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Voxen

Dust on sensor, beware of the cost!

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Hey guys,

Last year I had to send back my Q to Leica because the sensor was full of dust. As it was still under warranty, I didn’t pay anything but it took 6 weeks to get back my Q.

unfortunately, one year later the dust is back, big ones much like hairs and ugly stuff. So I contacted the support and they told me I should send it again to Germany for expertise, BUT they can not guarantee the cleaning will be free this time, they may charge me 350 Euro (plus taxes) for that!

This is insane, not only because of the price, but also because the dust may come back again and again. Obviously the first time they didn’t do anything to my Q in order to seal it from dust, and I believe nothing can be done because soon or later dust finds its way to the sensor.

So I may have to send my camera once a year (or more) for 6 weeks to Germany and pay an insane price each time. Hilarious right?

What now comes to my mind is to sell my Q and leave Leica forever. I’m ok to pay premium price for something that is premium quality along with premium customer service, which is not the case. I’m stuck with a very expensive camera that nobody can clean except Leica at outrageous price and insane delay. Alright then, you won’t have my money anymore.

So guys beware, soon or later your Q will be out of warranty and soon or later the dust will reach the sensor. You now know what it will cost you.

A very, very disappointed customer.

Edited by Voxen

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Sorry to hear that. Two years almost, and no dust. I sort of live in fear of what happened to you. I tape all the small holes and put a black rubber band around the macro dial (doesn't interfere with the action to turn on and off macro). I never keep the Q out if it's dusty (always carry a plastic bag), and even when walking on the beach keep the Q on the side away from any wind. I think the Q2 will be better with dust, but I wouldn't trust it completely. This is the achilles heel of any fixed lens digital camera, I suspect.

Edited by bags27

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Ouch. I wonder how so much dust enters the camera?

I’ve been using a Q since they first came out. For three years, I used it as my main camera, sometimes in very dusty, windy conditions travelling on dirt roads in an open tuk tuk or on a motorbike just slung over my shoulder, but have never had a problem.

Edited by Jumper

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I cleaned my Q once under warranty at the 2 years mark. Then 2 years later no dust at all. I do not protect my camera. 

It is bad luck, but unavoidable with any fixed lens camera. Whatever the brand. 

Ricoh GR and Panasonic LX100/Leica D-Lux are plagued with dust problem. Even expensive Sony RX1 are also. Actually all compact cameras will get dust inside. 

 

Solution ? A sealed camera like the Q2. Or an interchangeable camera system like M, CL, TL or SL. 

Leica seems to trust the Q2 sealing, because they remove the sensor protection filter. A first as I known of. Such filter is present in every cameras. 

By the way the new anti dust treatment of the CL works like a charm. I change lenses frequently and all it needs is a little blow from my Giotto rocket blower. 

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Do you have a verifiable source for this?It is more than unlikely that Leica removed the sensor cover glass, as it is the IR filter on the sensor. If they had done so, we would see strong IR contamination in the Q photographs.

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I've had a few fixed lens digital compacts, all PanaLeica's as it happens, and dust eventually appeared on the sensors of all of them, so I stopped buying them and bought a Canon M as my 'carry everywhere' instead. 

I took one of the PanaLeica's apart just to see if I could get to the sensor. I was amazed at just how much dust and fluff was inside the camera, which had got in through the joins in the body (it doesn't seem to get in via the lens like some people say). I guess there's a lot of static inside the camera which sucks the dust in. 

The sensor and lens are a combined unit in these cameras, I took that apart and was able to clean the sensor, put it back together and then I put a strip of tape around the join - that's all it takes to make it dust proof.  

There's really no excuse, it's poor design. Think about the digital camera in your phone, a speck of dust on that sensor would be huge! But I keep my phones in my pockets, lots of dust around them and never any problems with dust on the sensors, because it's a sealed unit. 

Edited by earleygallery

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2 hours ago, jaapv said:

Do you have a verifiable source for this?It is more than unlikely that Leica removed the sensor cover glass, as it is the IR filter on the sensor. If they had done so, we would see strong IR contamination in the Q photographs.

I read it in several Q2 reviews. Last lens element is coated for UV and IR. It is that easy. 

Leica claimed that to accommodate 47MP sensor, they needed the last drop of sharpness from the lens. Hence the sensor filter removal. 

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Thanks that maken sense. However they would need to have IR absorbing glass in that element as well 

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It makes one wonder about the rationale of conventional high-MP sensors though. 

a monochrom Q2. should rival a 100 MP or more camera. 

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I've had my Q for 21 months and carry it with me virtually every day, usually in my hand or if in my messenger bag (work days), or hand or backpack (holidays).  No dust yet.

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15 hours ago, Voxen said:

Hey guys,

Last year I had to send back my Q to Leica because the sensor was full of dust. As it was still under warranty, I didn’t pay anything but it took 6 weeks to get back my Q.

unfortunately, one year later the dust is back, big ones much like hairs and ugly stuff. So I contacted the support and they told me I should send it again to Germany for expertise, BUT they can not guarantee the cleaning will be free this time, they may charge me 350 Euro (plus taxes) for that!

This is insane, not only because of the price, but also because the dust may come back again and again. Obviously the first time they didn’t do anything to my Q in order to seal it from dust, and I believe nothing can be done because soon or later dust finds its way to the sensor.

So I may have to send my camera once a year (or more) for 6 weeks to Germany and pay an insane price each time. Hilarious right?

What now comes to my mind is to sell my Q and leave Leica forever. I’m ok to pay premium price for something that is premium quality along with premium customer service, which is not the case. I’m stuck with a very expensive camera that nobody can clean except Leica at outrageous price and insane delay. Alright then, you won’t have my money anymore.

So guys beware, soon or later your Q will be out of warranty and soon or later the dust will reach the sensor. You now know what it will cost you.

A very, very disappointed customer.

Very disappointed for your experience. It does seem that dust is a risk with any fixed lens camera. The weather sealing in the Q2 was likely an addition over the Q just to help this problem. 

No low-pass filter has nothing to do with protecting the sensor. That’s strictly related to improving resolution and does make the camera somewhat more susceptible to moire. I rarely see it and pretty easily removed in LR. 

Good luck with the dust removal repair. Very frustrating for sure. 4 1/2 years for me with a Q and Q2 and so far no dust. Fingers crossed. 

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5 hours ago, jaapv said:

a monochrom Q2. should rival a 100 MP or more camera. 

Can I start the rumor? I'm sure we'll get at least 500 contributions. 🙂

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8 hours ago, jaapv said:

It makes one wonder about the rationale of conventional high-MP sensors though. 

a monochrom Q2. should rival a 100 MP or more camera. 

Nothing wrong with the rationale of conventional high-map sensors.  The conventional approach to avoid issues with angle of light rays hitting the sensor has been to make sure they are close to parallel.  That way you avoid cross talk, the need for irregular micro lenses, etc.  This goes all the way back to the “designed for digital” (Olympus?) lenses from twenty years ago.  It’s why Leica was so late with a digital version of the Q.  Designing the lens to have parallel light rays coming off the rear element works just fine and let’s you get all the lens has to offer.  It does, however, remove some degrees of freedom from the lens designer. A necessary evil in an interchangeable lens camera.

In the case of the Q/Q2 and any other cameras where the lens and sensor are permanent there is no reason one couldn’t take another approach.  It would likely result in a more compact lens.  I have no knowledge as to whether Leica built the Q without cover glass, but as long as there was a. UV/IR cutoff filter incorporated into the lens it should work fine.  That would give the lens designer back one more degree of freedom.  A more compact design akin to M lenses could result.

As to a monochrome M having the resolution of a 100 MP camera...  In my experience, Bayer arrays don’t degrade resolution all that much.  You’d get much better SNR for a given amount of light since you wouldn’t be attenuating your signal by a couple stops, so it would be a champ at high ISO’s, and you’d gain a touch of resolution due to the lack of interpolation, but it’s honestly not that much.  The monochrome M’s are special because of the low noise, not because of any higher resolution.

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5 hours ago, stuny said:

I've had my Q for 21 months and carry it with me virtually every day, usually in my hand or if in my messenger bag (work days), or hand or backpack (holidays).  No dust yet.

🤞3+ years with my Q  and no dust yet..  carried without a camera bag while out and about.... and stored in a OPTech soft bag or a Fogg bag while home

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1 hour ago, Jared said:

Nothing wrong with the rationale of conventional high-map sensors.  The conventional approach to avoid issues with angle of light rays hitting the sensor has been to make sure they are close to parallel.  That way you avoid cross talk, the need for irregular micro lenses, etc.  This goes all the way back to the “designed for digital” (Olympus?) lenses from twenty years ago.  It’s why Leica was so late with a digital version of the Q.  Designing the lens to have parallel light rays coming off the rear element works just fine and let’s you get all the lens has to offer.  It does, however, remove some degrees of freedom from the lens designer. A necessary evil in an interchangeable lens camera.

In the case of the Q/Q2 and any other cameras where the lens and sensor are permanent there is no reason one couldn’t take another approach.  It would likely result in a more compact lens.  I have no knowledge as to whether Leica built the Q without cover glass, but as long as there was a. UV/IR cutoff filter incorporated into the lens it should work fine.  That would give the lens designer back one more degree of freedom.  A more compact design akin to M lenses could result.

As to a monochrome M having the resolution of a 100 MP camera...  In my experience, Bayer arrays don’t degrade resolution all that much.  You’d get much better SNR for a given amount of light since you wouldn’t be attenuating your signal by a couple stops, so it would be a champ at high ISO’s, and you’d gain a touch of resolution due to the lack of interpolation, but it’s honestly not that much.  The monochrome M’s are special because of the low noise, not because of any higher resolution.

You forget the resolution loss due to interpolation  

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4 hours ago, jaapv said:

You forget the resolution loss due to interpolation  

Actually, I explicitly mentioned you would get a touch more resolution due to lack of interpolation.  It’s just not all that much in my experience.  I don’t know what it would equate to in terms of additional contrast at extinction resolution.  It isn’t as simple as measuring it with a chart since the charts all use monochrome images (which end up showing almost no additional resolution with monochrome cameras).  In the real “color” world you do get a bit more resolution with a monochrome camera, but it’s not much.  Certainly nothing like the 1.5x improvement in linear resolution between a 47 megapixel camera and a 100 megapixel camera.

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I am very picky about dust spots in my pictures. I have a voigtänder lens for my M10 which has dust in it and that drives me nuts (will be sent in soon). I had my Q1 for a little longer than 3 years (before moving on to the Q2) and used it very often outside, also often hanging around my neck without further protection during mountain hikes and never had any dust particle (not a single one) inside the camera.

There is a thread about it here in this forum which I can't find at the moment that implies that there was one early batch of Qs that had that dust problem and somehow they managed to do something about it.

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7 hours ago, Jared said:

Actually, I explicitly mentioned you would get a touch more resolution due to lack of interpolation.  It’s just not all that much in my experience.  I don’t know what it would equate to in terms of additional contrast at extinction resolution.  It isn’t as simple as measuring it with a chart since the charts all use monochrome images (which end up showing almost no additional resolution with monochrome cameras).  In the real “color” world you do get a bit more resolution with a monochrome camera, but it’s not much.  Certainly nothing like the 1.5x improvement in linear resolution between a 47 megapixel camera and a 100 megapixel camera.

Most sources mention 30-50 % linear which would mean a doubling of the MP number. I must confess that I have never done a test chart comparison between my M9 and MM1. However, subjectively not only the amount of detail is increased, also the quality. In fact the rendering of the monochrome sensor is different from a converted image. Quoting Erwin Puts: “Each pixel on the  sensor is reproduced 1:1 on the print “. 

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