As I posted previously, Leica have a new digital coding system for their M lenses so their digital bodies can automatically detect which lens is mounted. The coding consists of six painted dots on the mount, and normally costs a characteristically extortionate $120. Now, for a limited time only, US and Canadian customers can get it for FREE when they buy a new Leica lens. And then wait only 6-8 weeks!
Leica press release
10/12/2006 – Purchase any new M lens from an authorized USA/Canadian Leica dealer between October 1 and December 31, 2006, and you will receive 2 free vouchers – worth $125 each entitling you to upgrade your existing Leica M lenses by adding the 6-bit code. Lens conversion for customers will begin on Nov. 1, 2006. To take advantage of this exciting, limited-time program, you must register your new Lieca M lens and submit any rebate claims within 30 days of purchase. Kindly return a copy of the original dated sales receipt and completed Leica USA warranty card along with the completed forms. After registration is completed, 2 vouchers for 6-bit coding will be sent to you. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. Lens conversion for customers will begin in November, 2006. Please contact Customer Serivce at (201) 995-0051 ext 236 for more information. This promotion is only in the United States of America and Canada.
This is cool and all, but, in my opinion, also bullshit. New Leica lenses are fucking expensive, with a capital EXPENSIVE. They should already come coded. Un-coded lenses still in the supply chain? Exchange coded lenses with the dealers for uncoded, code them, and ship them as you normally would.
Some update fee for older lenses is reasonable, but $120 is insane. It’s paint, for fuck’s sake. Why not abandon that paint—which must be made from some pretty spectacular shit to charge $20 per dot—and just sell stickers for each lens that people can put on themselves?
Lastly, let’s say I do drop 2 grand on a new lens and another 5 on an M8 body. What the fuck makes Leica think that I want to wait 6-8 weeks to use it? I can’t work out if Leica just don’t understand their customers or if the majority of their customers are simply insane. This is the kind of thing that makes me think thrice about investing in an M8. Sort yourselves out!
No, I think it’s mostly that Leica knows that their customers are insane.
That could well be. Insane and willing to put up with the crazy whims of the gods of Leitz.
Hacking Leica digital lens coding…
As I posted previously [1, 2], Leica have a coding scheme for their lenses so that the new digital M8 body can automatically identify the mounted lens. It turns out that you can use a marker to code the lenses rather than paying Leica US $120 per lens…
I wish to have digital coding for two summicron lens 35/2 and 50/2