Discussion Forum Leica S System S2 Sensor Cleaning and battery charge
  • #3241
    Al Tanabe

    This is a reminder on battery charge and sensor cleaning. By design, the software will not initiate sensor cleaning mode if the battery voltage falls below a certain point. That is a good thing, but should the battery fall below that threshold while in the middle of sensor cleaning . . . the shutter will close.

    Found this out the hard way but luckily, I was just inspecting the sensor with a loupe. It would have been disastrous if I had a swab or brush inside the camera. Normally, to end the cleaning cycle, you must turn off the camera, the warning flashes that the shutter will close and in a few seconds, it does. But in this case the battery must have reached the threshold voltage and none of these warnings came up – just close the shutter. So it is best to always start with a fully charged battery even if the battery shows a full or near full charge on the OLED before attempting the cleaning cycle. I was lucky this time, hope you read this before you fall victim.

  • #3242
    Mark Gowin

    Thank you for the heads up Al. I certainly don’t need another sensor cleaning disaster.

  • #3246
    David Farkas


    I’ve never seen this actually happen in practice. You must have had a pretty low battery level. Good thing no harm was done.

  • #3247

    Thanks for the heads-up. I would inform Leica customer service. Curious what they would say. I always thought that the reason why a certain voltage is required to strat the cleaning process is precisely to prevent these things from happening (I assume you did not clean the sensor for an unusually long time). May be it was / is a faulty battery. My orginall one stopped functioning at one moment for no apparent reason, and I was not the only one to whom that happened.

  • #3248
    Al Tanabe

    The OLED battery icon indicated 3/4 of charge left when I started the cycle. Lucky for me I only intended to use the magnifier scope to inspect the sensor at the time. I was probably a minute or two into looking at the sensor determining the best course of action for the cleaning when this happened. A battery will display a voltage at rest and can drain the voltage when a load is put on it as the case for the shutter being opened for cleaning. I suspect that the age of the battery and the time from the full charge to cleaning could be the cause. While the voltage at rest satisfied the logic circuit to allow cleaning to commence, when the voltage dropped below the design threshold for cleaning, the shutter just closed. I would have expected a warning instead of just the closing of the shutter. The battery still had a charge left in it according to the OLED if I recall correctly ~ 50%. The software sensing that the voltage was at or below threshold determined that cleaning should not be allowed and closed. I feel that the software, once it determines that cleaning can begin, would instead warn of low battery during the cleaning cycle by flashing the red LED for ten seconds signaling the shutter will close. I think the code was written to first check battery status, if < xx% then no cleaning, else allow cleaning. An additional if clause needs to be added for the voltage once cleaning has begun to incorporate voltage drop during the cleaning to read, if cleaning cycle = yes and battery < xx% then 'warn' and shut down.

    Of course the best practice is to insert a freshly charged battery before beginning a clean.

  • #3261

    my heart stopped the first time I cleaned my M9 sensor : the exact same thing happened. battery was half charge, put it on cleaning mode, few swipes here, loupe there, swipe here and there and exactly on the millisecond that I was removing the swab, shutter closes.

    Nothing harmed, but really, 1 second later and I really dont know what would have happened.

    Leica should incorporate an acousting sinal or something to warn that the shutter is about to close due to battery running out.

    Now with my new Leica S2, I asked for Leica Portugal for a quote to clean its sensor. 40 euros was quoted. Seems a bargain to me compared to a heart failure due to some damage to the sensor 🙂

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.