White Spots Appearing on Leica M9 Sensors Due to Corrosion Effects

chris gampat the phoblographer leica m9p review product photos (1 of 7)

Bad news for Leica owners, your camera sensor might be corroding. A growing number of La Vida Leica users have reported white spots cropping up in their images. A Leica representative has since confirmed the issue and explained the stems from “corrosion effects” developing on the cover glass of the CCD sensor inside the Leica M9.

“[The corrosion effects] manifest themselves as marks on images captured at smaller apertures (f5.6-22). The new Leica M (Type 240) with the CMOS sensor is not affected by this problem,” the Leica representative shared.

The Leica M9’s 18MP Kodak CCD sensor can also be found inside the M9-P, M Monochrom, M-E, and the limited edition $29,000 M9 Titanium—all of which may be effect as well. The big problem seems to due to the protective sheet of Schott S8612 glass fitted to each sensor. This isn’t the first time the cover glass has created problems; previously it’s been known to crack randomly and becoming delaminated from the rest of the sensor.

Leica has acknowledged the issue and has set forth a number of solutions for affected customers including a free sensor cleaning. Leica also promises a free replacement sensor for any camera that was recently purchased in the last three years. Users with an affected camera that’s older than three years will still be able to send in their camera for sensor replacement but at a cost.

Leica also notes that its replacement sensor is the same model as the original, so in the event it develops the same corrosion effects users will also be cared for under the same goodwill coverage. Meanwhile, affected customers interested in upgrading to a Leica M or M-P (Type 240) will supposedly receive an attractive offer from customer care. Read on for more details after the break.

  • Customer care will perform sensor cleaning free of charge by prior arrangement.

  • In the case of damage as a result of corrosion, the sensor will be replaced free of charge up to three years following the date of purchase. Leica Camera AG will cover the full costs of replacement, amounting to 1,800 euros plus applicable VAT. This does not apply to sensors damaged by scratching or breakage of the sensor glass.

  • In the fourth and fifth year following the date of purchase, sensors damaged by the corrosion effects described will be replaced for a fixed charge of 600 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 1,200 euros.

  • In the sixth and seventh year following the date of purchase, sensor replacement will be offered at a fixed charge of 1,200 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 600 euros.

  • For the eighth and more years following the date of purchase, sensor replacement will be offered at a fixed charge of 1,500 euros plus applicable VAT. Leica Camera AG will cover the remaining costs of 300 euros.

  • By a repair, we replace the CCD sensor with a sensor of the same type we use for serial production. We can thus not exclude totally a new case of corrosion after repair. Therefore, the goodwill arrangement also applies for a replaced sensor, which shows signs of corrosion. In these cases we will consider the sensor replacement date the same as the purchasing date.

  • The prices stated apply for direct shipment of the camera to Leica Customer Care in Wetzlar or the Customer Care department of a national distributor. Additional costs may arise when the camera is sent to Leica through a dealer.

  • Mandatory warranty conditions will apply after customers have taken advantage of the extended goodwill arrangement.

  • As longer waiting times may otherwise occur, the camera should only be sent to Customer Care after prior arrangement.

  • Should you be considering an upgrade to a Leica M or M-P (Type 240), Customer Care will make you an attractive offer as a part of our goodwill arrangement.

Via DP Review

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Brooklyn.