My M9-P has gone in for a sensor replacement
Old 11-05-2015   #1
ChrisN
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My M9-P has gone in for a sensor replacement

Given all the publicity about the sensor corrosion issue and Leica's response I decided to have my camera checked. I thought I'd share some information here for the benefit of Australian members.

11 October 2015 - email query to Leica in Germany.

13 October - response from Leica Germany.

13 October - email to Camera Clinic in Melbourne.

15 October - received phone call from Camera Clinic to explain the process and options if the sensor had corrosion.

15 October - follow-up email from Camera Clinic.

19 October - posted camera to Camera Clinic.

22 October - email from Camera Clinic to advise the sensor is corroded, and replacement options. I opted to have my M9 repaired. Was advised 4-6 week delay for parts.

30 October - email from Camera Clinic - advised that parts had arrived and my Camera is in the queue for repair.

So far I'm impressed with the communication and progress towards the camera being fixed. I'll update this post with further information in due course.

In the meantime I'm back to shooting film, and enjoying it!


EDIT:

17 December - message from Camera Clinic stating the camera has been repaired and asking me to confirm my address.

19 December - received tracking information by email.

21 December - received the camera (very well packed).

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Old 11-05-2015   #2
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Just sent in my M9 bodies today (11/5/15) to Leica NJ.
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Old 11-05-2015   #3
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Best of luck.

My M9 spent it's summer vacation at Leica New Jersey with limited communication. Sent it in around June 15 and got it back around September 15. Multiple emails to get a response. They floated the idea of a loaner but never really followed through.

Not the best service but I've got basically a new camera. They also adjusted the rangefinder and replaced the covering for some reason. So my used M9 is good to go.
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Old 11-05-2015   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
...I thought I'd share some information here for the benefit of Australian members.

...
This an example of excellent customer communication.
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Old 11-05-2015   #5
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I was told to expect 3 months.
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Old 11-05-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
I was told to expect 3 months.
Were all of your cameras in need of a sensor replacement?
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Old 11-05-2015   #7
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I had a line on my images that I was originally told just needed some sort of recalibration or re-mapping but when they had it there I was told it needed the sensor replaced. Not sure if this was precautionary or what but they already had the camera so I went with it.
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Old 11-05-2015   #8
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I've had spots on both M9s for a while that I can't clean off. One body went in about a year and a half or two years ago for a flash sync problem and it came back with a note "Several spots which could not be cleaned" or something to that effect. The flash sync problem was traced to an old battery (from my first M8).
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Old 11-06-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
I had a line on my images that I was originally told just needed some sort of recalibration or re-mapping but when they had it there I was told it needed the sensor replaced. Not sure if this was precautionary or what but they already had the camera so I went with it.
Leica's formal policy clearly states precautionary replacements would not be performed. though, I wouldn't be stunned to learn those with special connections/relationships to Leica get special treatment.
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Old 11-06-2015   #10
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My M9 is fine so far.
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Old 11-06-2015   #11
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I really didn't think that my camera had sensor corrosion. But right from the early days of ownership it showed spots on the sensor that I believed were lubricant from the shutter. Wet cleaning would not shift them, so I started to wonder after the corrosion problem became widely known, and after Leica acknowledged the problem for what it was and faced up to dealing with it honorably.
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Old 11-07-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
My M9 is fine so far.
Clean living pays off!
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Old 11-07-2015   #13
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I'm going through the repair process right now actually, my M9 has been sitting at Leica NJ for the last two months (sent it in at the end of August); initially they gave me a 1 month turnaround time to replace the dials on my camera which were sticky, but they've actually discovered that the sensor has corrosion on it. I was told earlier this week, when I called Leica customer support, that they're still waiting to get new sensors and the customer support rep informed me that the earliest they might be getting sensors is January 2016. I'm hoping for earlier so that I can use the camera over the holidays, but potentially I'll be out a camera for 4/5 months.

It's a bit disappointing honestly.
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Old 11-22-2015   #14
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Heard from Leica by mail yesterday, One of the bodies is getting a new sensor, the other is getting a cleaning, both are free.

The sensor replacement is on the older body, #3906XXX

The still good sensor is #4201XXX

I was given an "Anticipated Delivery After Receipt of Authorization" of 12/15/15 for both cameras.

An MP that needs a shutter adjustment was sent in the same day. I got word on Tuesday that camera needs $400 of work, with an estimated delivery date of 4 to 5 weeks. Was expecting this to be free, but appears my warranty has finally expired.
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Old 11-22-2015   #15
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Posted this on Leica Forum the other day: maybe should post here too

My M9 got back last Tuesday, with its new sensor. And a very quick service it was, by Leica in Wetzlar.

The full story is as follows:

I contacted Leica in Mayfair, London back in June and sent them on request some sample shots. They said they thought it looked like corrosion, and told me that Leica would be in touch when my turn came on the waiting list. I said let it wait until I get back from Italy, mid-October.

Oct 20th I got notice that they were ready to work on my camera, and we agreed a pick-up date of Friday Oct 30th.

Nov 4th camera arrived Wetzlar

Nov 12th received shipping notification from UPS

Nov 17th M9 arrived here, in the north of Scotland, 11am

Pretty damn good, I say!



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Old 11-22-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
Best of luck.

My M9 spent it's summer vacation at Leica New Jersey with limited communication. Sent it in around June 15 and got it back around September 15. Multiple emails to get a response. They floated the idea of a loaner but never really followed through.

Not the best service but I've got basically a new camera. They also adjusted the rangefinder and replaced the covering for some reason. So my used M9 is good to go.
Because they have to take the whole camera apart -almost- to get at the sensor. Therefore a new cover is required and they must adjust the RF because they removed it.

These things are like cars, $500 labor to get to a $2 part.

My M9 lives in climate control and hopefully I will not have to go through this even if free.
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Old 11-22-2015   #17
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Leica's formal policy clearly states precautionary replacements would not be performed. though, I wouldn't be stunned to learn those with special connections/relationships to Leica get special treatment.
Lets see, caused by high humidity. How can I see that happens. Not that I would do it.

I would not do it because I do not want a perfect camera worked on.
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Old 11-22-2015   #18
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I sent my M9 to Leica, NJ, for a CLA after a 90 day trip to Europe last fall. The camera had lived in the bottom of my day pack and definitely needed a cleaning. They replaced the sensor free of charge.

It would have been nice if the sensor issue had never occurred. But you have to applaud Leitz for the way they handled it. When the camera came back at the end of January, I basically had a new M9 with a one year warranty. Can't complain about that. And given that the M2 is still my favorite, I cannot justify an upgrade so guess I will have to live with the low ISO of the M9. Of course, a f1.2 lens helps take care of that issue.
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Old 11-23-2015   #19
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Quote:
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Lets see, caused by high humidity. How can I see that happens. Not that I would do it.

I would not do it because I do not want a perfect camera worked on.
Creating a humid micro-environment that does not damage the electronics is not particularly challenging.

As you point out there's no need to rush things.

Any disruption (scratch) of the sensor surface will eventually enable water molecules to reach the labile IR filter layer. The initial disruption might be so slight it could only be detected by high magnification during visual inspection. And it would be absent from photographs even at the narrowest apertures.

Sooner or later the problem will occur.
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Old 11-23-2015   #20
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Boy, Leica should stop dealing with the company who made the sensor for them,
what a mess.
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Old 11-23-2015   #21
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Well, somebody, somewhere chose made a bad choice even though the number of thin (required due to the M mount) yet efficient IR filter materials was limited.

I sort of remember the original, problematic IR filter was either a bit thinner, more effective or less expensive than the alternate sources that are not sensitive to water. These details were painfully revealed on another Forum about 10-11 months ago.

The sensor manufacturer may not have selected the filter. They certainly did not manufacture the filter material. I don't even know who exactly assembles and tests the entire sensor unit. I think it is impossible to assign fault as these details are likely proprietary.
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Old 11-23-2015   #22
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you're lucky, camera clinic took 3 months to replace my M9P sensor. But they cleaned it.

make sure you check all your setting when you get it back. I ended up shooting jpegs my first shoot and had to change all my menu settings back to how i had them to start with.
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Old 11-23-2015   #23
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Are they using the sensors with the new coatings yet, or are we still on the old coating stock?
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Old 12-19-2015   #24
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Update: received notice that the camera has been repaired. They asked me to confirm my address for returning the camera, and I have received tracking information by email.

So that was just over six weeks in their workshop. I should see the camera in a few days.
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Old 12-19-2015   #25
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just in time for those holiday snaps...
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Old 12-19-2015   #26
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Personally I love the sensor and there's no other camera I'd rather have so I'd buy another used M9 and roll the dice again.

3 months at Leica but I've got essentially a new camera for the half price. Frustrating but I can't really complain too much as they did it all for free. If they had floated me a loaner while it was gone I'd have zero complaints.
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Old 12-19-2015   #27
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Well, my question is, how many of these replacements are actually the new generation sensor?

I'm not even considering to send mine in until I hear the new sensors are in stock in NJ, and the backlog is caught up. But I don't have sure signs of the issues as yet.
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Old 12-20-2015   #28
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Well, the 15th has come and gone with no word from NJ. I'll try them tomorrow by phone, but I suspect they'll be closed all week. The holidays have snuck up on me once again.

I too really do like the files the camera makes - the color rendition especially, and appreciate the low ISO, I'm shooting a roll of Fuji C200 right now and that's almost too fast for me.
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Old 12-20-2015   #29
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Quote:
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Guess that is really the question, how much is one worth, at half price it seems a rather small risk, as long as Leica has a good supply of sensors in the next few years.

Surely none are the older sensor, that would not make much sense?
They have been putting the older one on for years. Many don't want to wait. I think it's a different policy in this regard at the various service centers.

But maybe they are at the point where all replaced sensors are the latest gen, which would be nice to hear.
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Old 12-20-2015   #30
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Are they able to replace M9/p/me ccd sensors with cmos sensors? Seems that would be a good solution if so
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Old 12-20-2015   #31
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The camera arrived this morning, very well packed inside the pelican-style case I sent it in, and further wrapped in plenty of bubble wrap and a cardboard box.

The paperwork says it should have received a new-generation sensor, so I'll be interested to see if I can note any difference in the colour rendering (which I really liked in the original).

I'm also interested to note that the shutter count has increased by 88 exposures during its absence, so it looks like they did a good bit of testing.

I didn't note what software version the camera was running before I sent it off, but it now shows version 1.204. Is that a recent release?

Overall I'm very happy with the way Leica has dealt with this challenge, and with the work of their local representatives.

Now - back to a bit of testing and fun with my favorite digital camera.
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Old 12-20-2015   #32
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1.202 is what I show on mine and I installed that a month or so ago.
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Old 12-20-2015   #33
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Thanks Darth and Moof - I really haven't been keeping up with all the latest news and tweaks in the Leica world. It's funny but the M8 didn't interest me at all; the M9 only caught my eye in the -P version, and I have no interest in the latest versions.

So from the firmware version it confirms I have the next-generation sensor. OK. I hope they also gave me back the 25% of the battery charge they took away with an earlier firmware upgrade.
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Old 12-26-2015   #35
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1.2.04 will work on an old sensor as well. However, 1.2.02 will not work on the new sensor.
The only tweak to the firmware they made was to add new colour handling when the firmware detects the new sensor.
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Old 12-26-2015   #36
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Thanks Jaapv.
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Old 12-26-2015   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
Well that is a bummer, so there is still no way to guarantee the purchase of a used M9 with a new sensor? Yes, I know you think it does not matter.

Has Leica released 1.2.0.4 as a public firmware upgrade? Can you be more clear about this, sources etc? Can this firmware be used to fool a buyer?
An informed buyer would ask to see the replacement paper work from Leica. I would hope anyone who knows about the firmware change would be savvy enough to request copies of the replacement documentation.
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Old 12-26-2015   #38
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1.202 is the latest software version currently available on the Leica official website. https://us.leica-camera.com/Service-...language=93871

I guess only Leica can tell you (from their records) whether a particular camera has been upgraded to the new sensor. And if not, then the (old) sensor would be replaced if it started to show the corrosion problem, even if you are not the original owner (as in my case).
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great customer service
Old 12-26-2015   #39
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great customer service

I know a lot of folks would like nothing better for Leica to stumble and fall [for whatever odd reasoning] and the IR filter problem on the M8 and sensor problem on the M9 gave them immense pleasure and justification for disliking a digital Leica. (the 240 took care of any issues and are refined but then the ‘high priced critiques’ have that point to use)

As for me, I am very happy to have a good camera that takes my M-series lenses, and handles in a way that made the transition from film to digital with my Leica glass very easy.

Leica has handled the sensor issue very well for me. Sent my M9 into have a sensor cleaning and was informed they could do a replacement. Two weeks later my 5 year old camera was back in my hands; replaced sensor, replaced camera cover (which I thought I wouldn’t like but find a better grip), and a general clean and total adjustments. Its basically a new camera, and at no charge for any of the work, parts, or shipping. This was last year and the replaced sensor was still the old style, which actually is fine with me. If and when it needs to be done again I will again have a total CLA done on a 6+ year old camera at no charge. Thank you Leica Japan.

I’ve thought of replacing the M9 over the past few years with a newer 240 or MM, but in the end I still find it a very satisfying camera to use. The files have a look I like, it handles fine if not perfect (no its not a speed demon in anyway [except with its RF focusing ;-], but I work ‘slow’, shot to shot and with lower ‘film-like’ ISO), and at the price I could sell it for I may as well enjoy it.

In a way I feel pretty good about the fact I have this camera on the old side of digital technology that still can be an everyday camera and produce very nice results. Its been very dependable, and except for some card issues at the beginning it hasn’t miss a step. Yes, the shutter release isn’t as smooth as my film M-series, it doesn’t make the quietest of shutter sounds during and after, and writes to file are slow, but over-all it still has that Leica feel to me, and this is coming from a diehard Leica user of 40+ years.

So free sensor replacement and camera adjustments, a new 1 year warranty, and all done on a 6 year old camera regardless of original or second hand ownership. I understand some folks had reliability issues and complaints (not me), but I find this to be an excellent example of taking care of their customer base.
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Old 12-27-2015   #40
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Has Leica released 1.2.0.4 as a public firmware upgrade? Can you be more clear about this, sources etc? Can this firmware be used to fool a buyer?
No to the first, but as Leica when servicing a camera with an old sensor uses 1.2.04 to update the firmware it is possible to mislead an unwary buyer. However, the camera would have had to be in Leica service, so the seller must have the relevant paperwork.
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