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M9 Sensor Problems After Replacement
Old 04-11-2018   #1
nightfly
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M9 Sensor Problems After Replacement

I had the sensor in my M9 replaced in 2015.

Just got back from a trip to Cambodia and while reviewing my photos I see a vertical line on all of my photos. A similar problem is what prompted Leica to replace my sensor in the first place (I thought it just needed re-mapping).

Anyone else had this repeat problem? If it was replaced is it possible now it just needs remapping? Or does the new sensor have corrosion issues as well?

Love the camera but I'm starting to hate it...

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its my understanding, and I admit I could be mistaken
that the earlier M9 sensor replacements were just replacements of the same trouble prone sensors and cover glass
and were therefore prone to the same problems

then sometime in 2017 a new M9 sensor appeared, produced by the same Israeli company which produces the M240 and M10 sensors
and this new 2nd generation sensor will hopefully be more resistant long term to sensor corrosion than the original sensors

SFAIK, Leica has not made a public statement on different generations or versions of the M9 sensors
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Old 04-11-2018   #2
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I know very little about the M9 corrosion problem, but this sounds like a hot/stuck pixel and not corrosion. I think it's a common problem with digital sensors and just requires remapping.
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Old 04-11-2018   #3
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Oh boy! I haven't even gotten back my M9 from NJ, and now we see such issues!
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Old 04-11-2018   #4
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Quote:
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Oh boy! I haven't even gotten back my M9 from NJ, and now we see such issues!
someday....
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Old 04-11-2018   #5
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Oh boy! I haven't even gotten back my M9 from NJ, and now we see such issues!

You STILL haven't got it back? Didn't they tell you a month ago it was ready?

I just received a Rollei 35 bought off ebay from Germany in a week. So mail is not the excuse..
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Old 04-11-2018   #6
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Yes, Leica NJ told me on FEB 24 that my M9 was repaired and they wamted their M240 back. Then, about 2 weeks ago, I received another email from Lieca with a (zero) invoice and nothing else added to the email. Today, is April 11, as you know. Is my M9 on the way?
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Old 04-11-2018   #7
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I had the same issues when I sent my camera in for sensor repair from Leica, NJ in 2015.

Sent it to them in June. Got it back in September but zero communication in between. Kept bugging them, then a zero invoice, then one day the camera showed up.

They did also re-do the body covering and some other stuff which was nice but it doesn't seem difficult to implement a better system of communication if you are going to keep my camera for several months. Just tell me where it is and when it's coming back.

At least you got a loaner.

I remember once I sent a backpack to Eastpack for repairs. They sent me a letter from my backpack as if it were at backpack summer camp informing me it was having a great time and would be back soon. Overly cutesy but effective. Maybe Leica could do one with a more Germanic tone...
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Old 04-11-2018   #8
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they re-do the body covering because they have to peal the old one off
for
the repair.
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Old 04-11-2018   #9
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Quote:
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Maybe Leica could do one with a more Germanic tone...
stoic silence seems appropriate as-is
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Old 04-11-2018   #10
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The vertical line is a stuck pixel which, on CCD sensors, affects the whole column in which it is located. M8 and M9 are vulnerable to this, and it is said that cosmic ray strikes can trigger the issue, so long flights at high altitude... It's unclear how Leica resolves this. I've had this fixed a few times, not been charged yet.

Edit: Of course all the photos shot since the pixel got stuck will show that vertical line in the same exact location, mostly visible in darker areas. There is a workaround. Process the photo as usual and Save as a full-res TIFF, open that in an image editing program in pixel-peeping mode, locate the line, select everything to the right of the line and move it left one pixel. Shazzam, the line is gone! Might be possible to create a Photoshop action to automate this...

It can also happen on Leica S2 and S006 since they too have CCDs, and one person reported that he sent a representative DNG file to Leica showing the problem, and from that they created and sent him a custom S firmware that mapped it out without having to send in the camera for service!

Suggestion: Contact Leica Service Dept by phone or email and see what they have to say...
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Old 04-11-2018   #11
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... one person reported that he sent a representative DNG file to Leica showing the problem, and from that they created and sent him a custom firmware that mapped it out without having to send in the camera for service!
Very cool. If only such efficiency could be projected to other services offered.
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Old 04-11-2018   #12
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Been round tripping from Lightroom to Photoshop and using the healing brush with the shift key held down which seems to work.

Just frustrating to have it happen twice.

Contacted Leica and they told me to send it in, so I guess I can bid farewell to my camera for a few months if past performance is any indication...

Actively wondering how frustrated I'd be with the Sony A7R2 or 3 as I've been working on the files...
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Old 04-12-2018   #13
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Good to have a plan of action. And now that the free sensor replacement program is over or winding down, the flood of cameras in their shop for that should taper off. Speculate that servicing times may be getting shorter... ? Good luck, report how it goes for you!
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Old 05-10-2018   #14
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Camera is on way back.

The invoice I got says "sensor out of tolerence, ccd pixel error". Fixed for free but I'm wondering how reliable this M9 is going forward. Seems like this happens when I travel and saw something about cosmic rays effecting CCDs on airplanes.

Is this a real concern or just bad luck? Are newer CMOS sensors similarly effected?
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Old 05-10-2018   #15
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Quote:
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Is this a real concern or just bad luck? Are newer CMOS sensors similarly effected?
N-F,

Yes. I get the same warning from Leica for my SL and CL. Cosmic radiation can damage CMOS sensors.

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Old 05-10-2018   #16
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Does this mean that we should never take on an airplane the digital Leica cameras?
This is not good at all.
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Old 05-10-2018   #17
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I just emailed someone at Leica NJ to get their "official" response on cosmic rays and pixel errors.
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Old 05-10-2018   #18
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Does this mean that we should never take on an airplane the digital Leica cameras?
This is not good at all.
Raid,

The only way to fully avoid Cosmic Radiation is to create a cave deep underground so Cosmic Rays cannot penetrate. Basically one requires mucho shielding. I know of one research lab that is built so as not have Cosmic Rays as noise to some very careful measurements.

When flying and at high altitudes of course there is a higher likelyhood of a Cosmic Ray hitting the sensor. Pretty much this is a random event. Recently I flew NYC to Spain and back. Total flight time about 14-15 hours with no ill effect. I doubled my risk by carrying two cameras; triple my risk of damage if I include "Maggie's" V-Lux. Don't forget about the CMOS sensor in her cell phone.

Meanwhile you could have a cosmic ray hit you at sea level, so my camera is at risk currently, but still less of a risk than at altitude.

Moral of the story here is store your cameras in deep underground caverns or highly specialized government labs to ensure no Cosmic Ray damage.

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Old 05-10-2018   #19
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How do u think Leica cameras
are shipped to the US for sale? Pretty sure they are not using submarines.
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Old 05-10-2018   #20
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Any news from Iceland Leica users, re: Cosmic Ray damage ? Would think they would get hit more? Raid, you might get less in Florida?


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Old 05-10-2018   #21
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How do u think Leica cameras
are shipped to the US for sale? Pretty sure they are not using submarines.
Huss,

I would perhaps say cargo ships.

Leica does not like to rush things. LOL.

I know first hand by being on waiting lists.

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Old 05-10-2018   #22
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Raid, do not fly over the pole...

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Old 05-10-2018   #23
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Hello Robert. It is not under my control now which flight chooses to fly over the pole or not.

Maybe I should only take along cheap digital cameras on plane rides?
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Old 05-10-2018   #24
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Just use a film Leica as The Flying Spaghetti Monster intended. Who uses digital cameras
anymore anyway? That’s what ur phone is for.
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Old 05-10-2018   #25
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It seems to be a very low probability event to get your sensor messed up by cosmic rays. The pixel errors can be corrected without having the sensor replaced.

Yes, using film cameras is always an option.
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Old 05-10-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
The vertical line is a stuck pixel which, on CCD sensors, affects the whole column in which it is located. M8 and M9 are vulnerable to this, and it is said that cosmic ray strikes can trigger the issue, so long flights at high altitude... It's unclear how Leica resolves this. I've had this fixed a few times, not been charged yet.


Suggestion: Contact Leica Service Dept by phone or email and see what they have to say...
Thank you for this information, Doug.
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Old 05-10-2018   #27
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Don't take your M9 to the International Space Station.

I suspect a straight line of dead pixels is something else entirely.

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Old 05-10-2018   #28
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Quote:
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It seems to be a very low probability event to get your sensor messed up by cosmic rays. The pixel errors can be corrected without having the sensor replaced.

Yes, using film cameras is always an option.
Raid,

Pretty low risk of a "Cosmic Event."

Leica does warn in the owner's manuals of the digital cameras I own of possible Cosmic Ray damage when flying.

I should of stressed in my posts how low the probability is for clarity. I only kinda inferred the low risk.

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Old 05-10-2018   #29
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It is a small issue after all, Cal.
I might as well use my Leica cameras day after day and don't worry about such issues.
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Old 05-10-2018   #30
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You're more likely to be struck by lightning but, OTOH, it gives the worriers something else to add to the list of dangers out there.

We never had these problems with film and the mercury batteries lasted years. ;-) But that was before brokeh was discovered...

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Old 05-10-2018   #31
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Bokeh is the true enemy, David!
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Old 05-10-2018   #32
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How come the digital cameras on satellites don’t have a very short life because of cosmic rays? Look at photographs from Hubble or the rover on Mars Curiosity. They must have software to correct damage from cosmic rays.

Interesting articles:

https://newatlas.com/cosmic-rays-int...devices/47995/

http://www.tested.com/science/space/...sensors-space/

At any rate I’ve flown with my camera equipment from Minneapolis to Chicago then a 13 hour flight to Shanghai then the same on return. Same equipment to Europe, several times. Haven’t had any problems; however my DSLR cameras have CMOS sensors. And not Leica!
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Old 05-10-2018   #33
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CMOS and CCD sensors are affected by cosmic rays, I have been told.
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Old 05-10-2018   #34
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Damn cosmic rays! Now I need another "Leica accessory" -- the 3-inch thick lead-lined cosmic box.

For those concerned, cosmic rays are a fact of life. Even if you're in that underground bunker. Cosmic rays will find you there too. We are lucky that most of space is just that -- space. Rays pass right through our cameras (and us!) without even contacting. Whoa! And I think cosmic rays are of a sufficiently low density we don't have too much too worry about.

I do wonder about cameras in space though!!!

Film? What's the deal with cosmic rays and film? There might be an advantage to film here.....

Many years ago, I remember we did a school experiment with some 4x5 film: We put the film out in the school yard, facing up, in a light tight enclosure. We left it out for something like 24 hours and then brought it in to process. There would be a bunch of little spots on the film, even though it was in a light tight container -- those spots were from nuclear fallout from all the various atomic bomb tests in recent history. I think this will still work even today.
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Old 05-10-2018   #35
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OK. How resistant to nuclear fallout are Leica cameras?
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Old 05-10-2018   #36
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no need to worry about radioactive fallout when we know the sensors corrode in humid conditions. these things are definitely over built! well at least the boxes they come in are.
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Old 05-10-2018   #37
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It seems to me that after replacing the sensor, my M9 has a better buffer for back to back photos. Whatever was done to the camera, it is working well now.
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Old 05-11-2018   #38
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Quote:
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Damn cosmic rays! Now I need another "Leica accessory" -- the 3-inch thick lead-lined cosmic box.

For those concerned, cosmic rays are a fact of life. Even if you're in that underground bunker. Cosmic rays will find you there too. We are lucky that most of space is just that -- space. Rays pass right through our cameras (and us!) without even contacting. Whoa! And I think cosmic rays are of a sufficiently low density we don't have too much too worry about.

I do wonder about cameras in space though!!!

Film? What's the deal with cosmic rays and film? There might be an advantage to film here.....

Many years ago, I remember we did a school experiment with some 4x5 film: We put the film out in the school yard, facing up, in a light tight enclosure. We left it out for something like 24 hours and then brought it in to process. There would be a bunch of little spots on the film, even though it was in a light tight container -- those spots were from nuclear fallout from all the various atomic bomb tests in recent history. I think this will still work even today.
All around us is radiation. A banana has naturally occurring Potasium isotope that is radioactive. Brazil nuts are pretty radioactive, and the radiation is naturally occurring.

Don't tell people who live in New Hampshire that they have natural high backgrounds of Radon due to the granite formations. Residents in New Hampshire have a high incidence of lung Cancer higher than the national average likely due to high background radon gas.

I live in Madhattan and the naturally occurring back ground is about twice that of when I lived in Brooklyn. Sand is actually low background, and like New Hampshire Madhattan has mucho granite and higher levels of Radon gas.

At work we do "radiographs" by placing radioactive target on top of Polaroid film to check beam dynamics and distribution. I work in an accellerator lab.

Perhaps some of what was recorded was naturally occurring background.

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Old 05-11-2018   #39
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Epidemiological spatial studies can identify cancer clusters that are significantly associated with such factors. It is not a solid proof but it should be the first step for additional studies.
Worrying about things that we cannot control is not useful.
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Old 05-11-2018   #40
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Epidemiological spatial studies can identify cancer clusters that are significantly associated with such factors. It is not a solid proof but it should be the first step for additional studies.
Worrying about things that we cannot control is not useful.
Raid,

Fact is radiation is around us in trace amounts whether we like it or not. When I eat a banana the naturally occurring level of radioactive Potasium is so marginal it is not worth considering.

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