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Archive 2014 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue

  
 
DoubleNegative
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


I know there's a bunch of Leica shooters here, at least when it comes to glass.

Unfortunately it seems there's a far-reaching issue that can (it's not a given) affect cameras based on the M9 sensor (M9-P, M-E and M Monochrom). It manifests itself as "white spots" on the sensor and is caused by humidity (and/or wet cleaning which seems to exacerbate the problem).

So far I seem to be lucky - my M9 and M Monochrom remain unaffected. Naturally, I'm a bit worried. But there's nothing to be done but keep shooting and see what happens.

In the meantime, Leica is working out a solution to offer its customers that are affected by this issue. The true scope of it is still coming together.

If you want to know more, check out the article New Leica "CCDgate" Scandal Afoot?

Hopefully no one here (or too many at least) have any problems with their cameras.



Dec 06, 2014 at 04:03 PM
uhoh7
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Obviously some M9s have sensor issues today and in the past. Leica has replaced many sensors far out of warranty and past original owners. I have read countless testimony of good treatment by Leica.

I've also read a few cases of not so good treatment by Leica. Not many.

The M9 has a fantastic sensor, in fact I have no lust for any other today. Like many high performance machines, i.e. motorcycles, there is risk.

If you want no risk do not use M9. I believe over 100,000 have been made and are in the field all over the world.

One thing you don't much of in these threads is documentation. What would be useful in this thread would be someone who has "white sots" showing what exactly they look like, compared to the dust spots which accumulate on any sensor.

Also it appears you are the author of the article you link to, which is clear after a close reading but you might refer to "my article" as opposed to "this article"

Also interesting is your own cameras are fine.

Since the first M8 we have had many long Leica bashing threads about countless issues and complaints about digital Leicas. Hence, while I don't doubt there may be particular problems with this sensor, many of the posts in these current threads are just blatant trolls, as ever. As boring as Sony-bashing to me.

Newsflash: Leicas are not perfect.



Dec 06, 2014 at 05:05 PM
DoubleNegative
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Thoughtful reply. I have the M7 all the way through the MM, and I'm pretty happy with all of them. So I'm certainly not bashing Leica in any way. As for examples, there are MANY photos illustrating this issue out there (there's a link to all these discussions where they're posted at the bottom of the article). Time will tell how bad this really is, and what Leica will do about it, if anything.


Dec 06, 2014 at 05:31 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


My M-E needed a sensor replacement after 9 months of gentle use. Took 4 months for it to be repaired due to waiting for parts. No loaner camera offered.
And now this news? Not happy.



Dec 06, 2014 at 05:54 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Desmolicious wrote:
My M-E needed a sensor replacement after 9 months of gentle use. Took 4 months for it to be repaired due to waiting for parts. No loaner camera offered.
And now this news? Not happy.


Was this a cracked sensor? I know someone who's M9 sensor (fairly new at the time) cracked but I did not know of this current issue.

Does anyone know if Leica replaces cracked sensor's (due to manufacturing defects) out of warranty?




Dec 06, 2014 at 07:02 PM
Mitch Alland
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Not sure why there's a need to start yet another thread on this (very real) problem here. There are monumentally long threads on LUF (700+ posts) and on the French Leica forum at Summilux.com (700+ posts), both referenced in the article on La Vida Leica. From reading even parts of these long threads it's quite clear the problem is extensive and seems to be a design fault.

My own experience is that both my M9-P and M-Monochrom had to have sensor replacements because of de-lamination 12 and 8 months ago, respectively. Last week I checked the sensors and found the beginning of de-lamination on both cameras, meaning that in several months both cameras will need to have their sensors replaced, as the de-limitation continues until there are large spots and lines of spots all over the sensor. Incidentally, after I had the sensor replacements, my two cameras did not have any wet cleaning.

The difference between de-lamination (or corrosion) spots and dust spots is easy to see and has been illustrated and documented with pictures in both the LUF and Summilux.com threads: the de-lamination spots have a darker center than dust spots and a lighter aureole or halo around the circumference.

My feeling is that Leica will make good on this they will have to for their reputation but am concerned that Leica does not yet have a fix so that, when a sensor is replaced, the de-lamination is likely to reappear if the camera continues to be used under the same conditions of, presumably, humidity and temperature. This has unfortunately been the case with my M9-P and M-Monochrom. My other concern is that, as more and more cameras have sensor de-lamination, it will take many months at Leica Customer Service for sensor replacement. I don't relish the idea of having the two cameras at Wetzlar for, say, 4-6 months. There are reports from some users that Leica has informed them that currently there are no replacement sensors available.

It is also disturbing that Leica has not yet stopped the sale of new M-Monochrom and M-E cameras, considering that a Leica staff member made an announcement on LUF that there is currently no solution for the de-lamination problem.

Edited on Dec 06, 2014 at 08:57 PM · View previous versions



Dec 06, 2014 at 07:36 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Wow, I had no idea about this issue so I appreciate learning about it here as I have often thought of picking up a used M9. This would certainly scare me away, particularly given that I live in a humid area. Between this issue and the possibility of a random, out-of-the-blue sensor crack, buying a used M9 starts to seem a bit of a gamble.


Dec 06, 2014 at 08:03 PM
Mitch Alland
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Tariq - I would think that, by now, a sensor crack is unlikely and Leica has been replacing cracked sensor for free on out-of-warranty M9s.

The de-lamination possibility is much more likely, especially considering where you live. On the other hand, if this whole issue makes the used prices of M9s fall precipitously, it might be a good bet to buy an M9 if you expect that Leica will make good in the end. The only question, then, is whether you want to deal with the "botheration" factor.



Dec 06, 2014 at 08:27 PM
Mitch Alland
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Here is a LUF thread with bookmarks for the M9 sensor de-lamination/corrosion issue:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m9-forum/355892-bookmarks-m9-sensor-corrosion-issue.html

Post #2 has links to images illustrating the problem.



Dec 06, 2014 at 08:46 PM
uhoh7
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Mitch Alland wrote:
Here is a LUF thread with bookmarks for the M9 sensor de-lamination/corrosion issue:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m9-forum/355892-bookmarks-m9-sensor-corrosion-issue.html

Post #2 has links to images illustrating the problem.

TY for that.

I've shot 50K+ on a new sensor in the used M9 I bought in Jan 14. Many lens changes. In and out of the cold.
No white spots.

I think the time to worry is when you have them.

Otherwise more interesting things to read for me. And I'm more worried about the flu or a car wreck.

Of course, I will cry if I see them Till then I save my tears.



Dec 07, 2014 at 12:43 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Was this a cracked sensor? I know someone who's M9 sensor (fairly new at the time) cracked but I did not know of this current issue.

Does anyone know if Leica replaces cracked sensor's (due to manufacturing defects) out of warranty?



De-lamination. And I live in a very dry climate.




Dec 07, 2014 at 01:14 AM
Mitch Alland
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


uhoh7 wrote:
...I've shot 50K+ on a new sensor in the used M9 I bought in Jan 14. Many lens changes. In and out of the cold.
No white spots


"In and out of the cold" may be the key words. So far, it seems, that de-lamination has been rampant in hot and humid places.



Dec 07, 2014 at 02:48 AM
Keith B.
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


My M9 friend had the "delam" issue(L.A. area, mild non-humid climate)...it looked like tiny abrasion pits to my naked eye....this was after having the sensor replaced twice before: once for the cover glass cracking, once for some weird patterns.
I don't see how anyone could pine for that sensor, what with it's pathetic high ISO performance, but that's personal preference. As long as I don't have to use one.
I like my Fujifilm XE1: camera and two outstanding primes for one-seventh the cost of the M9 + equivalent two lenses.



Dec 07, 2014 at 03:18 AM
DoubleNegative
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


In defense of the sensor, the output is very nice. One of the biggest reasons I still have the M9 - and bought an MM. The only other camera I've used that has similar output is the Hasselblad CFV16 (which also uses a CCD). Sorry, but at native ISO, there's not much quite like it.


Dec 07, 2014 at 06:18 AM
uhoh7
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Mitch Alland wrote:
"In and out of the cold" may be the key words. So far, it seems, that de-lamination has been rampant in hot and humid places.


Good point. Also, i have never cleaned the sensor. It needs it now.

Keith B. wrote:
I don't see how anyone could pine for that sensor, what with it's pathetic high ISO performance, but that's personal preference. As long as I don't have to use one.
I like my Fujifilm XE1: camera and two outstanding primes for one-seventh the cost of the M9 + equivalent two lenses.


One can have an M9 with fresh sensor, and two excellent primes for 5K easily. I have a Sony A7 with supposedly good high iso performance, and I don't like to shoot it over 1k iso as the results already loose crispness. For landscapes I use base iso in all my cameras. After near a year with the M9, in low light I just slap on a superspeed CV 35/1.2 or 50/1.1, and shoot it regardless of "pathetic high iso". Works fine.


L1025085 by unoh7, on Flickr


L1025174 by unoh7, on Flickr

and if there's some light bulbs near:

L1025087 by unoh7, on Flickr

As to your XE1, I suppose AF is a matter of personal pref, as long as I don't have to deal with lenses compromised for it's use.

DoubleNegative wrote:
In defense of the sensor, the output is very nice. One of the biggest reasons I still have the M9 - and bought an MM. The only other camera I've used that has similar output is the Hasselblad CFV16 (which also uses a CCD). Sorry, but at native ISO, there's not much quite like it.


This is exactly the point. The price of this performance is some quirky traits, including a risk white spots forming, I guess.

For me it's worth it.

I can tell you as I age, the human body is an equally flawed proposition.



Dec 07, 2014 at 10:15 AM
DoubleNegative
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


uhoh7 wrote:
This is exactly the point. The price of this performance is some quirky traits, including a risk white spots forming, I guess.

For me it's worth it.

I can tell you as I age, the human body is an equally flawed proposition.


Yup! With any device - be it a camera, a car or a TV... There's some risk involved. Unless you're buying a Pet Rock, there's a chance something can go wrong. We rely on the warranty to make things right in such a case, or the manufacturer if there's an inherent flaw. I have no doubt Leica will make it right in the end. But I digress - knowing what I know today, would I do it again? You betcha!

As for ourselves aging, ugh... Yeah.



Dec 07, 2014 at 10:36 AM
DoubleNegative
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


Turns out this IS linked to temperature changes, even the original M9 sensor cracking... Because of one simple thing. Glue.


Dec 08, 2014 at 06:44 PM
uhoh7
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


DoubleNegative wrote:
Turns out this IS linked to temperature changes, even the original M9 sensor cracking... Because of one simple thing. Glue.


please post a source for that.

below a great catch from trisberg.

[QUOTE=trisberg;2422180]Brian Sweeney thinks there is a solution. See these posts:

[URL]http://www.leicaplace.com/showthread.php?t=735&page=3&p=7502#post7502[/URL]
[URL]http://www.leicaplace.com/showthread.php?t=735&page=3&p=7503#post7503[/URL]

Maybe Leica is working on a permanent solution. I'd be surprised if they weren't.

-Thomas[/QUOTE]
Sorry formatting doesn't make it, but:

Sweeney goes right to the part numbers:

HERE

However, if you are correct and it's glue, that would not seem to be an insurmountable issue.

I'd like to know how those who often replace cover sensors, maxmax, etc, deal with glue.



Dec 09, 2014 at 01:09 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


It's not the glue, it's the coatings. It can't be the glue.


Dec 09, 2014 at 01:32 AM
Mitch Alland
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Leica M9 Class Sensor Issue


How do you know it isn't the glue? If the clear adhesive ("glue") extends to the edges of the sensor, between the sensor and the cover glass, as is likely, the adhesive can be wetted by condensation. In the tropics, or any hot and humid environment, going out from air-conditioning into the heat will create condensation: you can see that condensation on the lens; but within the camera there can also be condensation that wets the edge of the sensor and causes corrosion in the clear adhesive. In cold climates, you can get between warm indoors and very cold outdoors, although I have no idea whether relatively high is necessary for the M9-type affected by this phenomenon.

I've no idea whether the problem is in the clear adhesive, but I don't see why you would be so certain that it is not.

Edited on Dec 09, 2014 at 08:02 AM · View previous versions



Dec 09, 2014 at 04:22 AM
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