Important Information Concerning the CCD Sensors of the Leica M9 / M9-P / M Monochrom / M-E


Sunny Frimley
Real Name
Bill Palmer
Well, I for one care passionately about Leica because I have spent the vast majority of my photographic life with an M in my hands and I could not have been happier. Leica today has lost it's mojo and it frustrates the Hell out of me.

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - that beats viewing and visualising through an M viewfinder- Fuji comes close, but is different.

I can best describe my feelings about Leica thus. Imagine you grew up with a favourite uncle; he was your role-model, your hero. Always there, always reliable, always stylish. A little louche, with expensive tastes, he would defy logic by seeming to have money when others were broke. He would travel endlessly and return to regale you with colourful tales of exotic lands and people. "Uncle Barnack" was at ease in any situation, from the horrors of war to the catwalks of Paris. Above all, he felt at home on the street, with the grey pavements under his elegantly shod feet. He had style, grace, taste and substance.

Today, Uncle Barnack is a shadow of his former self. He has lost his sureness of touch and his innate sense of style. He is no longer confident in his own skin and has started to worry endlessly about what others think of him. He looks nervously over his shoulder as others not only dress more stylishly but set the pace and fashion.

Above all he finds the modern, online, digital, social world hard to cope with. He is unsure of where he fits, and how to operate. His old moves don't cut it anymore. The values he lived by and represents are not valued by others anymore and he finds it hard. He tries really hard to update his image but he struggles to differentiate between style and substance - something he was so sure-footed about in the past.

In a desperate attempt to remain current - he has long ago given up being a trend-setter - he invests in inappropriate clothes and dodgy cosmetic surgery that bloats and distorts his formerly handsome features. He tries to embrace modern technology but finds himself wrong-footed because he doesn't understand how to separate good from bad.

Poor uncle Barnack. He is a shadow of his former self, vainly trying to hang on to his youth and influence, trying to appear on-trend but just missing the point. His extensive circle of friends, many of them loyal for years, drift away because they find others more exciting, more entertaining, more stylish, more reliable and more relevant.

I genuinely feel sorry for Uncle Barnack. An old man in leisurewear and an artfully angled baseball cap trying to talk street, with last year's phone and a cheap but flashy digital watch that has 48 functions but takes 20 button pushes to tell the time. Where did it all go wrong? Uncle Barnack sighs and tries to call his old friends with his phone - but they're all online with new friends and they aren't answering anymore...

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Troy, NY
I have, possibly, a more interesting question . . .

To wit: How in the world does glass get corroded?

It is, after all, a high IN-ert substance. That's why they use it to contain high-strength acids.

So what attacks glass and causes it to corrode?

My guess is -- and it is only a guess -- that there is more to this story than meets the eye. I speculate that perhaps there is a problem with the interface between the glass and the sensor (an adhesive of some sort?) or perhaps there is a problem with deterioration of a coating on the glass.

I'd love to hear what the technical details are.

Cheers, Jock

RT Panther

If I ever get in the position, I know exactly what "M" body & glass that I will get :)

That being said, I'm not a big video person & prefer the CCD look. Too bad R&D is all but gone, non-existent, etc, for the CCD sensor....


Zen Snapshooter
SW Virginia
Real Name
I think I agree that the old Leica way just doesn't work anymore. Who has best implemented the way of the sensor? The DSLR? Maybe Fuji? As I'm not sure what it should look like it's hard to say. Just sticking a sensor in an old mechanical body isn't enough, but a good vf and manual controls (aperture,shutter speed, ISO and exp. comp.) are a start. Of course it's possible that feeling we had during the mechanical/film era is simply gone.

Latest threads

Top Bottom