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M9 CCD Out of Stock! (Coating issue)
Old 04-05-2012   #1
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Unhappy M9 CCD Out of Stock! (Coating issue)

My M9 went to Schmidt Marketing in HK (offical distributor) for a sensor cleaning (first time in over a year of use) and it was discovered that the coating on the CCD has peeled off at one of the corners.

Has anyone else had this happen to their M9? I'm assuming this is covered by the warranty (I hope I'm right).

They also told me that the CCD's are out of stock at Leica Germany? Anyone have news on this?
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It's a Kodak!
Old 04-05-2012   #2
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It's a Kodak!

Doesn't surprise me in the least (Re. your penultimate sentence). It's a Kodak sensor, and they've recently run aground economically.
What I wonder about is how some layer could peel off a sensor, I thought of them as pretty monolithic. Prooves Murphy's law. Sorry for your predicament.
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Old 04-05-2012   #3
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Doesn't Leica guarantee replacement parts for at least 9 years or something like that? Maybe you'll get lucky and they'll be forced to replace it with an M10!
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Old 04-05-2012   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johann Espiritu View Post
My M9 went to Schmidt Marketing in HK (offical distributor) for a sensor cleaning (first time in over a year of use) and it was discovered that the coating on the CCD has peeled off at one of the corners.

Has anyone else had this happen to their M9? I'm assuming this is covered by the warranty (I hope I'm right).

They also told me that the CCD's are out of stock at Leica Germany? Anyone have news on this?
An official distributor of Leica told you that the CCD's are out of stock at Leica Germany??? Hard to believe... Could this be just a sort of excuse to tell the customers while they, as distributor, ran out of inventory for this sensor?

I would be inquiring that again for nobody has heard something about Solms stopped production due to sensor shortage..
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Old 04-05-2012   #5
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Kodak has gone under. This is why an imminent M10 makes even more sense. I own an M9 and I am not enthused that my $7000 camera may end up in the trash if something goes wrong.
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Old 04-05-2012   #6
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The word in the email sent to me was "peeling" but it may just be a rough translation. Perhaps "fading" might have been more appropriate? In any case, I'm more concerned about supply and warranty coverage.

Has anyone here had their CCDs replaced under warranty? What were the circumstances? Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2012   #7
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Originally Posted by phaedrus View Post
Doesn't surprise me in the least (Re. your penultimate sentence). It's a Kodak sensor, and they've recently run aground economically.
What I wonder about is how some layer could peel off a sensor, I thought of them as pretty monolithic. Prooves Murphy's law. Sorry for your predicament.
maybe not.

I'm told Kodak sold their sensor business.

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Old 04-05-2012   #8
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sounds very unlikely they run out of stock, given how long they still have to service cameras they have sold. "oops, we dont have more sensors" just cant happen.
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Old 04-05-2012   #9
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Kodak's sensor division was sold months ago. Maybe the changeover to the new ownership group is causing a delay in sensor production.
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Old 04-05-2012   #10
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Originally Posted by swoop View Post
Kodak has gone under. This is why an imminent M10 makes even more sense. I own an M9 and I am not enthused that my $7000 camera may end up in the trash if something goes wrong.
Kodak is not gone, they're in Chapter 11. They're reorganizing, not dead.

They sold their image sensor business to Platinum Equity. Sensors are still being made, and they are not burdened one whit by Kodak's situation, not being part of Kodak anymore.

This information is not hard to find.
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Old 04-05-2012   #11
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Leica is not the sole user of KAF series sensors, there are many other users as well like the industrial or machine vision camera manufacturers like JAI, Jenoptik (they are couple of times larger than Leica), Avigilon, Lumenera, etc. I am in this business and did not hear a single news from these companies about sensor shortage consequently discontinued camera models.

Leica may move to implement a different sensor technology in the oncoming models however this certainly is not due to the situation of the KAF series. It's obvious that the CMOS has become the standard for the sensors sized from M43 up to FF..
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Old 04-05-2012   #12
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The thread title states that sensor is out of stock because of a coating issue.

Does this mean that they're no longer manufacturing because they can't coat, because the coating is problematic...the coating is out of stock... or perhaps it's a case of telephone game?
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Old 04-05-2012   #13
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There have been a few delays but mostly, even if some customers got a “ waiting for spare parts” message from Leica, turnaround has been within a few weeks. Sensors are manufactured in batches, and if the demand fluctuates there may be a hiccup in the flow of supplies. This has been happening in the past and will happen in the future.
It is not a sign that the sky is falling. This specific case has been discussed elsewhere before and it appears to be a snafu at a local agent compounded by an excuse.
And as posted above by others the sensor is made by Truesense nowadays, who purchased Kodak’s sensor division a while ago, so Kodak’s troubles are as relevant as Saab’s here.
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Old 04-07-2012   #14
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There are only two reasons I can think of why Leica would run out of sensors. One is, they have had to replace so many more M9 sensors than they expected, that they ran through the entire inventory of spares they had stockpiled. If that's not the case, then it means Leica aren't stockpiling very many of them. I can certainly understand Leica management's reluctance to invest in thousands of spare sensors, but to me as a customer it seems worrisome that the long-term viability of the M9 rests dependent on a third-party supplier. Then again, someone like me who intends keeping the M9 and not immediately upgrading to an M10 might not be the kind of customer Leica is courting.
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Old 04-07-2012   #15
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My M9 is at Solms for a replacement sensor. I had an email from them a couple of days ago stating that the sensor will be replaced. There was no mention of a delay due to sensor's being out of stock. I would imagine they would have mentioned it in the email if they were.
There are many camera manufacturer's using sensor's not made in-house so lets not get hysterical about all this. Let's keep this in proportion!
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Old 04-07-2012   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Meaby View Post
My M9 is at Solms for a replacement sensor. I had an email from them a couple of days ago stating that the sensor will be replaced. There was no mention of a delay due to sensor's being out of stock. I would imagine they would have mentioned it in the email if they were.
There are many camera manufacturer's using sensor's not made in-house so lets not get hysterical about all this. Let's keep this in proportion!
Thanks for the info. May I ask why your sensor was replaced, and if this was covered by the warranty?
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Old 04-07-2012   #17
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FYI: Kodak sold the sensor division to Platinum Equity in November of 2011. They've created a new brand ... http://www.truesenseimaging.com/ ... and are continuing to produce and deliver sensors. Certainly to Leica.
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Old 04-07-2012   #18
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hmmm. M9 prices are going up.
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Old 04-07-2012   #19
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There are only two reasons I can think of why Leica would run out of sensors. One is, they have had to replace so many more M9 sensors than they expected, that they ran through the entire inventory of spares they had stockpiled. If that's not the case, then it means Leica aren't stockpiling very many of them. I can certainly understand Leica management's reluctance to invest in thousands of spare sensors, but to me as a customer it seems worrisome that the long-term viability of the M9 rests dependent on a third-party supplier. Then again, someone like me who intends keeping the M9 and not immediately upgrading to an M10 might not be the kind of customer Leica is courting.
Actually, according to my sources at Leica, sensor replacement rates are lower than expected. The problems arise from sales being more than three times the projected number.
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Old 04-08-2012   #20
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Thanks for the info. May I ask why your sensor was replaced, and if this was covered by the warranty?
Hi Johann just waiting for it to be replaced. My camera was out of warranty but they are replacing it free of charge. The camera has taken less than 5000 actuations but I noticed two marks appearing on photo's that I couldn't remove by wet cleaning the sensor. They were marks with a concentric pattern.
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Old 04-08-2012   #21
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Actually, according to my sources at Leica, sensor replacement rates are lower than expected. The problems arise from sales being more than three times the projected number.
That's great for Leica. Now that they know how many were sold, it would be great if they stockpiled enough sensors so that they (and we) aren't at the mercy of a third party supplier (or sourcing a new one, if the current supplier becomes unavailable or uneconomical). Even if someday I get an M10, I would want to keep my M9 as a backup rather than sell it as I did the M8.
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Old 04-08-2012   #22
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That's great for Leica. Now that they know how many were sold, it would be great if they stockpiled enough sensors so that they (and we) aren't at the mercy of a third party supplier (or sourcing a new one, if the current supplier becomes unavailable or uneconomical). Even if someday I get an M10, I would want to keep my M9 as a backup rather than sell it as I did the M8.
Owning a DMR which, should it break down, cannot be repaired through lack of spare parts, I can only sympathize with this sentiment.
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Old 04-08-2012   #23
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It's a little like being a film shooter with this constant threat of film dying that we read about regularly!

I'd be a little worried about the new manufacturer's committment to making the CCD for Leica long term ... especially in this CMOS world! I wouldn't expect Leica to be offering replacement M9 sensors in twenty years ... but the next ten would be nice!
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Old 04-08-2012   #24
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I'd be a little worried about the new manufacturer's committment to making the CCD for Leica long term ... especially in this CMOS world! I wouldn't expect Leica to be offering replacement M9 sensors in twenty years ... but the next ten would be nice!
CCD will live long years more with the camcorders due to the fact that they use global shutters; i.e. the entire frame is exposed with a predetermined shutter speed whereas there's no mechanical shutter to cover and then uncover the imager; electronic timing accomplishes it. With the CMOS rolling shutters are used but they exhibit skew, wavy imaging, wobble and partial exposure. (Dalsa just recently issued CMOS with global shutter however they are for very high frame rate industrial cameras)

Leica should have left the CCD type sensors behind however the speculations on the new B&W camera makes me think that, probably they could not devise a way to reach to a FF-CMOS and to maintain the interest (or to be able to introduce something new) they might still use the same CCD and get almost 10 times more sensitivity in lux compared to the one the M9 has. If they do, then add another 10 years for the availability of this sensor.
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Old 04-08-2012   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johann Espiritu View Post
My M9 went to Schmidt Marketing in HK (offical distributor) for a sensor cleaning (first time in over a year of use) and it was discovered that the coating on the CCD has peeled off at one of the corners.

Has anyone else had this happen to their M9? I'm assuming this is covered by the warranty (I hope I'm right).

They also told me that the CCD's are out of stock at Leica Germany? Anyone have news on this?
Twice on mine. Both repaired under warranty. Now that my camera is out of warranty, I pray it doesn't happen again.
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Old 04-08-2012   #26
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Quote:
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Twice on mine. Both repaired under warranty. Now that my camera is out of warranty, I pray it doesn't happen again.
Wow - twice. That's a lot! How long into the warranty were you? Same "peeling" issue?
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Old 04-08-2012   #27
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I had mine replaced due to a banding issue that was quite frequent. It's popped up recently again though infrequently so i might have it sent out to have the issue taken care of one more time.

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Old 04-10-2012   #28
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UPDATE:

I contacted Leica in Solms to confirm the CDD stock problem. I got a quick reply saying that the CCDs are indeed out of stock, but should arrive "any day now". They said they would send them to HK right away so that they could replace my sensor - under warranty! Hurrah!

Still keeping my fingers crossed that this is fixed soon!
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Old 04-10-2012   #29
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The sensor was replaced in my M9 back in November 2011. They were out of stock and said it could take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. I thought it was strange, since the sensors are made here in the US and have to be shipped to Solms for distribution to Leitz in New Jersey. When I mentioned this to the woman on the phone, she told me the sensors are not made by Kodak! I left it at that....sometimes ignorance is bliss. A week and half later my camera arrived back from repair under warranty. A lot faster then the 2-4 weeks NJ originally said.
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Old 04-10-2012   #30
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When I mentioned this to the woman on the phone, she told me the sensors are not made by Kodak! I left it at that....sometimes ignorance is bliss.
I guess technically in November they were made by Platinum Equity...
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Old 04-17-2012   #31
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My M9 is at Solms for a replacement sensor. I had an email from them a couple of days ago stating that the sensor will be replaced. There was no mention of a delay due to sensor's being out of stock. I would imagine they would have mentioned it in the email if they were.
There are many camera manufacturer's using sensor's not made in-house so lets not get hysterical about all this. Let's keep this in proportion!
Mine is in New Jersey for a sensor replacement, kind note just received indicating it would be 2-3 weeks for the repair due to delay in replacement sensor shipment from Germany to the US.

I'm resigned to a higher frequency of repairs in the case of the M9. I believe, on the side of hope and reason, that the camera is worth the trouble. Only a fool would spend this kind of money on such equipment if it weren't.

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Old 04-25-2012   #32
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UPDATE 2: The sensor has been replaced and is on it's way back home to me! Despite the anxiety, Leica customer service in Solms was great and I can't wait to have it back.

Now, let's see what May 10 brings...
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Old 04-25-2012   #33
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Now, let's see what May 10 brings...

M10.


$10,000 USD.


And hopefully a lower rate of major repairs.
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Old 04-25-2012   #34
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Update: my M9 arrived today from New Jersey, 19 days door-to-door, with new sensor/board, CLA, and new covering. Very pleased.
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Old 04-25-2012   #35
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Update: my M9 arrived today from New Jersey, 19 days door-to-door, with new sensor/board, CLA, and new covering. Very pleased.
Mike,

Out of curiosity was it under warranty? If not, I'm curious to know what it costs to do this with an M9.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 04-26-2012   #36
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Mike,

Out of curiosity was it under warranty? If not, I'm curious to know what it costs to do this with an M9.

Thanks,
Dave
Dave, mine is still under warranty. The invoice shows "NC" rather than any figures, so I have no idea. My experience, and others' too, are making me consider an extended warranty which Leica has been offering for awhile.
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Old 04-26-2012   #37
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My experience, and others' too, are making me consider an extended warranty which Leica has been offering for awhile.
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I've been considering this too, but it's not a cheap option either!
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Old 02-21-2018   #38
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Okay, so this is an almost six years old thread but I have a positive note to attach: My M9 was afflicted with what we now know as sensor cover glass corrosion, too, but I only found out recently when I got it out of storage. I took it in to Wetzlar and was offered the exchange program even though that has officialy ended. How‘s that for standing by your product? Now I‘m getting a new M monochrom (Type 246) on Saturday. Giddy with anticipation, as this is my dream camera.
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Old 02-21-2018   #39
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This is a positive feedback for Leica. Good for you.
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Old 02-21-2018   #40
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Okay, so this is an almost six years old thread but I have a positive note to attach: My M9 was afflicted with what we now know as sensor cover glass corrosion, too, but I only found out recently when I got it out of storage. I took it in to Wetzlar and was offered the exchange program even though that has officialy ended. How‘s that for standing by your product? Now I‘m getting a new M monochrom (Type 246) on Saturday. Giddy with anticipation, as this is my dream camera.
What is the exchange program? (owner of a working M9)
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