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Black Frames


jto555

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  • 5 months later...

It happened to me yesterday, one black frame out of 60'odd on the day. (M240 is 6 months old, battery had ~50 charge remaining.)

 

When I pressed the shutter release the sound it made was different, hard to explain in words, but I was aware something was wrong. Pressed the shutter release again and the next frame was exposed as normal.

 

Thinking back, I believe this has happened twice now. On the first occasion, a few months ago, I ignored it but now I'm thinking there's an intermittent problem with the camera.

 

The shutter release button is an electronic switch, I believe, and the shutter mechanism is electromechanical, and like it or not, the m240 is a computer-camera, and computers have problems now and again. But it's the first computer-camera I've owned where there's uncertainty whether the image will be captured or not. If I send the camera in for investigation (which is inconvenient for me) Leica might fire off several hundred test frames and not see it happen, returning it as serviceable - unless it's a known problem. Anyone else have this happen, and what was the outcome? 

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When I pressed the shutter release the sound it made was different, hard to explain in words, but I was aware something was wrong. Pressed the shutter release again and the next frame was exposed as normal.

 

T

 

HI There Steve

I've not suffered black frames  -  but my 240 and 246 (actually, the SL can do it as well) sometimes make a noticeably different shutter sound . . . and then back to normal again. 

So the change in shutter noise might (or might not) have been connected with the black frame.

 

It seems that the OP's problem was related to a dodgy battery and a full buffer.

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It does sound (intentional pun) as though there is a connection between the sound it makes and the black underexposed (or completely unexposed) frame. Thinking back to the first occurrence, I recollect that there was a noticeable change in the noise it made then, as well. 

 

Shouldnt happen on any camera, but when you've spent a good deal of money on a Leica, it shouldn't happen at all.

 

I don't believe in faith healing, and I don't believe it won't happen again, even if I cross my fingers and hope.

 

Referring to the OPs original post, I'm surprised 30% battery life was the culprit. The discharge curve is reasonably flat until it's down to lower percentages than that.

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My M P(240) produces 'white frames' practically every time the camera has been idle for a while.  The fist frame is then so overexposed that it is 'all white'.  If this is not a software upgrade issue my camera is going back to Leica for repair.

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The EXIF data for the 'black frame' mentioned above showed f8 at 1/500, and so was the next shot after that which exposed correctly - not surprising as I had not changed the settings. The shutter sound for the 'black frame' was rather feeble and I knew instantly it wasn't right. What does the 'white frame' shutter sound like, is it normal or can your ear detect a change in pitch, sound, or whatever the word is?

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My M P(240) produces 'white frames' practically every time the camera has been idle for a while.  The fist frame is then so overexposed that it is 'all white'.  If this is not a software upgrade issue my camera is going back to Leica for repair.

Wise. It is most likely an individual fault.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, my M240 which is only 6 months old is on its way for an unaccompanied 'holiday' to have the 'black' frame issue resolved.

 

Diappointed, of course I am, but somewhat shocked that a premium camera has failed. I've had a few electronic cameras of oriental origin, but the Leica is the first for me.

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Well, my M240 which is only 6 months old is on its way for an unaccompanied 'holiday' to have the 'black' frame issue resolved.

 

Diappointed, of course I am, but somewhat shocked that a premium camera has failed. I've had a few electronic cameras of oriental origin, but the Leica is the first for me.

 

Please report back on the results, please.

 

The reason I ask, the issue in my own camera seems to have resolved without intervention.

Edited by Schrödinger's cat
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Please report back on the results, please.

 

The reason I ask, the issue in my own camera seems to have resolved without intervention.

 

Will do.

By the way, I got in touch with the supplying dealer and was asked to perform a factory reset before returning for investigation. There was a placebo effect wishing it was resolved, but 20 shots later I was blessed with the deaded black frame again. I'm aware instantly without chimping since the shutter makes a weird noise, as though only half a shutter operation, or the shutter stalled. I've tried it with a different SD card and it made no difference; also thought it could be related to battery charge, but occurred again with a freshly charged battery at 90%.

Edited by Steve Ricoh
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After your factory reset did you update to the latest firmware?

 

It has the latest firmware installed.

 

i believe it's a genuine fault and I expected more from a Leica product. Even when it's returned, assuming it's resolved with a report stating the defect investigation and rectification, it's going to take a lot of confidence gathering to get my trust reinstated. Ok, it's not quite like a gun in a battle zone, meaning life or death, but when you press the shutter release you do expect it to record an image. I'm far from being a HC-B on the street, but things happen in a flash and the same moments are gone forever. I was back using a standby Japanese camera today, costing a fraction of the M240, and it didn't miss a beat.

Edited by Steve Ricoh
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Yes, it is a feature. If the picture is not up to Leica standards, then the camera wont save it. Must take better photos!!!   :lol:

 

I had another chat with Leica and the (sick) battery could be the issue as mentioned by Douglas.

 

Tomorrow I am going to use the camera on a personal shoot with a different battery and SD card, to see if it will happen again.

Damn that editing firmware to hell!!  :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

Black frames starting to appear (every 20 shots or so). Started right after upgrading my m240 to the latest fw. My setup: classic metering, auto-iso, continuous mode, full battery, shutter1/2000, wide open 35fle with ND .9 attached.

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Black frames starting to appear (every 20 shots or so). Started right after upgrading my m240 to the latest fw. My setup: classic metering, auto-iso, continuous mode, full battery, shutter1/2000, wide open 35fle with ND .9 attached.

 

Welcome to the club!!! Sounds like a trip to Germany, whilst you stay in Calgary! Or wait for the next firmware update. 

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  • 1 month later...

Update on the 'black frame' issue with my M240:

 

My 6-month old camera was returned to me this week. The repair schedule accompanying the camera states:

  • Receive inspection
  • Exchange Shutter
  • Firmware Update
  • Carry out Software Adjustment
  • Adjust Range Finder
  • Adjustment of all parts
  • Cleaning and end control
  • Repair free of charge

So, out shooting I went yesterday, and the 70 odd shots taken were all normal in the sense of no mis-firing of the shutter occurred.

 

However, when I check the firmware installed, the camera informs me it's 2.0.2.5. 

 

According to information here on the Leica forum, the latest firmware for the M240 is 2.0.3.0, so the repair schedule accompanying the camera can't be accurate, can it?

 

Given the issues some users have experienced when performing the firmware update, eg black frames, I'm feeling rather nervous about performing a firmware update myself, because a) there may be certain incompatibility issues between the latest firmware and certain hardware standards (ie individual cameras) and b it appears that Leica are performing some form of Software Adjustment following the firmware update - obviously I will not be able to do the last part.

 

This is confusing to say the least. Anyone have any idea? I feel an email to Leica a Service is required.

Edited by Steve Ricoh
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I suspect the key ingredient of your repairs was the shutter replacement. I haven't heard much noise about the quality of the latest firmware release but I can understand you feeling nervous. Write to customer service and let them reassure you about the upgrade.

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It seems that the OP's problem was related to a dodgy battery and a full buffer.

Unfortunately not that simple. I had to have the shutter replaced.

 

Now my latest issue is intermittent individual black frames on two different bodies. Full charge and the latest firmware. The black frames announce themselves with the different shutter sound.

 

Oh yes, forgot to say the second camera is 5 months old.

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And having had the shutter replaced and "Firware Update" applied by Leica (but the camera indicates  2.0.2.5 is loaded) plus some "Software Adjustments" (whatever that means) I fired off an email to Leica Customer Service asking for an explanation.

 

it would be wrong to speculate, but does Firmware Update' (to 2.0.3.0 presumably) PLUS 'Software Adjustments' equate to 2.0.2.5? Or did Leica forget to apply the update, as recorded on the repair schedule that accompanied the camera? 

 

Anyway, I'm not going to attempt a firmware update myself until facts are known, and I know whether 2.0.3.0 is a universally stable issue of Firware - stable in the sense that it works with out hitch on all M240 cameras (Leica by design will know the spread of characteristics, and any dependencies between firmware and hardware).

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If the camera says 2.0.2.5 it is 2.0.2.5. However, there are often variations in firmware if , during normal development of  production, a piece of hardware was replaced by another version of the same. In a normal user firmware update such routine production developments are taken into account, but if a camera receives for instance a new shutter of slightly different firmware requirements, the present firmware needs to be adapted. I would not think twice about this.

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