This is a replacement of the entire sensor stack. This service will replace the stack with a fully functioning sensor including our corrosion resistant BG glass.
Customers looking for corroded sensor glass replacement services should view this page: https://kolarivision.com/product/leica_m9_repair/
That’s where Kolari came in. We’re happy to announce that we can repair the Leica M9 sensor and replace it with corrosion resistant glass starting at $999. We’ve removed Leica coverglass before, but haven’t looked into this repair earlier since there was a warranty option through Leica. We found out about this recent news after a few customers emailed us asking about the repair. So we picked up an M9 with a corroded sensor, and gave it a shot. We were able to delaminate the corroded filter from the sensor, and replace it with BG60 glass. This glass will last indefinitely without oxidizing per Schott test reports, and also allows us to reduce the Leica sensor stack by 0.2mm, further improving on it’s excellent corner sharpness. We can also replace the glass with our full spectrum glass making it IR and UV compatible.
BG60 vs the M9 S8612 Glass
The 0.6mm BG60 replacement glass we use has a very similar transmission profile compared to the M9 original, but it is slightly lower transmitting. This translates to a 1/4 stop light reduction overall.
If we apply an exposure correction to the BG60, you can see how similar the transmission profile is. There is a slightly higher UV sensitivity (lenses transmit little light under 375nm) while the IR side is virtually identical.
Note: At the moment, we only support the Leica M9 along with M-E and M9-P’s that use the CCD11 sensors. We do not have support for the Leica M Monochrome or other Leica cameras at this time. If you send in an unsupported camera, we will not attempt to repair it.
When working with corroded equipment, there’s a high degree of risk outside of our control when performing repair services. Most of the Leica M9’s we receive suffer from a heavily damaged ICF that may crack when being removed from the sensor assembly. We’ve also seen Leica M9s arrive with an already cracked ICF due to the corrosion issue. We’re a highly skilled and capable repair shop but unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to avoid this even under extreme care. If your sensor cracks during removal there is a chance that glass dust can land on the bare sensor which can cause fine scratches that can be visible under some shooting settings.
Furthermore, we’ve been seeing that almost all M9’s with CCD ID5 sensors are also affected by a liquid gel substance. We believe it stems from the glass adhesive that can leak onto the sensor and corrode through bond wires. This liquid gel is visible under a microscope but can’t always be seen by the naked eye.
We found that even with 1-3 corroded wires, the M9 typically works without any noticeable issues after being repaired but we cannot guarantee this for every camera. If we see 1-3 corroded wires, we will continue with the repair like normal. If we see more than 3 corroded wires, we will stop the repair and let you know before proceeding.
We cannot be held liable for damages if the liquid gel spreads to your bare sensor or other bond wires during the repair service. We are also not liable for any liquid gel or electronic issues stemming from corroded bond wires after the repair service is completed in the event that it is not visible during the repair.
We don’t see gel issues with M9, M-E, or M9-P models with CCD ID11 as the glue used on these sensors is different. However with CCD11 sensors, we do see a high prevalence of cracked sensor glass. The CCD11s are more likely to crack and leave fine scratches on the sensor after the modification.
If you’d like to check what kind of sensor your Leica M9 has, you can do so by following the prompt below:
1. Enter the menu.
2. Press delete -> up (2x) -> down (4x) -> left (3x) -> right (3x) -> Info – This button combination will enter the camera into debugging mode.)
3. Select Hardware ID. Your sensor type will be the first option under this menu.
Lastly, some repairs are not possible (or very high risk) because of an extremely strong bond that can not be softened for a safe filter removal. When we receive your camera, we will perform a full evaluation and see if the repair is feasible, and if there are any digital issues, or issues that will make your sensor repair high risk (for example existing cracks in the sensor glass, gel issues, etc). If we find that we cannot repair your camera, or consider it a high risk repair, we will stop the repair process, reassemble your camera, and notify you for approval to continue with the repair or return the camera as-is. In the event that we can not move forward with your repair for any reason, we will return your camera and process a refund for your repair minus fees. Fees include a $100 evaluation fee, a 5% processing fee, and return shipping costs.
We’ve also been noticing that some Leica sensors are affected by electronic failure. Unfortunately, we can not repair this. This issue is typically caused by a corrosive gel that can dissolve the sensor bond wires. Here’s an example of what electronic sensor failure looks like below:
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