LEICA and "Sensor-Lebra" (corrosion) M9, M-E, M-Monochrom


Poseidon88

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Just for your information if you use a Leica M9, M-E or M-Monochrom.

the following info is from Leica Wetzlar - if you need more info pls. check up at the Leica Int. Forum.
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As promised, we´d like to address a number of questions you have regarding the issue with our CCD sensor and be as clear as possible.

First let us state that we regret any inconveniences you may face and do investigate measures to durably fix the problem while still offering the best possible optical performance.

By a repair, we replace the CCD sensor with a sensor of the same type we use for serial production. We can thus not exclude totally a new case of corrosion after repair. Therefore, the goodwill arrangement also applies for a replaced sensor, which shows signs of corrosion. In these cases we will consider the sensor replacement date the same as the purchasing date.

We think that any potential damages of the sensor surface can occur due to cleaning the sensor and can lead to corrosion. We, therefore, advice to clean the sensor without touching it or in a dust-free environment such as in Leica Customer Care. We don’t want to convey the impression that you are not able to clean the sensor yourselves. If you are confident performing a sensor cleaning yourself, you may do so. But please be aware that the risk, when using wet cleaning solutions in the field, is higher.

At Leica, we use “Isopropanol” (isopropyl alcohol) and the following tools to clean the sensor, in the production as well as by the Customer Care:
Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit, O-ICK1:
Sensor Cleaning Kit
Cleaning swabs made by ‘Visible Dust’:
Camera sensor cleaning — Arctic Butterfly sensor brush, loupe, swabs, liquids

With great care and attention, you may also use these for cleaning the sensor yourselves. Essential for not damaging the sensor is to painstakingly observe the manufacturers’ instructions and only work with new and unsoiled cleaning aids.
We kindly ask you for your understanding that sensors showing visible mechanical scratch marks occurring from improper cleaning attempts cannot be covered by the warranty and goodwill arrangement.
This is also the reason why we offer to perform cleaning at the Leica Customer Care, free of charge and as often as needs to be.

Should you be considering an upgrade to a Leica M or M-P (Type 240), Customer Care will make you an attractive offer as a part of our goodwill arrangement.

JJ Viau - Digital Marketing with Stefan Daniel - Director Product Management Photo
Leica Camera
 

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Poseidon88

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update - reg. LEICA M9, M-E, M-Monochrom Sensor delamination/corrosion.

open letter from the Leica-user-Forum to Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar

Offener Brief
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren!
Wer sich für eine Leica M9, M Monochrom oder M-E entschieden hat, hat sich bewußt
für eine Suchercamera entschieden, um nicht zu sagen für das Wesentliche. Wer sich
nach dem Erscheinen der M (240) für eine M-E oder M Monochrom entschieden hat,
hat sich bewußt für eine Camera ohne Live-View und ohne Video entschieden, um
nicht zu sagen für das Wesentliche.
Jetzt muß er sehen, daß sein Entscheid falsch gewesen sein könnte. Denn die Camera
hat einen Sensor, dessen obere Glasschicht im Laufe der Zeit Zerfallserscheinungen
zeigen kann. Leica bietet für den Fall, daß die Erscheinung auftritt, außer auf Garantie
zeitlich gestaffelt auf Kulanz oder auf Kulanz mit Zuzahlung Ersatz an, aber nur mit
dem gefährdeten Sensor. Die Reparaturzeiten sind unverhältnismäßig lang. Der Nutzer
der Monochrom hat ohnedies das Nachsehen, denn derzeit scheint deren Sensor nicht
zum Austausch zur Verfügung zu stehen.
Leica bietet auch ein Upgrade auf die M (240) an, aber mit Zuzahlung. Die Zuzahlung
ist wirtschaftlich noch immer ein Gewinn für Leica, da die Reparaturkosten für
sie entfallen, zugleich ein Verlust für den Nutzer, da ein Wiederverkauf der reparierten
Camera und ein Neukauf der M (240) für ihn günstiger sein kann.
Die Nutzer der M9, M Monochrom und M-E erwarten von der Leica Camera AG,
daß sie sich dazu äußert, worin genau der Fehler besteht.
Die Nutzer der M9, M Monochrom und M-E erwarten von der Leica Camera AG
ein faires Angebot für den Sensortausch, d.h. eine Reparatur innerhalb einer Woche,
und sollte das nicht gehen, oder auf Wahl des Nutzers, ein für beide Seiten fair ausgerechnetes
Upgrade-Angebot.
Wir erwarten, daß von der Leica Camera AG jetzt verbindlich gesagt wird, ob Aussicht
besteht, daß der Sensor der M9 etc. etwa durch eine Beschichtung so modifiziert
werden wird, daß er keinen Glasverfall mehr zeigen kann, oder ob das technisch nicht
möglich oder zu aufwendig wäre.
Wir erwarten, daß von der Leica Camera AG jetzt verbindlich gesagt wird, ob es
für die betroffenen Modelle im nächsten oder spätestens übernächsten Jahr ein Nachfolgemodell
geben wird oder nicht, das gilt insbesondere für die preislich günstigere
M-E und für die einmalige M Monochrom. Es könnte dabei auch gesagt werden, ob
die Nachfolgemodelle ein Derivat der M (240) oder der M9 sein werden.
Wir erwarten, daß von der Leica Camera AG verbindlich gesagt wird, wie sie sich
vorstellt, was geschieht, wenn der getauschte Sensor aus dem gleichen Grund abermals
in späterer Zeit unbrauchbar werden sollte.
Wir Nutzer haben das gleiche Interesse wie die Leica Camera AG an einer zuverlässigen
und technisch anspruchsvollen, aber auch den Photographen herausfordernden
Camera. Gerade weil wir Nutzer der M9, M Monochrom und M-E und ihrer sonst nirgendwo
anzutreffenden Eigenschaften sind, wünschen wir der Leica Camera AG Erfolg
insgesamt und ein erfolgreiches Management der Sensor-Problematik. Der bisher eingeschlagene
Weg zur Lösung und öffentlichen Kommunikation in der Sensor-Problematik
ist nicht gut und entspricht nicht dem Anspruch, den man mit der Leica Camera AG
verbindet.
Erstunterzeichner

(an English version of the letter is in the work by the authors)
 

Poseidon88

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update: english version of the letter

To: Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar


Subject: Open letter regarding CCD corrosion issue


Dear Sir and Madam,

Those of us who chose a Leica M9, M Monochrom, or M-E did so because we craved a digital full-frame rangefinder camera – in short, what it’s all about. And those of us who chose said cameras rather than the Typ 240 opted for a camera without live-view or video. I.e.: what it’s all about, nothing else. That was the pull, the POS, call it whatever you like.

This choice might have been flawed, or overly idealistic, as we’ve learned over the past couple of weeks. Our chosen cameras sport sensors which are protected by glass with a strong tendency to corrode. Leica reacted to reports about faulty sensors with offering out-of-warranty coverage, but at a price. This price, though, is larger than a simple replacement: it doesn’t cover our downtime, which is exceedingly long for something that was a manufacturing error. Monochrom users, in particular, are kept in limbo as there doesn’t seem to be any spare parts available at this time.

Leica tries not being too cruel, there’s also the quick fix to switch to an M Typ 240 rather than fixing the issue at hand. Again, at a price, a monetarily expensive one at that. The exchange / upgrade fee is financially profitable for Leica, but a loss for the customer: selling a repaired Monochrom, then buying a new Typ 240 would be more sensible from a financial perspective, for the customer.

Us users of M9, M Monochrom, and M-E cameras, your customers, expect answers to why this has happened to begin with.

Us users of M9, M Monochrom, and M-E cameras expect Leica Camara AG to do better. We expect you provide a sensible, a FAIR offer for replacing faulty sensors, or fixing them in such a way corrosion won’t be an issue to be expected, or even counted on, inside the life span Leica marketed the digital M series to last to begin with. If this shouldn’t be possible, we expect an explanation why this isn’t technically feasible, or too expensive, and how we are supposed to deal with it.

We users also expect Leica Camera AG to be sound about what happens should replacement parts fail, say, inside another 2-3 years. After all, you apparently replace failed components with components that are expected to fail, again. What procedures are in place should spare parts crap out due to the same manufacturing faults? What about warranty, long(er)-term support? How many spares do you have, and what’s the idea should you run out of them?

We users--your customers--are as much interested in a reliable, unique camera system as much as you as Leica Camera AG are. Taxing from a photographic point of view as much as from a manufacturing one, but unique and great. We users chose the M9, M Monochrom, and M-E because these cameras are something special, and we’ve paid a premium for them, too. Because there’s nothing like it. Also, because that’s what it’s all about.

And because we did so, our prime interest is in Leica Camera AG to resolve this issue in a timely, appropriate manner. The way Leica Camera AG has dealt with the CCD sensor corrosion issue to date, especially in public, is not satisfactory, and to the determent of both the brand and brand loyalty. In short, it’s not what your customers expect from Leica Camera AG. It’s not what we’d expect of Leica. This is not what it’s all about.

So, please: do better.

Regards,
 

zag

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Dec 1, 2005
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To me personally M9 is definitely a non keeper...
Had mine replaced the sensor once and while it stays in dry box since, still months later spots formed...

Bummer!
 

shepherdmoon

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Jan 7, 2012
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I got my m-e from Germany. Any reported case for those got from Germany ?
 

Poseidon88

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@shepherdmoon,

all Leica cameras with the CCD Sensor (M9, M-E, M-Monochrom)
will get the "sensor-corrosion!

In countries with high temperatures an high humidity
like Singapore maybe faster.

don't worry - that's a LEICA problem
and not your fault!!!!

more info & help you can find at the
LUF (leica user forum etc.)
 

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Dick Pitini

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Dec 8, 2014
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Just spoke with Customer Service - Leica NJ & was advised that there is no "good will arrangement" re upgrading to M240 from M9 due to sensor issue. Was advised that these statements were released from Marketing Dept without the approval of Leica???
 

Poseidon88

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info from "Leicaphilia", Chapel Hill, NC

source: Leica user forum

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It seems to me that buyers of the M9, MM and ME who have purchased their camera from a merchant as opposed to a private party have a cause of action under the theory that the purchased item is not 'fit for its intended purpose." This basic protection of commercial law is codified in the USA in the Uniform Commercial Code <UCC § 2-315> and in the UK by the "Sales of Goods Act."

For Those of You in the UK:

See the "Sale of Goods Act" (1979). What it says: When you buy something the item must be fit for its intended purpose. As well as being fit for their normal purpose goods must also be fit for any specific purpose the buyer told the seller it would be used for (e.g. Living in Houston where its really humid).You rights under the Act apply when you buy something from a business, not from a private seller. What's the "purpose of the goods?" In most cases it will be obvious what the purpose of the goods is. If goods aren't able to carry out their normal functions for any reason, they are not fit for purpose. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 says that goods that are not fit for their normal purpose are not of satisfactory quality and you may have the right to return them to the seller and get a refund.

For Those of You in the US:

UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE, <UCC § 2-315> Implied Warranty: Fitness for Particular Purpose.
Where the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know any particular purpose for which the goods are required and that the buyeris relying on the seller's skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods, there is unless expressly excluded or modified an implied warranty that the goods shall be fit for such purpose.

Implied warranties come in two general types: merchantability and fitness. An implied warranty of merchantability is an unwritten and unspoken guarantee to the buyer that goods purchased conform to ordinary standards of care and that they are of the same average grade, quality,and value as similar goods sold under similar circumstances. In other words, merchantable goods are goods fit for the ordinary purpose for which they are to be used, in this case as a photographic device. You expect that what is specified, purchased, represented or held out for sale as a camera will meet the expectations for cameras as you have known it to be in the past; the ordinary standard of care.


The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), adopted by most states, provides that courts may imply a "Warranty of Merchantability" when (1) the seller is the merchant of such goods, and (2) the buyer uses the goods for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are sold. Thus, a buyer can sue a seller for breaching the implied warranty by selling goods unfit for their ordinary purpose. Again, you expect the camera to function as you&#8217;ve expected, anticipated and known cameras to do.

[please note: While I am an attorney, I do not practice commercial law, so my understanding of potential remedies is limited. However, at least for the US and UK, these are fruitful places to start. And, as an aside, I do not wish harm on Leica as a company, but I do think that folks who bought in good faith from Leica based on their warranties that the camera was robust and deserving of a premium price should get what they've paid for, with the understanding, however, that computerized products like the M9 will not have the productive life of a mechanical device and should not be expected to]
__________________
 

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black man

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Jun 11, 2007
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I got my M-E trade in to upgrade to M240 today at Leica Singapore, of course with a top up. Not sure if it has anything to do with the current issue. Just for information so if any one want to explore.

My M-E got sensor replaced in Jul this year as well.
 

Feb 4, 2012
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New York, USA
It seems that the problem might be caused by the glue between the sensor and cover glass.

Leica will be issuing an official response to the sensor problem tomorrow.
 

Red Dawn

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Jan 17, 2002
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www.5stonesphoto.com
I got my M-E trade in to upgrade to M240 today at Leica Singapore, of course with a top up. Not sure if it has anything to do with the current issue. Just for information so if any one want to explore.

My M-E got sensor replaced in Jul this year as well.
Is this a standard upgrade program offered to all older Ms, including M9s? If so, how much did you need to topup for your M-E?
 

black man

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Jun 11, 2007
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I am not sure if it is standard program. I just called in to check the possibility for upgrade and they said yes.

The offer was reasonably close to the used market price for 2 yr old M-E, maybe a one or two of hundreds lower. I guess it also depends on the condition of the trade in camera. I got around offered 65% of M-E original Singapore price.
 

Nikonzen

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2014
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Kodak sensor heating up promoting the deterioration of glue?
 

Feb 4, 2012
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New York, USA
Still waiting to hear from Leica, which they promised us would be "very soon." :/
 

Far far away

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Jun 30, 2008
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Far far away...
Wooo Hoooooo!!!

http://en.leica-camera.com/World-of-Leica/Leica-News/About-Leica-News/Global/Important-Information-Concerning-the-CCD-Sensors

" Important Information Concerning the CCD Sensors of the Leica M9 / M9-P / M Monochrom / M-E

In some cases, particularly when using the camera models Leica M9, M9-P, M Monochrom or M-E with smaller apertures (5.6-22), effects caused by corrosion of the sensor glass may be encountered. Leica offers a free replacement service for the CCD sensors of cameras affected by this problem as a goodwill arrangement. This goodwill arrangement applies regardless of the age of the camera and also covers sensors that have already been replaced in the past. Customers who have already been charged for the replacement of a sensor affected by this problem will receive a refund.

We have now identified the problem and are currently concentrating our efforts on finding a permanent technical solution. The marks on images mentioned earlier are related to the properties of the CCD sensor. The sensors are equipped with a specially coated IR filter cover glass to ensure optimum imaging performance. Should this coating layer be damaged, corrosion effects that alter the filter surface may begin to appear after several years.

The effect described does not affect the CMOS sensor of the Leica M (Typ 240). Should you be considering an upgrade from your camera to a Leica M or M-P (Typ 240), Customer Care would be pleased to make you an attractive offer following a check of your camera and under consideration of the model and its age.

If the imaging quality of your camera gives cause for complaint in this respect, we recommend that you send it directly to Leica Customer Care or the authorized Customer Care department of your country’s Leica distributor. As longer waiting times may otherwise occur, the camera should only be sent to Customer Care after prior arrangement.

Contact: Web site: http://en.leica-camera.com/Service-Support/Repair-Maintenance. E-mail: Customer.Care@leica-camera.com. Telephone: +49-6441-2080-189.

For us, it is important that we offer only technically faultless products. We are therefore particularly sorry if the imaging quality of your camera should be adversely affected in any way. We hope that the goodwill arrangement we have decided upon will allow us to remedy the problem as soon as possible and rebuild and maintain the trust you have always placed in our brand."
 

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Poseidon88

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update:

Info from Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, Germany

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Dear Forum Members,

We have been closely following debates on the CCD sensor issue in forums and blogs and take the opinions and criticism we read very seriously. For us, it is important that we offer only technically faultless products. We are therefore particularly sorry if the imaging quality of your camera should be adversely affected by corrosion effects on the IR filter cover glass. We would also like to express our sincerest regrets to all customers who may have encountered this problem.

We have now identified the problem and are currently concentrating our efforts on finding a permanent technical solution. Our response to this problem is a full goodwill arrangement offering free replacement of affected CCD sensors. This goodwill arrangement applies regardless of the age of the camera and also covers sensors that have already been replaced in the past. Customers who have already been charged for the replacement of a sensor affected by this problem will receive a refund.

The effect does not affect the CMOS sensor of the Leica M (Typ 240). Should you, as an M customer, be considering an upgrade from your camera to a Leica M or M-P (Typ 240), Customer Care would be pleased to make you an attractive offer following a check of your camera and under consideration of the model and its age.

We have posted the details of the problem and the terms and conditions of our goodwill arrangement in the News section of our corporate Web site at Important Information Concerning the CCD Sensors // Global // About Leica News // Leica News // World of Leica - Leica Camera AG an have provided a link to the currently available Leica M Monochrom and M-E models. We will also be notifying our distributors regarding the new terms and conditions.

We are aware that Leica&#8217;s reputation for superior quality and endurance was the driving factor for your decision for Leica. We profoundly regret that we have been unable to completely fulfil our promise to you and our own standards from the outset. We are now making every effort to find a permanent and satisfactory technical solution for this problem and hope that our goodwill arrangement is able to rebuild and maintain your trust in the Leica brand!

Best regards,

Stefan Daniel
Director
Product Management Photo

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Reasonable and fair response from Leica, and it should
really give people confidence.
 

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Anxin

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Jan 12, 2011
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Just sent in my M9-P to Leica SG (suspected sensor corrosion). After their expert checked it, sensor must be replaced BUT no part. Expected to wait 3 months! Haiz.
(Offered to topup $5600 for an M240 but I passed.)
 

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madmacs

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My M9 had the sensor issue. Leica offered me upgrade to M240 for $5600 also. Price of M240 is about $11800. If I get the M9 repaired, the problem might crop up again. If I upgrade to M240, hopefully will not have similar issues, and it's a new 2-year warranty. Is it worth? What do you guys think?