prone to hazard-check when gear is involved. And maybe he did test it thoroughly and that bit just got omitted somewhere along the line.

Still, anyone reading this, please note: If your gear screws up once, don’t use that same gear combo on the most important gig of your life soon afterwards. Instead, do thorough testing and avoid using it in a professional setting until you’ve corrected whatever went wrong the first time.

Leica, on the other hand, were not quite so scathing in their response to this photographer’s news as I have just been (I mean, seriously, it’s called “professional photography” for a reason…). No, instead they offered the photographer in question a gorgeous* Leica S2 Medium Format camera to use while they fix the M9/SanDisk card compatibility problem.

I mean, wow.

Leica sometimes get a bit of a bashing for being primarily owned by doctors and lawyers, and not thinking enough about the working pro photographer. But it looks like they’ve really stepped up to the plate here in acknowledging the M9/SanDisk fault and arranging an awesome replacement camera for this photographer while they work out the kinks in their rangefinder system.

Leica, there are caps being doffed in your honour. 🙂

*I reserve the right to call this camera “gorgeous”, having recently arranged one for landscape photographer John Davies to use. It is beyond gorgeous, even (yes, there is such a thing).

Update: A Note From JJ at Leica
We doff our hat back.
Thank you for the article! We are communicating on the SD card issue under http://uk.leica-camera.com/news/news/1/8251.html Have now isolated the problem and will offer a solution as soon as possible.
^JJ / Leica-camera

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  1. #1 by JJ Viau on September 1, 2011 - 3:40 pm

    We doff our hat back.
    Thank you for the article! We are communicating on the SD card issue under http://uk.leica-camera.com/news/news/1/8251.html Have now isolated the problem and will offer a solution as soon as possible.
    ^JJ / Leica-camera

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