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Is Leica really working on a new CCD sensor for the M9?
Old 03-12-2015   #1
Huss
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Is Leica really working on a new CCD sensor for the M9?

Or are they just stringing us along until the outrage fades away?
Seems with the new CEO, they may just replace them with the same until the supply runs out, and then offer the exchange for the M240 + $$$

My skepticism is a result of the fact that they are still selling M-Es new with the known defect . They should pull those from the shelf until they have the real fix, but the fact they have not suggests that maybe they are not working on one. And the truth of the matter is the avg new Leica buyer nowadays may never realize there is a problem as they hardly ever use their cameras..

Nikon recently showed how it should be done. They pulled all the D750s off the shelf while they repaired the flare issue.

No progress report on the development of the new CCD sensor is a bad sign. I'm in the tech industry, and we give updates to our customers/clients when we work on solutions. But nothing from Leica.

I want to believe there is a real fix coming, but with this new management...
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Old 03-12-2015   #2
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This is a reasonable thought. Why is Leica selling camera with the faulty sensor?
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Old 03-12-2015   #3
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Because it is cheaper to replace only those few that are bought to take pictures with? Probably most will sit on collector's shelves.
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Old 03-12-2015   #4
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I think that most of Leica's 'engineering' on this issue is going in to coaxing people on to the 'upgrade' path.
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Old 03-12-2015   #5
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Well, these are the small tidbits gleaned from the massive amount of forum drivel spilled about this issue.

1. Leica made an official statement that they were developing a solution.
2. I have seen no other official statements that indicate that Leica has decided not to move forward on a solution.
3. In those cases where an M9 or MM owner upgraded to the M it appears that they pursued the upgrade, not that Leica aggressively promoted the upgrade.

It seems that Leica is actually doing what they said they would. Replace the sensor or upgrade the camera. As for an upgrade I would seriously thing that Leica would really like to know what causes the problem for sure before there are any new sensors built. I hardly think that internet forum speculation on potential causes are the type of research they are looking for.

I think what would be interesting to hear from Leica is what percent of the cameras sold have been returned with the corrosion problem. As for continuing to sell the camera, if the sensor does not exhibit the corrosion problem, why wouldn't you sell it?

Since the uproar over the sensor contamination problem was so big, people became accustomed to the excitement and adrenaline rush that accompanied the strong statements made by those involved. So they would like to stir that excitement up again.
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Old 03-12-2015   #6
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All that making an official statement does is appease, temporarily, the masses.
And the only reason we got that response was because of the 'excitement and adrenaline rush' stirred up by questioning what is happening.

Pioneer, if we didn't do that, there would have been no response from Leica. So the response from Leica that you are currently happy with is a direct result of what you have an issue with.
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Old 03-12-2015   #7
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I'm not sure about that. I seem to be wrong as often as I am right but from my following the postings as they developed, a statement was made by Leica, though not by the CEO. From what I remember the statement from Leica is really what triggered the entire uproar because it left a lot of people hanging.

Eventually, yes. Another statement was made and this one was a bit more acceptable and most people generally accepted that Leica would follow through.

Now, as far as I know, another statement has not been issued. Moreover, everything the Leica said they would do is actually being done so their actions seem to support the statement.

Your position seems to be that, since Leica has not yet issued an update to that statement, or issued another statement, that they have decided to renege on the original solution presented. All I was trying to do was provide a counterpoint to indicate the opposite.

To me actions are quite indicative of a company's intent. So far as I am able to tell, their actions do seem to support their solution.

Of course, I could certainly be wrong. I am not currently employed as an engineer on Leica's staff charged with clearly identifying the fault and proposing a resolution. As such you would be correct in pointing out that this is all just speculation.
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Old 03-12-2015   #8
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Thanks for your civil response Pioneer, and providing a counter argument.

I'm sticking with my feelings, having gone through one sensor replacement so far, hearing that people are waiting 6 months to get their cameras taken care of (with the exact same sensor used as a replacement), while the same sensors are sitting in new cameras waiting to be sold.

A progress report would instill confidence, that is the norm in the tech industry, but none have been coming. Seeing their current financial woes and a new CEO coming on board, one begins to lose faith that such an expensive undertaking would actually see the light of day.
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Old 03-12-2015   #9
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Leica didn't coax me at all. I had to ask about the upgrade option.

I've spent a week and some exercising the new M-P, learning it and processing its captures.

I'm convinced the best thing would be for Leica to discontinue new production on the older sensor models and move forwards—not sideways with updating older sensors: recreate the M-E and M Monochrom with the new technology and move on. What they should do about existing customers is just what they're doing now: fix cameras that need a fix until the supply of sensors is gone or the warranty statutes expire. Then everyone has to upgrade.

That's my opinion. But they are better at figuring out their business than I am.

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Old 03-12-2015   #10
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Loved my M9 and I was happy when they stated in a letter on dated January 19th that the Sensor was defected and the estimated date of repair would be 2/27/2015. When I called during the week of March 3rd, I was told that the sensors were on backorder and they did not have an estimated date of arrival in New Jersey.

No one suggested the upgrade to a M-240 or MP-240 when I called. There was information on the letter sent to me that read, "For Upgrade Information Please Call 800-222-0118 EXT 9930." There are also a few threads on the internet regarding the cost of upgrade.

After thinking about it over the weekend, I called on Monday, March 9th and asked if I could upgrade and they stated yes. I provided my credit card information and they stated I would have the new MP-240 by the end of the week. I was concerned about the delay and availability of the replacement sensors and also concerned if there was another problem in the future. Those two factors were the reason I decided to upgrade to the newer model with a full warranty. I do enjoy the rangefinder experience.

I thought it was a fair deal. A credit of $4200.00 for a four + year old M9 that I purchased used towards a new camera.

If the sensor was available and they repaired the M9 and returned it to me I would have been happy to use it until it died a natural death.

I am not outraged how Leica has handled the problem with the sensor. I do believe they could improve their communication which would enhance the customer service experience for the consumer.

Life to short, there are a lot of choices out there.

I know years ago I switched to using MAC computers and laptops vs Microsoft Windows based products because I was unhappy.

Certainly there have been a number of folks that have switched over to the Sony Full Frame solution and given up on Leica.

It is good to have options.
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Old 03-12-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
Well, these are the small tidbits gleaned from the massive amount of forum drivel spilled about this issue.

1. Leica made an official statement that they were developing a solution.
2. I have seen no other official statements that indicate that Leica has decided not to move forward on a solution.
3. In those cases where an M9 or MM owner upgraded to the M it appears that they pursued the upgrade, not that Leica aggressively promoted the upgrade.

It seems that Leica is actually doing what they said they would. Replace the sensor or upgrade the camera. As for an upgrade I would seriously thing that Leica would really like to know what causes the problem for sure before there are any new sensors built. I hardly think that internet forum speculation on potential causes are the type of research they are looking for.

I think what would be interesting to hear from Leica is what percent of the cameras sold have been returned with the corrosion problem. As for continuing to sell the camera, if the sensor does not exhibit the corrosion problem, why wouldn't you sell it?

Since the uproar over the sensor contamination problem was so big, people became accustomed to the excitement and adrenaline rush that accompanied the strong statements made by those involved. So they would like to stir that excitement up again.
No, no, no. Did you skip Conspiracy Theories 101? Or Basic Internet Hysteria in high school?

Cheers.

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Old 03-12-2015   #12
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So what would the reason be for Leica to pursue the current plan of repair of MM, M9, M-E's?

a) They are idiots.

b) They have a ton of sensors that have not been mated with sensor glass, or a guarantee that they will have access to buy sensors for quite a while.

If they were having supply issues they would then abandon the MM, and ME, offer trades to type 240's and move on.

The current approach would lead me to believe they ARE working on a alternative cover stack and feel that there is a good chance one can be developed.

Joe
(by the way what are those funny looking worm like things in the corner of the images on my M-E?)
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Old 03-12-2015   #13
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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
No, no, no. Did you skip Conspiracy Theories 101? Or Basic Internet Hysteria in high school?

Cheers.

R.
Why does your response have to be in such a manner, instead of reasoned?

It's an honest and sincere question. Leica is undergoing financial difficulties, has had management change and still has this issue.

I have a lot vested in Leica glass, and would like to know if the CCD will indeed be supported. Replacing it with the same is not a solution for a working photographer.
If the new CCD is not going to happen, I'd like to know sooner rather than later as there are better Leica options out there than the trade in program.
As an example, fully warranted M 240 demos are available for $4500.
I would 'only' be out of pocket about $1500 if I made that move, rather than the $3000 for Leica's trade in. The reason I have not acted on it is because I prefer the CCD look, and so have held out.

But sure, yell out 'conspiracy theory' if that makes you feel better.
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Old 03-12-2015   #14
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C'mon, Huss, lighten up. Roger means no harm. Ever. It's called irony. He's making a point, that's all. You have a lot invested, and are understandably anxious as to how this will all turn out. Fair enough. But Roger's irony is actually a vote of confidence in Leica, and their good intentions to fix the problem and support the customers. Your anxiety may have blocked you from seeing that.
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Old 03-12-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Why does your response have to be in such a manner, instead of reasoned?

It's an honest and sincere question. Leica is undergoing financial difficulties, has had management change and still has this issue.

I have a lot vested in Leica glass, and would like to know if the CCD will indeed be supported. Replacing it with the same is not a solution for a working photographer.
If the new CCD is not going to happen, I'd like to know sooner rather than later as there are better Leica options out there than the trade in program.
As an example, fully warranted M 240 demos are available for $4500.
I would 'only' be out of pocket about $1500 if I made that move, rather than the $3000 for Leica's trade in. The reason I have not acted on it is because I prefer the CCD look, and so have held out.

But sure, yell out 'conspiracy theory' if that makes you feel better.
Huss,
I hear you and I feel your pain.
But! You need to take control of this. even if Leica came up with a corrosion free sensor tomorrow it would not be offered to you at no cost because you don't have a problem with your sensor.
You have already figured this out. Sell your camera for 3k, add 1.5k and get your demo M240 with warranty and move on.
There really is no holding out unless you have a corroded sensor and are choosing to use it professionally until Leica comes up with a new ccd sensor.
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Old 03-12-2015   #16
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You're right Rob, I am anxious, but I fail to see the irony.

My confidence is shaken though, seeing the last time it took Leica 4 months to fix my camera, and now I am hearing 6 months from some. To get the same sensor.

And now we have a new CEO, with a new mission to increase profits. Helping out existing customers' sensor issues may get in the way of that.
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Old 03-12-2015   #17
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C'mon, Huss, lighten up. Roger means no harm. Ever. It's called irony. He's making a point, that's all. You have a lot invested, and are understandably anxious as to how this will all turn out. Fair enough. But Roger's irony is actually a vote of confidence in Leica, and their good intentions to fix the problem and support the customers. Your anxiety may have blocked you from seeing that.
Felt like schoolyard taunting to me.

As for the points Huss was making, what possible reason can Leica have for keeping progress on the issue secret? It's not like they're developing a new model, where confidentiality would be a competitive advantage. On the contrary, they have everything to gain from being open. He may have good reason to be worried, and deserves better than puerile "irony".
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Old 03-12-2015   #18
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Huss,
I hear you and I feel your pain.
But! You need to take control of this. even if Leica came up with a corrosion free sensor tomorrow it would not be offered to you at no cost because you don't have a problem with your sensor.
You have already figured this out. Sell your camera for 3k, add 1.5k and get your demo M240 with warranty and move on.
There really is no holding out unless you have a corroded sensor and are choosing to use it professionally until Leica comes up with a new ccd sensor.
You're right. I don't think I can hold out and risk being left waiting on a repair again.
I'm glad that the appreciation for film photography is on the upswing as my film cameras (Leicas and Nikons) are rock solid.
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Old 03-12-2015   #19
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Originally Posted by Huss View Post
You're right. I don't think I can hold out and risk being left waiting on a repair again.
I'm glad that the appreciation for film photography is on the upswing as my film cameras (Leicas and Nikons) are rock solid.
In the interest of full disclosure, I went through the same process as you.
My M9P sensor was replaced the week of the Leica announcement. I sold it in good conscience knowing it had been given a clean bill of health and warranty by Leica and bought an M240. I love the M9 look but I need a camera that I don't have any reservations using.
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Old 03-12-2015   #20
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I have to agree with Kwesi on this one. If your sensor is good and you are still feeling anxiety regardless of how others around you are being treated, then maybe it is time to sell your M9 and move on. I know your closest Leica store will be happy to discuss a trade in and upgrade. It may be worth it just to ease your mind.

BTW, though it sounds as if everyone is having serious problems with the M9/MM sensor I don't think that is true. Neither my M9 (5 years old) or my MM (1 year old) are currently afflicted. As I have said a number of times, I am sure there are an awful lot of owners out there who have no problems.
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Old 03-12-2015   #21
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...

As for Roger he can be rather Dry
and unfortunately it can come across as Cranky & Superior
I don't think he meant any ill will
And he only uses the "invisible tongue in cheek" smily ..., reading between the line is required
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Old 03-12-2015   #22
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I have to agree with Kwesi on this one. If your sensor is good and you are still feeling anxiety regardless of how others around you are being treated, then maybe it is time to sell your M9 and move on. I know your closest Leica store will be happy to discuss a trade in and upgrade. It may be worth it just to ease your mind.

BTW, though it sounds as if everyone is having serious problems with the M9/MM sensor I don't think that is true. Neither my M9 (5 years old) or my MM (1 year old) are currently afflicted. As I have said a number of times, I am sure there are an awful lot of owners out there who have no problems.
According to my sources the number of corroded sensors is low, in the order of 1%.
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Old 03-12-2015   #23
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Thanks Jaap.

It could still increase but it is kind of nice to have some reference to work with. It tends to put things in perspective, something that can be tough to establish on the internet at times.
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Old 03-12-2015   #24
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My MM is over 30K and over 2 years old and no sensor issues.
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Old 03-13-2015   #26
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Felt like schoolyard taunting to me.

As for the points Huss was making, what possible reason can Leica have for keeping progress on the issue secret? It's not like they're developing a new model, where confidentiality would be a competitive advantage. On the contrary, they have everything to gain from being open. He may have good reason to be worried, and deserves better than puerile "irony".
I fear that a few tongue-in-cheek detectors are in dire need of recalibration...
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Old 03-13-2015   #27
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I fear that a few tongue-in-cheek detectors are in dire need of recalibration...
It's a well-known fact that I'm totally lacking in any sense of humor whatsoever. But on reflection the puerile taunting was in fact hilariously funny, and totally appropriate given the serious concerns that Huss very thoughtfully presented.

By the way Jaap, I'm intrigued by the sources you're always quoting - they always seem to have good news for Leica.
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Old 03-13-2015   #28
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According to my sources the number of corroded sensors is low, in the order of 1%.
It's quite possible that the percentage of problem sensors reported to Leica is 1% of the cameras sold (quite a large number for the service department to deal with) but I rather doubt that the percentage of sensors actually affected is anything like that low. If I take just one random sample: the digital Leicas that I have bought in the last 4 years – 2 out of 3 have been affected. Take another random sampling: regular posters (i.e. those who aren't posting because they have a pre-existing complaint) on, say LUF, who own a Monochrom – again, the incidence of sensor corrosion is much higher than 1%. Okay, my examples are statistically very dodgy but a common sense reading of the situation is that the problem is more widespread even if (fortunately for Leica) most people will not notice nor bring the sensor to Leica's attention.
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Old 03-13-2015   #29
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By the way Jaap, I'm intrigued by the sources you're always quoting - they always seem to have good news for Leica.
I think its that which worries me the most.
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Old 03-13-2015   #30
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I fear that a few tongue-in-cheek detectors are in dire need of recalibration...
I wanted to get mine recalibrated, but the manufacturer's Customer Service representative told me to expect several months' waiting time. As I read about wildly different waiting times experienced by other users, ranging from just a few weeks to over half-a-year, not to mention the fact that the spamium components used in the last generation of detectors easily leaks Spam grease, it suddenly dawned on me how much more sense it would make for me to simply upgrade my detector to the BS Typ 380 model. Only thing is, I had to figure out how to get it past my wife, now that the body shape of the Typ 380 has, like my waist line, increased incrementally. Fortunately, a friend suggested that I put it in a Piedi d'Arte case and just walk it past her. Case closed!
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Old 03-13-2015   #31
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That would make about total of 300-500 sensors overall.
And if so why does it take them half year to change the sensor even when they have them stock?
And why do they do the circus with this ridiculous exchange for new camera that is not good for customer?
If it would be only such low number/% they could just give those people in silence M240 and it is done.

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According to my sources the number of corroded sensors is low, in the order of 1%.
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Old 03-13-2015   #32
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Personally I think Leica are about to get a wake up call ... this could be a very interesting year for them 'financially' IMO.
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Old 03-13-2015   #33
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I'll include myself in the apparent "outraged masses" the OP identifies. Except I'm not outraged, just some residual disappointment. Don't care about a new CCD as long as Leica has adequate stock to replace defective ones and continues its policy to do so. If a new, replacement CCD is developed, great - nice upside. Right now, I see no downside given the ability to replace defective sensors. And long-term, if replacement of the sensor becomes unworkable, there's the upgrade path. My cameras have been inspected and work very well. That's what I bought into, and that remains a criterion to continue to shoot Leica gear. The cameras continue to work as they did prior to this development.

This kind of rabble-rousing post is nice theater, I guess, and gives folks an outlet for internet venting. It won't make anyone's pictures better. And I don't see much, if anything, constructive in it.
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Old 03-13-2015   #34
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Assuming the defect rate is on the order of 1%, perhaps the 1% are people who actually use their cameras often and pay attention to the overall quality in their rendered images.

It's interesting that a trivial 1% of the M9 series owners had a massive impact on Leica .

I first heard about the first replacement policy announcement here and then spectated the responses at a well-know Leica user forum (very entertaining and educational by the way).

Before long the photo bloggers and photo magazines I follow on Twitter made comments. Then I saw the same reports on news/blog aggregation apps such as News360. Within days (48 hours I think) Leica admitted the issue was a materials defect in the sensor cover glass and reversed their sensor replacement policy.

That's a lot of leverage for problem that only affects 1% of all M9 cameras.
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Old 03-13-2015   #35
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Loved my M9 and I was happy when they stated in a letter on dated January 19th that the Sensor was defected and the estimated date of repair would be 2/27/2015. When I called during the week of March 3rd, I was told that the sensors were on backorder and they did not have an estimated date of arrival in New Jersey.

No one suggested the upgrade to a M-240 or MP-240 when I called. There was information on the letter sent to me that read, "For Upgrade Information Please Call 800-222-0118 EXT 9930." There are also a few threads on the internet regarding the cost of upgrade.

After thinking about it over the weekend, I called on Monday, March 9th and asked if I could upgrade and they stated yes. I provided my credit card information and they stated I would have the new MP-240 by the end of the week. I was concerned about the delay and availability of the replacement sensors and also concerned if there was another problem in the future. Those two factors were the reason I decided to upgrade to the newer model with a full warranty. I do enjoy the rangefinder experience.

I thought it was a fair deal. A credit of $4200.00 for a four + year old M9 that I purchased used towards a new camera.

If the sensor was available and they repaired the M9 and returned it to me I would have been happy to use it until it died a natural death.

I am not outraged how Leica has handled the problem with the sensor. I do believe they could improve their communication which would enhance the customer service experience for the consumer.

Life to short, there are a lot of choices out there.

I know years ago I switched to using MAC computers and laptops vs Microsoft Windows based products because I was unhappy.

Certainly there have been a number of folks that have switched over to the Sony Full Frame solution and given up on Leica.

It is good to have options.
$4,200? How much did you pay for the new camera? I was asked to pay $3,500, valuing the M9 at $3,000.
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Old 03-13-2015   #36
CameraQuest
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Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
According to my sources the number of corroded sensors is low, in the order of 1%.
According to this RFF poll, over 1/3 of those responding have problems -

- if you are / were an M9 owner and have not yet voted - please VOTE

http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/p...ts&pollid=1516

Stephen
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Old 03-13-2015   #37
Emile de Leon
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Sounds like it is more like...33%..and that's not factoring in..how many more sensors will crap out..in the coming weeks and months..let alone..years..
That probably explains the long wait times..
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Old 03-13-2015   #38
Godfrey
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Originally Posted by ROOOO View Post
$4,200? How much did you pay for the new camera? I was asked to pay $3,500, valuing the M9 at $3,000.
The Leica M-P typ 240 body sells for $7950 at B&H Photo. When I decided to opt for the upgrade, Leica USA offered the M-P to me for $3750. That puts the net value offered for my M9 at $4200.

I could have opted for the M typ 240, the upgrade price was $250 less ($3500). B&H sells that body for $6500. That would have changed the trade-in value of the M9 to $3000.

The M-P upgrade was a better deal, so I went for that.

G
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Old 03-13-2015   #39
sevo
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Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
According to this RFF poll, over 1/3 of those responding have problems -
Polls are a poor place to calculate a percentage of those affected by whatever issue, as people that are not affected are unpropprtionally less inclined to answer than those that are. All we can say from that is that twice as many people as those affected are Leica apologists to the degree that they even answer when it should not matter for them...
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Old 03-13-2015   #40
CameraQuest
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Originally Posted by sevo View Post
Polls are a poor place to calculate a percentage of those affected by whatever issue, as people that are not affected are unpropprtionally less inclined to answer than those that are. All we can say from that is that twice as many people as those affected are Leica apologists to the degree that they even answer when it should not matter for them...
probably true, but polls are still better than a guess

If you are / were an M9 owner, please VOTE in the Poll !
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