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M9M shutter woes

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My beloved very-low- mileage chrome M9M hit the tarmac today in Soho NYC (my stupid fault while racing across Houston St) and now has a curious shutter issue. 

Fortunately it had its usual “street” TT Artisan 28 f5.6 lens attached - whose brass hood took a lot of the impact and is in Leica terms (compared to say the 28 Summaron or 28 Elmarit) fairly disposable - I have another copy of the lens/hood in the cupboard - although it is far less beat-up that I thought it would be and still seems to focus ok.

The body did take a hit though and now it will release the shutter only if it is set to “soft” or “discrete and soft” mode.

Set up like this it operates fine but in standard mode it will not fire the shutter.

I’m guessing this is an issue with some electronic circuit rather than the shutter itself as mechanically the shutter still operates.

Has anyone ever had this issue? - I’m obviously aware that the shutter options were dropped after the M9 but it seems odd that the shutter will operate in one mode but not another.

I called into Leica SOHO (I was heading there anyway) and heard the dreaded but entirely expected “send it in”.

Any ideas on current turnarounds? whether M9M repairs are still accepted? or whether I can get the top plate replaced (hate dents and scratches) at the same time (or maybe an M9P plate)?

I guess I’m just hoping against hope that I won’t lose the camera for probably 6 months…


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Sounds like a problem with the shutter button microswitch. It is probably repairable since that would not involve the M9/M9M CCD sensor (which is no longer made - no spare parts).

Remember that the shutter button has a 2-stage normal operation:

A light press on the shutter (stage 1) activates the meter and locks the exposure, a stronger press (stage 2) fires the shutter.

However, when "soft release" mode is on (with or without "discrete") in the M9 series - the shutter fires as soon as the shutter button is pressed at all (but one loses the ability to lock the exposure and recompose). That sounds like how your camera is operating.

Personally, that is how I used my M9 and M9m all the time anyway - I preferred the faster shutter response, over locking exposure.

No idea of normal repair times right now - last service I had was a lens coding, and that was a year ago. It took about 5 weeks at Leica NJ then. Leica NJ had a slow-down a few months ago due to moving location from Allendale to Teaneck, but that move should be finished now.

I suspect a shutter microswitch swap (if that is all it requires) is likely an easy repair - but "easy" and "fast" aren't always the same thing with Leica. 

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The M10-R I bought had some minor focus system issues ... both collimation and calibration were off ... so my dealer friend sent it in to Leica for adjustment. I believe the time in Leica's hands is going to be about 5 to 6 weeks, according to the latest information he sent me. 

And yes, that sounds like a switch or connection in your M9M was damaged in the drop and needs repair or replacement. The faster you get it into service, the faster it returns home. :)


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