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Author Topic: Leaf Aptus original series - unreliable or not unrealiable that's the question.  (Read 7774 times)
torger
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« on: April 03, 2013, 04:00:00 AM »
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As some of you probably have seen I've had problems with my Leaf Aptus 75 in winter conditions. At first I had really severe problems so it was unusable under +5C. Then after a lot of trouble with Leaf dealers I finally got a full repair, replacing the E-box. It has then started to work much better. However, it is still unreliable in chilly temperatures.

Now it is hard to provoke an error at will though, it can work for 50 images in a row or more in -10C, and then it misses a image, locks up, makes a funny noise or other funny things. Often a reboot helps, sometimes it's just stuck and needs to warm up before starting to work again. This makes field work very frustrating when I can't trust the back. I've missed images due to this. The warmest condition I've had a failure in after repair is in +1C, that is within the official range which is 0 - 40C. Oh, it dropped the beep sound once in room temperature, but continued to work, got the beep sound back after reboot. One of those "funny things".

I've tried different batteries, different CF cards, different sync cables, still funny things happen now and then in cold temperatures. It seems like the errors is always in some way related to failure to write to the CF card (yes I have formatted the cards in the correct manner). I've attached an image (sorry it's poor) showing the error message when I try to delete an image when the back has become semi-locked up (sometimes it locks up completely so you can't navigate in the GUI either).

My Leaf dealer that handled the repair doesn't really respond to my questions except once every two weeks or so, which is a bit tough on my patience at this point. I've reported all this to them but have not yet had a reply.

My main question I have now is if an Aptus series back is no better than this, or if my back is still faulty after the repair. I have already spent a lot of time and money on this and I would not like to spend a lot more time to deal with the cumbersome Leaf support if there's no possibility to get this fixed in the end.

I've so far had different reports. Some say that the Aptus is very reliable, but I've got at least two reports of users saying that funny things do happen with this back, one said in general, one said outside 0-28C temperature range. The likely conclusion from that is that some of these backs are good, some are bad, ie the quality varies. If this is the case then the question is if Leaf cares if someone that got a bad back complains, or if they will refuse or are unable to fix the problem. I mean I got the E-box replaced, what more can they do? Maybe there's some poor soldering work related to the CF card contact, don't know if that is replaced with E-box or not.

My options are to complain more and try to get this fixed (it's now under warranty), or give this up, sell the back to someone living in warmer conditions and get a different brand. I like the Aptus and think it's a really good product and great for tech cameras, but I must have a digital back I can trust in the field.

(I'm having my eyes on Hasselblad as they should know about Swedish winter conditions (I'm in Sweden), and possibly it's easier to get support as they are actually located in Sweden.)

Comments?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 05:28:24 AM by torger » Logged
adammork
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 06:53:53 AM »
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as stated before I had +250.000 exposures on an original Aptus 75 and 22 - I have used it in -32C for full days, I live in Denmark, it's cold here as well, it was a very steady performer no errors - I can count on one hand the numbers of corrupt files - I wish I could say the same on the iQ160 - it's not bad either, here I just have to use two hands ;-)

/adam
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Gigi
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 07:40:13 AM »
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My AFI II back has been in Amazon jungles, mountain cold and used at 15F without any issues. There is the odd moment when it hiccups, needing only a restart (typical camera:back interface), but rare. Any other issues are due to low battery levels. I find it quite reliable and would not hesitate to get another.
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Geoff
torger
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 08:08:26 AM »
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There are indeed numerous examples of solidly performing Aptus backs, but also a few reports of those that are not. This makes me suspect the the production has had varying quality, i e some units are good, some are less good.

Question is if Leaf will take responsibility for the less performing backs, or even if they can. When I first sent it in (when it was unusable below +5C) the dealer wanted to send it back without doing anything since they could not find any error despite my thorough description of the problem. I was firm in my decision to have it repaired though, and when it was sent to the Leaf factory they did find an error there, a bit unclear what (the repair spec is not very detailed) but something related to the CF if I remember correctly. The E-box pretty much replaces everything as far as I understood. If there still are parts of the CF card I/O circuit not replaced a good guess is that the major fault is there.

Or maybe the new E-box has the same type of problem as the old but to a lesser extent. That could be the case if there indeed are issues with varying quality.

I have suspected batteries too, but now I keep my batteries warm and even with fully loaded warm batteries and different batteries tested errors still occur. I have tested with different CF cards, both formatted with FAT32 and FAT16. I've done bad block scanning of the cards, no errors. Still fails with the back. As far as I can see all the bad failures have been related to not-being-able-to-write-to-CF, the rest I can pass and accept as rare "hickups".

If Leaf eventually manages to fix this problem I would not hesitate to get another back of this brand. But what I have seen from the support so far is not very impressive. Let us assume quality control is excellent and I have just had an enormous amount of bad luck and got a bad unit (no quality control is 100%), the support must still be able to resolve this type of issue so a buyer of their products can feel safe in their investment. It should not matter if you like me are using a few generations old digital back, one of the selling points of digital backs is that you can choose to stay with the back for a long time and thus make the investment pay for itself... but for this to be true the support must be working.

Some manufacturers can say like this: our official temperature range is 0-40C, if it works outside that range - good for you - if it does not we won't help you as it is up to our spec. As said I've had failures in +1C so it's not performing up to spec, but it is on the border, especially since I hear now that even the good ones have occasional "hickups", what's a hickup and what's a failure? I don't know how Leaf is in this context, and I'd rather not mess around with this issue for many more months just to find out that they won't fix it. If they refuse, or more likely claims that it works up to spec and I'm imagining things, there's not much I can do.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 08:41:14 AM by torger » Logged
NickCroken
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 04:21:54 PM »
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I think you might have a lemon.  When I was shooting a leaf aptus 65 I had it out in the cold (-30*C) here in Edmonton, Canada.  That back never failed to perform.  I had all of 5 corrupt images with that back and I shot with it very frequently.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 07:14:22 PM »
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Hello,

Personally I think Yair as Leaf's representative should take over your case personally and get your problems resolved with Leaf as this is not doing there street creed any favourers.

Cheers

Simon
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Gigi
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 08:12:13 PM »
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Hello,

Personally I think Yair as Leaf's representative should take over your case personally and get your problems resolved with Leaf as this is not doing there street creed any favourers.

Cheers

Simon

+1
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Geoff
torger
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 06:16:17 AM »
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Yair is a product manager and should not need to run support errands. I've now opened a support case at Phase One's site to see if I can get some attention.

What's difficult in this case is that it's an intermittent problem which could be of the type "we take no responsibility, you have to live with it", and what usually happens then is that you don't actually get that message but instead you end up in kafka-land, i e endless communication for months and nothing happens, except for growing frustration.

For that it would be nice to have a contact "on the inside" to give a forecast of how this support issue will develop, or hear about similar experiences.

So far it's clear that Leaf has issues with their support organization in Europe though. Either you get to a dealer that don't know Leaf gear (or even Leaf pricing), or you get to a dealer which has so little time that if you just have boring support requests it's dropped to the floor.
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torger
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 07:43:16 AM »
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Oh, Phase One web support gives swift reply to questions, that's for sure!

I have attached the reply below, and it's about what I could expect, i e they take no responsibility if the back fails below 0C. So the case seems to be pretty doomed.

I think it can be worthwhile to know for any outdoor shooters that Leaf and Phase One don't care if their backs fail in typical outdoor working conditions, so you just need to hope that you get a good copy.

I think it's a bit unethical of them to brag about reliability in their marketing when it's all empty words  Angry  Angry.

I also think the first support case has been handled a bit unfair and without understanding of an outdoor photographer's working conditions, since I have stated from the beginning that I experience trouble in chilly weather from +5 and below freezing, and not anyone said that I could not expect it to work below +0C after repair. So now I have paid 2000+ to expand the usefulness of this back from +5C down to +0C. I'm not impressed Angry.

If the e-box replaces as much as it's said, I've got two lemons in a row. That feels more than a coincidence.

These type of things make people go on crusade, like Fred  Wink... I'm not really there yet, but to say that I'm disappointed with Leaf and all the misleading marketing b*llsh*t I've got concerning reliability is an understatement  Angry  Angry  Angry.

Quote
   
Hello,
I am sorry if there is a misunderstanding about the capabilities of the hardware. The unit you have listed has an operational temperature of "0-40C (32-104F), Humidity: 15%-80% RH (non-condensing)".
As you have stated you are shooting in temperatures of -10C there is a large potential for improper operation. If you have experienced an error at 1C then this is something we can focus on, however these errors only occur at that temperature AFTER the back has been subject to unsupported Operating Temperatures we cannot ensure it will perform properly until after it has been rebooted.

The hypothesis you have purposed regarding the CF card is highly unlikely. The entire board stack is replaced when an E-Box is replaced, the unit is basically brand new with the exception of the CCD when an E-Box replacement is performed. If there were an error with the circuitury you would experience it in all other operational temperatures, not just lower temperatures. The reason we cannot guarantee proper operation below 0C is not due to soldering or contact changes, it is simply due to the electronic signal changes at extreme temperatures. A signal delay that is expected to be a value of X due to operational temperature resistance, at an extremely cold temperature is much, much faster and therefore certain signals cannot even be detected as they are present and then gone before detection is even possible. This is not something specific to the Aptus 75, it is a basic principle of electronics.

As we designate operational temperatures with the hardware, the fact that this occurs outside of those operational temperatures (aside from the one instance mentioned at +1C) shows that your system is working "as good as it should" as this is what we can guarantee. Other user may claim that their units operate at colder temperatures but we could not possibly base the operational quality of your unit based ont he claims of other users. There are too many variables involved in such claims, including the truth behond those claims on top of perhaps completely different workflows.

Based on the information in this case, it is not conclusive that your repair has failed in any way. If you can quantify the error that was seen at +1C we would be happy to continue investigation, however if the errors are only present when outside of the manufacture operating temperatures I am afraid that there is no cause for concern regarding an "improperly working unit".

I apologize for any misunderstandings regarding the operational limitations of the unit and look forward to recieving more relavent information with the reported error within operational limitations.

Kind Regards,
Phase One Support
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 08:01:15 AM by torger » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 09:37:04 AM »
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When a customer buys a unit from us a dealer, especially when the unit has warranty (new or refurbished) we would have a great deal of flexibility to help the customer. Phase One and Leaf have always structured their network around dealers who can provide this level of attention and flexibility to their customers. If a customer of mine comes to me and says they want to use the back for X, Y, or Z the first thing I'm going to do is help them do testing of whatever backs are being considered in X, Y, or Z. This is the system that is set up (which some complain about) which provides an incredible capacity for a high-end experience and great customer support which engenders long-term customer loyalty.

Unfortunately when you buy a used back with no warranty, without dealer support, and without prior testing or evaluation there isn't much in the way of a safety net for you when you're technically outside of warranty/repair/operational coverage. The only person from whom you've bought something in this situation is a private individual.

I'm not trying to dance on your grave here; I've followed your story since the start and I feel a great deal of sympathy for you. I know that based on your location and budget it was hard to justify/attempt to buy a unit through a dealer or do testing in-situ before committing. You're in a rough spot and I feel badly about that.

As stated by many here, and on each posting you've made along your journey, there are many Aptus in service around the world in conditions equally challenging - performing without issue.

The way I see it you have three options:
- give up medium format (make sure to test whatever you switch to before making any decisions to make sure you'll be making a positive net change), sell the back
- upgrade the Aptus via a dealer to another back, whether a Phase P+, Leaf Credo under the proviso that you test your specific unit under the conditions that you shoot before making any commitment
- use your existing gear knowing that at a certain temperature range you are having problems
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 10:09:30 AM by Doug Peterson » Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
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torger
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 10:03:49 AM »
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm not easily offended so you can dance all you want if you wish to Wink

Consider that the e-box has been replaced, I've effectively got a new back just as the support person says, shot count is still under 500. The back is effectively under warranty due to the extensive repair.

But despite that the company takes no responsibility. How should I protect myself against that? I cannot interpret this any other way than that Leaf and Phase One are not serious with their support. I got two lemons in a row, if that's just bad luck or Leaf quality is like this I don't know, but what I do know now is that if this happens they let their customers take the hit.

I will make some more noise though. I have not yet heard from my dealer, and I'm not sure about how Leaf/Phase One support organization works, maybe what I'm getting now is Phase One's f**k-the-customer-policy rather a than Leaf policy.

(I'm using DSLRs in parallel, I've never had reliability issues with those, and in the unlikely event of getting intermittent errors and a support mess they are so relatively cheap I can buy a new one. So yes if I was only in this for reliability it would be a no-brainer of course, but I really like to use my Linhof Techno, and it fits my creative process very well. If the issue remains unresolved the most likely scenario is that I'll sell the back to a photographer in warmer climate and buy into Hasselblad. I'll have to hold on to it for a year or two though due to financial reasons. First I'll see this issue to the bitter end, I'm not really sure this is it.)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 10:19:30 AM by torger » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 10:39:20 AM »
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Hi,

Cameras are normally specified to operate between 0-40C, quite true. I think it is also the specs for my Sony Alpha and the Phase One cameras. So most cameras are unusable outdoors about 25-50% of the year according to specification.

Interestingly, Phase One demonstrated that their cameras work at the temperature of dry ice, -79C if I recall it correctly. So what they said is that the cameras work well under zero C conditions.

I don't really buy the explanation about signal propagation times, I have heard about superconduction, but I believe it normally occours at very low temperatures. Obviously, Japanese cameras are built with so wide tolerances that they are not affected by the temperature dependent signal propagation times under zero degrees C but personally I would believe that signal propagation times would be pretty constant between sub zero and zero C.

Anyway what Phase is saying that it is normal for the equipment to fail as soon as environmental temperature goes below zero. Obviously, many devices still work under subzero conditions.

I feel that much of this makes little sens. The photographic industry should have a realistic specified temperature range, like -30 to 70 degrees C for professional equipment, and they should stand by that specification.

What they say now, is that our equipment should work from 0 to 40C, you may operate the equipment outside those parameters but you do that at your own peril.

Best regards
Erik
Thanks for the feedback. I'm not easily offended so you can dance all you want if you wish to Wink

Consider that the e-box has been replaced, I've effectively got a new back just as the support person says, shot count is still under 500. The back is effectively under warranty due to the extensive repair.

But despite that the company takes no responsibility. How should I protect myself against that? I cannot interpret this any other way than that Leaf and Phase One are not serious with their support. I got two lemons in a row, if that's just bad luck or Leaf quality is like this I don't know, but what I do know now is that if this happens they let their customers take the hit.

I will make some more noise though. I have not yet heard from my dealer, and I'm not sure about how Leaf/Phase One support organization works, maybe what I'm getting now is Phase One's f**k-the-customer-policy rather a than Leaf policy.

(I'm using DSLRs in parallel, I've never had reliability issues with those, and in the unlikely event of getting intermittent errors and a support mess they are so relatively cheap I can buy a new one. So yes if I was only in this for reliability it would be a no-brainer of course, but I really like to use my Linhof Techno, and it fits my creative process very well. If the issue remains unresolved the most likely scenario is that I'll sell the back to a photographer in warmer climate and buy into Hasselblad. I'll have to hold on to it for a year or two though due to financial reasons. First I'll see this issue to the bitter end.)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 04:36:54 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

torger
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 10:39:48 AM »
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I also note that the support engineer in our continued discussion says that the Aptus open vents and fan is a problem and makes it perform less good in cold conditions, and that a passively cooled Credo (which has the exact same 0-40C official range) is more likely to work. The exact suspicion I had before I committed to this back, but what did Yair and everyone else say? That there is no problem with vents and fan. I guess that was just market speak.

If it really is just temperature that breaks it, as it seems to be, then I may look into extreme temperature solutions (heat packs etc) as a short term solution, as I don't see an upgrade feasible right now. If there was a way to turn off the fan I could simply put tape over the vents and it would probably work a lot better. I have noted that it seems to fail quicker in windy conditions (ie cold air blowing through the vents in additions to the fan working at full speed as it always does in tech cam mode).

An other interesting aspect that has arised in the discussion with support is that they claim to use standard low cost components to keep down price, and that can lead to less reliable behavior outside standard temperature range than typical mass-market products which may have custom fine-tuned components. I find it fascinating that a back that costed $30K originally must be designed with low cost components, I was thinking(hoping) that one would be using military grade components with overkill specs as it would do so little on total cost anyway.

The support person is sweet, giving long and thorough responses to my questions, I can't shoot the messenger, he/she is just delivering what the true company policy is, rather than what is communicated through marketing/sales channel.

The story so far:
Question: is the Leaf Aptus a reliable product, even in colder temperatures?
Answer by Leaf marketing/sales: yes
Answer by Leaf/Phase One support: no
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:33:55 PM by torger » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 01:38:10 PM »
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Hi,

My guess is that the 0-40C environmental spec is fairly typical for the industry. I just checked Nikon's spec for D4 and they also state 0-40C. So if you shoot the winter Olympics and turn to Nikon Professional Services for assistance they just say: "Sorry pal, the equipment you have is not intended to be used below zero C!"?

Let's make just clear. I have nothing against Leaf, Phase One or the MF industry. But I'm a bit pissed of by unreasonable environmental specs.

What are the environmental specifications for latest IQ200 series?

Best regards
Erik


I also note that the support engineer in our continued discussion says that the Aptus open vents and fan is a problem and makes it perform less good in cold conditions, and that a passively cooled Credo (which has the exact same 0-40C official range) is more likely to work. The exact suspicion I had before I committed to this back, but what did Yair and everyone else say? That there is no problem with vents and fan. I guess that was just market speak.

If it really is just temperature that breaks it, as it seems to be, then I may look into extreme temperature solutions (heat packs etc) as a short term solution, as I don't see an upgrade feasible right now. If there was a way to turn off the fan I could simply put tape over the vents and it would probably work a lot better. I have noted that it seems to fail quicker in windy conditions (ie cold air blowing through the vents in additions to the fan working at full speed as it always does in tech cam mode).

An other interesting aspect that has arised in the discussion with support is that they claim to use standard low cost components to keep down price, and that can lead to less reliable behavior outside standard temperature range than typical mass-market products which may have custom fine-tuned components. I find it fascinating that a back that costed $30K originally must be designed with low cost components, I was thinking(hoping) that one would be using military grade components with overkill specs as it would do so little on total cost anyway.

The support person is sweet, giving long and thorough responses to my questions, I can't shoot the messenger, he/she is just delivering what the true company policy is, rather than what is communicated through marketing/sales channel.

The story so far:
Question: is the Leaf Aptus a reliable product, even in colder temperatures?
Answer by Leaf marketing/sales: yes
Answer by Leaf/Phase One support: no
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 04:37:33 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

torger
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 02:11:34 PM »
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My guess is that the 0-40C environmental spec is fairly typical for the industry. I just checked Nikon's spec and they also state 0-40C. So if you shoot the winter Olympics and turn to Nikon Professional Services for assistance they just say: "Sorry pal, the equipment you have is not intended to be used below zero C!"?

Are you sure they will say that? I know that 0-40C is the typical, my Canon says the same. Haven't met any pro DSLR shooter that would think it is normal with failure in subzero temperatures. A photojournalist in northern countries could not use it as a tool if it would fail in -1C. I think it's the same with weather proofing, it's not really specified but over time a certain standard has come to be expected, and the manufacturers cannot deviate from that or it would be a suicide for the brand. Of course the japanese make field tests in subzero temperatures.

I would not be that surprised if you are right though, but you never hear about it due to the very high quality and wide tolerances in the gear they sell.

Note that I do not shoot in extreme temperatures, I'm a comfortable guy and haven't tried to shoot with it in colder than -15C, hardly considered extreme by any nature photographer. The oil in the gears of the Linhof camera gets so stiff in colder temperatures than that so it becomes hard to work with anyway.

Now when I'm in contact with a support person that gives straight answers I have got numerous reasons why the Leaf Aptus and Leaf Aptus-II series never should be recommended to a photographer working in subzero conditions:

 - Open vent and fan is good in hot weather, but makes it too cold in cold weather, possibly provoking erratic behaviour
 - On a tech cam the fan is always running full speed making it even more sensitive to cold weather (I'd like to talk to the person who made that design decision)
 - Standard low cost components are being used to keep down manufacturing costs which makes tolerances lower than can be expected for finely tuned mass-market products
 - And the most obvious reason -- if you do get problems, Leaf/Phase One won't help you

Maybe the tech cam case is significantly worse, due to the full-speed fan. As far as I know all reports I've got from users successfully using it in cold weather is on cameras which provide temperature control of the fan. I'm looking into if there is a way to turn off the fan, or even sending it in to have a on/off switch mounted on it. It's so incredibly dumb to have the fan draw power and kill the back when it's -10C outside...
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KristerH
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2013, 03:30:04 PM »
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Very interesting and bad news. I work in Sweden as well and this is normal conditions up here. Nothing out of the ordinary.
I will meet with a Phase one rep tomorrow to discuss a upgrade to a IQ260 and this will be on the top of my list
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2013, 03:35:38 PM »
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Hi,

I think they have an NPS service shop at the Winter Olympics. I don't think they say that environmental limit above freezing point apply, but I don't know.

I have been shooting at < -15C with my Sony Alpha 99 recently and my only problems were fingertips and toes going cold.

Had Minolta/Sony/Pentax gear since 1970, SRT-101, SR2, XE-1, XD-7, XM, Dynax 9000, Dynax 7000, Pentax 67, NikonFE, Dynax 9Xi, Dimage 7, A2, Dimage 7D, Sony Alpha 100/700/900/55/77/99. All worked fine, except the XD-7 that was error prone. I had a minor repair on the A2 and had a bayonet replaced on a 80-200/2.8 zoom after something like 20 years usage. But, I guess I am easy on equipment.

Best regards
Erik

Are you sure they will say that? I know that 0-40C is the typical, my Canon says the same. Haven't met any pro DSLR shooter that would think it is normal with failure in subzero temperatures. A photojournalist in northern countries could not use it as a tool if it would fail in -1C. I think it's the same with weather proofing, it's not really specified but over time a certain standard has come to be expected, and the manufacturers cannot deviate from that or it would be a suicide for the brand. Of course the japanese make field tests in subzero temperatures.

I would not be that surprised if you are right though, but you never hear about it due to the very high quality and wide tolerances in the gear they sell.

Note that I do not shoot in extreme temperatures, I'm a comfortable guy and haven't tried to shoot with it in colder than -15C, hardly considered extreme by any nature photographer. The oil in the gears of the Linhof camera gets so stiff in colder temperatures than that so it becomes hard to work with anyway.

Now when I'm in contact with a support person that gives straight answers I have got numerous reasons why the Leaf Aptus and Leaf Aptus-II series never should be recommended to a photographer working in subzero conditions:

 - Open vent and fan is good in hot weather, but makes it too cold in cold weather, possibly provoking erratic behaviour
 - On a tech cam the fan is always running full speed making it even more sensitive to cold weather (I'd like to talk to the person who made that design decision)
 - Standard low cost components are being used to keep down manufacturing costs which makes tolerances lower than can be expected for finely tuned mass-market products
 - And the most obvious reason -- if you do get problems, Leaf/Phase One won't help you

Maybe the tech cam case is significantly worse, due to the full-speed fan. As far as I know all reports I've got from users successfully using it in cold weather is on cameras which provide temperature control of the fan. I'm looking into if there is a way to turn off the fan, or even sending it in to have a on/off switch mounted on it. It's so incredibly dumb to have the fan draw power and kill the back when it's -10C outside...
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2013, 08:51:38 PM »
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I also note that the support engineer in our continued discussion says that the Aptus open vents and fan is a problem and makes it perform less good in cold conditions, and that a passively cooled Credo (which has the exact same 0-40C official range) is more likely to work. The exact suspicion I had before I committed to this back, but what did Yair and everyone else say? That there is no problem with vents and fan. I guess that was just market speak.
.....

The story so far:
Question: is the Leaf Aptus a reliable product, even in colder temperatures?
Answer by Leaf marketing/sales: yes
Answer by Leaf/Phase One support: no

Don't expect Phase One marketing to tell things how they are.

Here is their press release about the release of the DF+

Quote
COPENHAGEN, September 17, 2012 Phase One, the worlds leader in open-platform, high-end camera systems and solutions, today announced the worlds most versatile camera platform for high-end photography.
With support for more than 50 different digital medium format digital backs and 80 different lenses from leading brands, and featuring a new high-powered rechargeable Li-ion battery enabling up to 10,000 captures on a single charge, the new Phase One 645DF+ camera sets a new standard for professional performance.

The Phase One 645DF+ builds on the success of previous generations of the camera and has undergone a complete overhaul of all moving parts to produce a camera with the highest uptime in the market of high-end photography.
Quote

and here is the experience of a couple of users:
Quote
I had very bad experience with DF+

1st : very slow focus, will not lock even outdoor.
2nd : Defective viewfinder out of the box
3rd : Demo unit so I can play around, much better than first body.
4th : finally open my 3rd unit out of the box, focus beat all 3 previous copy. faster. So I bought it.

I just found out last week that my body produces softer images than the demo unit 645 DF my dealer uses. It is very obvious in side by side comparison. Micro adjust will not fix it because it does nothing at all.

I am sending it for service.

So after 4 experiences with DF+ body, my conclusion is that phase one has very bad QC problem!!

another user...

Quote
One issue is, I have to setup the custom fuctions I want every time I use the camera. When the camera is off for a while, it forgets them.

The other thing I've found is, the autofocus assist beam can actually come on during an exposure. Then the red beam on the subject would ruin the picture, like this example:



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torger
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2013, 02:00:17 AM »
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Very interesting and bad news. I work in Sweden as well and this is normal conditions up here. Nothing out of the ordinary.
I will meet with a Phase one rep tomorrow to discuss a upgrade to a IQ260 and this will be on the top of my list

I don't know if you know/remember what happened with the IQ180. It failed in cold weather when it was new. They do lab tests and brag about that (maybe you've seen youtube videos), but the problem is that don't do any field tests in cold weather, so what happened in this case was that battery failed after just a few minutes. When users reported it some got a similar reply as I from the support, ie it was only guaranteed between 0-40C and they would take no responsibility for consequences of using it in subzero temperatures.

However, in this case it turned out to be possible to fix in firmware, and after the firmware fix the back runs well in cold weather as far as I know. If it had been a design error like with the Aptus / Aptus-II and was not possible to fix in firmware the customers would have to take the hit.

It's normal that low volume products like this don't see as much testing as mass market 35mm camera so I think it's perfectly acceptable that users of new products stumble upon problems. However, this should be fully compensated with support you can trust. I can't say that my trust in Phase One and Leaf concerning supporting outdoor photographers has been strengthened by this episode.

If I was a professional photographer and I would buy new and my gear just had to work in -15C I think I would write a contract with the dealer so they would be forced to take it back if it would not work. I know I would be furious if I would have been one of those users that had upgraded from the solid P65+ to IQ180 and then get cold failures and hear support say that it's all on my responsibility.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2013, 07:08:42 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

Stefan Steib wrote that a lot of problems may depend on battery chargers not charging optimally. You cannot operate the camera on external power?

Sometimes it can happen that voltage drops when a device draws high current.

Best regards
Erik
I don't know if you know/remember what happened with the IQ180. It failed in cold weather when it was new. They do lab tests and brag about that (maybe you've seen youtube videos), but the problem is that don't do any field tests in cold weather, so what happened in this case was that battery failed after just a few minutes. When users reported it some got a similar reply as I from the support, ie it was only guaranteed between 0-40C and they would take no responsibility for consequences of using it in subzero temperatures.

However, in this case it turned out to be possible to fix in firmware, and after the firmware fix the back runs well in cold weather as far as I know. If it had been a design error like with the Aptus / Aptus-II and was not possible to fix in firmware the customers would have to take the hit.

It's normal that low volume products like this don't see as much testing as mass market 35mm camera so I think it's perfectly acceptable that users of new products stumble upon problems. However, this should be fully compensated with support you can trust. I can't say that my trust in Phase One and Leaf concerning supporting outdoor photographers has been strengthened by this episode.

If I was a professional photographer and I would buy new and my gear just had to work in -15C I think I would write a contract with the dealer so they would be forced to take it back if it would not work. I know I would be furious if I would have been one of those users that had upgraded from the solid P65+ to IQ180 and then get cold failures and hear support say that it's all on my responsibility.
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