Leica Camera’s official response on the M9 sensor white spots/corrosion issue

Leica Camera official response on M9 sensor white spots corrosion issue
Leica Camera has issued an official statement on the Leica M9 sensor white spots/corrosion issues I reported earlier:

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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  • Albert Macfarlane

    In many countries, the Leica warranty is not transferable to subsequent purchasers of these cameras. No word in this statement whether Leica will support the second hand market by providing sensor replacement for units without a primary warranty registration.

    • Old Doc

      What about ” This goodwill arrangement applies regardless of the age of the camera” do you not understand ??

      If age of the camera is no issue, the CCD will be exchanged if it is corroded. Period. No questions asked.

      In fact I would not send in any non-corroded sensor right now, since it seems they have not yet found a final remedy:
      “We are now making every effort to find a permanent and satisfactory technical solution for this problem”.
      BTW: This sentence is in the official statement but has been omitted by Leica Rumors. It implies that they have not yet altered the design of the CCD sensor and are still looking for a solution …

      • I copied and pasted the entire text from Leica’s website – they must have updated their statement.

      • Albert Macfarlane

        Old Doc – please re-read the Leica statement. If you think “regardless of the age of the camera” means that second and third owners are covered, your understanding exceeds mine.

        • Read the FAQ

          I agree that it’s ambiguous as to the goodwill covering any camera out there, or only covering the original owner of the camera. Age of the camera is irrelevant in this case.

  • Patrick McKay

    Good on Leica, for their top notch customer support. It would behoove certain other manufacturers (Canikon, etc), to take notice of how Leica has responded so clearly to this issue. (hint – It does wonders for brand loyalty)

    • Cinekpol

      Nikon would release a new model: M9.10

    • I agree, Leica has always been very responsive to issues/problems with their products.

      • Nick12UK

        Bute why do not they fixed the flaky M240?

  • This issue stops me from buying a Monochrom as my XMas present. At least until a permanent solution will be found.

    Respect to Leica for the Customer support and also for its clear and quick press release.

    • Wade Marks

      You have good reason to hold off purchasing the Monochrom, and obviously it’s your money…

      However, it appears from this press release that this is a problem that manifests itself only after a few years of use at best…so it seems that if you really want your XMas present, you should still be able to purchase one and enjoy it, while Leica works this thing out.

      • That’s true. And given the fact that Leica decided to change every sensor, no matter when the camera was bought and no matter how many time passed, I decided to buy the Monochrom.
        I really appreciate how Leica is considering its customers.

    • Ric Ricard

      Obviously, this is a real problem. Otherwise, Leica would not have responded. However, it’s not widespread in the sense that there must be thousands of people like me who have never even heard of this problem. Mind you, I visit the LFI Leica forum all the time and I’ve never come across anything about this issue. And, I’ve had an M9 for 3 or 4 years now, and I’ve never heard of the issue. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a MM because of this issue.

      • You’re right Ric, and Leica is now offering a free new sensor to those who are facing or will face the issue.
        We’re not used to see such a care for customers, nowadays..
        Having said so, a silver MM is back on my “presents list” 🙂

  • Kynikos

    Well done Leica.
    I abuse Leica for lagging in sensor tech, but the companies offering the best sensors aren’t this responsive to customer complaints on legitimate issues.

  • Dorian Moro

    Admirable customer service by Leica. Any Indication that the M8 would be affected?!

    • Camera Freak

      Since the M-8 had other issues with the ir-filter, hence the need for mounting ir-filter on the lense, it remains to hear if the corrosion is an issue with this model. However, my experience from the red dot issue give me no hope of any solution to any corrosion issues. According to the Leica techincal support the red dot issue is unsolveable and no replacement ccd was offered,. Instead I was offered to buy a new m240 at standard price, which either indicates that there are no ccd sensors available for consumers, or that Leica probably thinks it’s a better deal for me to upgrade altoghether.
      Regarding the statement that you have to be the first owner I have not had any reason to hold it against Leica that the offerings depends on you being the first buyer. For instance, I still have the ability to use the offer of 2 free IR filters for the M8 which the previous owner did not use.

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