This is a PSA post for photographers interested in purchasing or experiencing issues with the new Leica M6 scratching film.
A few weeks ago it was reported to us that Leica had acknowledged that a batch of faulty pressure plates had made it into a number of new M6 cameras, and that quality control procedures had not been able to catch the issue before sending them to customers. While this is certainly not everyone’s experience, we felt that evidence of Leica’s acknowledgement warranted an attempt to raise awareness in the hopes of assisting potential new M6 buyers in avoiding the same issue as well as hopefully reassuring those with the issue that it is something that can be remedied.
Raised initially within an online Leica public forum, users were concerned about scratches found on multiple rolls of film one week after receiving a new M6. The thread can be found at this link here. While it begins in November of 2022 with a different camera, the Leica MP, the issue in question is raised on page 3 about the new M6. It isn’t until page 46 though that through various channels and attempts to have the camera repaired, the same account noted they had received confirmation from a Leica NJ, USA service centre about the pressure plate issue.
As public photography forums are open to anyone, and trolling is common, it’s difficult to prove claims and some members remained unconvinced that there was any real issue.
However, in this instance, via the person who originally brought the issue to our attention, we were shown evidence in the form of a follow-up email from a senior product manager in the Leica M division. The email acknowledged that there was a bad batch of pressure plates installed in new M6 cameras.
Concerns within the community have been raised around the issue being known within the high-end camera company, without Leica making any specific announcements or indeed issuing any sort of batch recall. This has left buyers to initially attempt to pinpoint the source of the film scratching either through home DIY methods or taking it to be serviced which can be a lengthy waiting process.
As such, 35mmc reached out to Leica for comment and received this statement:
“Shortly after the start of production of the Leica M6 last year, 2022, a faulty batch of pressure plates was identified, which in rare cases can lead to scratches on the film. As a result, Leica Camera AG immediately and carefully analyzed the production processes and adjusted them where necessary. Should the case nevertheless occur, Leica will of course and without any doubt carry out the appropriate repairs.
So far, we have not identified such an error in the two models Leica MP & Leica M-A. Nevertheless, Leica Camera AG has made the same adjustments in the production process as for the Leica M6.
As ever, the company’s primary goal is to provide a first-class customer experience through products that are superior in both design and performance.“
While there are more accounts of similar issues with other new Leica models, they are unsubstantiated and so to be taken with a grain of salt until confirmation can be evidenced directly from the company. However, if you are experiencing scratching on your film with a new Leica M6, it’s worth asking your dealer or service centre to have a look at the pressure plate to see if it is part of the confirmed batch with this fault.
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