Leica KAF-18500 CCD used in the M9 and M Monochrom is discontinued, Sensor replacement no longer possible

M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
My wife accuses me of being an insane hoarder. She's probably correct. When I turned 60 I said to myself "I have to stop buying things and start getting rid of them".

This idea lasted about 30 minutes.

Now we just built a gaming PC for my son. That's another gigantic rabbit hole. I felt sorry for him cooped up inside all summer. Mega expensive graphics cards, processors, gaming monitors, gaming mice, cases, water cooling, oy vey.........

My electric bill probably is higher than the GNP of Guatemala.



door.jpg
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Well at least working with embedded system while working at home my electric bills will not go up. My latest computer draws 10watts. I'm running it off an HP power supply that measures how much power it draws. Then work with the Mechanical Engineer to design an enclosure to dissipate the heat.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
With so many people getting new M10's, there will be plenty of cameras available for us CCD diehards.
I really hope you’re right Brian, I've looked at the alternative options out there, at least with interchangeable lens cameras and the cupboard's quite bare. So what to do once the camera breaks irretrievably and replacement's not a possibility? Two similar sized non CCD options come to mind, one being the M262 which to my eye still seems to render a bit "filmic" more in line with the M9 than M10 and the other, maybe surprisingly, the Fuji XT1 with that X-Trans sensor which everyone seemingly hated at the time but I never had a problem with.
 
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
The M262 is basically an M240- and the price of the latter has come way down, even sells for less than the M9 in similar condition. Probably because of us CCD diehards.

For me- when either the M9 or M Monochrom goes, I'll probably pick up a used M10. What I am going to hate: having to write the subroutine to decompress the image. I have not computed Huffman code in decades, since 1992. I've got that routine somewhere on my Pentium Pro.
 

Peter Klein

Regular
Dec 31, 2014
Seattle
Peter Klein
I never sold my M8. My “Henri” MM has the newer replacement sensor. So I’ve got CCDs. They have become specialty cameras since I gave myself a “welcome to Medicare” birthday present of an M10-P. But I still love the MM for sure. I’m about to try some IR photography with the M8. Something new to try.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
I just packed my M8 to take on vacation, Ultron 35/1.7 LTM and Jupiter-3+ in a nice compact bag.

I should convert my IR processor for DNG to Watcom Fortran-77, will run under Windows. This is the one that works with a deep yellow or orange filter to give an Infrared Ektachrome look.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
Well at least working with embedded system while working at home my electric bills will not go up. My latest computer draws 10watts. I'm running it off an HP power supply that measures how much power it draws. Then work with the Mechanical Engineer to design an enclosure to dissipate the heat.
My computer is pedal powered. I almost died applying a motion-correction filter to an image.
 

akuiper

Regular
Dec 6, 2019
The CCD is great. Long live etc.
The Chinese that copy lenses will now start to copy the CCD sensor. . . Hope so.
Wholesal e prices differ quite btw.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
There was a Chinese copy of the KAF-1600 a few years ago- but no longer.

CCD manufacture is specialized, and much more complex than CMOS. The latter has improved enough to replace CCD use in scientific instruments.

The M9 and M Monochrom with new CCD's in them are probably the last of their kind.
 

M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
Just to compare, these images were taken several years ago with a Kodak SLR/14n which uses a very similar CCD sensor. In fact, I still have THREE full frame Kodak DSLRs. I'll have to haul them out and check for corrosion.

(and these were taken at ISO 400, which the Kodak was not "supposed" to be able to handle. Too many ill-informed idiots at the time denigrated the Kodak 14n and SLR/n cameras, which they knew nothing about and did not understand. They helped to kill off a very competent line of cameras). Of course, Kodak's inept marketing didn't help too much either.

kodak1.jpg
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kodak10.jpg
kodak7.jpg
kodak5.jpg
 kodak8.jpg
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
> Kodak SLR/14n which uses a very similar CCD sensor.

NO- The Kodak SLR/14n used a 14MPixel CMOS sensor with analog output. It used S8612 cover glass. It was made by "FillFactory" and was later bought out and sold by Cypress Semiconductor.


This part is no longer available, listed as Obsolete.

It was bizarre that Kodak outsourced the sensor for their full-frame cameras, but made full-frame CCD's for Leica.

Kodak had great engineers and lousy business and marketing.
 
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M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
Oops, my mistake. You are correct, it is a CMOS chip, but with no anti-alias filter.

For some reason I had the idea it was a CCD made by an Israeli company.

It was the Kodak DCS 760 that had a CCD.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
The Kodak DCS760 had the Kodak KAF-6303.


A magnificent camera.

The Contax N had a full-frame 6MPixel CCD in it.


I'm sad to see this chapter of imaging appear to be closing forever. BUT this happens in the world of electronics.
I also miss CRT based O-Scopes. I have a Tek 2467b and Tek2465b. 400Mhz analog. Last of a breed.
 
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Jadon.Rosado

Regular
Sep 11, 2020
Surely someone somewhere will provide maintenance for the CCD cameras, I really hope so anyway. I would also hope to get another 10 years out of mine but if not, maybe the M262 is the closest to that in terms of rendering.
Hello, I saw this and registered just to reply. I am technician in Portland Oregon I’m actually working on a way to replace the cover glass with a glass that I believe is what was used on the “new sensors” just trying to find a good way on removing the original cover glass in a more efficient way...
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
Hello, I saw this and registered just to reply. I am technician in Portland Oregon I’m actually working on a way to replace the cover glass with a glass that I believe is what was used on the “new sensors” just trying to find a good way on removing the original cover glass in a more efficient way...
Do keep in touch Jason!
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Hello, I saw this and registered just to reply. I am technician in Portland Oregon I’m actually working on a way to replace the cover glass with a glass that I believe is what was used on the “new sensors” just trying to find a good way on removing the original cover glass in a more efficient way...
I believe the new sensor uses Schott BG-55. This is from doing a search for Part Numbers on the ONSEMI website a few years ago for "KAF-18500". Just before the new CCD was available, the search brought up two part numbers- the new one with a "BG55" in the name. This corresponds to the glass type manufactured by Schott. ONSEMI never posted the data sheet for the new sensor, but the part number lexicon also showed the dye in the color filter array also changed. I doubt there would be much difference on a gen1 sensor switched to BG55 glass.


This replaced S8612,


The S8612 has better transmission in visible.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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