The title is a little misleading, but you will get what I mean as you read on. I’m back from my holiday in Japan for around 10 days, travelling through a few locations, utilizing the JR Pass. I spent a few days in Tokyo before flying off from Haneda Airport, and I dropped by at Leica Ginza Salon to send in my friend’s Leica M for rangefinder calibration. The calibration took about 1-2 hours to complete, and it only cost 3,240 yen (tax included), which in my opinion is a very reasonable price (in fact it’s cheap by Leica’s standard).
I also dropped my M for general cleaning and checking of rangefinder at the same time, if there’s any problem I’ll get them fixed as well. So after dropping both cameras at the store, I went off searching for lunch and shopped around that area. It’s Ginza, you get all sorts of funky trendy shops and not to mention some famous camera shops around the corner. Later on, I just pop back to the store, flipped through some photography books and both cameras were serviced. It only took them 3 hours in total for both cameras.
Based on my understanding, general checking and cleaning of sensor usually took about 1 hour, while rangefinder calibration may goes up to 2 hours. Either way, it’s considered a very quick turnaround time for me and I’m very pleased with their services.
So here’s the thing: in Singapore, any rangefinder calibration of Leica M camera can only be done by sending your camera back to Germany. Apparently they can’t do it locally because the lack of tools. At least that’s what I was being told. I’m not sure how much it will cost to send in the camera for rangefinder calibration, but I would assume it will not be as cheap as 3,240 yen. Furthermore, it will take you months (usually 3 months based on average feedback) for your camera to travel for holiday in Germany while you are still stuck at home. Sensor cleaning turnaround times will depends, fastest I have experienced so far is 2 days, but I do heard before some cases of minor cleaning can be done on the spot.
So, that brings us to my point. Instead of letting my M goes on holiday for 3 months, why not I go on holiday myself to Japan instead? At anytime I would rather go to Japan, send in my camera and get it serviced, and then I can start using it on the spot in Japan. At the very least I get to enjoy with my camera, but not leaving it to be attended by some unknown person who just anyhow pack it and deliver it back to Germany.
I wonder when will Leica Singapore be improving on their service level. Anyway, not putting much hope on them either. I’m more than willing to spend my time and money in Leica Japan instead. For those of you who are facing similar problem, do consider to check out their services in Leica Ginza Salon. Till then.