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Author Topic: Leaf Aptus 75 still unreliable after repair, help please  (Read 2749 times)
torger
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« on: February 23, 2013, 05:50:45 AM »
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My second hand Aptus 75 did not work in cold weather, so I made the big repair, replaced the complete e-box which costed a fortune. The result however is an as-new back so I was pleased. Until now that is, when I see that it still fails. The repair did make it more reliable, before repair it failed already in +5C, it can handle that temperature now, but it still fails in a little bit lower temperatures. If there's something I hate more than unreliable camera equipment it is expensive unreliable camera equipment.

Today I was out in a beautiful winter day -5 C (23 F) (i e not any extreme temperatures), it  worked quite nice to start with, but then it started to miss images, instead of beeping that it got the image and is ready for a new one, it is silent, the green lamp blinks and nothing happens until I turn it off and on again, then it often works again. Other strange things happening is that instead of a beep I once got a white noise from the speaker (some other noise an other time), and then nothing happened. Reboot. I have a new standard battery, and a large battery which is a bit older. The battery indicator can show full power even when these failures occur. At low battery the back is extremely unreliable, but I guess that's normal in medium-format-land.

So there is one of these scenarios:

1) The Leaf Aptus 75 product sucks, it does not work in cold weather and never has, period.
2) The Leaf Aptus 75 product sucks, but not so much, it can actually work in cold weather by using external batteries so batteries are kept warm.
3) The repair did not succeed, despite replacing the e-box, so I should send it back and complain.
4) My batteries, even the new one, sucks.

Any suggestions/ideas/comments?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2013, 06:08:27 AM »
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Hi,

Have you tested with camera being cold and a new battery that was kept warm?

You have probably a warranty on the repair. Unfortunately, I would guess that environmental specifications for the back don't go below zero C, 0-40 seems to be quite usual.

Best regards
Erik

My second hand Aptus 75 did not work in cold weather, so I made the big repair, replaced the complete e-box which costed a fortune. The result however is an as-new back so I was pleased. Until now that is, when I see that it still fails. The repair did make it more reliable, before repair it failed already in +5C, it can handle that temperature now, but it still fails in a little bit lower temperatures. If there's something I hate more than unreliable camera equipment it is expensive unreliable camera equipment.

Today I was out in a beautiful winter day -5 C (23 F) (i e not any extreme temperatures), it  worked quite nice to start with, but then it started to miss images, instead of beeping that it got the image and is ready for a new one, it is silent, the green lamp blinks and nothing happens until I turn it off and on again, then it often works again. Other strange things happening is that instead of a beep I once got a white noise from the speaker (some other noise an other time), and then nothing happened. Reboot. I have a new standard battery, and a large battery which is a bit older. The battery indicator can show full power even when these failures occur. At low battery the back is extremely unreliable, but I guess that's normal in medium-format-land.

So there is one of these scenarios:

1) The Leaf Aptus 75 product sucks, it does not work in cold weather and never has, period.
2) The Leaf Aptus 75 product sucks, but not so much, it can actually work in cold weather by using external batteries so batteries are kept warm.
3) The repair did not succeed, despite replacing the e-box, so I should send it back and complain.
4) My batteries, even the new one, sucks.

Any suggestions/ideas/comments?
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yaya
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2013, 06:13:17 AM »
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The Aptus works fine in cold weather.

Suggestions:
1. Dodgy CF card or a card that was not formatted properly
2. Dodgy lens/ pc socket
3. Dodgy sync cable
4. Repair that was unsuccessful. Repairs come with warranty so once you've troubleshooted the above, call your dealer and ask them to have another look at it

Yair
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adammork
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 06:28:30 AM »
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Sounds really annoying.... I have used an Aptus 75 in -20/-30c for many hours without problems - here the battery design is quite convenient, since it's so easy to snap the battery on an off to keep it in a warm pocket.

Hope things will end good in the end.

/adam
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torger
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 07:05:34 AM »
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Thanks.

Adam, so you did not power through firewire in those cold temperatures, but kept battery in pocket and snapped it on when shooting? I rather not carry an firewire power solution if not necessary.

I shall do more testing, but have had no failures when shooting indoors  with the exact same configuration, shot about 100 frames. Today failures started occuring as soon as the back had reached ambient temperature (-5c) but worked alright straight out of the car (probably about +10c); so I think it points towards some cold weather issue.

Maybe tech camera mode which I use can be a problem? In that mode the fan is always spinning at max speed, which feels kind of redundant in -5C :-). Maybe the cold airflow kills it? I'm assuming the fan is not moving at all at these temperatures if mounted to an slr body?
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torger
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 07:10:00 AM »
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Is there a way to turn off the fan when on a tech camera? In these temperatures it would be nice if I could turn off the fan and seal off the vents with tape.
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torger
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2013, 07:25:10 AM »
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Unfortunately, I would guess that environmental specifications for the back don't go below zero C, 0-40 seems to be quite usual.

yes I guess so, it is the same with Canon and Nikon cameras, just as weather sealing is not really specified. Makes warranty easier to handle :-).

Photographers have expectations on what a pro level camera should be able to handle though, so it can be trusted to work in typical working conditions. A camera manufacturer would/should never release a professional product that cannot deal with real shooting conditions. Concerning MFD I have not fully understood how seriously they look at outdoor photography though, as 99% of pro use of these cameras is in the studio. The constantly spinning fan and open vents do suggest that the Aptus is not designed for outdoor use, but people keep telling me that it should work well, so I shall continue trying to get it to work.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2013, 08:12:55 AM »
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Hi,

I absolutely agree. A camera you cannot take outdoor is pretty useless.

Best regards
Erik
yes I guess so, it is the same with Canon and Nikon cameras, just as weather sealing is not really specified. Makes warranty easier to handle :-).

Photographers have expectations on what a pro level camera should be able to handle though, so it can be trusted to work in typical working conditions. A camera manufacturer would/should never release a professional product that cannot deal with real shooting conditions. Concerning MFD I have not fully understood how seriously they look at outdoor photography though, as 99% of pro use of these cameras is in the studio. The constantly spinning fan and open vents do suggest that the Aptus is not designed for outdoor use, but people keep telling me that it should work well, so I shall continue trying to get it to work.
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adammork
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2013, 08:20:17 AM »
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Only batteries - and on Alpa's all the time.

I have had an Aptus 22 and two 75's and 250-300.000 exposures on them combined - you can count on one hand the number of corrupt files, I can only remember one for certain - not counting where I'm overshooting the back, when it's not ready. I have used them from +35C down to -32C for two whole day's shooting in winter Norway and many, many other days in sub -10C - it gets cold in Denmark too from time to time.

I really think that people are too scared regarding the fan - I'm use my equipment day in day out - outside/inside - I'm not abusing it, but use it as the toy it's meant to be, and the Aptus was more steady than my iQ160 is - which is a good performer also, but can behave a bit from time to time, but nothing that a reboot can't solve.

It sounds you unfortunately got a melon.

/adam
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 09:00:38 AM by adammork » Logged

theguywitha645d
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2013, 11:09:14 AM »
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That does not sound right. Send it back. I know it is not the same camera, but I can use my 645D all day under 0C without problems. I can't imagine any camera made for all seasons, except winter. It maybe indicating another problem--the back and componants will contract in the cold and maybe you have a bad connection in there.
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torger
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 11:21:44 AM »
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It sounds you unfortunately got a melon.

I guess a melon is worse than lemon, as my back was repaired and still does not work Wink
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torger
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2013, 11:27:55 AM »
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A question concerning low battery behavior:

With my DSLR I can run with the battery until it is out, just shoot pictures flawlessly until the camera automatically shuts down when battery is too low.

With my Aptus 75 it instead starts behaving strangely when battery is low, i e various failures (write failures, failure to take picture etc), so when strange things starts to happen I change battery. Is this normal behavior for an Aptus 75, or could this be a symptom which is related to the failures in cold weather?

Maybe there is some power circuit stuff that still can be in a semi-failed state despite changed e-box?
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torger
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2013, 11:38:29 AM »
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I'm a little bit worried that I have a type of error that the factory cannot verify, and if I send it back they will just say that it works and do nothing. Exactly that was about to happen when I got it repaired this time, they wanted to send it back without doing anything, but after my detailed description (described again a second time, I had already given it once) they did manage to provoke a failure in room temperature (before repair it could have troubles booting in room temperature now and then) so they did change the e-box.

Intermittent errors are the worst kind. It's easy for me to provoke, just get out a winter day all day with the camera in the backpack and shoot now and then during the day. When the back gets cold enough it starts failing.

I shall do some more testing concerning power source (see if it works if tethered, and then fails if changing to battery), but it just got warmer outside so I need to wait until it gets a little bit colder again.

There still is some minor risk that all my batteries are somehow bad and that is the cause, I doubt it though. The new battery I got is a Leaf original battery manufactured 2011.
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yaya
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 12:08:47 PM »
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There's no such thing as "low battery behaviour"...
When it gets really low you get a warning in Red saying that the back does not have sufficient power to continue and shortly after it shuts down.

I'd look at the CF card/s, lens and sync cable and then contact the dealer who repaired the back

Yair
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torger
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2013, 02:56:25 PM »
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Thanks... I just did a room temperature test from full to empty battery, and then everything works as it should. No failures (shot lots of pictures at max high rate), and when too low battery the expected error message. When thinking about it the "low battery behavior" has only occurred in cold weather. So indeed everything happens when the temperature is low.

I assume as it works in room temperature I can assume that the CF card and sync cable is okay.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2013, 03:07:46 PM »
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Hi,

I don't think the dealer repaired that back, it went back to Leaf who has done a repair that is not working as promised. The way I see it, Torger was charged for a repair that didn't solve his problem, so I think that it is now up to Leaf to fix it. Leaf gains no goodwill by messing around with nonworking backs. I presume that Anders Torger bought his back to make images and he was not able to do that for half a year or so because dealer chain doesn't work.

Or, you can just state that Aptus backs are not intended for temperatures below zero C, of course.

Best regards
Erik

There's no such thing as "low battery behaviour"...
When it gets really low you get a warning in Red saying that the back does not have sufficient power to continue and shortly after it shuts down.

I'd look at the CF card/s, lens and sync cable and then contact the dealer who repaired the back

Yair
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 03:10:01 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

torger
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2013, 04:09:03 PM »
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I don't think the dealer repaired that back, it went back to Leaf who has done a repair that is not working as promised.

I would not run too fast to conclusions, but it seems likely that it has not been handled properly. Something has indeed been done, as the back had some issues also in room temperature before repair, and one can see on the shot count (which was back down to almost zero) that it is likely that the e-box indeed has been replaced.

There's a tiny risk that all my batteries are bad or there is some other trivial error causing it to fail for me but not for those that repaired it. I shall test a little bit more.

Maybe they can figure it out in the factory what the error is as they know the hardware the best, but there's a dealer filter inbetween, and I don't know what information they pass on. It seems to be only a tiny subset of what I report. On the "service certificate" document I got back from the factory there's no mention about cold weather failures, just "CF storage not work" which was one intermittent error that could occur in room temperature.

It seems most likely that they have not even tested the back in subzero temperatures. Maybe they don't even have equipment (a freezer) to test it, I don't know, but as the factory probably did not even receive the information that it doesn't work in subzero temps of course they didn't test it.

The customer-dealer-factory-chain does seem to have some serious issues, and this worries me a bit. Communication won't be easier now when the back seems to work flawlessly in room temperature. If the chain would have worked the only thing I would have to report to the dealer is "I got intermittent errors in subzero temperatures" and they'd test for that and see the failure and repair it and test it again and see that it works and then send it back to me.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 04:30:45 PM by torger » Logged
Bernd B.
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2013, 04:09:42 PM »
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torger, what happend to your back? Did you get it working?

Im asking because I just bought a Leaf Aptus 75 on Ebay:

I did not yet receive it. I fear that this is yours. Did you sell yours?

SN of mine is LF8316.

Best,

Bernd
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 04:18:28 PM by Bernd B. » Logged
degrub
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2013, 04:46:23 PM »
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http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=81389.0

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Bernd B.
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2013, 05:01:46 PM »
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Thanks !  Smiley

Bernd
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