Musings on Photography


Posted in Leica M9 by Paul Butzi on February 26, 2010


My M9 has arrived. I am waiting, somewhat less than patiently, for the battery to charge.

I mean, I am sitting here with the camera, which has an SDHC card inserted, a lens mounted (50mm Summicron, for those who care), and I can do nothing because I am waiting for the battery to charge. Why must the last bit of waiting be so annoying?

Side note: when I picked up the camera, they asked if I would be needing anything else. I opined as to how I might want, say, two spare batteries. The salesman gave me the look of complete pity you reserve for people who are unfathomably stupid, and informed me that they had no spare batteries for the $7,000 dollar camera I just bought. I asked him when I might reasonably expect to be able to buy, say, two or three, and he said that since there were none to bought anywhere at any price, and Leica are mute on the issue, he really couldn’t venture a guess.

He offered, though, to sell me a case. You know, a case, in which I might presumably put the camera when the BATTERY IS EXHAUSTED, to keep it safe from harm while I vent my spleen on the subject of battery unavailability here on my blog.

Oh, Leica. I’m eagerly looking forward to using the camera. Seriously. I haven’t been this excited about a new camera since, oh, since I bought an M6. Really. But this business where there are no BATTERIES to be bought? What, did you FAIL BUSINESS SCHOOL? Because, you know, your markup over COGS and distribution costs for batteries for the M8 and M9 must be, what, 500%? I’m not arguing that I should be able to buy third party batteries that catch fire, I’m arguing that I should be able to pay your outrageous marked up Leica name brand battery price and actually acquire another battery beyond the lone battery that came with the camera. Because you appear to be unaware of this subtle detail, I will point out that if you actually HAD THE DAMN BATTERIES I would buy two, and that would mean that I ended up with more batteries, and YOU WOULD END UP WITH MORE MONEY, and isn’t that really what being a disgusting running dog capitalist is all about?

I mean, really. Get a clue. I just bought a $7000 dollar piece of equipment, and I want to give you another $250 for batteries (or whatever outrageous price you choose to charge), but I can’t because you don’t have batteries to sell me.

If you’re the person responsible for the failure to provide a source of extra batteries for the M9, I hope you bang your kneecap against your desk drawer and get that awful electric feeling that shoots up your leg. It would serve you right. If I ever meet you, I’m going to give you the look that salesman gave me. You know, the one you reserve for people who are unfathomably stupid.

11 Responses

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  1. tychay said, on February 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm


    Since it’s a LiIon, you don’t have to fully charge before shooting. Also, they have to charge it part way for testing/safety in transport.

    I’m surprised they don’t have M9 batteries. When I got my M8, the person threw in two Leica branded batteries (same batteries as the m9) so I feel very fortunate. Moreso because it’s easy to accidentally burn the battery when it’s in the bag (Leica really, really needs to fix that design flaw).


  2. John Taylor said, on February 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Like the picture… (i know small consolation)

  3. Ed Richards said, on February 26, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Just checked the price of an M8 battery – you were not kidding. Like a wide bellows for a Linhof.

  4. Bron said, on February 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Ummm, Paul, don’t hold it in, …let it out, …you’ll bust a gut.

  5. Eric Jeschke said, on February 27, 2010 at 4:38 am

    I bet there are some high expectations for that camera. I’ll be interested to hear the follow up…

  6. Adam Maas said, on February 27, 2010 at 6:40 am

    The battery issue isn’t unheard of with cameras that are brisk sellers and use a new battery type. The 5DmII’s battery was extremely difficult to get for a few months after launch, and that’s with Canon’s resources. Panasonic G1 batteries didn’t become available at all for a couple months after launch/

  7. John C said, on February 27, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Welcome to the new leica, (not the) same as the old leica.

  8. agesilaus said, on February 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Calumet has them, $133 each:

  9. Markus Spring said, on February 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Just speaking tongue-in-cheek: The annoying fact you are describing might back that remote theory of the Leica being placed on the market as a Veblen good – an item to be possessed rather then put to good use wouldn’t need spare batteries…

  10. Alex Brikoff said, on February 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Congratulations, Paul!! I’m glad you got the M9 because know how anxiously you were awaiting it! Have fun with it!

  11. Paul Butzi said, on February 28, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Calumet has them, $133 each:

    Sadly, I went to the website and ordered two. A little while later, I got email telling me they were backordered.

    I cancelled the order.

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