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Leica M10 Sensor Issues


chrismongeau

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Hi all, 

I've been digging extensively on forums and threads looking for similar instances to this issue I've encountered rarely (just twice in about a year of extensive use of my M10). I just reached out to Leica repair and they weren't able to provide much insight beyond a 7-week quoted turnaround for repair, which I can't do because I'm leaving the country in about a month. Right now, I'm trying to gauge if I should bring my M10 with me on three months of travel 

Issue:
In these two instances (see attached images) that were apart from one another by several months, I'm seeing this green-ish digitized line through the frame going horizontally from a landscape orientation. In both cases, I noticed it right away after reviewing the photos and the camera did not repeat the issue again. There are virtually no similarities between the two occurrences in terms of camera settings, except that ISO was set to 400 in both. I compared it to a few other instances online from other users who experienced sensor issues and it didn't look exactly the same, so I'm not sure if it's sensor-related or possibly an issue writing out to the memory card. As I mentioned, it's happened twice in just over a year of shooting upwards of 10,000 frames. 

I am really just grasping at straws because I've never experienced anything like this in 15+ years with dozens of cameras. There seem to be just a few accounts of issues like this online with the M10 so I thought I'd share to see if 1) anyone might have any insight as to what is causing this and 2) help others in the future who might experience the same issue. 

Goal:
Trying to assess what the risk is in taking my M10 with me to avoid total camera failure and being stuck with an expensive brick for three months while backpacking around southeast Asia. When I return, I do plan to send it to Leica, but identifying what could be causing the issue would greatly help me decide if I should take it or bring a different camera. Thanks so much in advance for any info.

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have you considered the possibility of a corrupted file or else no. atributable to the camera? I had lines -horizontal but similar- with an M9P batch, and everything disappeared when i changed the reader. 

 

Just a suggestion but I would try to rule out any other options 

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My layperson's diagnosis is this looks like a hardware problem and not a corrupted file.

If you've only experienced 2 failures in 10k shots, I'd take the risk and take the camera, but also bring a backup camera/plan.

Best of luck!

 

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If it were a sensor issue it should be visible every shot. Call Leica and explain your predicament. Maybe they can provide a loaner or ship to an address on the way. 

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I have experienced a similar problem. A few years ago a vertical line appeared, like yours. The line appeared on a few shots and was a single pixel in width. I was already committed to use the image in a show since the line is not visible until enlarged greatly on screen or printed. I fixed this one image pixel by pixel. The mark then disappeared, that is it didn't affect other images to my knowledge. 

Now a few years later, multiple lines (including horizontals) appeared again on a shoot.  They too disappeared but it was so extensive I had to trash all the work. Then they disappeared in future images.

Most recently, however, a single pixel black line has appeared visible as the others, almost dead center on the sensor.   Leica repair in NJ had the camera 8 weeks then another 8 weeks to repair this but did not. Nor was there an explanation. 

At this point, I consider the camera unusable. My plans to purchase the M11 are on permanent hold. I have been a Leica user (for 50 years) and find the current state of service - and lack thereof - unacceptable, frustrating, and an embarrassment to this fine company. Perhaps worse - their best days and products may be history.  Even if they said "sorry your sensor is dead" I understand after 100+K pics in the past 10 years. I'm using the SL system in the absence of the M 240, but its size doesn't serve my purposes all the time like the tiny M.  Just hope I'm wrong about this, too.        

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44 minutes ago, AENeyman said:

I have experienced a similar problem. A few years ago a vertical line appeared, like yours. The line appeared on a few shots and was a single pixel in width. I was already committed to use the image in a show since the line is not visible until enlarged greatly on screen or printed. I fixed this one image pixel by pixel. The mark then disappeared, that is it didn't affect other images to my knowledge. 

Now a few years later, multiple lines (including horizontals) appeared again on a shoot.  They too disappeared but it was so extensive I had to trash all the work. Then they disappeared in future images.

Most recently, however, a single pixel black line has appeared visible as the others, almost dead center on the sensor.   Leica repair in NJ had the camera 8 weeks then another 8 weeks to repair this but did not. Nor was there an explanation. 

At this point, I consider the camera unusable. My plans to purchase the M11 are on permanent hold. I have been a Leica user (for 50 years) and find the current state of service - and lack thereof - unacceptable, frustrating, and an embarrassment to this fine company. Perhaps worse - their best days and products may be history.  Even if they said "sorry your sensor is dead" I understand after 100+K pics in the past 10 years. I'm using the SL system in the absence of the M 240, but its size doesn't serve my purposes all the time like the tiny M.  Just hope I'm wrong about this, too.        

The M240 is quite an old camera now for a digital. Sounds you have an intermittently faulty sensor. Annoying and unusable as you say, but that happens. I'd just replace it (either the sensor or the camera).

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On 1/6/2024 at 1:03 PM, newtoleica said:

The M240 is quite an old camera now for a digital. Sounds you have an intermittently faulty sensor. Annoying and unusable as you say, but that happens. I'd just replace it (either the sensor or the camera).

My M3 is quite an old camera too, and works fine.  Repair issues over the last 50+ years for the M3 and other Leica cameras were dealt with summarily. Better   communication too.  

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14 hours ago, AENeyman said:

My M3 is quite an old camera too, and works fine.  Repair issues over the last 50+ years for the M3 and other Leica cameras were dealt with summarily. Better   communication too.  

Different technology. A digital camera is a 'film camera + film'. Just as film fogs over time a sensor will get damaged by cosmic radiation. Not quickly but eventually.

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Am 5.1.2024 um 17:40 schrieb TomB_tx:

In both cases it looks like the line may originate from the sun as the brightest spot in a blown highlight.

… and this brightest spot was on the sensor‘s edge.

One will find quite a few examples of the green line shown in this forum from the time of the M8. It was „common knowledge“ then that it was caused by a very bright light source (sun, strong lamp etc) hitting just the sensor‘s edge. I havn’t seen it since, neither with the M9 nor the M10. Though both examples shown here have the same characteristics, even if you don‘t see the line‘s origin on the second example as the highlights are completely blown out. When you search with „green line“ in other fora you might find examples for this issue with other cameras as well, e.g. Nikon.

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Hi chrismongeau,

I had that on my M8 several times as well, but have not experienced it with the M10 yet.

I would not see that as an „issue“ with the camera but a more or less normal behavior of hardware/software when a very bright spot, such as the sun, is placed at the very edge of the frame or just outside of it. This results in an extreme overexposure on that very spot while the rest of the frame is/ tends to be underexposed.

The higher the dynamic range of the camera is it will become less likely you encounter that issue. (…that’s why the M8 is more prone to have it than the M10 … and the M11 should be handling this even better …)

I would simply go on shooting with the camera and try to avoid having the sun directly at the edge of the frame. … just my 2cents.

Cheers

Tim

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5 hours ago, UliWer said:

… and this brightest spot was on the sensor‘s edge.

One will find quite a few examples of the green line shown in this forum from the time of the M8. It was „common knowledge“ then that it was caused by a very bright light source (sun, strong lamp etc) hitting just the sensor‘s edge. I havn’t seen it since, neither with the M9 nor the M10. Though both examples shown here have the same characteristics, even if you don‘t see the line‘s origin on the second example as the highlights are completely blown out. When you search with „green line“ in other fora you might find examples for this issue with other cameras as well, e.g. Nikon.

As i remember it (i had this with my M8) the sensor is actually slightly larger than the frame that covers it. There are a few rows/columns under the frame that are used for calibration, and they must be perfectly light sealed.

What happens is that with a bright light source at the edge, if the seal is not perfect, some light will reach the reference pixels, and the calibration is skewed. The artifact affects those columns/rows that are calibrated by the affected reference pixels.

There are more green pixels than blue or red, so the artifact is typically green.

As long as you avoid bright light at the edges you are fine.

Regards

Per

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  • 1 month later...

Going to add my recent sample to this thread to support the above explanations.

I agree about avoiding a bright light source near the edge of the frame.  I've been using my M10-P for the past three years and this is probably the third time I've experienced this light source near the edge of the frame induced, green artifact.  It's not a concern in my usage.

I took the following image in HK recently, using a M10-P and a 35 APO lens.  ISO 5000 and aperture was wide open at f/2, shutter speed 1/90 s.  The framing of the shots immediately preceding this one and following it were very similar but due to the placement of the light source further from the edge or out of frame, there weren't any green artifacts on those images.


 

 

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This is puzzling. In all the instances shown in the page, the line seems to originate from a point with a very bright area (the sun or the light), which could evoke a readout issue. But then, one would expect it to happen either more often or not at all.

But as said above, if I had a strange issue like this, I would look very suspiciously at the card as well...

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12 hours ago, Xavier said:

This is puzzling. In all the instances shown in the page, the line seems to originate from a point with a very bright area (the sun or the light), which could evoke a readout issue. But then, one would expect it to happen either more often or not at all.

But as said above, if I had a strange issue like this, I would look very suspiciously at the card as well...

If you read the explanation by @perb it makes perfect sense. The phenomenon is probably rare because measures have been taken by the manufacturer to prevent this from happening, so only in very rare situations it possible for light from a very bright source to reach the calibration pixels located on the shorter edge of the sensor. I don't think we have seen any examples of these green stripes in other lightning situations, e.g. with bright light near the longer edge or no bright light sources at all. An SD card error would not be dependent on how the image is illuminated.

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