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amusong

M9 bizarre sensor/shutter failure?? Help please!

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I have been a long time reader of this forum and bought my M9 in April 2010 after reading many post here. However, this is my first post.

 

Last night I was taking photos at my daughter's party when from one shot to the next, the camera went haywire. I have attached photos to illustrate this and I have no idea what is going on. One moment it was taking photos normally and the next....this.

 

This morning I have tried the following things to see if I can have any effect on the behaviour:

  • Experimented with varying ISO and shutter speed
  • Turned camera on and off several times
  • Reset camera to facory default settings via menu
  • Changed lenses (VC 35 f1.2 to Summicron 35)
  • Removed and replaced battery

 

The firmware is version 1.116 (as originally received from factory). The camera has never malfunctioned before.

 

There are several issues occurring as you can see from the images:

  • There is a distinct division of the image left to right, with a clear vertical line. The left side is darker.
  • White balance is abnormal and different on each side of the image
  • There is some "smearing" of colour in some photos, not all
  • In some photos (very dark) there is a vertical zonation apparent on the right hand side

 

I am gobsmacked and at a loss to explain what has happened. Would appreciate any thoughts that you might be able to offer on this.

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Thanks - yes I swapped my San Disk Extreme 16 GB for my backup Panasonic 8 GB. Forgot to mention in my original post.

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I had an early M8 do something similar some years ago. IIR it was something to do with the way the sensor is divided into to halves. ie. The the data is read and sent to the card divided that way.

 

If it as I say, back to Solms. At the time it was covered under warranty. Call customer service (very helpful) and discuss it with them. I am fairly sure it will require a trip 'home.'

 

Good luck. One thing is for sure, it can be fixed.

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The sensor is designed with two halves, divided much as your photos are. The data from the sensor is pulled out of each side, doubling the speed of getting data off the sensor. If an image is significantly abused (adding 4 stops of exposure in LR, for instance), the line between the halves can become visible. That may be the division you're seeing.

 

Strange things can happen when the battery is dying. Your camera is old enough that the battery may be fading. This will happen even if the camera shows %50 charge---the power can drop, resulting in nasty artifacts in photos (though nothing as bad as yours appear).

 

Still, the most recent firmware revision is much more aggressive about detecting a bad battery, and stopping shooting before pictures are affected. You're running a very old firmware revision.

 

Step one for you is to update the firmware to the latest revision, and see if the problem goes away.

 

Good luck!

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Oh, and I agree with Erl. If a firmware update doesn't fix it, and it happens with several different SD cards, you'll need to send it in.

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Thanks All,

 

Not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear I suppose. I have four batteries numbered in date order when I bought them - all the same as far as the problem goes - so I don't think it is the battery. Looks like it has to go back to Leica.

 

I often see "send it to Solms" or "send it back to Leica" on this forum. I am in rural Australia - can anyone tell me who I should contact?

 

I am sort of hopeful Leica might come to the party and fix this gratis as it looks like a complete failure, but the camera is now out of warranty (April 2012).

 

Cheers

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I would not worry about the cost until it is known if I were you. I would advise you to send it directly to Leica Customer Service Solms as Leica Australia appears to be in a state of transition.

Go to the Leica (Germany) website for details. Contact Customer Service first, attaching copies of the defective files.

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I would not worry about the cost until it is known if I were you. I would advise you to send it directly to Leica Customer Service Solms as Leica Australia appears to be in a state of transition.

Go to the Leica (Germany) website for details. Contact Customer Service first, attaching copies of the defective files.

 

Jaap: can you elaborate on 'Leica Australia''s transition? I need to get my RF callibrated and need to know what is going on.

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Jaap: can you elaborate on 'Leica Australia''s transition? I need to get my RF callibrated and need to know what is going on.

Camera Clinic in Melbourne are the authorized Leica repairer in Australia. RF calibration is simple and they can definitely do it for you. It will not need to go back to Germany.

 

PM me if you want more info on Camera Clinic.

 

Come April, we will see 'Leica Australia' announced, based in Sydney, to replace Adeal as the importer for Leica. Camera Clinic will still be the local repairer

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It probably needs to go to Leica, but one last thing to try is a different card reader to transfer the files to the computer. But if this is how the images play back on the camera, then I doubt the card reader will make a difference. Worth a shot though.

 

Before you send it in, you should do some more photos with the camera. In a bizarre way, these images look quite interesting. I'm sure there's an artist out there who could use this to great effect!

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Your thread title says sensor/shutter failure; the shutter is OK, I agree the sensor has failed. Solms is the place to send it, others here will give advice about how to avoid customs issues on return from Germany. Your camera will come back functioning as new; hopefully, since the failure is so catastrophic and not down to your negligence, Leica will be helpful on cost.

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Jaap: can you elaborate on 'Leica Australia''s transition? I need to get my RF callibrated and need to know what is going on.
I made the remark for this catastrophic failure, which clearly needs to be dealt with in Solms. RF adjustment is another matterr, a simple repair which I am sure, as John says, can be dealt with locally. Any competent Leica-knowledgable repair shop can help you out there. Edited by jaapv

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Thanks for your advice Jaap. I have followed you advice and sent an email to Solms and will await their reply.

 

 

I would like to suggest you follow up with a phone call in English.

Good luck.

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Update .... the Leica email for service in Germany has now redirected me to Adeal in Australia. This is slightly surprising given the apparent "catastrophic" nature of this failure and the potential reputational issues. However, I have forwarded my query on to Adeal.

 

If, as hinted at by Erl above, the Leica dealership in Australia will be in different hands after April, then I am not sure how this will go. Do I feel a circular process coming on? Will keep you informed.

 

(By the way, I have used Camera Clinic in Melbourne in the past, for both my M9 and M4, and found them to be very good. Since this an issue which is strictly "out of warranty" but which should probably be considered as warrantable in some way, I thought I should address Leica directly in the first instance)

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Amusong, my advice is to call Camera Clinic immediately (PM me if you need the phone number). Elissa is the girl there who specifically handles Leica enquiries. She may pass you to Nikki at the top level of the business or Wayne who is the Leica techy and also top level in the business. Don't take too much of Wayne's time as he is busy on one of my cameras at present.

 

I am pretty confident they will advice the camera to return to Solms but let them advise you. In which case just send it. I sent my M9 last Wednesday pm and it has already been delivered to Solms Customer Service. Direct via FedEx.

Edited by erl

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