Leica M9 FF-CCD corrosion on sensors
Old 11-21-2014   #1
silverbullet
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Leica M9 FF-CCD corrosion on sensors

two days ago Leica informed after more and more discussion in the LUF about the 'corrosion-problem' with sensors of M9/P, MM and M-E.

It seems that from now on the free of charge replacement of sensors is limited by certain purchase dates.
Here the post:

"Based on this thread, we feel the need to clarifying a couple of things about the sensor marks issue you have been experiencing. The issue is linked with corrosion effects on the cover glass of the CCD sensor in Leica M9, M9-P, M Monochrom and M-E cameras. They manifest themselves as marks on images captured at smaller apertures (f/5.6-22). The new Leica M (Type 240) with the CMOS sensor is not affected by this problem. We are truly sorry for the inconvenience encountered and we have set up the following scheme for servicing the sensors of the products affected. Please be aware that a contact-free cleaning of the sensor is essential in preventing the issue.

• Customer care will perform sensor cleaning free of charge by prior arrangement.
• In the case of damage as a result of corrosion, the sensor will be replaced free of charge up to three years following the date of purchase. Leica Camera AG will cover the full costs of replacement, amounting to 1,800 euros plus applicable VAT. This does not apply to sensors damaged by scratching or breakage of the sensor glass.
• In the fourth and fifth year following the date of purchase, sensors damaged by the corrosion effects described will be replaced for a fixed charge of 600 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 1,200 euros.
• In the sixth and seventh year following the date of purchase, sensor replacement will be offered at a fixed charge of 1,200 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 600 euros.
• For the eighth and more years following the date of purchase, sensor replacement will be offered at a fixed charge of 1,500 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 300 euros.
• The prices stated apply for direct shipment of the camera to Leica Customer Care in Wetzlar or the Customer Care department of a national distributor. Additional costs may arise when the camera is sent to Leica through a dealer.
• Mandatory warranty conditions will apply after customers have taken advantage of the extended goodwill arrangement.
• As longer waiting times may otherwise occur, the camera should only be sent to Customer Care after prior arrangement.

We will continue watching this thread so you are welcome to react here.

^JJ with Leica-camera"

That's it.
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Old 11-22-2014   #2
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*woooosh*

That's the sound of used gear prices falling.
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Old 11-22-2014   #3
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yup, maybe I should get an a la carte MP instead of the M-P.
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Old 11-22-2014   #4
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Wow, just wow.
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Old 11-22-2014   #5
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I wonder if anyone has has to have it replaced more than once? My M9 needed a new sensor in the first few months after I bought it new. This makes me even happier that I sold it.
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Old 11-22-2014   #7
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I guess that just saved me the 8 grand I was going to spend on the current Monochrom.

I'm sorry, but how are you supposed to do "non-contact" cleaning? Send your camera in to Leica semiannually for a four-week cleaning? And does "non-contact" apply to the sticky gel cubes that Leica uses to clean sensors?

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Old 11-22-2014   #8
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I can't help but feel that this statement from Leica, being quoted everywhere just as it is, is a misrepresentation placed out of*its proper context.

Why do people hate Leica so much? Even "rangefinder enthusiasts" on this forum damn them every other sentence.

G
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Old 11-22-2014   #9
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from my point of view it's a clever strategy from Leica to shift the responsibility to the customer who has no chance to argue against the now 'wrong' cleaning methods.
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Old 11-22-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I can't help but feel that this statement from Leica, being quoted everywhere just as it is, is a misrepresentation placed out of*its proper context.

Why do people hate Leica so much? Even "rangefinder enthusiasts" on this forum damn them every other sentence.

G
My sensor needed replaced and I never cleaned it, not even with a blower.

The resentment comes from Leica promoting themselves as the finest camera on earth and especially the M9 is plagued with continuing problems. The price isnt in line with quality, reliability and performance. Leica survives on that perception not on reality.

I don't think any recent product has been beat up more than the Nikon Df. I've owned both an M9 and currently own a Df. The beating Nikon has taken would have been praise if the Df had a red dot on the front. The beating that Nikon has taken wasn't even over performance and reliabity. It was over cosmetics. I'm afraid it all about the name.
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Old 11-22-2014   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
Leica survives on that perception not on reality.

.
If you want to use the word 'reality' you should also put it into context and realize that given the numbers of M9's sold there are in the wider scheme of things very few disgruntled owners.

I mean, for instance, you have people who like to smash up their Nikon's and can't appreciate the delicacy of the rangefinder mechanism, so if they ever used a Leica they are likely to complain at some stage. But used with common sense the rangefinder mechanism see's a lot of use in war zones around the world and photographers don't feel the need to whine and complain, they just get on with their work.

If I bury into the context of the quoted response from Leica, and the wider discussion that has gone on around the subject, it is to guard against the gung ho use of liberal amounts of cleaning fluid that seep around the edges of the sensor. A 'tiny drop' should be taken literally, but some people have no sense of delicacy in servicing machines of any sort.

So the world has not fallen in, sensible people can continue to clean dust from their sensor as needed, and some thought should be given to the tens of thousands of Leica users who don't feel the need to vent, because there are many more of them than you seem to think.

V
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Old 11-22-2014   #12
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Wow, just wow.
I agree. Just wow.
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Old 11-22-2014   #13
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Show me a camera manufacturer with a spotless record of product design resulting in maintenance and defect-free equipment. At least Leica has stated their policy, which will make it easier for anyone considering this camera to better weigh the risks involved. And it seems, some have already made their decisions.

IMO, the value of the M9/MM as a photographic tool, for those who want a FF digital rangefinder camera, outweighs the risk of a production defect or eventual malfunction. And I've been an M9 owner for ~4 years and have had a few problems with it and have had to adapt to its quirks. In respect to quirks, the M240 is a definite improvement. To a degree, Leica is a victim of the hodgepodge of 3rd party suppliers they had pretty much no other choice in using to even bring the M8/M9 to market, with no shortage of teething problems. At least they've been pretty good at repairing these problems at no cost to the user, even out of warranty. Though their turnaround time has been abysmal.

Having been a longtime Canon user, i've experienced my share of problems with that platform, too... such as the 1D Mark III recalls/service advisories. Canon had to be pretty much publicly shamed into admitting and attempting to resolve that problem... Then there is the problem of Canon servicing equipment, including lenses, only up to ~5-7 years after discontinuation. Imagine if Leica stopped servicing their previous generation lenses.

The M9 as a used camera is not without some financial risk to the buyer/owner. Each person has to weight the pros and cons based on their own criteria. Perhaps used resale will take a hit, but what digital camera doesn't eventually? While ca. 2010-2012 were an anomaly for the value of used Leica products often appreciating, one can't buy into a digital camera system expecting such a trend to continue indefinitely. These things aren't monetary investment tools and with Leica now in their new facilities and increasing production capacity and volume, the likelihood of non-artificial supply shortages over the longer term are slim. Meaning, ample stock on dealers' shelves will soften demand for alternative sources of equipment and affect resale value, as we're seeing with used lens prices. IMO, if the used M9 market results in a further drop in resale value, it just makes the M9 that much easier of a digital entry to Leica M with which to grow the Leica M community.
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Old 11-22-2014   #14
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So...does this mean I have to carry two or three bodies with primes mounted and never change them?
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Old 11-22-2014   #15
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"We will continue watching this thread so you are welcome to react here."

Umm, thanks??
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Old 11-22-2014   #16
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Problem is the only way to clean away the spots of oil thrown off by the shutter is with a solvent.

edit : Is it the shutter oil that's causing the pitting ; the cleaning solvent alone or the cleaning solvent reacting to the oil ?
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Old 11-22-2014   #17
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The sensor replacement is 1,800 euros? WTF?

1,800 euros can get you a pretty nice FF body these days. Plus some nice accessories. My only sensor replacement experience is with Canon, and they charged less than $500 for the whole out-of-warranty repair.
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Old 11-22-2014   #18
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For a while now I have been debating seriously with myself whether to make one last digital purchase and get a new Monochrom.

After reading the statement posted by silverbullet, I've made a decision...

If you’re watching this thread Leica, you’ve just lost a customer.
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Old 11-22-2014   #19
Dante_Stella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YYV_146 View Post
The sensor replacement is 1,800 euros? WTF?

1,800 euros can get you a pretty nice FF body these days. Plus some nice accessories. My only sensor replacement experience is with Canon, and they charged less than $500 for the whole out-of-warranty repair.
If the pitting comes from cleaning, it's a cover glass issue - and no way in hell should it be that expensive. Go to MaxMax and see what it costs to replace the glass on most cameras - it's like $300. Leica seems tied in to the idea of replacing the entire sensor assembly.

My guess (and this could be totally uneducated) is that the IR absorption filter (probably Schott S8612) has its AR coating breached, which allows moisture infiltration and rare earth corrosion (the data sheets for the glass warn about moisture). This is a known problem to people who shoot full-spectrum converted cameras; the ionically colored glass is sensitive to moisture. The AR coatings tend to protect them a bit. Corrosion would not be problem on the M8, which uses an interference filter (the coating, not the glass, controls the IR).

BTW, the "pits" you see on old lenses are a product of the corrosion phenomenon, or so Focal Point tells me.

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Old 11-22-2014   #20
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i wonder if they'll throw in a silent m240 shutter-winder
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Old 11-22-2014   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
... The resentment comes from Leica promoting themselves as the finest camera on earth and especially the M9 is plagued with continuing problems. ...
This sounds to me like people setting absurd expectations based on marketing hype.

No Leica has ever been "the finest camera on earth" just like no BMW (or Mercedes, or Lexus, or ... you name it) has ever been "the finest car on earth." Both companies make nice machines but any hype like that is just BS. Their products are cameras and cars, and no camera or car ever made has been perfect.

G
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Old 11-22-2014   #22
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And they still dare to market them self as professional camera maker:/
I had M9P that had sensor replaced, M-E went for rf calibration after 1500 pictures taken..
Please Sony make FF rf camera!
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Old 11-22-2014   #23
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"after more than four years, my 2010 M9 is still working just fine"; he says with fingers firmly crossed.
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Old 11-22-2014   #24
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Well, if you are a pro-photographer, aren't equipment repair expenses tax deductible ?
If you're a hobbyist ... Never buy a toy that you can't afford to throw a way.

The second comment there sounds kind of pompous and tutorial - but it's meant as a "lesson learned" from my Leica D2 experience. Just passing it along.
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Old 11-22-2014   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
This sounds to me like people setting absurd expectations based on marketing hype.

No Leica has ever been "the finest camera on earth" just like no BMW (or Mercedes, or Lexus, or ... you name it) has ever been "the finest car on earth." Both companies make nice machines but any hype like that is just BS. Their products are cameras and cars, and no camera or car ever made has been perfect.

G
My expectations for my Leica M9 was no different than my D800 or Df or any other digital camera that I've owned. The same is true of my M film cameras over the years being mo greater or less expectations than my Nikons.

It's true that nothing is perfect and no maker has a perfect record. You do however have to look at reliabity of other makers VS Leica digital and Leica seriously falls short.

As to RF durability, since buying my first M2 in 1968 and using them professionally since then, I've only had one occasion that the RF needed aligned other than my M9.

I'm afraid the number of journalists using Leica digital is not even a drop in the bucket compared to DSLRs. Versatility and reliability are key factors.
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Old 11-22-2014   #26
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Leica should take in the damaged M9, say, and provide free of charge a similar new Leica. This is getting silly after a while. I still have my film cameras.
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Old 11-22-2014   #27
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In some ways this does seem to be the Achilles heel of digital cameras right now.

The sensor is the heart of the camera and repair is very expensive. And technology is moving so quickly that if your camera is too old replacing the sensor may not really make sense.

But I would hope that the camera would last at least 10 years or longer. Though the sensor technology is hopelessly out-dated my Pentax ist DS is now 10 years old and works just as well as it did when it first came out. I don't see how that expectation is out of line regardless of the camera brand or the original purchase price.
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Old 11-22-2014   #28
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Wow, just wow.
+1...and after-the-fact to boot.
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Old 11-22-2014   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
This sounds to me like people setting absurd expectations based on marketing hype.

No Leica has ever been "the finest camera on earth" just like no BMW (or Mercedes, or Lexus, or ... you name it) has ever been "the finest car on earth." Both companies make nice machines but any hype like that is just BS. Their products are cameras and cars, and no camera or car ever made has been perfect.

G
But still, when you sell at a certain price level, there are corresponding expectations...

I don't use digital Leicas, but I would not expect anything less from them than, say, Ultrasone. My Edition series headphones just came back from a driver repair, seven years after I bought it. Turnaround was two weeks including shipping time from Germany, and the only thing I paid was shipping...
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Old 11-22-2014   #30
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Having had an M9 with a delaminating sensor, and actually Leica's response being partly as a reaction to my posts on that thread, I can say the following:

- the delamination is not caused by contact. My new camera had started delaminating by the time I purchased it, before doing any cleaning. Corrosion needs only time, and some help from extra humidity.
- Leica replaced my sensor free of charge under warranty, and took care of all shipping and customs clearances in Thailand (these can be very expensive).
- turn around time was about 2 1/2 months but was quoted earlier 4-6 months but maybe I got mine quicker because I was very vocal on the forums, or maybe not.
- not only the sensor is replaced, but the entire board and battery/card slots as well because they all come in one piece.
- even though Leica does not guarantee the problem will not reoccur with the new sensor, I see much less delamination cases with the newest batches.
- all digital cameras become obsolete within 3-5 years so there is no point in getting too worked out.
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Old 11-22-2014   #31
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Perhaps now we understand why Leica is coming out with a new film rangefinder camera.
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Old 11-22-2014   #32
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Perhaps now we understand why Leica is coming out with a new film rangefinder camera.
Hehe... this statement wins the internet
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Old 11-22-2014   #33
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My expectations for my Leica M9 was no different than my D800 or Df or any other digital camera that I've owned. The same is true of my M film cameras over the years being mo greater or less expectations than my Nikons. ...
My expectations were/are the same as well. Thus far, my Leica digital cameras have been exactly as reliable as all my other digital cameras—that is, no failures at all.

Has your M failed or something?

G
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Old 11-22-2014   #34
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My expectations were/are the same as well. Thus far, my Leica digital cameras have been exactly as reliable as all my other digital cameras—that is, no failures at all.

Has your M failed or something?

G
My M9 spent much of its life traveling to NJ and in repair. Actually about 1/2 the time I had it. Almost straight out of the box it needed a new sensor and motherboard. It went back three times with lenses because Leica could not get it to focus properly with my 90 apo asph. Leica finally replaced the lens.

I could not take it on a job with confidence so I sold it.

My M9 should never have left the factory. Bad QC in my opinion.
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Old 11-22-2014   #35
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My M9 spent much of its life traveling to NJ and in repair. Actually about 1/2 the time I had it. Almost straight out of the box it needed a new sensor and motherboard. It went back three times with lenses because Leica could not get it to focus properly with my 90 apo asph. Leica finally replaced the lens.

I could not take it on a job with confidence so I sold it.

My M9 should never have left the factory. Bad QC in my opinion.
Sorry to hear it. But it explains your antipathy towards Leica. I had similar issues with a Canon camera and a couple of Sigma lenses. I'll never buy another of either. Doesn't mean all Canon cameras or Sigma lenses are bad or that either Canon or Sigma are makers of junk. But whenever I see one of them, I shudder and think of the misery I had with both.

I don't talk about it much because I feel that extrapolating my personal bad experience with a couple of flawed units is not a representative sampling of the brands.

G
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Old 11-22-2014   #36
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The corrosion only starts after wet cleaning. Anybody else has nothing to fear.
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Old 11-22-2014   #37
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- not only the sensor is replaced, but the entire board and battery/card slots as well because they all come in one piece.
Are you sure?
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Old 11-22-2014   #38
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The sensor replacement is 1,800 euros? WTF?

1,800 euros can get you a pretty nice FF body these days.
For me that i don't care much about digital, it would get me 6 Nikon F5s and film stock for a year...
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Old 11-22-2014   #39
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Lest people think that its only this forum which reacts negatively ...the announcement has attracted more adverse reaction on LUF.


http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...-sensor-9.html
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Old 11-22-2014   #40
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It's ridicules that Leica would even consider the continued sale of these cameras (ME, MM) after admitting the potoential likelyhood for failure.

It's not like they came out and said "hey we discovered a problem... we came up with a fix for future copies.... Send us your camera for an update."

The problem still exists and will exist even for repaired cameras?! Wild!
It just seems like they are asking for legal trouble.
It will be a bad day in court when the company has already admited to selling a potential faulty product!
What sort of legal department would let this fly?
Sure it's not an automobile or baby stroller with potential hazard to safety/life but still..... pretty major product flaw for such an expensive item.
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