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Thread: Sensor cleaning: MM

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    Sensor cleaning: MM

    It is not an easy task.

    I did a wash of all my cams earlier. Pec pads (anyone remember?) and iso Propanol is the right stuff. After 4 tries, there is still stuff there (while the Sony cams are sparkling). The good news is they seem to be moving around.


    Will have to go through few more cycles, I guess. This time I am going to do it in portions- half a sensor at a time.
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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    It is not an easy task.

    I did a wash of all my cams earlier. Pec pads (anyone remember?) and iso Propanol is the right stuff. After 4 tries, there is still stuff there (while the Sony cams are sparkling). The good news is they seem to be moving around.


    Will have to go through few more cycles, I guess. This time I am going to do it in portions- half a sensor at a time.

    Hi Vivek,

    On LUF they claim the MM is more difficult to clean than the other digital Ms.
    Have you tried the Pentax lollipop, the one Leica is using in their factory?
    I have used it on my M9 together with wet cleaning. It helped me. YMMV.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Hi K-H, I had no clue about that. Thank you!

    I will get one and try it.
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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    I've only wet cleaned my MM once because it hasn't thrown off oily residue like the M9 did, and I used Visible Dust 'Smear Away', which ironically does remove the goo, but leaves a smear of its own. To get rid of that I used normal Eclipse fluid. Day to day I now use just an EyeLead and an Arctic Butterfly brush.

    Steve
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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Vivek, be cautious. My MM sports a new sensor from Leica NJ, reason for which per the tech who worked on my camera may relate to heavy-handed sensor cleaning by me. I believe the MM's sensor is more prone to cleaning damage than the M9's, judging from my experience.
    --Mike

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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Steve and Mike, Thank you!

    Mike, trust me, the MM is my most cherished tool.

    I appreciate your fair warning and concern. Thanks.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Back in the old M8 days I used a LensPen. You had to use a fair amount of pressure but it worked well. It sounds like too much pressure on the MM is causing some problems. On my Nikon's the sensor vibration seems to work well. I've never had any gunk on a Nikon sensor - guess I'm lucky. Any dust not removed by the sensor vibe is aptly handled by a blower. My M-P is starting to show the odd blob but I'll wait until the removal of artifacts in PS becomes a chore before I'll consider a cleaning.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    One thing I got out of this thread is the mystery behind Leica replacing the sensors. I guess their technicians break them trying to clean the sensors with a Pentax Lollipop or Eyelead. Nothing about leica shocks me anymore.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    One thing I got out of this thread is the mystery behind Leica replacing the sensors. I guess their technicians break them trying to clean the sensors with a Pentax Lollipop or Eyelead. Nothing about leica shocks me anymore.

    Hi Vivek,

    No it's not that. On LUF there is an extensive discussion about this.
    It's not the sensor cleaning by itself - if at all. That's a red herring.
    That was Leica's initial attempt to blame their customers.
    But public pressure forced them to own up to the problem to some degree.
    But if the camera and sensor is subjected to humid environments that for sure causes the sensor lepracy. Humid like the tropics for example. I have had my M9 for almost 5.5 years and have wet cleaned it a few times. But I live in a very dry climate. That helps. Also Leica has promised to replace a CCD sensor free of charge if they determine the sensor is affected by this.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Hi K-H, Thanks. Yes, that (humidity affecting the BG glass) is a big factor.

    I have about a dozen different BG glass here. Some aren't affected and some start to bloom on their own even under dry conditions. Even that can be cleaned and restored. Monochrome sensors (bare sensors with no cover glass) can be washed (literally) with a suitable solvent to clean. One wonders why they replace the whole sensor package? What happens after the replacement, the whole story repeats itself?
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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi K-H, Thanks. Yes, that (humidity affecting the BG glass) is a big factor.

    I have about a dozen different BG glass here. Some aren't affected and some start to bloom on their own even under dry conditions. Even that can be cleaned and restored. Monochrome sensors (bare sensors with no cover glass) can be washed (literally) with a suitable solvent to clean. One wonders why they replace the whole sensor package? What happens after the replacement, the whole story repeats itself?

    Thanks Vivek. Yes, so far they are installing the same type of sensors and cover glass. However, Leica has stated officially that they are working on a solution to eventually be able to replace the sensor pachages with ones that don't have these problems. On LUF folks have been discussing exactly the cover glass that can develop the problem when exposed to moisture.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi K-H, Thanks. Yes, that (humidity affecting the BG glass) is a big factor.

    I have about a dozen different BG glass here. Some aren't affected and some start to bloom on their own even under dry conditions. Even that can be cleaned and restored. Monochrome sensors (bare sensors with no cover glass) can be washed (literally) with a suitable solvent to clean. One wonders why they replace the whole sensor package? What happens after the replacement, the whole story repeats itself?
    Hi Vivek, looking at the spectral sensitivity chart published by Leica, it seems to me that the MM sensor is not naked but has got a filter on top of it. Leica User Forum

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    Re: Sensor cleaning: MM

    Hi Ario, My apologies for the lack of clarity in my post. Yes, I am aware that the CCD in MM has microlenses and a coverglass (BG = Blue Green glass), even before I bought one. The very first shot I made was in near ultraviolet (https://www.flickr.com/photos/vivek-...57632932383947). I am also aware that the BG coverglass cuts off IR quite efficiently.

    What I was saying was that bare monochrome CCDs (the ones used for astrophotography) have been routinely cleaned by washing with a suitable solvent.

    In case of the MM (even if the cover glass goes bust completely) it is still doable if that solvent is chosen carefully so that it will not affect the plastic microlenses.
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