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M9 Sensor cleaning report

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Hello everyone. I'm a long-time M photographer who just joined this forum. My first M was a 6, followed by an 8, then a 9 and most recently a 10. I really love the M9 and my camera is one of the early production ones and in original condition (never repaired or had anything replaced.) 

 

I've not cleaned the sensor for about 5 years and today finally took the time to do so. The images in this post have been processed in Lightroom to add as much contrast as I could to increase the visibility of specs and dust. The small images inline in this post have had "auto levels" applied, so they are extremely compressed, greatly exaggerating the particles. Link to full-res images at end of post.

 

I started with a reference shot against a light grey wall, summicron 50 at f16 out of focus. Pretty damn dirty:

 

 

First round of cleaning was with a rocket blower. This got rid of quite a lot of minor dust particles:

 

 

Second round of cleaning was with a VisibleDust Arctic Butterfly statically-charged brush, which got rid of a new "class" of particles:

 

 

However there were still a few "sticky" particles left. Final round was wet cleaning with swabs of Eclipse. This is a really scary step as it's easy to make mistakes, but I managed to not screw up:

 

 

There's now just a single impossible-to-get-rid-of spec (even after five Eclipse swabbings), and I can live with that one. Pretty remarkable how much cleaner the sensor is after this. Strongly recommend taking an hour out of your life to clean you sensor (very carefully) :–)

 

Full-res images (lightly compressed and processed to increase particle visibility): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0q9tht2js82u1zs/AAB6M-98wkRWTfmDtTke-duha?dl=0

Equipent used:

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That small lonely speck is the dreaded corrosion invader! The halo around the spot is the giveaway. It is just one spot and if no other show up it is easy enough to correct. In my case the number of spots grew - on the original sensor and then on the first replacement. All ok now.

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That small lonely speck is the dreaded corrosion invader! The halo around the spot is the giveaway. It is just one spot and if no other show up it is easy enough to correct. In my case the number of spots grew - on the original sensor and then on the first replacement. All ok now.

 

Oh no! I feared this could be corrosion.

Oh well, I'll live with it. Thanks for letting me know. :–)

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I'm scared to death to buy an M9. 

Why? A camera with an intact first-generation sensor will be a bargain and may well serve for years - and the repair price is calculated in, one with the new type of sensor will not get corrosion, and comes under a five-year sensor guaranty anyway.

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I have an early M9. Original sensor and no issues.  I use the camera in extreme cold and hot conditions without any problems so far.  And I shoot a lot, every day.

 

n

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That small lonely speck is the dreaded corrosion invader! The halo around the spot is the giveaway. It is just one spot and if no other show up it is easy enough to correct. In my case the number of spots grew - on the original sensor and then on the first replacement. All ok now.

 

He is right that the little corrosion spot(s) are easy to correct. If you have Photoshop (probably other software, too) you can make an action that clones it away because corrosion spots are always in the same location.

 

You are doing very well. Enjoy!

Edited by pico

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