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Sad day for me - my M9 died
Old 02-16-2020   #1
xichlo
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Sad day for me - my M9 died

My Leica M9 already has some corrosion but it worked perfectly at f2.8 or below, no sign of corrosion mark. I totally can live with that since I shoot mostly f2.8 or below.

A good news is that I just came back from Paris, and the camera worked great until the end of the trip, many vertical lines showed on the photos, like 100% of shots. Please see attachment for sample. However, I managed to get lot of good shots from the trips.

A bad news is that after I came back from the trip , and now 100% of the shots are half black and half ok. Please see attachment.

I am sad because i am not sure if it is related to the sensor or something else like the main board.

Another thing is that the cost of replacement new M9 sensor will probably $1700, I really love M9 but I am thinking of a used M10 which is about below $4500. Do you think M10 color is close to M9? and it makes more sense just to go to M10?

Thank you
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Old 02-16-2020   #2
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You are not the only one to have problems like this, lately, with M9.

About below 4500 USD M10? I wouldn't even think, if I have these money. But if you are using M9 for its colors, there is no replacement.
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Old 02-16-2020   #3
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Leica recently refurbished M9 cameras and sold them for $3000. with warranty.
I would get a used M10. Cameras get old.
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Old 02-16-2020   #4
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Remember when Leica advertised their digital M as lifetime cameras?
So much for that.

I’ve seen M240s at the $2k mark and they are rock solid. M10 is now $4500 used even though they are selling at $7200 new. The M-E is about $4k new right now. This is the version based on the 240.
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Old 02-16-2020   #5
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Sorry to hear about your camera. If a fix cost $1700 it is still your cheapest option to remain in digital Leicaland. There was a M240 in the classifieds recently for $2200. Can sell your M9 as-is for a few hundred, I imagine. I'm guessing budget is not your biggest consideration if you are thinking of an M10. The M9 used a CCD which may be the reason for those nice colours, so an M10 won't replicate them unless you are a photoshop whiz. It is clear the demise of the M9 is an opportunity to 'upgrade' so why not?
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Old 02-16-2020   #6
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I remember when Leica advertised like that and I remember thinking "ok whatever" then too.

Any piece of electronics will eventually die, and fixing them is easier than mechanical devices until it isn't (that is, until the parts run out). Software ages out, capacitors explode, organic pixels degrade (ok, not an issue in most leicas, but anything with an OLED screen).

I've happily had my Canon DSLR for almost 10 years, and it still works great, but eventually it won't. My hope is that Leica can have the staying power such that when my 240 bites the dust I can just go out and buy a new M mount digital, which is the best sort of immortality that I think digital cameras can hope for.
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Old 02-16-2020   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry View Post
I remember when Leica advertised like that and I remember thinking "ok whatever" then too.

Any piece of electronics will eventually die, and fixing them is easier than mechanical devices until it isn't (that is, until the parts run out). Software ages out, capacitors explode, organic pixels degrade (ok, not an issue in most leicas, but anything with an OLED screen).

I've happily had my Canon DSLR for almost 10 years, and it still works great, but eventually it won't. My hope is that Leica can have the staying power such that when my 240 bites the dust I can just go out and buy a new M mount digital, which is the best sort of immortality that I think digital cameras can hope for.
Problem is Leica electronics seem to die much sooner than other brands.
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Old 02-16-2020   #8
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This is the price for having a slim looking camera that resembles a film camera while DSLRs look very bulky. Is this the main reason for Leica dying earlier?
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Old 02-16-2020   #9
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Originally Posted by raid View Post
This is the price for having a slim looking camera that resembles a film camera while DSLRs look very bulky. Is this the main reason for Leica dying earlier?
M9 is not slim. It’s a chunky thing. The reason is cost cutting on parts. Why else would they spec an awful lcd screen on what was a $7k camera?
An rf camera is always slimmer than an SLR as there is no mirror box.
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Old 02-16-2020   #10
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Quote:
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M9 is not slim. It’s a chunky thing. The reason is cost cutting on parts. Why else would they spec an awful lcd screen on what was a $7k camera?
An rf camera is always slimmer than an SLR as there is no mirror box.
No prism, and no autofocus on the Leica, and a smaller lens mount and flange distance.

Each time I think about moving to a digital Leica, the same reliability and longevity issues come up. I can tolerate electronic obsolescence but not sensor terminal weltschmerz!
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Old 02-16-2020   #11
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Quote:
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Remember when Leica advertised their digital M as lifetime cameras?
So much for that.

I’ve seen M240s at the $2k mark and they are rock solid. M10 is now $4500 used even though they are selling at $7200 new. The M-E is about $4k new right now. This is the version based on the 240.
I doubt Leica AG is able to build something rock solid. Especially now with its with huge, non reversible screens. It just asking - baby me or crack me.

M-E 240 is discontinued.
Right before this price went up from 3.9K to 4.4K USD.
BH, Tamarkin has none of them left. Where are new ones on ebay, internationally, as low as 3800 NIB, but, I guess, here is tax, at least, on top of it.

Entire M240 line is just as M9 line now. Outdated digital cameras.
BH has clearance sale of Monochrome 246, limited amount left.

M10 will be their top of the line and only one digital RF for another three years at least.
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Old 02-16-2020   #12
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Getting a clean M10 for $4500 is not a bad deal now.
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Old 02-16-2020   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xichlo View Post
My Leica M9 already has some corrosion but it worked perfectly at f2.8 or below, no sign of corrosion mark. I totally can live with that since I shoot mostly f2.8 or below.

A good news is that I just came back from Paris, and the camera worked great until the end of the trip, many vertical lines showed on the photos, like 100% of shots. Please see attachment for sample. However, I managed to get lot of good shots from the trips.

A bad news is that after I came back from the trip , and now 100% of the shots are half black and half ok. Please see attachment.

I am sad because i am not sure if it is related to the sensor or something else like the main board.

Another thing is that the cost of replacement new M9 sensor will probably $1700, I really love M9 but I am thinking of a used M10 which is about below $4500. Do you think M10 color is close to M9? and it makes more sense just to go to M10?

Thank you
100% the sensor had the same thing happen to mine... I was lucky they still repaired to for free... otherwise I would have been looking at the M10... I still want an M10...used prices are going down... I'll wait... my M9 works great still...
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Old 02-16-2020   #14
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I've been completely happy with my M(240). Great upgrade for me from an M8. If you can find one for $2k used, I'd still pick it over an M10.
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Old 02-16-2020   #15
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I went through the same agonizing decision process when my M9 developed corrosion. Was more than a little PO'd with Leica's policy of acknowledging the issue was ALL sensors but only fixing cameras for free that developed the corrosion before a certain date. I decided I was never going to waste any more money on any new Leica products. Since I have a lot of Leica lenses I really like I went ahead and fixed the M9 but when it dies no more Leica digital. I just shoot film with my ancient M4 and newer M7 (until that dies).


And why is the repair cost now $1700??? My repair 2 years ago was $935. Quite a price increase. If they would have quoted me $1700 I would have thrown it the trash can.
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Old 02-16-2020   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
I went through the same agonizing decision process when my M9 developed corrosion. Was more than a little PO'd with Leica's policy of acknowledging the issue was ALL sensors but only fixing cameras for free that developed the corrosion before a certain date. I decided I was never going to waste any more money on any new Leica products. Since I have a lot of Leica lenses I really like I went ahead and fixed the M9 but when it dies no more Leica digital. I just shoot film with my ancient M4 and newer M7 (until that dies).


And why is the repair cost now $1700??? My repair 2 years ago was $935. Quite a price increase. If they would have quoted me $1700 I would have thrown it the trash can.
At least it's still repairable, unlike the $$$$$ S2 and S Typ 006.
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Old 02-16-2020   #17
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Although highly unlikely to address the problem, I would take a completely different SD card and try it after resetting camera. I had an acquaintance whose SD card became corrupt and had both lines on frames as well as have frames completely black. By doing what I outlined, completely addressed these issues. Nothing to lose if unsuccessful but worth a try.

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Old 02-16-2020   #18
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At least it's still repairable, unlike the $$$$$ S2 and S Typ 006.
Have Leica stopped repairing these, or are they out of parts?

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Old 02-16-2020   #19
Bill Clark
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Can you folks explain to me why you put up with that quality and longevity?

Sorry, I wouldn’t think of buying any Leica with electronics.

They must not care.
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Old 02-16-2020   #20
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Can you folks explain to me why you put up with that quality and longevity?

Sorry, I wouldn’t think of buying any Leica with electronics.

They must not care.
Hard to explain if you don't know how manufacturing works.
For example, Canon stopped 5D support years ago. Leica will still take M8 and try to find parts for it.
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Old 02-16-2020   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
Each time I think about moving to a digital Leica, the same reliability and longevity issues come up. I can tolerate electronic obsolescence but not sensor terminal weltschmerz!
Agreed …. I`ve been reading about these problems for far too many years now for me to ever contemplate moving to a Leica digital body.
I still use an old A7R2 for my Leica glass when its not on a film body(which isn`t often these days).
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Old 02-16-2020   #22
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I'd replace it with a Fuji X-Pro2, especially now you can get one for £800/$800

Sadly, it's a waste of time trying to use M lenses on the X-Pro - but Fuji's own are brilliant and as inexpensive as the camera (and my X-Pro1 never gave a problem of anything like the terminal nature of those suffered by M9s).

For my tuppence worth, the real pleasure in Leica ownership remains with the film Ms that I still use.

I hope the M10 is a better bet than the 9 - but after your experience...
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Old 02-16-2020   #23
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Trouble is we only learn about the dud ones. There might be thousands out there unaffected. Leica could do a little more to reassure us...


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Old 02-16-2020   #24
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Quote:
Canon stopped 5D support years ago.
Sorry to inform you; I have a Canon 5D and it has taken just over 300,000 photos and has never once had a problem. Matter of fact I own a Canon 20D I bought in 2004, on my coach Monte Zuckers recommendation, and it still works just fine even tho it now serves as a backup. The original battery from my 20D I still use.

When I first dove into digital, I would usually carry one of my Hasselblad film cameras as a backup but never had to use it as a backup.
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Old 02-16-2020   #25
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Thank you everyone for your responses.

What i don't understand is that how the sensor died so fast, within a few days. I can understand the corrosion issue, but the whole sensor died is another issue. You can see in the attachment, the photo came out perfectly, beautiful color. I shot with 35mm cron V1 LTM mount. Straight out from the camera.

And only the next day it started to have issue and then died after that.

Digical camera will fail but not a total failure like this.

This is my 2nd time my Leica camera died on me. The first was a Leica Minilux with a nice Summarit lens. It is now a paperweight or I can convert it with an HK adapter. Anyway, My Olympus MJU is still kicking.


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Old 02-16-2020   #26
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I think the only camera Leica made that did not have some type of elec. issue was the M-5 my meter still works and I use my M lenses on a A7s that is just a lot of fun.
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Old 02-16-2020   #27
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I'm sure that Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic cameras all have their problems, but when you pay 2x-4x more for a Leica, you expect they will last 2x-4x longer. Also, the financial hit you take when a Leica goes down is breathtaking.
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Old 02-16-2020   #28
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sorry to hear about your M9

prices for the M240 I have seen at $2400... It's a lovely camera
did very well in low light, did not notice it being heavy in weight the way people describe
I do think it's worth looking into
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Old 02-16-2020   #29
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Can the M240 and M10 produce the skin tone like the M9?

This is a photo straight out from M9 the last day I was in Paris and the lines started to show up.

I looked at the photo and I still loved how the skin tone and color came out. It was way better than my wife Fuji XT2 and Sony A7 . or even Canon.

there is something special about that CCD sensor.

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Old 02-16-2020   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
Sorry to inform you; I have a Canon 5D and it has taken just over 300,000 photos and has never once had a problem. Matter of fact I own a Canon 20D I bought in 2004, on my coach Monte Zuckers recommendation, and it still works just fine even tho it now serves as a backup. The original battery from my 20D I still use.

When I first dove into digital, I would usually carry one of my Hasselblad film cameras as a backup but never had to use it as a backup.
My 5D started to acting up just after end of support announcement.
My 2009 Canon 500D still works. But no support.

Again, still works and still supported are two different things. Sorry, to inform you .
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Old 02-16-2020   #31
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Can the M240 and M10 produce the skin tone like the M9?

.........

there is something special about that CCD sensor.


But, go on Flickr M240 group and check thousands of images.
It might suit you. Just check images provided in 1:1 size or close.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of M9 colors, but no any other FF camera has noise free images at low base iso. This is visible at 1:1.

It is hard to get M9 and even more harder to get rid of it.

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Old 02-16-2020   #32
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I wish it is that simple. the photos on Flickr are hard to tell if they have been post-processed or not. Some i have seen are heavily post-processed that I felt Iphone probably can do the same jobs.

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But, go on Flickr M240 group and check thousands of images.
It might suit you. Just check images provided in 1:1 size or close.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of M9 colors, but no any other FF camera has noise free images at low base iso. This is visible at 1:1.

It is hard to get M9 and even more harder to get rid of it.

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Old 02-16-2020   #33
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xichlo,

Did you try what I suggested in my earlier post today (above)? It's worth a try.

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Old 02-16-2020   #34
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Hello Dave,

I just did, with 2 new SD cards and still the same. Thank you very much for your recommendations.

I sent photos to Leica NJ to see what they will response. I need them to explain to me why the Sensor went bad that fast before I pay $1700 to replace it.



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xichlo,

Did you try what I suggested in my earlier post today (above)? It's worth a try.

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Old 02-16-2020   #35
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Quote:
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Can you folks explain to me why you put up with that quality and longevity?

Sorry, I wouldn’t think of buying any Leica with electronics.

They must not care.
Obviously the true answer is that there isn't another viable way to shoot M glass with a digital rangefinder. We can all pretend that Leica bodies are some phenomenal product but the truth is that's all that is available. C'mon, Cosina, I'm looking at you! Give us a digital Bessa!

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Old 02-16-2020   #36
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Nothing wrong with putting Leica lenses on other bodies, people are doing that with Sony A7xx.

this is a funny story few days ago before my trip ended, I went to a famous cafe in Paris, and a waiter set me up at an empty table in the corner. There was a nice table next to the windows , i asked if I could sit there, the waiter hesitated to allow me, probably it was for some frequent guesses. The manager saw me and he said yes and allowed me to sit at that table.

He then winked at me and said nice camera. I am not sure if I put a Leica lens on Sony A7 and carry it around my neck , the manager would allow me to sit that special table. Maybe he is a Leica man
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Old 02-16-2020   #37
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The probability of a camera failure increases with age, as any camera ages the probability of failure increases. For the Leica M9 age, or use, or environmental factors had nothing to so with it. ALL sensors were bad due to manufacturing defect. That's the sore point. Any reputable manufacturer will stand behind their product when they determine that they screwed up. Look at Nikon with the D750, they issued a recall due to shutter issues all the way back to 2014.
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Old 02-16-2020   #38
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My feeling is that the 240 raw files with “embedded” profile set are almost the same as the m9, thought not exactly the same, skin tone is the closest with auto color balance.

I shoot mostly with 5600k color balance so I end up not caring what skin tone it creates, but it’s ok.

Personaly i give the edge to the 240.
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Old 02-16-2020   #39
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Another point on the m9 failure. Those cameras are very poorly sealed, and they are older now. Moisture is doom for electronics, in the end. Over time it is inevitable.

My 5d is pretty well sealed, but literally all electronics are doomed.
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Old 02-16-2020   #40
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xichlo,

I'm glad you tried other SD cards as if for nothing else, it brings the certainty that the sensor or electronics is at fault. As to whether to address senor replacement, or a M240 or M10 is a question that you'll get a myriad of responses. There is no right or wrong answer, especially that there are others facing the same dilemma. The closest you'll come to knowing what's right for yourself, is to try and borrow or rent a M240 and/or a M10. That will go a long way to knowing what direction you want to take. That in itself is more important than well intentioned opinions. A camera body should inspire and when it does, a person's photography generally soars.

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