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M240 sensor defect that Leica says is within tolerances

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I post this to see if anyone else have/had the same sensor issues with their M240 (M-P).

 

I was playing around in Lightroom in November 2017, mainly testing different extreme values with the haze control, and other stuff to experiment with my photography. To my astonishment I saw a vertical line running exactly in the middle of the uncropped image. I then tested a photo from April 2015 that was taken with another M240 M-P body I had at that time. And the same vertical line appeared. I then randomly tested several other photos, and the same line appears, in virtually all photos, from both M-P bodies! I have a total of more than 20000 photos with M-P:s that in some or another way are affected by this problem.

 

Attached here is an example of a jpg from M-P body 1, and one of M-P body 2, after tweakning the dng:s.

 

 

 

The dng:s and full JPG:s can be downloaded to view through the links provided here:

 

Link to DNG (M-P body 1): https://we.tl/FQQkFgKo7U

Link to JPG (M-P body 1): https://we.tl/4BpPecbwmR

 

Link to DNG (M-P body 2): https://we.tl/O2Kb9XKab7

Link to JPG (M-P body 2): https://we.tl/a3Vw2FUBYQ

 

These images do not represent my photography (www.m9x.se), but they show the problem very clearly.

 

So I went to my local Leica center in Stockholm who sent it to Leica in Germany. My lokal Leica dealer is fantastic by the way.

 

I instructed Leica to test the way I had done in Lightroom doing the following:

- adjust ”haze” to a the right

- lower the value of vibrance

- lower the value of saturation

- set exposure to show a standard good histogram curve

 

Leica concluded that the sensor ”function within tolerances”. They said:

 

Dear Leica Customer,
Your Leica M-P 240 was tested extensively by our experts in the quality management department. The performance meets our testing and acceptance requirement and is well within tolerance. An exchange of the image board will not eliminate the effect since it is caused by extreme post processing of the images.
With kind regards,
XXX XXXXXX
Leica Customer Care

 

 

Both I and my lokal Leica dealer where astonished and very surprised. Separately we wrote to Leica. My dealer wrote this to Leica:

 

 

Hi XXX XXXXXX.

I have a sad case regarding service on a Leica M-P (240) camera of our customer, our service number 2001712080005 / Leica 964698

The customer has announced that the sensor in the camera gives a vertical line in the middle of the car's top.

Become extra visible when the images are processed in Photoshop.

The camera sold by us to the customer on 12 May 2015

To the point, the camera has been on Leica service with the same note in March 2016 and then the sensor is replaced.

When the customer reviews images from the camera, the same problem occurs.

Leica's current response is that the camera after examination is within tolerances and errors caused by customer image processing?

Attach documents in the form of Leica service orders as well as link with customer test images for download here.

Leica's current response is that the camera after examination is within tolerances and errors caused by customer image processing?

Customer Max Dahlstrand has been a faithful Leica customer for many years and to our store.

He has bought or a plurality of cameras and lenses and is unbelievably boring that we and Leica loose his confidence.

We would be grateful if you in any way together with Leica can find a solution to our and our customers

Sincerely

XXX XXXXXX

 

 

 

 

To add to this, I told Leica that I would most likely post something on a forum to see if others have the same problem. To this Leica sent out a in-house alert message (that I mistakenly received a copy of) saying:

 

Hallo zusammen,

der Kunde wird demnächst was ins Forum posten. S.unten.

ich habe ihm die von XXX XXXXXX übersetzte Antwort von der QS gemailt.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Best regards

XXX XXXXXX

 

In English that means:

Hello everybody,

the customer will soon post something in the forum. See below.

I emailed him the reply translated by XXX XXXXXX QS.

Sincerely / Best regards

 

 

Have I found an inherent problem with the sensor construction on the M240?

 

To sum up:

  1. The vertical line appears in the exact same position in both bodys. This probably means it is an inherent problem in the construction of the sensor, or? My guess is that the sensor consists of two halves fused together, and that this fuse is not seamless (no, I do not know this, I am not a technician).
  2. The line appears in Lightroom (but also in C1Pro, Silver Efex Pro, ON1 Photo Raw). So it is not a matter of software. Although, in Lightroom (Leica´s preferred software) it appears much stronger than in C1P11.
  3. I have tested other cameras, and I cannot get a vertical line to appear in any images from them. I tested a GH4 heavily during the period my M-P was in Germany, as well as Ricoh GRii. And my old M9 did not have this problem, nor the even older Canon 5D.
  4. It is not a dead pixel problem.
  5. It is not banding.
  6. A camera that costs around 7000 Euro should not have this kind of sensor issue. A photographer/artist should be able to tweak a photo without a vertical line separating the image in two halves. 
  7. There are many other competing camera makers nowadays. A camera company in 2018 should not act this way to faithful consumers. My Leica garage includes/included: R4, M9, M-P, 18/3.4, 28/2.8 Asph, 35/2 vers 4, two 50/1.4 Asph, 50/1.4, two 75/2 APO, 90/2.8, Digital flash SD20, etc… 
  8. I am a devoted hobby photographer. I am not rich (not even close) and the expenses from Leica equipment means less of other things in my life. But I have spent 25000 Euro on Leica products through the years. I do not make any money on photography. I have used Leica for the love of their products. But maybe not som much anymore, to which I am very sad.

Any one out there that has had the same problem?

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You are pushing post processing so far that only a forensics expert would see it, and the public will not see it.

Edited by pico

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The same 'problem' was present in the M9 and reflects the fact the sensor is read in two halves ...... not completely from one side or the other. The sensor is calibrated so all the pixel sites read out the same signal when exposed to the same illumination .... but that is only within certain limits and the most obvious mismatch is likely to be where the two halves of the readout process meet, and as the calibration process can only be an average for average circumstances there will be times where discrepancies may be more apparent. Due to product variation this may be more apparent is some cameras than others.

 

If Leica says it is within their tolerances and you process to the point where these issues are apparent then I doubt if they will change their response. 

 

If you take well exposed photos and don't try to resurrect them by extreme processing there will be no problem .......

 

Having said that ...... I have tried to replicate your instructions on some old M240 files and cannot create any central vertical line .....

Edited by thighslapper

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I don't think that the sensor is constructed by joining two halves. I think that the raw information may be received and processed in sections by the way the pixel values are collected in lines/columns. It's possible that the values calculated may be subtly different but perhaps not noticeable in usual image processing? Were the difference very striking in normal photography, it might indicate an error by the processor in the camera?

I downloaded your first DNG and processed in Lightroom including adding some capture sharpening and suggested rendering by LR (more contrast, colour saturation etc).  You have a spotless sensor by the way.
It looks to be  a flat average exposure with no clipping. That both from the hazy light and default conservative values in the DNG
I just don't see any artefact issues in the copy that I developed including viewing the original at 1:1. Any artefact (for example noise) will be more visible in areas of continuous tone like sky.

I don't know what processing steps you used . I presume that you have used extreme adjustments of some values to make visible the 'halve's artefact?
 

Edited by hoppyman

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I can't seem to perceive any flaw in your DNG files. Camera makers cannot be held responsible for artefacts caused by extreme adjustments IMHO. 

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I post this to see if anyone else have/had the same sensor issues with their M240 (M-P).

 

I was playing around in Lightroom in November 2017, mainly testing different extreme values with the haze control, and other stuff to experiment with my photography. To my astonishment I saw a vertical line running exactly in the middle of the uncropped image. I then tested a photo from April 2015 that was taken with another M240 M-P body I had at that time. And the same vertical line appeared. I then randomly tested several other photos, and the same line appears, in virtually all photos, from both M-P bodies! I have a total of more than 20000 photos with M-P:s that in some or another way are affected by this problem.

 

Attached here is an example of a jpg from M-P body 1, and one of M-P body 2, after tweakning the dng:s.

 

Screen dump small part of image body 1.jpeg

 

Screen dump small part of image body 2.jpeg

 

The dng:s and full JPG:s can be downloaded to view through the links provided here:

 

Link to DNG (M-P body 1): https://we.tl/FQQkFgKo7U

Link to JPG (M-P body 1): https://we.tl/4BpPecbwmR

 

Link to DNG (M-P body 2): https://we.tl/O2Kb9XKab7

Link to JPG (M-P body 2): https://we.tl/a3Vw2FUBYQ

 

These images do not represent my photography (www.m9x.se), but they show the problem very clearly.

 

So I went to my local Leica center in Stockholm who sent it to Leica in Germany. My lokal Leica dealer is fantastic by the way.

 

I instructed Leica to test the way I had done in Lightroom doing the following:

- adjust ”haze” to a the right

- lower the value of vibrance

- lower the value of saturation

- set exposure to show a standard good histogram curve

 

Leica concluded that the sensor ”function within tolerances”. They said:

 

 

Both I and my lokal Leica dealer where astonished and very surprised. Separately we wrote to Leica. My dealer wrote this to Leica:

 

 

 

 

To add to this, I told Leica that I would most likely post something on a forum to see if others have the same problem. To this Leica sent out a in-house alert message (that I mistakenly received a copy of) saying:

 

 

Have I found an inherent problem with the sensor construction on the M240?

 

To sum up:

  1. The vertical line appears in the exact same position in both bodys. This probably means it is an inherent problem in the construction of the sensor, or? My guess is that the sensor consists of two halves fused together, and that this fuse is not seamless (no, I do not know this, I am not a technician).
  2. The line appears in Lightroom (but also in C1Pro, Silver Efex Pro, ON1 Photo Raw). So it is not a matter of software. Although, in Lightroom (Leica´s preferred software) it appears much stronger than in C1P11.
  3. I have tested other cameras, and I cannot get a vertical line to appear in any images from them. I tested a GH4 heavily during the period my M-P was in Germany, as well as Ricoh GRii. And my old M9 did not have this problem, nor the even older Canon 5D.
  4. It is not a dead pixel problem.
  5. It is not banding.
  6. A camera that costs around 7000 Euro should not have this kind of sensor issue. A photographer/artist should be able to tweak a photo without a vertical line separating the image in two halves. 
  7. There are many other competing camera makers nowadays. A camera company in 2018 should not act this way to faithful consumers. My Leica garage includes/included: R4, M9, M-P, 18/3.4, 28/2.8 Asph, 35/2 vers 4, two 50/1.4 Asph, 50/1.4, two 75/2 APO, 90/2.8, Digital flash SD20, etc… 
  8. I am a devoted hobby photographer. I am not rich (not even close) and the expenses from Leica equipment means less of other things in my life. But I have spent 25000 Euro on Leica products through the years. I do not make any money on photography. I have used Leica for the love of their products. But maybe not som much anymore, to which I am very sad.

Any one out there that has had the same problem?

You have just demonstrated that virtually all sensors are read out in two halves and that the processing pipelines of those halves have a tolerance span. And? You can do this with any digital camera. Actually there have been some cameras that were notorious for this "centrefold issue" as it is known.

 

 

http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=12079

 

 

I might point out that a Leaf digital back is considerably more expensive than any Leica.

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I did the following: Lightroom doing the following:

- adjust ”haze” to a the right

- lower the value of vibrance

- lower the value of saturation

- set exposure to show a standard good histogram curve

 

The line appears very clear on most photos when doing this. It does not occur on photos shot with other cameras including M9.

 

 

Skickat från min iPhone med Tapatalk Pro

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That said, judging from the answers given here by people truly more competent than I, the problem is maybe not in the sensor, but in my perhaps too unrealistic expectations of a Leica sensor. I thank all of you guys who shed light on this.

 

 

Skickat från min iPhone med Tapatalk Pro

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While this may or may not be a genuine problem that needs addressing, I do think Leica owes you a candid, detailed explanation of the science behind it, so that you wouldn't have to come on the forum to get it from people here. "Nothing to see here" isn't good enough as a response.

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Leica gave their answer: "within tolerance". There is no obligation to explain the ABC of sensor technology. Can one really expect a manufacturer to explain the existence of noise to a customer who lifts shadows by 100% at ISO 6400? All technology has its limits.

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I think so. The repair came through the shop. "This is typical sensor behavior in X class of sensors based on Y physical phenomenon" strikes me as a reasonable amount of explanation to give someone who followed the proper repair process.

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I think so. The repair came through the shop. "This is typical sensor behavior in X class of sensors based on Y physical phenomenon" strikes me as a reasonable amount of explanation to give someone who followed the proper repair process.

Well, I admit t would be a nice gesture. However, "normal behaviour within tolerance" is an answer that I received a couple of times as well. I had no problem with it. Let's see what Leica does with the letter that the dealer sent. They are quite flexible in general.

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The OP's skill at breaking things is countered by Photoshop which can fix the seam seamlessly in one simple action (I've just tried it on the top photo), so what is the fuss about?

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In Photoshop yes, but it might be less simple in other programs.

 

That is the problem with Ligthroom, it takes you down a path of having amazing adjustments at your fingertips, then abandons you when it goes tits up. If it's possible to make a selection in Lightroom just draw around the offending aberration and press delete for 'Content Aware' to remove the seam in the picture. Lightroom has got better recently but I stopped using it two weeks after it's initial release.

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Well, I admit t would be a nice gesture. However, "normal behaviour within tolerance" is an answer that I received a couple of times as well. I had no problem with it. Let's see what Leica does with the letter that the dealer sent. They are quite flexible in general.

Leica’s answer to the dealer was the same.

 

 

Skickat från min iPhone med Tapatalk Pro

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