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clngood

Underexposure and black frame issue of M240

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Hi guys,

 

Recently I bought a new Leica M-E typ240and it's basically an M240. And a few days ago, when I tried to do some continuous shootings (the shutter not being hold all the way, but rapidly pressing the shutter when the screen was black and the red light was flashing), I found out that among a series of photos I shot at the same scene, there was one that was a bit underexposured (you can obviously tell the difference between that one and others), and this kind of issue happened a few times when they were all ISO, Shutter speed Auto, and the aperture was fixed.

 

After noticing that, I started to do some continuous shootings of over 10 photos to testify it, and there was even one black frame, but others were fine, and judging from the exposure parameter, there was absolutely no possibility that one could be a black frame. When I got back home, I did a few more rounds of continuous shootings, and I even tried to make ISO, Shutter speed and aperture all fixed, and Underexposure issue happened again.

 

The firmware is the latest one (2.0.6.0). So I'm wondering if you guys have had the same issue? Is it normal? And how to deal with it?

 

Edited by clngood

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My personal, unscientific, and not particularly well informed take on this issue :)  This is only my personal observation and may not be especially valuable to anyone other than myself.

This is a not uncommon experience and there a number of discussions across the internet.  None of which are able to offer a definitive explanation for your issue.  Reasonable enough as they don't have the camera to examine.

Having said that, you will find a fairly large number of posts mentioning these possibilities:

  • memory card issues
  • low battery power issues
  • shutter issues
  • firmware issues
  • need to reset the camera issues
  • automatic lens detection issues
  • lens not well mounted/seated
  • indecisive/improper shutter button press issues (does that sound like what you may be doing?  Perhaps slow down and see what happens ? )
  • probably a few I can't recall:)

If we're talking about images that look ok on review on the camera but bad when imported to the computer you might think about:

editing software getting cranky on you

  • lousy card reader
  • problem usb cable
  • problem USB port

One person suggest that Leica includes an undocumented feature which prevents it from saving any photograph which is not up to Leica's high standards.  This strikes me as being obviously incorrect as my camera still records most of my own images :)

In my particular case I can induce the problem on about the frequency you mention if I turn on the function that automatically reads the 6 bit lens code and mount an uncoded lens.  Presumable, a difficulty reading a coded lens would induce a similar issue.

My best suggestion would be to investigate the stuff on this list plus whatever somebody else brings up and as a last resort send the body in for service.

Or just put up with it.  Depending on what you're doing you may or may not be able to afford missing the odd frame.

Edited by Good To Be Retired
correct my incredibly poor typing skills

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5 minutes ago, Good To Be Retired said:

My personal, unscientific, and not particularly well informed take on this issue :)  This is only my personal observation and may not be especially valuable to anyone other than myself.

This is a not uncommon experience and there a number of discussions across the internet.  None of which are able to offer a definitive explanation for your issue.  Reasonable enough as they don't have the camera to examine.

Having said that, you will find a fairly large number of posts mentioning these possibilities:

  • memory card issues
  • low battery power issues
  • shutter issues
  • firmware issues
  • need to reset the camera issues
  • automatic lens detection issues
  • indecisive/improper shutter button press issues (does that sound like what you may be doing?  Perhaps slow down and see what happens ? )
  • probably a few I can't recall:)

In my particular case I can induce the problem on about the basis you mention if I turn on the function that automatically reads the 6 bit lens code and mount an uncoded lens.  Presumable, a difficulty reading a coded lens would induce a similar issue.

My best subsection would be to investigate the stuff on this list plus whatever somebody else brings up and as a last resort send the body in for service.

Or just put up with it.  Depending on what you're doing you may or may not be able to afford missing the odd frame.

Thanks a lot. So it's like an issue that has been frequently encountered by M240 users, but no of them can be sure of the reason why it happens? And you also have this sometimes from general usage?😊

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4 minutes ago, clngood said:

Thanks a lot. So it's like an issue that has been frequently encountered by M240 users, but no of them can be sure of the reason why it happens? And you also have this sometimes from general usage?😊

Depends on what you consider frequent, but the issue is certainly not unique.

Google search Leica m240 dark frames. There's about a gazillion hits.

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Just now, Good To Be Retired said:

Depends on what you consider frequent, but the issue is certainly not unique.

Google search Leica m240 dark frames. There's about a gazillion hits.

I see, thank you.😊

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11 hours ago, Good To Be Retired said:

Depends on what you consider frequent, but the issue is certainly not unique.

Google search Leica m240 dark frames. There's about a gazillion hits.

I have read some of these posts. The thing is that other than Black Frame, I also encountered underexposure, don't know if you have this kind of issue as well.

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Only black frames on mine.  Actually, on both of mine.  I'm on my second M240 and they both behave the same.  

 

Man walks into a doctors office, stands on one leg and holds his hand above  his head, and says "Doc, it hurts when I do this."

Doctor looks at him and says "Don't do that." and charges him for an office visit.

 

This is just a personal thought and may not be shared by anybody else, but I'm a bit dubious about the continuous feature to begin with.

I have other systems, most notably a Nikon D5, where high frame rate/continuous shooting is sort of the reason for it's existence.   Leica on the other hand strikes me as a more deliberate approach where continuous shooting is not a major concern.  My impression is that it may have some inherent issues in itself.  Unless you have some sort of situation where continuous shooting is a requirement, I believe I'd just not use it that way and see if the issue becomes more common.  If the problem worsens perhaps send it for service, or if it's under warranty certainly send it in before the warranty expires.

Perhaps one of the decades long Leica users will have some more useful/accurate information for you, but the previous personal observation/speculation is about all I have to contribute.

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37 minutes ago, Good To Be Retired said:

Only black frames on mine.  Actually, on both of mine.  I'm on my second M240 and they both behave the same.  

 

Man walks into a doctors office, stands on one leg and holds his hand above  his head, and says "Doc, it hurts when I do this."

Doctor looks at him and says "Don't do that." and charges him for an office visit.

 

This is just a personal thought and may not be shared by anybody else, but I'm a bit dubious about the continuous feature to begin with.

I have other systems, most notably a Nikon D5, where high frame rate/continuous shooting is sort of the reason for it's existence.   Leica on the other hand strikes me as a more deliberate approach where continuous shooting is not a major concern.  My impression is that it may have some inherent issues in itself.  Unless you have some sort of situation where continuous shooting is a requirement, I believe I'd just not use it that way and see if the issue becomes more common.  If the problem worsens perhaps send it for service, or if it's under warranty certainly send it in before the warranty expires.

Perhaps one of the decades long Leica users will have some more useful/accurate information for you, but the previous personal observation/speculation is about all I have to contribute.

Thanks for your advice, I'm also a Fujifilm user, so for me continuous shooting is something very natural, I guess I have to get used to Leica.

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57 minutes ago, Good To Be Retired said:

Only black frames on mine.  Actually, on both of mine.  I'm on my second M240 and they both behave the same.  

 

Man walks into a doctors office, stands on one leg and holds his hand above  his head, and says "Doc, it hurts when I do this."

Doctor looks at him and says "Don't do that." and charges him for an office visit.

 

This is just a personal thought and may not be shared by anybody else, but I'm a bit dubious about the continuous feature to begin with.

I have other systems, most notably a Nikon D5, where high frame rate/continuous shooting is sort of the reason for it's existence.   Leica on the other hand strikes me as a more deliberate approach where continuous shooting is not a major concern.  My impression is that it may have some inherent issues in itself.  Unless you have some sort of situation where continuous shooting is a requirement, I believe I'd just not use it that way and see if the issue becomes more common.  If the problem worsens perhaps send it for service, or if it's under warranty certainly send it in before the warranty expires.

Perhaps one of the decades long Leica users will have some more useful/accurate information for you, but the previous personal observation/speculation is about all I have to contribute.

Oh by the way, have you tried the latest firmware (2.0.6.0)?

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I've never had that - maybe because I never use continuous.

Does it happen when you're shooting 1 at a time?

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2 hours ago, sblutter said:

I've never had that - maybe because I never use continuous.

Does it happen when you're shooting 1 at a time?

So far no, only during continuous shootings. What's your firmware version?

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On 22 January 2020 at 6:53 PM, Good To Be Retired said:

Depends on what you consider frequent, but the issue is certainly not unique.

Google search Leica m240 dark frames. There's about a gazillion hits.

I probably contributed to the discussion back in 2015/2016. Leica replaced the shutter on my M240 - I was informed the camera stores an error log and that the error code indicated a defective shutter. Within a few weeks of the camera's return, complete with the new shutter, it was still the same, i.e. still recording black frames periodically. The supplying dealer replaced by the camera when I quoted the consumer rights act. 

BTW, I rarely if ever use continuous shutter, and if I do it's mainly in error when rotating the selector knob. The issue described above occurred with single exposure selected.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Steve Ricoh said:

I probably contributed to the discussion back in 2015/2016. Leica replaced the shutter on my M240 - I was informed the camera stores an error log and that the error code indicated a defective shutter. Within a few weeks of the camera's return, complete with the new shutter, it was still the same, i.e. still recording black frames periodically. The supplying dealer replaced by the camera when I quoted the consumer rights act. 

BTW, I rarely if ever use continuous shutter, and if I do it's mainly in error when rotating the selector knob. The issue described above occurred with single exposure selected.

Have you experienced both underexposure and black frame? Did you try the latest firmware (2.0.6.0)?

 

 

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2 hours ago, clngood said:

 

No I can't recollect any underexposure other than user error, and as I said I only use the camera in single shutter actuation, so each exposure is generally based on its own merit.

Not installed 2.0.6.0. It seems stable with the previous firmware so my instinct is not to fix something that's not broken.

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15 minutes ago, Steve Ricoh said:

No I can't recollect any underexposure other than user error, and as I said I only use the camera in single shutter actuation, so each exposure is generally based on its own merit.

Not installed 2.0.6.0. It seems stable with the previous firmware so my instinct is not to fix something that's not broken.

So your new camera has no black frame issue any more? And what user error in continuous shutter?

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On 1/22/2020 at 6:15 PM, clngood said:

[...] And a few days ago, when I tried to do some continuous shootings (the shutter not being hold all the way, but rapidly pressing the shutter when the screen was black and the red light was flashing), I found out that among a series of photos I shot at the same scene, there was one that was a bit underexposured (you can obviously tell the difference between that one and others) [...]

So this is not continuous shooting. Makes a lot of difference. In continuous shooting mode, all the frames keep the same setting but when you take successive shots you may get different settings for some of them, typically due to AE lock in auto mode. Happened so often to me that i keep the shutter release half pressed (AE lock) during all the shots if i can. Otherwise i choose "true" continuous shooting ("C" mode) but i don't like that much. You may wish to try my tip before sending your camera in.

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8 minutes ago, lct said:

 

So this is not continuous shooting. Makes a lot of difference. In continuous shooting mode, all the frames keep the same setting but when you take successive shots you may get different settings for some of them, typically due to AE lock in auto mode. Happened so often to me that i keep the shutter release half pressed (AE lock) during all the shots if i can. Otherwise i choose "true" continuous shooting ("C" mode) but i don't like that much. You may wish to try my tip before sending your camera in.

So you are saying it's normal to have photos that are different than others during successive shots? Even if they are underexposured or black frames? 

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6 minutes ago, clngood said:

So you are saying it's normal to have photos that are different than others during successive shots? Even if they are underexposured or black frames? 

I'm just saying that you may wish to try my tip before sending your body in but it's up to you of course :cool:.

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3 minutes ago, lct said:

I'm just saying that you may wish to try my tip before sending your body in but it's up to you of course :cool:.

Ah thanks a lot, will do. BTW, have you experienced same or similar situations?

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43 minutes ago, clngood said:

So your new camera has no black frame issue any more? And what user error in continuous shutter?

The replacement did once produce a 'black frame' but I could not justify sending it to Germany for 8W, which at the time was the usual response from Leica for service/repairs, so I ignored it. 

 

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