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Thread: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    I took my perfect M9, less than a year old, off the shelf yesterday for some portrait work and reviewed the first few shots to discover a strange diagonal line in all the photos. I thought somehow a hair got on the sensor, but I discovered a giant crack in the IR filter glass covering the sensor! Needless to say, I was less than pleased, as the camera has never been subjected to a drop or shock.

    I started reading on the L-Forum and apparently many M9s have had the same experience as mine and people are listing their serial numbers there. I am contacting Leica NJ customer service today and I will post the outcome here.

    AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHH!

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Ouch!

    I am sorry... Please keep us abreast of the situation.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    That sucks, sorry to hear this.

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Really sucks. If Leica's image quality weren't so amazing, they'd be out of business given their QC issues (I'm thinking focusing issues, mainly).

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    It is another instance of persistent Leica quality issues.
    I personally have never had as much grief from any other gear manufacturer as I have had from Leica. I was really hoping that they had these issues behind them but it seems that the focus on special editions is more earnest than making stuff that works. I do know several happy M9 owners but I just do not have their patience.
    -bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    While there is no doubt that Leica does have QC issues, the M9 sensor cracking problem, as far as I know, is/was a Kodak problem :-)

    (still waiting for mine to crack - got my M9 on the first day, so it's in for a crack too :-)

    Chris

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    It may have been a supplier issue, but primary responsibility resides with Leica to specify and inspect that parts are built to specification.
    -bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    It may have been a supplier issue, but primary responsibility resides with Leica to specify and inspect that parts are built to specification.
    -bob
    I hear you Bob, but I think we need to cut Leica some slack on this sensor glass issue.. they wrote a great spec, the sensor is fabulous. Why should they even have to bother with specs on the type or Brand of glue used to cement the glass down? Sorry, but that falls in Kodak's lap, in my opinion. When I buy a new pair of glasses, I am responsible for providing my correct prescription. God help me if I had to also start telling them what glue to use in holding them together

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    I wouldn't.
    Incoming inspection is common amongst competent manufacturers. A small sample subject to a thermal shock test, which is very common in the semiconductor and sensor industries, would likely have shown them that something was amiss. We have been doing this for YEARS.
    No, I don't cut them any slack on this at all.
    They are in over their heads and all the (expletive deleted) folks that cut them slack allow them to be oblivious to fact.
    -bob

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Regardless of who's ultimately responsible, Leica is taking care of me. I am sending in the camera and as long as there's no sign of trauma on the body they are replacing the sensor at no charge. They said I will have it back in 7-10 days. I suppose if I yelled and screamed it would take less time, but I have backup cameras so no need to yell.

    Despite the problems, I have never enjoyed any camera as much as the M9, nor have I gotten better pictures than I have from the M9.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    My sensor cracked last summer. So far it seems a small batch of sensors (from KODAK) are responsible and from cameras built Sept > November'ish 2009. Serial numbers don't give a direct match as they are assigned in large groups.

    But I had to wait seven weeks for a repair as Kodak were on back order and Leica were selling as many M9's as they could make. The seven weeks is all I can quibble about. I don't think Leica would expect to micro inspect every Copal shutter they buy for the M9, never mind micro inspecting every sensor which should be built to the agreed tolerances which are set down by Leica in the first place. If anybody is 'in over their heads' its Kodak, and I resent the idea that I'm in denial by 'Bob'.
    Steve

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    My sensor cracked last summer. So far it seems a small batch of sensors (from KODAK) are responsible and from cameras built Sept > November'ish 2009. Serial numbers don't give a direct match as they are assigned in large groups.

    But I had to wait seven weeks for a repair as Kodak were on back order and Leica were selling as many M9's as they could make. The seven weeks is all I can quibble about. I don't think Leica would expect to micro inspect every Copal shutter they buy for the M9, never mind micro inspecting every sensor which should be built to the agreed tolerances which are set down by Leica in the first place. If anybody is 'in over their heads' its Kodak, and I resent the idea that I'm in denial by 'Bob'.
    Steve
    Steve,
    Sorry if you do, but think about the situation of a similar attitude were taken by auto or aircraft manufacturers.
    Sure Laptop computer manufacturers had issues with one manufacturer's batteries causing the products to burst in flame. Yes the original fault was the part maker, the actual party that YOU do business with is the assembler.
    Specify, test, inspect. I will grant that from time to time stuff gets past them but responsible manufactures then do a recall and pro-actively replace units in the field.
    Ask yourself the question: Would you buy a Leica pacemaker?
    Digital makes all sorts of stuff more complicated and the mechanical to digital transition is not at all easy since it takes a whole raft of new expertise on the part of the manufacturer. Most camera makers have gone through it already and sure, some have had their problems. My peeve is that it seems to be taking Leica an inordinately large amount of time to resolve the "simple" issues. I say simple because these sorts of failures have been known in the industry for several years and there are well known and commonly implemented circumventions.
    Frankly, if I did not like the camera I just wouldn't care. It just seems that after my two years of M8/8.2 experience and all the time that they spent in the shop; I get tempted again to buy an M9 and see this stuff is STILL happening.
    It is really pretty poor practice to have too much business to resolve a fundamental product defect.
    So resent it or not, as long as folks keep buying this stuff and giving the company too much business for it to get its house in order it probably won't get systematically fixed.
    If it did, I might actually buy one.
    -bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Steve,
    Sorry if you do, but think about the situation of a similar attitude were taken by auto or aircraft manufacturers.
    Sure Laptop computer manufacturers had issues with one manufacturer's batteries causing the products to burst in flame. Yes the original fault was the part maker, the actual party that YOU do business with is the assembler.
    Specify, test, inspect. I will grant that from time to time stuff gets past them but responsible manufactures then do a recall and pro-actively replace units in the field.
    Ask yourself the question: Would you buy a Leica pacemaker?
    Digital makes all sorts of stuff more complicated and the mechanical to digital transition is not at all easy since it takes a whole raft of new expertise on the part of the manufacturer. Most camera makers have gone through it already and sure, some have had their problems. My peeve is that it seems to be taking Leica an inordinately large amount of time to resolve the "simple" issues. I say simple because these sorts of failures have been known in the industry for several years and there are well known and commonly implemented circumventions.
    Frankly, if I did not like the camera I just wouldn't care. It just seems that after my two years of M8/8.2 experience and all the time that they spent in the shop; I get tempted again to buy an M9 and see this stuff is STILL happening.
    It is really pretty poor practice to have too much business to resolve a fundamental product defect.
    So resent it or not, as long as folks keep buying this stuff and giving the company too much business for it to get its house in order it probably won't get systematically fixed.
    If it did, I might actually buy one.
    -bob
    So you are saying that by your criteria when an aircraft manufacturer buys an engine from Rolls Royce they do/should strip it down and build it again? Its all well and good making examples of things you relate to, but clearly it doesn't extend beyond that in a 'real world' sense.

    Steve

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Steve, I have to agree with Bob here. I owned two M8 cameras (one had a bad sensor out of the box, both suffered from the stupid IR filter scenario), then I had two M8.2 cameras (same stupid IR situation, same terrible LCD, no dedicated ISO button) and now two M9 cameras (one cracked sensor, both with the same goddamn LCD), but I stay in denial and keep handing Leica my money. Why? Because the optics are so great, and the photos speak for themselves. Canon and Nikon bodies are better in every specification, but when I want real photographs for my wall, I reach for the Leica.

    In blissful denial, and proud if it,
    Brad

    P.S. I would not buy a Leica pacemaker, except for Dick Cheney.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    So you are saying that by your criteria when an aircraft manufacturer buys an engine from Rolls Royce they do/should strip it down and build it again? Its all well and good making examples of things you relate to, but clearly it doesn't extend beyond that in a 'real world' sense.

    Steve
    Well, aircraft manufacturers don't strip it down, but they do have in-process inspections and component tests that they find spots almost all of the likely problems. Aircraft manufacturers are more system integrators than manufacturers really. most of the big components are built elsewhere and then put together at final assembly. This is precisely my point.
    The specific problem of the cracked sensor glass has is unfortunately an old well known failure mechanism and can be avoided by specifying thermal cycling or doing what is known as an AQL sampling of the incoming materials and subjecting them to such an inspection. This is, by the way, common practice at other companies.
    -bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    Steve, I have to agree with Bob here. I owned two M8 cameras (one had a bad sensor out of the box, both suffered from the stupid IR filter scenario), then I had two M8.2 cameras (same stupid IR situation, same terrible LCD, no dedicated ISO button) and now two M9 cameras (one cracked sensor, both with the same goddamn LCD), but I stay in denial and keep handing Leica my money. Why? Because the optics are so great, and the photos speak for themselves. Canon and Nikon bodies are better in every specification, but when I want real photographs for my wall, I reach for the Leica.

    In blissful denial, and proud if it,
    Brad

    P.S. I would not buy a Leica pacemaker, except for Dick Cheney.
    LOL
    Brad, I tend to agree that the bit that Leica has down is lens design and lens making, although not necessarily the mechanics (consider the original tri-elmar)
    Myself, I reach for my P65+; now if only Leica made glass for the Phamiya :-)
    -bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    And if only one could fit a Phamiya plus four-five lenses in a small Billingham bag and walk around all day comfortably.

    There's a reason we shoot Leica M's, niggles, frustrations, heartaches and all. And I'm praying my sensor doesn't crack (it's an early one) but it hasn't stopped me from taking thousands of images with the most enjoyable (digital) camera I've had the pleasure of owning.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Brad, that stinks. I am so sorry for you! I worry about that with my M9's, but it hasn't happened so far, despite some exposure to extremes (India, Egypt, Venice)...Leica should service it, but what a waste of time and resource!
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    P.S. I would not buy a Leica pacemaker, except for Dick Cheney.
    Hahahaha...Love IT!
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by charlesphoto View Post
    And if only one could fit a Phamiya plus four-five lenses in a small Billingham bag and walk around all day comfortably.

    There's a reason we shoot Leica M's, niggles, frustrations, heartaches and all. And I'm praying my sensor doesn't crack (it's an early one) but it hasn't stopped me from taking thousands of images with the most enjoyable (digital) camera I've had the pleasure of owning.

    LOL
    I used to carry two M8s and a total of four lenses in a small bag.
    On one trip to Prague I ended up coming home with four lenses, one of which was jammed, one M8 with a self-destructed shutter and one that acted as much like a brick as a camera.
    They were easy to carry for sure, but I ended up buying a Panasonic something or other from a Prague camera store just so I would have SOMETHING to shoot with.
    For me, as much as I love shooting Leicas (and film Leicas led me to digital Leicas) a combination of frustrations since I was not about to bring four bodies with me on trips and focusing issues made me hang up my Leica sneakers.
    I am a much happier shooter with medium format both for landscape and studio and a GH2 for carry-about.
    I get great service great IQ and I never need to print street very big.
    So far all my in the field camera failures have been user-induced. I totally forgive the camera makers issues caused by my clumsiness.
    -bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Sorry guys ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSES. Bottom line if you sell it to customers regardless of any vendors issues you are responsible for it. Which means testing all parts thoroughly before implementing them into final production and on the streets. And yes i worked in the aerospace industry for 16 years and we are talking real lives there. You simply can't keep throwing Leica a bone on every product they put out the door and still has some nagging issue and say it is okay. That does NOT help them make better product when you say it's okay we will buy it anyway. That attitude does not help this industry or any industry for that matter. Having customers worrying about if there sensor is going to crack now, do you really think that is a good thing for customer satisfaction. Sorry I would not be blaming Dalsa if my Phase sensor broke, I would be right up side someones arch at Phase. This is OUR money. Would you just let 100 dollar mistake in your banks favor happen without saying something. Than wait 10 days for it to be put back.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    LOL
    I used to carry two M8s and a total of four lenses in a small bag.
    On one trip to Prague I ended up coming home with four lenses, one of which was jammed, one M8 with a self-destructed shutter and one that acted as much like a brick as a camera.
    They were easy to carry for sure, but I ended up buying a Panasonic something or other from a Prague camera store just so I would have SOMETHING to shoot with.
    For me, as much as I love shooting Leicas (and film Leicas led me to digital Leicas) a combination of frustrations since I was not about to bring four bodies with me on trips and focusing issues made me hang up my Leica sneakers.
    I am a much happier shooter with medium format both for landscape and studio and a GH2 for carry-about.
    I get great service great IQ and I never need to print street very big.
    So far all my in the field camera failures have been user-induced. I totally forgive the camera makers issues caused by my clumsiness.
    -bob
    I hear ya about the M8. Though I did spend a month in Europe with one body and four lenses (film body along as back up just in case) with nary a problem. Of course this body had already been back to Leica 3-4 times so I would hope it functioned alright.

    So far M9 a okay though it should go back sometime for a rf adjustment and general go over before Nov. Thing is finding a window I can be part with it...

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    I guess Leicas are like Jaguars... you have to buy two because one of them will be in the shop on any given day.

    Guy, you're right, but I can't bring myself to jump into MF because I like doing street stuff and MF doesn't lend itself to this kind of mobility and run-and-gun style. I have a couple Canon bodies and they're great for my sports work, but again, not for street or portraits. The micro 4/3 and APS-C cameras just can't compete with the image quality of the M9. So I guess I am stuck unless there's a camera out there I don't know about.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    I guess Leicas are like Jaguars... you have to buy two because one of them will be in the shop on any given day.

    Guy, you're right, but I can't bring myself to jump into MF because I like doing street stuff and MF doesn't lend itself to this kind of mobility and run-and-gun style. So I guess I am stuck unless there's a camera out there I don't know about.
    Alpa TC with any decent back...Phase 20 etc etc.

    Smokes any 35mm format and downright bullet proof.

    Bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Alpa? Sorry, no way to focus on moving people.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    Alpa? Sorry, no way to focus on moving people.
    LOL
    I can't do that reliably with rangefinders either unless I zone focus; which is what you might do with the Apla.
    -bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    LOL
    I zone focus; which is what you might do with the Apla.
    -bob
    Dats what i'm talking bout!

    Bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    I may be mistaken, but I thought when Leica first made their public statement and acknowledgement of the cracked sensor issue ( and said they would take care of any M9 that exhibited it)....they also mentioned that they subjected M9's constructed during the same time frame to thermal and physical shock and all kinds of stress tests and couldn't induce a single senors cover glass to crack this way. Assuming this is true (and its just an assumption), then how could they have uncovered this potential problem prior to it happening and getiing into the hands of users? I think to this day Leica isn't exactly sure why this happened to the 1st releases of this camera unless they are holding it "close to the vest". Even if they do know, if it can't be induced by their stress tests, then it puts them in a quandry to be both responsible for this happening yet no way for them to have done anything in preproduction, in order to have identified a issue and the avoid it. Just some thoughts.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Sorry if you do, but think about the situation of a similar attitude were taken by auto or aircraft manufacturers.
    Then we'd have auto recalls. And brand new engine designs that fail in mid-flight. Oh, wait...

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    I may be mistaken, but I thought when Leica first made their public statement and acknowledgement of the cracked sensor issue ( and said they would take care of any M9 that exhibited it)....they also mentioned that they subjected M9's constructed during the same time frame to thermal and physical shock and all kinds of stress tests and couldn't induce a single senors cover glass to crack this way. Assuming this is true (and its just an assumption), then how could they have uncovered this potential problem prior to it happening and getiing into the hands of users? I think to this day Leica isn't exactly sure why this happened to the 1st releases of this camera unless they are holding it "close to the vest". Even if they do know, if it can't be induced by their stress tests, then it puts them in a quandry to be both responsible for this happening yet no way for them to have done anything in preproduction, in order to have identified a issue and the avoid it. Just some thoughts.

    Dave (D&A)
    Absolutely right. Leica have tried to induce the failure and can't. They have gone over all the things they can think of, and I'm just guessing here, but I imagine they have more experience designing cameras than anybody else here?

    But it may be worth putting the cracked sensor thing into some sort of perspective. It looks like no more than 40 cameras are affected by it (presumably Leica have batch information on sensors they used within a timescale). So its not 'the IR thing' all over again (which is why I didn't buy an M8), and its not endemic failure (although its a PITA if it happens to you). So out of many thousands of cameras built its a tiny proportion and even the most biased statistician would have a hard job reading overall doom and gloom into it.

    Steve

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Just to keep some perspective..I have had 9 digital M bodies. Three of each model. I always use 2 bodies to shoot. This is my main system and I shoot about 15K captures per year. Typically on Street Shooting trips of one to two weeks.

    Out of the 9 bodies ....8 have had quality related service trips including sensor glass,LCD coffee stain,sensor lines. Had one right out of the box with a decent size scratch on the metal. So many range finder calibration problems that I had DAG duplicate a chrome 50 sum micron reference lens for testing.

    I cut Leica some slack on the design issues because they have maintained focus on producing the best. With low volume they will have issues with new products that push the limits of their production and their supply chain.

    Service repairs and customer service in my experience are a real downside. To anyone that ever worked in the electronics industry the solutions are obvious. Leica isn t interested for exactly the reasons you mention..how could anyone comment on building a camera. The best example to look at is Porsche. Worst to first in vehicle reliability after they hired the Nisson engineers to consult with them on flow manufacturing and quality control. Leica doesn t have to change and they won t .

    I have learned to create my own back ups ,use DAG for repairs that should be free and send stuff directly to Solms at my cost. I have never had a break down that cost me important lost opportunities.

    The M9 system with the new glass and the improvements in LR3 is so good. I can t imagine switching to another alternative for Street Shooting.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    LOL
    I can't do that reliably with rangefinders either unless I zone focus; which is what you might do with the Apla.
    -bob
    What's an Apla? Bob - seems you have a QA issue too

    I'm not going to defend Leica here, no excuses. Still, I was in Solms last month, it's very VERY clear that they are aware of these issues - after all, it's not cheap to replace sensors, or indeed to collect and return lenses which don't focus properly.

    As I understand it they are really focusing on this at present.

    I think there is a popular illusion that Leica QA used to be much better a few years ago - in my humble opinion the opposite is the case - that bringing out a digital camera made it easy for people to see faults, and that the internet made it easy for us to tell each other about them.

    Anyway, a large proportion of kit sold in the 80's and 90's sat largely unused in cupboards and drawers, and lots of others were only used for a few rolls of film each year . . . . Add to this that there wasn't an internet for us all to compare notes on problems.

    I've had problems with one M9, and also with a couple of lenses. In each case they've responded really well, and it's been fixed properly.

    . . . . . . Unlike my Audi A5 cab, which, in one year, has broken down, had hood components replaced, and been back to the garage on at least 6 occasions to fail to cure a bad rattle in one of the doors. The AMI system doesn't work since they did a software 'upgrade'. It's taken an email to an audi UK director to get any kind of action

    . . . . . . My Pentax K5 has sensor stains - it apparently also has a problem focusing in tungsten light, and will need to go back at some point for repair. I had 3 copies of the 16-50 lens, all of which had decentered elements, I gave up on getting a good one.

    . . . . . . In my years shooting with Nikon I sent back at least 5 lenses for focusing issues and soft corners.

    As I say, I'm not trying to excuse Leica, but in my experience they are just as good / bad as other expensive equipment I've bought over the years, but they are considerably better at responding than many.

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  33. #33
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    I guess Leicas are like Jaguars... you have to buy two because one of them will be in the shop on any given day.

    Guy, you're right, but I can't bring myself to jump into MF because I like doing street stuff and MF doesn't lend itself to this kind of mobility and run-and-gun style. I have a couple Canon bodies and they're great for my sports work, but again, not for street or portraits. The micro 4/3 and APS-C cameras just can't compete with the image quality of the M9. So I guess I am stuck unless there's a camera out there I don't know about.
    Oh no was not suggesting MF at all and totally understand the need for street shooting with something like a M9 which i like very much myself but my real point here is what Rodger just illustrated with 8 our of 9 gone south at some point. My M8's spent more time in Germany than with me , luckily I had loaners . Not everyone got as lucky as I did. But I see Rodgers situation as very sad quality control and seems like every system in digital Leica has put forth some issues has arose. I understand some things go south but that consistency of every model makes one wonder. That alone puts out a question mark which no one no matter how much you love Leica's which I do myself makes you really think about your purchase and not just one but a backup as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    What's an Apla? Bob - seems you have a QA issue too
    Could it be because I am lesdictic?

    I commend them for their efforts, it is just that climbing the digital hill seems to have been a tougher task than they anticipated or were prepared for.

    I am hoping for an M10 that nails down all the loose bits
    -bob

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Jono I agree they respond well in todays world but it would be nice to buy and forget about it as well. Instead of worrying given the track record. They need to get back to instilling confidence in there user base. I think everyone can agree to that. I really hope they do as i still want a M system at some point again.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Could it be because I am lesdictic?

    I commend them for their efforts, it is just that climbing the digital hill seems to have been a tougher task than they anticipated or were prepared for.
    I quite agree - I think the M8 was a pretty dramatic shock for them. I guess the funds to do a major makeover weren't really there until after the release of the M9 either.

    I really did get the impression that it was top priority for them. They are (I think quite rightly) very proud of the distance they have travelled since the M8; getting issues of QA and production hold ups obviously do matter to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I am hoping for an M10 that nails down all the loose bits
    -bob
    Do you really think that NAILS are the answer?

    Guy - I quite agree - buy and forget would be great, but I'm afraid there don't seem to be many things that qualify for that accolade.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    For me it would be a second or third system so buying 2 would be out of the question but I would love a M9 and 3 lenses to travel with. Someday i may get to retire and a M system would be perfect. Than again the real question is will I ever even get a chance to retire. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    For me it would be a second or third system so buying 2 would be out of the question but I would love a M9 and 3 lenses to travel with. Someday i may get to retire and a M system would be perfect. Than again the real question is will I ever even get a chance to retire. LOL
    You and me both mate (chance to retire), I suppose it would help if we didn't keep spending small fortunes on kit!

    I have two bodies - just like I had two M8s. Like I said, I have had issues with one M9 body, and also with one M8 body. But in 100,000 between the four cameras, I have never been let down during a shoot - and to be honest, I wouldn't do ANY shoot without backup cameras, however reliable they might be. (I wouldn't even do a holiday without a backup camera!).

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Two dimensions you might consider in evaluating Leica service on the M cameras.

    1. Rangefinder/lens calibration occurs because the fast glass is at the limits of the RF system. The more you push it (Noctilux wide open) , legacy lenses (before 6 bit) and the more lenses you have ..the harder it is to maintain perfect calibration of an entire system. This should work perfect with a new body and a new lens but the claims that every lens in a kit is perfect just don t match my experience. Aside from the new glass I assume that this is more like maintenance.

    2. In the USA if you have a warranty claim you have to send it to NJ . If it has to go to Solms you lose and entire month in cross shipping and customs..2 weeks each way. During this period its almost impossible to track the progress and return shipping frequently ends up on your door step . They often turn the repair around in 10 days which I consider reasonable but its normally 4-6 weeks for anything and thats warranty work. A repair like a CLA often takes another 2-3 months. Talking to customer service is worse than a waste of time . Nice people that listen but rarely do anything .

    There are of course the normal random acts of exceptional and terrible service...that can be used as examples ....but if you throw out the best and the worst this has been my experience.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Most if not all of the sensor cracks have occurred in M9's purchased in the third quarter of 2009 and the actual crack occurs much to very much later after quite a bit of use which for me puts a question mark on QC being able to spot the fault.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Two dimensions you might consider in evaluating Leica service on the M cameras.

    1. Rangefinder/lens calibration occurs because the fast glass is at the limits of the RF system. The more you push it (Noctilux wide open) , legacy lenses (before 6 bit) and the more lenses you have ..the harder it is to maintain perfect calibration of an entire system. This should work perfect with a new body and a new lens but the claims that every lens in a kit is perfect just don t match my experience. Aside from the new glass I assume that this is more like maintenance.

    2. In the USA if you have a warranty claim you have to send it to NJ . If it has to go to Solms you lose and entire month in cross shipping and customs..2 weeks each way. During this period its almost impossible to track the progress and return shipping frequently ends up on your door step . They often turn the repair around in 10 days which I consider reasonable but its normally 4-6 weeks for anything and thats warranty work. A repair like a CLA often takes another 2-3 months. Talking to customer service is worse than a waste of time . Nice people that listen but rarely do anything .
    Hi Roger - of course I don't know what it's like talking to customer service in Solms from the USA, but I've had excellent experiences with them from the UK, with turnaround times of less than a week on several occasions.

    I quite agree with you about rangefinder / focus adjustments, they really should come under maintenance rather than repair - having two interacting mechanical systems is bound to be difficult to balance correctly, especially with a mixture of lenses of different age and condition.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    The key to a happy M experience is reasonable expectations and some level of redundancy. I am convinced that Leica will not change for the better anytime soon. They simply don t believe that any change is necessary. Their recent success in the market place virtually assures us of the status quo.

    My experience is that once an M system has been completely calibrated and any new camera bugs have been worked through.....the system has been very reliable. It has not abandoned me like a car on a dark road ..rather most issues can be worked around until proper service is available.

    When a repair is needed I try to get it in asap and most of the time its back with minimum of disruption.

    No excuses for Leica ..I just had to adjust my expectations for the service requirements ...and I am a very happy M9 user .

  44. #44
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    The key to a happy M experience is reasonable expectations and some level of redundancy. I am convinced that Leica will not change for the better anytime soon. They simply don t believe that any change is necessary. Their recent success in the market place virtually assures us of the status quo.

    My experience is that once an M system has been completely calibrated and any new camera bugs have been worked through.....the system has been very reliable. It has not abandoned me like a car on a dark road ..rather most issues can be worked around until proper service is available.

    When a repair is needed I try to get it in asap and most of the time its back with minimum of disruption.

    No excuses for Leica ..I just had to adjust my expectations for the service requirements ...and I am a very happy M9 user .

    I agree with your "key", Roger, and I can see how a plan like you described above would allow the "key" to work. Unfortunately, many folks, and sadly these days, myself included, do not have the option of redundancy, or dipping into our own pockets for what should be covered under warranty. Simple economic reality; which makes my level of tolerance for the QC and service issues much lower, for sure. ONE M9 is a stretch for some of us. Much less having redundant systems!

    My love affair with Leica goes back more than 40 years, and yes, there have been a few issues along the way in the film days, but no where near what I've endured since the digital Leicas came out. I went through three M8s, and endured lots of "that's just a firmware issue", etc., and did lots of complaining to dealers and reps before Leica finally acknowledged, "yes, we're aware of the issue...", etc. Long waits for service, to the point I finally just gave up even thinking about having them deal with focusing issues, and just adapted my practice to the lens in hand. (And in one case, just quit using that lens altogether. Fortunately, it worked on someone else's camera.)

    Had an M9 on day one of it's release, and it had lines in the sensor (as had my very first M8). I was so disappointed, and, frankly, disgusted, that I opted not to risk the M9, and am still shooting my M8. I'm tempted to get one now, but then I see a thread like this, or the issues endured by Dan Lindberg, and described here, and I wonder if I really want to take the risk again?

    No question, the M9 can produce some truly wonderful results. But between these sorts of issues, and the sky high prices of anything Leica these days , and I can't help but feel that my long love affair may be nearing an end. I guess I'll just keep shooting my M8 until it dies. At that point, I'll probably have no choice but to sell off my Leica glass, and sit and watch the sun set. I can't begin to tell you how sad that thought makes me.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by archiM44 View Post
    Most if not all of the sensor cracks have occurred in M9's purchased in the third quarter of 2009 and the actual crack occurs much to very much later after quite a bit of use which for me puts a question mark on QC being able to spot the fault.
    I got mine at the beginning of October 2009. I'm Just waiting for that morning when I shoot the first shot with the special pair of lines across the picture ...

    (of course those that have seen me in full gear destruction mode will doubt that I'll get that far )

    Brad: I feel your pain. Good news, sort of, is that it's nothing you did. Not that it helps much of course.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Brad: I only hope they were accurate in telling you that you will have it back in 7-10 days. Mine suffered the same fate last Nov. and was with Leica NJ for about 3 weeks. I should have received it sooner since the the actual sensor repair was completed when I called them to inquire but apparently they had to wait for the vulcanite cover to arrive from Germany.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Completely agree with your assessment . The expense of the leica equipment often leads buyers to "expect" a level of reliability and service that just isn t there . It pains me to see new buyers being told that Leica gear is exceptionally reliable or that they are the exception when something happens .

    If you can afford an M9 I would not hold back on it. Its that much better than an M8. Test all your lenses and deal with any calibration issues immediately . After that I think the M9 has good reliability. When my sensor cracked NJ turned it around in a little over a week. Since then the cameras have been flawless.

    But I would not plan a big trip with just the one M9 and I would not expect leica to turn around any repair in less than 6 weeks .

    I use DAG sometimes because it costs about $100 to have a RF calibrated and he turns it around inside 10 days. Seems like a decent value when I need something done on a schedule .




    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    I agree with your "key", Roger, and I can see how a plan like you described above would allow the "key" to work. Unfortunately, many folks, and sadly these days, myself included, do not have the option of redundancy, or dipping into our own pockets for what should be covered under warranty. Simple economic reality; which makes my level of tolerance for the QC and service issues much lower, for sure. ONE M9 is a stretch for some of us. Much less having redundant systems!

    My love affair with Leica goes back more than 40 years, and yes, there have been a few issues along the way in the film days, but no where near what I've endured since the digital Leicas came out. I went through three M8s, and endured lots of "that's just a firmware issue", etc., and did lots of complaining to dealers and reps before Leica finally acknowledged, "yes, we're aware of the issue...", etc. Long waits for service, to the point I finally just gave up even thinking about having them deal with focusing issues, and just adapted my practice to the lens in hand. (And in one case, just quit using that lens altogether. Fortunately, it worked on someone else's camera.)

    Had an M9 on day one of it's release, and it had lines in the sensor (as had my very first M8). I was so disappointed, and, frankly, disgusted, that I opted not to risk the M9, and am still shooting my M8. I'm tempted to get one now, but then I see a thread like this, or the issues endured by Dan Lindberg, and described here, and I wonder if I really want to take the risk again?

    No question, the M9 can produce some truly wonderful results. But between these sorts of issues, and the sky high prices of anything Leica these days , and I can't help but feel that my long love affair may be nearing an end. I guess I'll just keep shooting my M8 until it dies. At that point, I'll probably have no choice but to sell off my Leica glass, and sit and watch the sun set. I can't begin to tell you how sad that thought makes me.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Service repairs and customer service in my experience are a real downside. To anyone that ever worked in the electronics industry the solutions are obvious. Leica isn t interested for exactly the reasons you mention..how could anyone comment on building a camera. The best example to look at is Porsche. Worst to first in vehicle reliability after they hired the Nisson engineers to consult with them on flow manufacturing and quality control. Leica doesn t have to change and they won t .
    HI Roger
    I agree with most of what you say. However, I'm going to take issue with this. I think they really do care about QA, certainly, whilst I was there it was in everyone's mouths.

    It's only in the last year that they've been in the position to even think about spending money on such things (everyone was assuming they were heading for catastrophe until the M9 had been out for 4 or 5 months).

    Whether they 'have to' change it or not is a moot point, but I'm quite certain that they intend to. The very fact that the consensus is that things have improved (even if it's only marginally). . . whilst their sales have gone through the roof, suggests that something has been happening.

    all the best

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    I would really love to be able to choose among a few full frame cameras with no AA filter that use Leica M glass. It would put the pressure on Leica to innovate and QC. Imagine a hybrid finder, live-view, 900K pixel LCD, great high-ISO, etc.

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    Re: M9 sensor glass cracked all by itself!

    sorry, a bit , but Leica glass seems to have its niche in the 35mm format worls. I have not been impressed with their glass that awful much on the S2. Granted it is nice, but not uniquely so.
    -bob

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