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Leica has announced new three camera options for its CCD Sensor Corrosion Upgrade Program. As we previously reported, corroded CCD sensors can no longer be replaced since the sensors are out of production, but M9-generation owners can still take advantage of special pricing to upgrade to a model in the current lineup. Since the last program update earlier this year, Leica has added M11-P, M11 Monochrom and Q3 to the available upgrade options. Note that the upgrade cost is still the same for all CCD-based models (M9, M9-P, M-E (Typ 220), M Monochrom).


 

Upgrade Options and Pricing

Upgrade to M11-P$6,495
Upgrade to M11 Monochrom$6,495
Upgrade to SL2 Body with M Adapter-L$4,895
Upgrade to SL2-S Body with M Adapter-L$3,695
Upgrade to Q3$4,195
Upgrade to Q2 Monochrom$4,495

 

SL2 and SL2-S option includes M Adapter-L for use with existing M lenses

 

Q3 added to upgrade program

Eligibility

As before, only M9, M-E, M9-P or original CCD-based M Monochrom cameras that exhibit sensor corrosion are eligible for the upgrade program. We can help you determine if your camera’s CCD sensor shows signs of corrosion. See below for instructions on shooting a proper test image and how to email us the file for evaluation.


 

How to tell if your camera has corrosion

If you think your camera may be exhibiting signs of CCD corrosion, you can email us a full resolution JPEG file and we are happy to evaluate it for you. Should your camera suffer from CCD corrosion, we can then discuss the best way to proceed with a camera upgrade. Here’s how to get us a full resolution image to check for corrosion:

  1. Set the camera to its base ISO setting
  2. Set the camera to shoot either DNG+JPEG or JPEG only
  3. Attach a lens to the camera (a 35mm or 50mm works best)
  4. Stop the lens aperture all the way down (f/16 or f/22 depending on the lens)
  5. For a subject, either a solid blue sky or a solid, light colored wall is ideal
  6. If shooting the sky, focus the lens to the closest distance. If shooting a wall, focus the lens at infinity (you want an image that is as out of focus as possible).
  7. Shoot an exposure of the wall or sky and be sure to move the camera around during the exposure (to blur any details in the image, as we want to only see what may be on the sensor)
  8. Email us the JPEG file for evaluation

Below is an example of an image from an M9 that is showing CCD corrosion, which is highlighted in red circles. You can see the white “halos” around the spots that indicate corrosion. The sensor also has numerous dust spots that can be cleaned, however it is important to see the difference between the regular dust (easily cleaned) and the corrosion spots.

Sensor corrosion indicated with red circles
Sensor corrosion indicated with red circles

About The Author

Leica Specialist

David Farkas is a self-admitted Leica junkie and an avid photographer since he was seven years old. He also owns and operates leading Leica dealer Leica Store Miami in beautiful Coral Gables, Florida with his wife Juliana. David has years of experience shooting with just about every Leica camera and lens made within the last few decades.

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4 Responses

  1. Bill Sallas

    I am considering purchase of the Q3. I noticed that CCD Sensor upgrade for corrosion is $4,195. That’s more than half the cost of the camera! Is the Q3 exhibiting corrosion at this early stage? I thought the Q3 was weather proof. Can somebody please explain this to me?

    Reply
    • David Farkas

      The Q3 isn’t experiencing sensor corrosion. The upgrade program was created for owners of Leica M9-generation cameras. Those older CCD sensors, originally manufactured for Leica by Kodak, had a flaw in the sensor coverglass coating. With time, these sensors will pit and corrode. Since replacement sensors are no longer available, Leica created the upgrade program to create a path forward for those owners impacted by the issue.

      Reply
  2. Jacob Christiansen

    Is there a similar program in Europe? I can’t find information anywhere

    Reply

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