The Leica Sensor Corrosion is now heating almost all over the web and we also want to alert as well as give information our users about this issue, M9, M9-P, MM, ME few models are all seemingly doomed by sensor corrosion issue. The root cause of the problem is actually Schott S8612 glass that covers the sensor and the list of effected models is bit huge that includes the M9-P Edition Hermès, M9-P Meisterstück, M9-P White, M9-P Montreux Jazz Festival, M9-P Silver/Red Leather, M Monochrom Ralph Gibson, M Monochrom Silver Anniversary and super pricey M9 Titanium and M Monochrom of the Edition 100 set.
As far as I can remember Leica cameras models are always in news for some serious problems, the problem list includes Leica M8 sensor and LCD problem, sensor cover glass cracking of M9 series camera, low battery issue and SDHC card compatibility issue of M9.. and more…
How to check
How to check Your M Series camera is affected by the issue or not, point your camera towards clear blue sky by selecting blue background and set your aperture to F11, bring back your capture image to your computer and see it 100%, black spots what you see is actually sensor dust that can be removed…but is you see white spots or a cluster of them then you should contact Leica for your sensor replacement.
What Leica Says
First Response that Surfaced over the Web Via Leica Camera on Nov 14, 2014
Based on this thread, we feel the need to clarifying a couple of things about the sensor marks issue you have been experiencing. The issue is linked with corrosion effects on the cover glass of the CCD sensor in Leica M9, M9-P, M Monochrom and M-E cameras. They manifest themselves as marks on images captured at smaller apertures (f/5.6-22). The new Leica M (Type 240) with the CMOS sensor is not affected by this problem. We are truly sorry for the inconvenience encountered and we have set up the following scheme for servicing the sensors of the products affected. Please be aware that a contact-free cleaning of the sensor is essential in preventing the issue.
- Customer care will perform sensor cleaning free of charge by prior arrangement.
- In the case of damage as a result of corrosion, the sensor will be replaced free of charge up to three years following the date of purchase. Leica Camera AG will cover the full costs of replacement, amounting to 1,800 euros plus applicable VAT. This does not apply to sensors damaged by scratching or breakage of the sensor glass.
- In the fourth and fifth year following the date of purchase, sensors damaged by the corrosion effects described will be replaced for a fixed charge of 600 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 1,200 euros.
- In the sixth and seventh year following the date of purchase, sensor replacement will be offered at a fixed charge of 1,200 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 600 euros.
- For the eighth and more years following the date of purchase, sensor replacement will be offered at a fixed charge of 1,500 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 300 euros.
- The prices stated apply for direct shipment of the camera to Leica Customer Care in Wetzlar or the Customer Care department of a national distributor. Additional costs may arise when the camera is sent to Leica through a dealer.
- Mandatory warranty conditions will apply after customers have taken advantage of the extended goodwill arrangement.
- As longer waiting times may otherwise occur, the camera should only be sent to Customer Care after prior arrangement.
We will continue watching this thread so you are welcome to react here.
^JJ with Leica-camera
The Second Response arrived on 26 Nov 2014… The letter doesn’t clear anything as the previous one… it just give guideline how to clear your sensor
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 (link is external)
Cleaning swabs made by ‘Visible Dust’:
Camera sensor cleaning — Arctic Butterfly sensor brush, loupe, swabs, liquids (link is external)
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
Thanks to our user for pointing out the issue
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