Yeah right? Like if there is anything Leica that is cheap. Well this is not cheap really but it definitely can save you some bucks.
When I got my first digital camera years ago it was running on 4 AA batteries. I think it was a Fuji Finepix S5000. It is probably somewhere around my parents house. That thing ate batteries like there was no tomorrow. But I was coming from a film SLR, and eventho I really loved the Fuji, I wanted a DSLR. So I got one and a few years later a bigger better model (you know how that song goes). Then the batteries lasted so long compared to the little Finepix.
But here we are, the world of mirrorless cameras brought us a lot of great things but battery life it is for sure not one of them.
With my DSLR’s I always had backup batteries, but you knew that if you had half battery left in your camera you still able to get through the day with not much concern about it. But with mirrorless cameras, or APSC sensor compact cameras, I found myself “chewing” through batteries like nothing. So I started buying more backup batteries than I used to need before.
With most of the cameras it is easy to find aftermarket batteries for dirt cheap. But not with Leica. No freaking way! You can’t turn to Amazon or Ebay and look for aftermarket batteries for your Leica. They simply don’t exist. So what can you do? This is what I did.
If you want to buy a brand new battery for your Leica get ready to pay $200 a pop (give it or take depending model, year, etc). Let’s be honest, that price is nothing but a bunch of bullshit. I guess I knew what I was getting into, but still … So I figured that there was people before me that they wanted backup batteries for their Leicas too, and that at some point those same people went ahead and put their cameras etc on sale. So I searched a bit around and I found used batteries for sale. Yes we all want brand spanking new things, but I mean is a battery! Nobody is going to see it, my pictures won’t get better for having a new battery instead of a use one. The only function that the battery has is to hold charge to keep the camera going. And let’s be frank, a lot of Leica owners they baby their equipment so much that is almost ridiculous. So I’m pretty positive than a “used” battery will be in a fantastic condition for the most part.
So far, through the months, I have bought two spare batteries. Not cheap by any means but I got them for under $130 each. Which still is RIDICULOUS … but better than paying full price. I know that now, with two spare batteries, I’m fine. Till I got the third one I was a bit paranoid about running out of battery, I guess that is the price of paranoia. I’d love to have a 4th battery in my set because … well, because you never know. But with a total of three I’m fine even if I go on a trip, as long as I can recharge overnight the battery I might have finished that day.
Now the worst part. Yes, there is a worst part …
You could imagine that at $200 a pop, or $130 used, Leica Batteries have to be da shit and not a shit. Well, let me open your eyes … Let’s go back few months back … i believe it was end of August, beginning of September perhaps. San francisco reaches on a Friday 106F degrees. That might be normal in another places (like Southern California) but not in San Francisco. On Saturday, still really hot but it went down to 96-98, nice perfect beach day. Ocean Beach was packed. So i went down for a walk with the camera hanging on my shoulder and a spare battery in the loose pockets of my shorts. I’m very paranoid than anything in my pocket is going to make contact with the terminals of my batteries and drain them or screw them, so when I carry a spare battery in a pocket, that is the only thing that goes in that pocket. Period.
So after an hour or two at the beach strolling around I decided to go home (used to live close by) and put on a pair of swim trunks and just relax at the beach with some friends. When I arrived home and took my camera of my shoulder and my battery of my pocket i found out that the battery in my pocket was cracked!!! Now there you go – You see! That is what happen for buying used batteries! – That could be right except for the fact that as you can see up there I number my batteries. The ones that was cracked was number 1. The one that came with the camera. never got an impact. Never was pressured. It just cracked because of the heat! And that is not that much heat if you live in other parts of the country!
Anyway, I fixed with some superglue and baking soda. Then I painted it with a Sharpie so it looks a bit more subtle. But i never had a battery cracked on me like this one did. Not even the cheap Wassabi ones, they are built like a tank.