Buying a used M9
Old 04-25-2018   #1
agentsim
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Buying a used M9

Hi Folks,

I'm looking at buying a used M9, looks to be in pretty good condition. The sensor was replaced by a local dealer in July of 2017, shutter count is 11500.

If I understand correctly, the July 2017 sensor should be a good one, so I don't have to worry about corrosion. 11.5k on the shutter seems low, so I don't think I need to worry there.

What should I be checking when I meet up with the seller to confirm that this is a good buy?
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Old 04-25-2018   #2
Ko.Fe.
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I would check RF alignment. Vertical (some close object) and on infinity (really far object).
And see if battery is Leica made.
And check sensor as usual.
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Old 04-25-2018   #3
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What's the best way to check the sensor without risking any undue damage by exposing while I'm poking around?
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Old 04-25-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentsim View Post
Hi Folks,

The sensor was replaced by a local dealer in July of 2017
What does that even mean? I thought that the sensor could only be replaced by Leica HQ. Never heard of a dealer doing this for Leica.
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Old 04-25-2018   #5
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What does that even mean? I thought that the sensor could only be replaced by Leica HQ. Never heard of a dealer doing this for Leica.
Bad description on my part. What I mean is, it was sent to the local authorized Leica dealer, who likely sent it to the correct Leica repair centre.

On the listing, there's a picture of a certificate saying that the camera was tested and repaired by Leica trained technicians.
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Old 04-26-2018   #6
David Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentsim View Post
What's the best way to check the sensor without risking any undue damage by exposing while I'm poking around?
Hi,

Best not to go poking around but instead take a lens (preferably coded) and a media card and take a few pictures. Try and take them as you normally would, meaning shutter speeds, aperture and ISO choices.

Then print them to 16" x 24" and get a magnifying glass and go over them, or do it on screen after tapping the "/" button.

Even then I'd say you still won't know if you like the camera until you've a had it a week or two and get to know its little ways and the ways of your lenses with it.

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Old 04-26-2018   #7
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I'm not too worried about liking it, I had an M8.2, and I rue the day I sold that.

I'm not sure if I'll have time to a super thorough inspection. I'll make sure to load some images onto my laptop and go over them.
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Old 04-26-2018   #8
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It's good that the certificate is there. I'd definitely say any paperwork about the sensor replacement should be included in the sale and make sure the serial numbers match up.
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Old 04-26-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentsim View Post
What's the best way to check the sensor without risking any undue damage by exposing while I'm poking around?
Take a photo of the sky stopped down to f16 and look at the images at 100% or more. Corrosion marks look haloed and generally symmetrical. There are plenty of examples on the web if you do an image search.

Marty
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Old 04-26-2018   #10
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The most important thing would be to bring a laptop or tablet that can open the DNG files with you, and to look at the files while you're still there, especially at 100% magnification. Besides corrosion, you should check for hot pixels and dead CCD lines - these can still occur on a replaced sensor, and can only be fixed by sending the camera back to Leica. (which they will charge for!)
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Old 04-26-2018   #11
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The paperwork accompanying my M9 was as vague as Johnwolf said. I wonder if their lawyers told them not to mention the sensor, so in case it goes bad again, the replacement wouldn't be guaranteed and Leica wouldn't have to to replace it again. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.
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Old 04-26-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I would check RF alignment. Vertical (some close object) and on infinity (really far object).
And see if battery is Leica made.
And check sensor as usual.
I agree with this... especially the battery if you live in a cold weather city. Many other cameras, generic batteries work. On the M8 and M9, I found them to be very bad (especially in the cold).
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Old 04-26-2018   #13
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Assuming the camera really has been at Leica for sensor replacement in July 2017, it's a much safer buy than most used cameras regardless of age. Outside obvious impact or moisture damage on the body (since Leica service), you are unlikely to find any serious issues by inspecting the camera. Rangefinder alignment is anyway good to check.
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Old 04-26-2018   #14
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Go into the camera's menu and check the firmware.
If it has the latest sensor, it will have firmware 1.204.
It is not available as a download so camera's with old sensors will not have it.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic.../#entry2921419
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Old 04-26-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
Take a photo of the sky stopped down to f16 and look at the images at 100% or more. Corrosion marks look haloed and generally symmetrical. There are plenty of examples on the web if you do an image search.

Marty
+1 on this. Dust on the sensor is simply a spot. Separation is a spot with a halo or ring around some or all of it.

As to RF alignment that is simple enough to see when focusing the camera. Batteries are still available new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Go into the camera's menu and check the firmware.
If it has the latest sensor, it will have firmware 1.204.
It is not available as a download so camera's with old sensors will not have it.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic.../#entry2921419
And +1 on this. The definitive answer about the sensor replacement.
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Old 04-26-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentsim View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm looking at buying a used M9, looks to be in pretty good condition. The sensor was replaced by a local dealer in July of 2017, shutter count is 11500.

If I understand correctly, the July 2017 sensor should be a good one, so I don't have to worry about corrosion. 11.5k on the shutter seems low, so I don't think I need to worry there.

What should I be checking when I meet up with the seller to confirm that this is a good buy?
Before buying a used M9, you might want to wait and see what the new rumored Zenit rangefinder turns out to be (or not be).

Rumors are that its based on the M9, produced in partnership with Leica.
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Old 04-26-2018   #17
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... with Leica's "new sensor"? That would be cool.
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Old 04-26-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
Take a photo of the sky stopped down to f16 and look at the images at 100% or more. Corrosion marks look haloed and generally symmetrical. There are plenty of examples on the web if you do an image search.

Marty
This.






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Old 04-26-2018   #19
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A good point. Thanks. This is very useful.
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Old 04-26-2018   #20
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Thanks for all the advice. I've got a nice checklist of stuff to go through now.
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Old 05-01-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
That's a good step, but it won't tell you if you're getting an upgraded camera. You could be buying an old-sensor M9 that has not corroded YET.
Absolutely, but it's the best way to check if it is corroded now.

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Old 05-01-2018   #22
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Drop Leica an email with the serial - they will let you know if the sensor has been changed and if it has been changed to the new one.

James
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Old 05-01-2018   #23
Ko.Fe.
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How to check sensor?
By naked eye, first. Then to the sky or by using of method I described (it is in this sub forum).
What is on the sensor is reviewable by magnifying view and navigation keys on the camera.
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Old 05-04-2018   #24
agentsim
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Thanks for all the input folks. I'm now the happy owner of a new old M9 and a 7art 50mm/1.1 lens
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Old 05-04-2018   #25
Ko.Fe.
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Welcome to the club. Clean entry .
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Old 05-05-2018   #26
David Hughes
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Now you're in The Club I'll warn you; it's best not to read posts about the M9 and just enjoy using it.


Regards, David
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Old 05-05-2018   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Go into the camera's menu and check the firmware.
If it has the latest sensor, it will have firmware 1.204.
It is not available as a download so camera's with old sensors will not have it.
[/url]
That was true at the time but current firmware is 1.216 and will run on both the old and new M9 equipped cameras.

http://us.leica-camera.com/Service-S...2&language=all
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Old 05-06-2018   #28
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I would imagine you can contact Leica with the SN and they could tell you if and or when the sensor was updated.
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