Leica A Chat with Leica AG CEO Alfred Schopf


A Chat with Leica AG CEO
I just completed a chat with Mr. Alfred Schopf, the CEO of Leica AG. We had a friendly chat (in German), which was concluded with him inviting me to email him any time I had questions, after which we then could chat on the phone about it. I must say that he is a very nice man, and he pays attention to the comments/complaints that Leica users have been making.

We talked about several issues, but I recall the following highlights:
1. Leica is working on finding/developing a new glass cover for the CCD sensor. Mr. Schopf told me that they worked throughout December on this issue, and he knows that Leica cannot spend "four years on it" since by then it would be outdated. He talked about the problems of how to glue the glass on the sensor, and he mentioned the edges of the sensor and how to make them weather proof.

2. He affirmed Leica's customer service offer to replace free of charge the defective sensor. I asked him whether Leica would include second hand bought cameras, and he said "of course, it does."

3. He told me that when a Leica camera is sent in for repair, Leica offers rental cameras until the camera gets repaired.

4. He told me that they really don't know much about what goes into the Leica batteries and the generic batteries, but he does not believe that generic batteries can harm the Leica cameras.

5. I have to add this point" he thinks that my German is flawless!

I will try to recall other smaller issues that he may have mentioned. I hope that this summary is useful to you. After talking with Mr. Schopf, I feel happy to be a Leica owner and user.
- Raid
Thankyou for your report, and for gathering input for the call. It's nice to see the personal touch that Leica puts into their products, and the customers that use them. Rare these days.

Developing a new glass- I suspect that would be difficult under the circumstances. Life test of the glass would be difficult to have in time for production for replacement sensors, but for new ones down the road- always possible.


I think Brian should come up with some clever questions for you to relay via email :)

Great Job, Raid and kudos to Mr Schopf for such care and attention. :)


New Member
Cambridge UK
Some seem very happy with Leica replacing the sensor every time it goes wrong for the length of the camera's life while others expect no less than a permanent fix.
What does seem to be upsetting people all round though is the length of time their camera is away being fixed though, typically from six weeks to three months.
I would have thought that is something well worth mentioning, it would not be acceptable with pretty much anything else in the average persons life that could go wrong, car, TV, phone or watch etc etc, regards to all, Rob
The long turn-around times are most likely waiting for parts, and the very labor-intensive task of replacing the sensor and re-aligning it. There were 250 KAF-18500 CCD's in stock at ON Technology last week. There were something like 100,000 M9's and M Monochrom's produced?


The wait time makes sense. Unfortunately it's just a reality of manufacturing. It takes time to ramp up production, build and ship new sensors from a supplier, and if a great number of cameras are sent in with faulty sensors, then the technicians end up with a backlog of repairs. M's with faulty sensors are no different than all of the cars being recalled for faulty airbags of ignitions in this way. I have a friend at work who was made to wait a year to replace the faulty ignition on their GM vehicle. ALl because of the time needed to produce more ignition switches and a backlog of recall repairs.

I won't be happy if I have to send in my M9, but I recognize it is a possibility in the future. Frankly, their message saying that they would replace any faulty sensors is what prompted me to finally upgrade from an M8. If I end up having to send my M9 in at any point, I'll have to shoot more film for a couple months I guess.


I still have the M8 for now, but I intend to sell it soon. I currently have 5 M-Mount bodies...and really only two at a time see any action.

My new-to-me M9 doesn't show any sensor issues, but it came to me from New York...not known for particularly balmy weather.

The only issue with is so far is the vertical RF alignment. (The horizontal was out as well, but I adjusted that already at the roller cam.) I'm waiting for my Mr Zhou tool to arrive and will adjust the vertical alignment myself, and replace the red dot with a black one I got from DAG a while ago (I got it for my M8, and ended up just making my own black dot with some paint and my existing red dot.)

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