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Disappointing sensor cleaning experience with Leica USA


SOHODE

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Hi everyone,

I recently had a less-than-ideal experience with the sensor cleaning service for my Leica M10. After waiting patiently for six weeks, I received my camera back from Leica USA only to find that the sensor actually has more dust on it now compared to before. As someone who frequently shoots at smaller apertures, this is quite frustrating.

To add to the disappointment, I also discovered a scratch on the camera screen that wasn't there before I sent it in. Needless to say, I didn’t expect this.

I already tried cleaning the sensor myself using different methods before sending it to Leica, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to achieve satisfactory results, which is why I ultimately sent it to Leica USA for professional cleaning.

Additionally, it looks like Leica has used a resin stick tool during the cleaning process, which seems to have only multiplied the (potentially) oily dust on the sensor, exacerbating the issue.

I emailed Leica USA about the issue, but unfortunately, I haven't received a response yet. In the meantime, I thought I'd turn to the experienced users here on the forum for some advice.

I've attached before-and-after (Leica service) photos of the sensor to provide some context.

Has anyone else encountered a similar situation, and if so, how did you handle it? I tried wet swap multiple times (before sending it to Leica) and I got some improvement but every time, in addition to cleaning some spots it added some new tiny dust to the sensor. 

Any insights or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all 

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Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear of your bad experience. When you are up and running again photographically show us some of your work.
However, this situation was avoidable I fear.
 

It is rather unusual to send a camera to the repair service of a manufacturer for cleaning. Many camera stores offer this service, often whilst you wait and with Leica stores it is mostly free. There are also independent services. I was not even aware that Leica USA offers such a specific service outside their repair department 


90% of owners will undertake this routine maintenance themselves, as it takes a few seconds to a few minutes in easy steps and they are unwilling  to have any he camera out of their hands unnecessarily. There are instructions in our Leica M FAQ and there are dozens of instruction videos on YouTube. 
You wouldn’t send your car back to the maker to clean the windscreen?

BTW there are no resin stick tools for sensor cleaning. You probably mean a gel stick tool.Those leave no residue and are quite popular. Leica Wetzlar uses the Pentax ones during the production process AFAIK , I prefer the Eyelead for Sony one. 
To clear smears from the sensor use a swab and Smear Away fluid. 

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8 minutes ago, jaapv said:

I was on my phone, which I blamed for seeing nothing  I assumed a computer screen would show something.

On my big iMac here.  The iMac screen is dirtier than the sensor AFAICT.

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10 hours ago, SOHODE said:

Hi everyone,

I recently had a less-than-ideal experience with the sensor cleaning service for my Leica M10. After waiting patiently for six weeks, I received my camera back from Leica USA only to find that the sensor actually has more dust on it now compared to before. As someone who frequently shoots at smaller apertures, this is quite frustrating.

To add to the disappointment, I also discovered a scratch on the camera screen that wasn't there before I sent it in. Needless to say, I didn’t expect this.

I already tried cleaning the sensor myself using different methods before sending it to Leica, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to achieve satisfactory results, which is why I ultimately sent it to Leica USA for professional cleaning.

Additionally, it looks like Leica has used a resin stick tool during the cleaning process, which seems to have only multiplied the (potentially) oily dust on the sensor, exacerbating the issue.

I emailed Leica USA about the issue, but unfortunately, I haven't received a response yet. In the meantime, I thought I'd turn to the experienced users here on the forum for some advice.

I've attached before-and-after (Leica service) photos of the sensor to provide some context.

Has anyone else encountered a similar situation, and if so, how did you handle it? I tried wet swap multiple times (before sending it to Leica) and I got some improvement but every time, in addition to cleaning some spots it added some new tiny dust to the sensor. 

Any insights or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all 

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There are micro particles on both, but I doubt you'd ever see them on a "real" photo. To be honest, when my sensor is like that, I consider it to be clean.

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I see nothing there (caveat: my sensor is usually a mess, mostly because I'm too absent minded to clean it as often as I should). One should also become comfortable with the spotting tools in the image rendering software of their choice - that is just a fact of life shooting a digital camera or scanning negatives. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/26/2024 at 8:52 PM, SOHODE said:

I recently had a less-than-ideal experience with the sensor cleaning service for my Leica M10. After waiting patiently for six weeks, I received my camera back from Leica USA only to find that the sensor actually has more dust on it now compared to before. As someone who frequently shoots at smaller apertures, this is quite frustrating.

Uhm... no.

I sent my camera in for custom leather ( pre-ordered ) via the Leica Individualisation program, which included a CLA. Had the camera back within 10 days. Noticed that the rear screen was protruding from the camera just a bit, sent the camera in to have that corrected, and had the camera back in within a week.

But what you'd like us to believe is that Leica kept your camera for 6 weeks just to perform a service that literally takes a few minutes?

Nope, nope,  nope.

Edited by strangeboy
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Hmm, the pictures above definitely both show some micro-dust. On real shots it may cause couple blurred darker spots on gradient areas like sky, though I'd agree that influence is minimal. Personally I have no issues with cleaning sensors myself and it's relatively easy to reach result that would not have even that micro particles. The gel pad swab doesn't work well on dust attached to sensor protective glass, some wet/dry cleaning is required first.

Personally I also had partially negative experience, when Leica USA were unable to clean moisture dot on the inner side of front OVF, and unable to clean out large dust particle from under the front lens of OVF. My M10 was no more under warranty so I just opened and cleaned that and it took only 15min. Though what Leica USA did excellent for that M10 - repairing the RF to perfect precision. I'd keep heavily relying on their expert repair flow in case it's needed, but most dust cleaning operations is easier to do on your own in most cases.

 

Reposting modified OP shots (left area crop), for easier comparison of micro dust on first/second originals

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Posted (edited)
vor 45 Minuten schrieb yukosteel:

Hmm, the pictures above definitely both show some micro-dust.

I could reproduce your result (after-picture only). But only with extreme adjustments in PS.

But is it possible to keep a camera, where the lenses can be changed, free of dust? There are reports, that cameras with fixed lenses, cannot be kept dust free.

I don't live in a clean room, see my avatar too.🐕

Edited by jankap
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Posted (edited)

I'm even more confused now by @yukosteel photos because generally speaking dust is a darker spot not a lighter spot, or is that the original oil? I can however see dust in the OP's image if I go to the extremes of contrast in Photoshop, and if they were oil spots originally and Leica didn't wet clean the oil off first I can imagine them being spread by the sticky pad. But the OP seems intent on doing everything wrong in trying to clean their sensor themselves yet sounds perfectly confident in what they are doing. I think misplaced bravado is perhaps taking over from common sense and they should read the manual and not try to second guess a simple process successfully done millions of times in the digital era.

So, a wet clean with fluid designed to remove grease and oil. That can leave a smear so follow with another wet clean with a general fluid. If specks remain a sticky pad such as an Eyelead.

Edited by 250swb
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Dust is everywhere and on everything in this world. It’s something we can’t get away from. Short of cleaning a sensor in a fully certified clean room, there will ALWAYS be dust on your sensor. Even the moment after you finish the last swipe of the cleaning swab, dust is back on it in some shape or form. What truly matters is the large particles were removed because those are the ones that will show in photos. If you go looking for dust, you’re going to find it. This goes for lenses, as well. Chasing that last micro particle is futile. From what I can tell by the supplied photos, the sensor looks clean as a whistle and ready to be put to good use by taking photos :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

After my recent Leica support experience, this is something I fear as I, too, want to send in a camera for a sensor cleaning. 
 

got a used M10M recently. Noticed the rangefinder patch was misaligned when focusing on close distances so I sent it off to Leica in NJ. It returned with a scratch on the rangefinder window and a fingerprint smudge on the INSIDE glass of the rangefinder window. I immediately noticed it and sent it back. Good news, they replaced the top portion of the camera. Bad news, the rangefinder patch was now misaligned at infinity. I had to send it back a 3rd time to finally get the issue fixed. 
I wonder if the same tech that worked on my camera worked on yours? 
This experience has made me lose confidence in their services. Lesson learned for me: take photos of my camera from every angle before I send it in. Hope you hear back and that it gets sorted out. 

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