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M9 sensor swap-- what does your documentation say?
Old 12-24-2016   #1
drec
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M9 sensor swap-- what does your documentation say?

I recently purchased a used Leica M9 from someone, online, who had indicated that the sensor had been upgraded to the latest and greatest non-corroding one.

I received the camera in good order on physical appearance a few days ago. I have not had time to shoot it yet.

The documentation pertaining to the repair is an invoice that shows that this M9 was sent to the Leica Shop in LA. The items are:

Repair parts- $0.00
Repair labor- $0.00

I also received the certificate indicating that the sensor was meticulously cleaned. I received no documentation specifically indicating sensor swap. This, I find hard to believe, given the publicity that the new sensor program has had.

Firmware, I should note, has been upgraded to 1.210; I understand from searching that the old sensors should not be run on 1.204 or later.

I have written to the LA store with the work order/serial number and trust that this will be cleared up shortly. But I would like some understanding at this stressful xmas time and am hoping that you can share your experiences as to what documentation you got back when you sent your camera in for the latest sensor.

The good news is that I got the camera at a good price and, with the free swap, even if I was lied to, I am hoping that it shouldn't be a problem getting the new sensor in the future when I need it.

Thanks!
Andre
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Old 12-24-2016   #2
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Oh, and the work was completed this past October, so if a new sensor had been called for, Leica obviously would have done it. Thanks again
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Old 12-24-2016   #3
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I'll be interested to learn what folks say about this. My MM is at Leica now. If the sensor is replaced, it would be nice to have the work documented. But I agree that, given your repair date, the sensor was either replaced or replacement was not considered necessary.

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Old 12-24-2016   #4
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The clue is firmware upgrade.

Did you have spots originally that you could not clean? Are they now gone?
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Old 12-24-2016   #5
drec
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I haven't tested the camera at all except a few clicks in my living room. The pictures looked fine. But that's not the point of my question.
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Old 12-24-2016   #6
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There is a price difference on the used market for M9 with old vs. M9 with new sensor. So it would be a rip off if you paid for a new sensor and got an M9 with old sensor insted (even if the old sensor is in best shape).
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Old 12-24-2016   #7
drec
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I got the camera at a good price, a price that I consider equivalent to a non-swap M9. I was surprised at the deal I got at the time; I think I'm realizing, now, why I got such a good deal. I don't think I was ripped off monetarily. But the trust factor! (crawls into fetal position, wailing to mom)
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Old 12-24-2016   #8
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I note the question Drec is asking, but as far as replacement goes; there is huge documentation on this forum with Raid having meetings with the Leica CEO. They will be replaced free if and when the problem comes up. The sensor is the same except the outer coating.
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Old 12-24-2016   #9
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I would use the camera extensively, and if/when you see sensor damage, send the camera to Leica. The other option is to send the camera back to the seller, and buy another camera.
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Old 12-24-2016   #10
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My concern is that, if the sensor was indeed replaced, there is no explicit evidence of such. It just said "repair part" as the item, with $0.00 cost.

That might be ok for the owner who sent the Leica in, but it does not help the next owner ascertaining whether the repair occurred.

The Leica response might be: too bad, we're not going to change how we document these things. Given the cost of ownership and Leica's excellent, if slow service, I have difficulty understanding why they would neglect to document such an important repair. I am left to believe that either they didn't repair the sensor or there is an information gap here that should be rectified for the peace of mind of future owners of a used camera.
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Old 12-24-2016   #11
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The next owner can send the camera to Leica when there is a sensor problem. It is covered.
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Old 12-24-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
The next owner can send the camera to Leica when there is a sensor problem. It is covered.
Raid, you have offered sensible solutions to the problem and I intend to pursue any/all of them. Sometimes people are not necessarily in fixit mode; I'm not in fixit mode. I'm in peace of mind mode, just wanting some answers for peace of mind.

If Leica is reading this and makes a change in how they document their repairs, then I'll have considered this post useful not just for me but for others. Have a great holiday.
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Old 12-24-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
The next owner can send the camera to Leica when there is a sensor problem. It is covered.
But if you sell it to someone and state it's the new sensor but it isn't it's simply fraud.
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Old 12-24-2016   #14
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I once sent my M9 to Leica NJ, and they fixed the camera, and I received a bill for $450. There also was a detailed description what was fixed.
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Old 12-24-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
But if you sell it to someone and state it's the new sensor but it isn't it's simply fraud.
I would state "the seller of the camera [to me] claimed that Leica has replaced the sensor ....."
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Old 12-24-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drec View Post
If Leica is reading this and makes a change in how they document their repairs, then I'll have considered this post useful not just for me but for others. Have a great holiday.
I'm sure that they write it in the repair letter that they replaced the sensor. Maybe someone can confirm this who got the sensor replaced.
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Old 12-24-2016   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtimes View Post
I had an M7 I sent to Leica for a free film DX sensor repalcement from electrical to optical type and the invoice also showed $0.00 cost...
That's not the point. Did they describe on the invoice that they replaced the DX sensor or did you derive from the 0.0 cost that they might have replaced the DX sensor?
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Old 12-24-2016   #18
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Has someone asked Leica via mail if the sensor for their camera was already replaced? Did they answer?
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Old 12-24-2016   #19
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I have emailed Leica LA asking very specific questions, including work order and my serial no. I trust that they will contact Leica to get me an answer, if a little slowly given the time of year.

I'm a little concerned, but not too much! More curious. Even if the guy committed fraud, I got a good deal.
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Old 12-24-2016   #20
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FYI the old sensor is a bit better if not corroded.

That's because the coverglass is S8612, the gold standard in absorbtive IR cut in terms of high transmission of visible light in just the right range. The new glass BG55, is good but transmission is a little reduced, perhaps 10% in visible light, my source believes. In terms of pure performance, it's not as good, but it will resist varied conditions better.

So if it's a camera you want to use a clean first gen sensor is the best. So if you are one of those desperate to see the wrong kind of spots, don't be.

Leica is the only FF camera which puts the IR cut directly on the sensor. Everybody else puts about .7mm of clear super hard glass there, and then puts the IR cut and other filters in a stack above it. So those filters can be easily replaced without delicate work or a new sensor. But having the IR cut on the sensor is best if you want to be a close to film performance with steep ray angles from a number of RF wide angles.

BTW the M9 sensor will be repairable for a very long time, regardless of if Leica is in business. This is because there are people who specialize in replacing the glued coverglass, with whatever you want. So for under 500USD, one could get a new sheet of S8612 placed over the sensor today. Other parts might be more problematic.
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Old 12-24-2016   #21
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Can those who have had their sensors replaced since the announcement please chime in? What does your repair documentation say?
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Old 12-24-2016   #22
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I have the Service Invoices from NJ for both my M9 bodies. Both list repair part 420-220-803-000 M9 CCD/CIRCUIT BOARD and under Work Performed they both state: REPLACE IMAGE SENSOR **LEICA GOODWILL WARRANTY**

With the serial number listed on the Service Invoice, and the updated firmware, I don't see what other possible documentation one would want.

Note that they always replace the vulcanite when doing pretty much any work on a camera, and this is always listed as a repair part. In my case: part #420-222-001-050 M9-P BODY COVERING there is also a note stating that "a new leatherette covering will replace the old vulcanite covering (no longer ava.) I much prefer the new covering.
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Old 12-24-2016   #23
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If your camera does not have such documentation, then you should not state anything about a possible sensor replacement when [one day] you will sell the M9.
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Old 12-24-2016   #24
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based on sepiareverb's reply, you seem to be lied to.
One point though: I would check the date on the invoice too. If it was sent to Leica on a date after the upgrade program was in place, I would think that they would have changed it even if it didn't suffer from corrosion issue, or?
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Old 12-24-2016   #25
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I wouldn't never sell goods that I can't stand behind. The seller hasn't gotten back to me but he is on Pacific time... rest assured that if/when I sell, I won't be falsely advertising something.

I can assume that if the camera went to Leica and there were no issues, they wouldn't have replaced the sensor, rondo. Good thing is that there are no spots.

Sepiaeverb, I would like exactly what you got on your invoice-- explanation of what was fixed. From what you've indicated from your invoice, it appears that it isn't a communication error on Leica's part but fraudulence on the seller's part. I am waiting for a reply from him before I give him negative feedback.
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Old 12-24-2016   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondo View Post
based on sepiareverb's reply, you seem to be lied to.
One point though: I would check the date on the invoice too. If it was sent to Leica on a date after the upgrade program was in place, I would think that they would have changed it even if it didn't suffer from corrosion issue, or?
No. Every old sensor is prone to corrosion but not every sensor will show sensor corrosion over the lifetime of the camera. It's economically not reasonable to change the sensor when it's perfectly allright. Leica only replaces already visibly damaged sensors.
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Old 12-24-2016   #27
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Invoices stated "CORROSION FOUND" for both my cameras. IIRC it is more likely to occur under humid conditions, VT certainly qualifies as humid.
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Old 12-24-2016   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondo View Post
based on sepiareverb's reply, you seem to be lied to.
One point though: I would check the date on the invoice too. If it was sent to Leica on a date after the upgrade program was in place, I would think that they would have changed it even if it didn't suffer from corrosion issue, or?
No, they state on their web site that the good will program does not provide preventive replacements.

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Old 12-24-2016   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drec View Post
...

Sepiaeverb, I would like exactly what you got on your invoice-- explanation of what was fixed...
I would suspect that you could contact Leica NJ with the serial number and get some information about what they've done to the camera over the years if not duplicate service invoices, tho they do have name and address on them...
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Old 12-24-2016   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
No. Every old sensor is prone to corrosion but not every sensor will show sensor corrosion over the lifetime of the camera. It's economically not reasonable to change the sensor when it's perfectly allright. Leica only replaces already visibly damaged sensors.
Thanks for clarifying that. So Drec has been lied to, or the seller is honestly mistaken about the service his camera received or maybe Drec didn't receive all the documentation with it.
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Old 12-24-2016   #31
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Time away at the NJ spa can also be a clue, both my cameras went there in November, one returned in March, the other in May. Not sure how long the backorder line is these days, but there and back for a cleaning would likely only take a month and a half
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Old 12-24-2016   #32
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This is what my estimate said...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screen Shot 2016-12-24 at 11.14.32 AM.jpg (25.0 KB, 36 views)
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Old 12-24-2016   #33
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When my Monochrom was returned in October of this year the documentation with it only stated that the repairs in the Repair Order had been performed. The Repair Order (from July 2016) stated:

replace sensor
adjust rangefinder
repair free of charge
check, adjust, clean
leather covering

When my M9 went in in December 2014 it came back with a full description of what had been done.
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Old 12-24-2016   #34
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Interesting. I clearly didn't get a copy of the repair order, but a copy of what was completed. So it is possible, based on what you said happened with your most recent repair, that the sensor might have been replaced after all. Perhaps there is no uniform policy at Leica regarding repair descriptions.

Sheesh. I'm going out and shooting. Happy holidays all!!!
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Old 12-24-2016   #35
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This is what my estimate said...

That is the estimate... what documentation did you get after the repair was complete? Thanks!
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Old 12-24-2016   #36
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That is the estimate... what documentation did you get after the repair was complete? Thanks!
I need to find the paper work I got when the camera came back..
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Old 12-24-2016   #37
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Update and happy ending!

I contacted the owner previous to the one who sold me the camera-- it was his name on the repair receipt and he was gracious enough to respond to my FB message to him. He confirmed that the previous sensor had had a crack in it and spots were definitely noticeable, and that Leica replaced everything. So the lack of information is on Leica's part... it would be nice if they detailed what they were doing, in every piece of documentation just in case situations like this happen again!
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Old 12-24-2016   #38
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Enjoy your M9 now.
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Old 12-24-2016   #39
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Quote:
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... it would be nice if they detailed what they were doing, in every piece of documentation...
Agreed, though not all parts are known needed at the outset. One of my bodies had an O ring or something replaced, I suppose this turned up as sub-standard during the check after the sensor went in.
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