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Sensor crack and out of warranty


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#1 Paul J

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 17:39

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The thought of it is scary, right?

It scares me to think that these sensor cracks can appear at any time without warning. And continue to do so on the M9P. It scares me more so that these cracks can appear when the camera is out of warranty. I wonder if Leica will repair this should the issue arise? Has any statement been made?

Comparisons are generally pointless in this regard but Apple did replace the logic board, out of warranty, on the known erratically faulty model of Mac Book Pro that I owned. Canon also added a component to the mirror of my old 5D when it fell off from a design flaw. It was also out of warranty.

Edited by Paul J, 20 February 2012 - 17:44.

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#2 jaapv

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 17:43

Not really - Leica still replaces the sensors on the Digilux2 if needed - I don't see any problem at all.
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#3 eritho

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 18:24

Not really - Leica still replaces the sensors on the Digilux2 if needed - I don't see any problem at all.


No problem at all....?
Why.....because they will still replace the Sony sensor in an old Digilux.
Most probably Sony pays the bill....
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#4 bocaburger

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 18:32

The only problem I can see is when Leica runs out of sensors and can't source them from another supplier than Kodak. Even if this problem isn't widespread, the fact that it is occurring in late M9 and even M9P cameras suggests it wasn't just a "bad batch" of sensors in early production, or that replacing the sensor makes it immune to cracking again. Though it's nice of Leica to replace them out of warranty, it would be much nicer for them and us if they figured out what causes it, and institute a permanent solution.

#5 jaapv

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 18:40

No problem at all....?
Why.....because they will still replace the Sony sensor in an old Digilux.
Most probably Sony pays the bill....

No - because Leica is a decent firm that will honor courtesy repairs of out-of-warranty manufacturing defects.
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#6 eritho

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 22:11

No - because Leica is a decent firm that will honor courtesy repairs of out-of-warranty manufacturing defects.


Having a M9 among the most critical serial numbers and now out of warranty I, and I think a lot other M9 owners, would be more relaxed if Leica would state this officially.
I don't understand why they don't. Do you?
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#7 earleygallery

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 22:25

I guess they need to be sure that a cracked sensor is due to a manufacturing fault, rather than from misuse, dropping the camera or hitting the sensor with something. Seems fair to allow Leica to inspect any camera before committing themselves, but AFAIK they haven't yet refused a cracked sensor replacement.
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#8 hoppyman

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:31

This is a hypothetical question by the OP here currently of course. I'm not aware of anyone posting here that they have ever been refused on this?
The reported numbers are still tiny (remember there are more than 30,000 M9's out there).
One of the large US dealers has reported elsewhere that this problem was from a particular glass batch used by Kodak. Apparently the fault has shown up in a tiny handful of the S2 cameras as well.

Stefan Daniel himself posted here on this at the time. I don't see anything equivocal in his statement about their policy on fixing this for anyone affected.
Here's the quote:
..........................................
Dear M9 Users,

Please let me update you on the broken cover glass situation. We at Leica are aware of the issue and the current reported isolated instances are a very low proportion of the cameras delivered.
Our colleagues both in R&D and QA are investigating and have not yet determined a root cause, nor it was possible to provoke a sensor to crack in our labs (temperature shock, heat, cold, humidity, mechanical bending etc.).
Cameras found to have this fault are having the sensor assembly replaced as a priority (free of charge of course) and our Customer Service will complete the repair in the shortest delays possible.

With my best regards,

Stefan Daniel, Leica Camera AG
............................................
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#9 jaapv

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:06

Having a M9 among the most critical serial numbers and now out of warranty I, and I think a lot other M9 owners, would be more relaxed if Leica would state this officially.
I don't understand why they don't. Do you?



Good enough for me:




Cameras found to have this fault are having the sensor assembly replaced as a priority (free of charge of course) and our Customer Service will complete the repair in the shortest delays possible.





Thanks for finding it, Geoff :)
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#10 Paul J

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 18:47

Yes this statement is all well and good but I couldn't find anywhere which stated it would be fixed if out of warranty. The problem doesn't seem to have gone away and it seems there is no telling when it may happen. But this post does give me a sense of hope that they are a decent corporation. It would still be nice if they could give a statement that if it were to fail under these exact circumstances and not by user made damage then it will be replaced. Canon did the very thing with the mirror issue on the 5D.

I don't intend to ever sell my M9, I would like to keep it for a very long time and would like some peace of mind.

Edited by Paul J, 21 February 2012 - 18:51.

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#11 bocaburger

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 18:54

T
The reported numbers are still tiny (remember there are more than 30,000 M9's out there).
One of the large US dealers has reported elsewhere that this problem was from a particular glass batch used by Kodak. Apparently the fault has shown up in a tiny handful of the S2 cameras as well.


They're still getting cracking even on M9P sensors, meaning either that "particular glass batch" was used for every M9, S2 and M9P sensor, or there's more than one bad glass batch. Either way, the upshot is we have no reassurance that a replacement sensor won't crack also.

Our colleagues both in R&D and QA are investigating and have not yet determined a root cause, nor it was possible to provoke a sensor to crack in our labs (temperature shock, heat, cold, humidity, mechanical bending etc.).


When was that statement? Have they still not found the cause? Even if I'm willing to believe Leica couldn't make a 0.8mm piece of glass crack in their labs ( not even by "mechanical bending" a piece of glass the thickness of a microscope slide? seriously?), I would think that the onus should have been on the sensor manufacturer to find the cause, don't you?

#12 jaapv

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 19:34

Yes this statement is all well and good but I couldn't find anywhere which stated it would be fixed if out of warranty. The problem doesn't seem to have gone away and it seems there is no telling when it may happen. But this post does give me a sense of hope that they are a decent corporation. It would still be nice if they could give a statement that if it were to fail under these exact circumstances and not by user made damage then it will be replaced. Canon did the very thing with the mirror issue on the 5D.

I don't intend to ever sell my M9, I would like to keep it for a very long time and would like some peace of mind.

I don't see a time limit or guaranty reservation in the statement. This is by a German official and in Germany such a statement will leave no wiggle room.
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#13 jim sink

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 22:36

Thanks for posting the reply from Leica. I can breathe now. My M9 just went to Leica yesterday for a cracked sensor.:)

#14 hoppyman

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 23:54

Paul I understand what you are concerned about a possible future problem with your camera but if you look at this dispassionately, the fault has occurred in a fraction of one percent of production (and yours is not faulty as you said).

Stefan Daniel posted that statement in July 2010. It was his second on this here. In December 2009 he posted
..........................................................................................
Dear Friends of the Leica M9, Thanks a lot for reporting the broken sensor cover glasses in the forum. We have registered some very few cases and are actually evaluating the root cause together with our suppliers. In any case, if such a problem may occur to you, Leica will replace the camera or the sensor free of charge in our very best delays.

Stefan Daniel, Leica Camera AG
......................................................................................

I mentioned those comments from a US dealer out of interest. They were posted in another forum.

Edited by hoppyman, 21 February 2012 - 23:57.

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#15 Paul J

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 00:38

Well the reason I asked is my serial number is shoehorned in between two that have cracked. Also it's still happening with M9P's as well. There's nothing to say mine or anyone else's won't be affected.
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#16 jaapv

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 00:40

But the chance is still in the order of one in thousand...:rolleyes:
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#17 wattsy

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:45

But the chance is still in the order of one in thousand...:rolleyes:


IMO there's no need to belittle the OP with the 'roll eyes' symbol. Let's also not allow your overweening style to mask the fact that you are not an official spokesman for Leica, just a punter like the rest of us.:)
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#18 andybarton

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:17

If you are that one in a thousand, then it's going to hurt.

I thought they'd sorted this problem out about 18 months ago.
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#19 wlaidlaw

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:27

I think the lack of spare parts in four or five years time is more of a concern. We have already seen that in spite of Leica's best endeavours, certain spare parts are now unavailable for the DMR. With Kodak's continuing troubles, unless a more financially stable company purchases their sensor business, a total absence of replacement Kodak sensors is a real possibility.

I appreciate that it is not realistic to expect Leica to maintain a huge stock of spare sensors, just in case Kodak stops making them and a large number suffer cracked cover glasses but I would be happier if a hint was dropped that a contingency plan was in place to cover such an eventuality. I would guess that Teledyne Dalsa might be a possibility as an alternative manufacturer, who don't have a competing camera company. It may be that the Japanese camera manufacturers are quite happy to sell sensors to Leica, as the amount of sales that Leica steals from them, is a drop in the ocean.

My M9 serial is right in the middle of the hot spot for sensor glass failures posted on this forum (new at the end of the 3rd quarter 2009), which is why it is long term concern to me.

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#20 wattsy

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:59

With Kodak's continuing troubles, unless a more financially stable company purchases their sensor business, a total absence of replacement Kodak sensors is a real possibility.


Wilson, you might have been on holiday at the time;) but the sensor business has already been sold to a private equity outfit (Platinum?). That said, your question about availability in 4-5 years still stands.
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