Leica no longer has access to the CCD image sensor inside the Leica M9 series of cameras. As a result “defective sensors cannot be replaced” moving forward, and you’ll need to upgrade to an M10 or another CMOS-based Leica camera if this happens to you.
A notice to this effect was published on the Leica website on August 3rd, and there’s no two ways about it: if your Leica M9, M9-P, M9 Monochrom, or M-E suffers from the widespread “sensor corrosion” issue we reported on in 2014, you will no longer be able to get the sensor replaced. Before 2017, this replacement was done for free; since then, a replacement would cost you $1,600.
“The production of the CCD sensors for the Leica M9 models has been discontinued,” reads the announcement. “Therefore, subsequent deliveries are no longer possible and defective sensors cannot be replaced.”
Since there is no longer any replacement option if your sensor craps out, Leica is instead offering special pricing that will allow you to pick up a newer Leica camera at a steep discount. If your M9, M9-P, M9 Monochrome, or M-E sensor is affected by the corrosion issue, you can now upgrade at the following rates:
We’ve reached out to Leica USA for a statement/comment on this update, and will share it if and when we hear back. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about your upgrade options or what you need to do if your Leica M9 suffers from the CCD corrosion issue, you can read the full notice on the Leica website.
(via Leica Rumors)
UPDATE 8/12/20: Leica USA has responded to our request for comment with a few clarifications worth noting.
Firstly, the free (AKA “good will”) sensor replacement program for M9 cameras with corroded sensors ended in 2017. Since then, you could pay $1,600 for a replacement sensor, or take advantage of various “trade-in” upgrade programs to get a CMOS sensor M10 model instead.
The second point is that this decision was not made by Leica. The statement we received reads:
Our vendor for the sensor has discontinued manufacturing CCD sensors, and as such we no longer have these sensors in stock – further noting that subsequent deliveries are no longer possible.
It’s an unfortunate development to be sure, but it seems Leica had no control over the timing or consequences of this unnamed vendor’s decision to stop producing CCD sensors. We’ve updated the text of the original article to reflect these details.
Image credits: Header image by Yusuf Evli, CC0