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Leica Camera Inc. / 1 Pearl Court, Unit A / Allendale, NJ 07401-1610 / USA / www.leicacamerausa.

com
Telephone (+1) 201-995-0051 / Fax (+1) 201-995-1686

Article Claim 1: ​“​LDP LLC​, a camera conversion and repair business based in New
Jersey, ​opened up a Leica M9​ rendered unusable by “corrosion” and was surprised at
what it found after taking a close look at the sensor.”
● Leica Camera Response:​ Only a first generation M9 with the original sensor
could have demonstrated this kind of corrosion. It is important to note that the
first generation KAF-18500 sensor used a cover glass (S8612) with an AR
coating and was not using a Schott BG cover glass as is claimed later in the
report. This is documented in the spec sheet of the sensor manufacturer.
https://www.onsemi.cn/PowerSolutions/document/KAF-18500-D.PDF

Article Claim 2: ​“Llewellyn then used a synthetic sapphire 1 micron polish and was
able to polish off most of the corrosion from the ICF. But then he found that the surface
was actually pitted from oxidation, something he had never seen before.”
● Leica Camera Response:​ By polishing the cover glass, the existing coating
would have been removed.

Article Claim 3: ​“What I found was a filter that extended down to 300nm,” Llewellyn
writes. “That filter doesn’t have coatings! […] Leica / Kodak used an uncoated Schott
BG type glass! The coatings seal the glass. Somebody ​really​ screwed up.”
● Leica Camera Response:​ With reference to the previous points: 1) The
KAF-18500 has a cover glass (S8612) with AR coating; 2) the previous polishing
that LDP applied to the cover glass would have removed the coating; 3) The
replacement sensors used a Schott BG55 cover glass that is coated as well.

Leica Camera had provided service to customers whose camera sensors were
confirmed to have corrosion, which included replacement of the problematic sensor with
a new KAF-18500 containing the updated Schott B55 cover glass to address the issue
and prevent it from reoccurring. Customers also had the option of trading in their older
cameras that were confirmed to exhibit the issue for a discounted price on newer
camera models that do not have this concern. As of August 2020, the KAF-18500 has
been discontinued from supplier ON Semiconductor and can no longer be sourced by
Leica Camera to replace old M9 sensors with corrosion. In lieu of the ability to replace
the sensors, Leica is offering customers that are experiencing sensor corrosion an
upgrade program to trade in their cameras for a significant discount on newer models.

While LDP LLC and other 3​rd​ party repair centers advertise their own service solutions
for repairing corroded M9 sensors, Leica Camera has not pursued this option and must
strongly discourage customers from having their cameras repaired this way due to the
following concerns:

- Removing corroded cover glass from the sensor to be repaired was evaluated
and found to not be a viable solution moving forward
Leica Camera Inc. / 1 Pearl Court, Unit A / Allendale, NJ 07401-1610 / USA / www.leicacamerausa.com
Telephone (+1) 201-995-0051 / Fax (+1) 201-995-1686

- The cover glass and sensor are cemented together and very difficult to separate
in order to make repairs or replace the cover glass
- With the cover glass removed, the sensor surface could be contaminated by
outside dust, debris, or any potential physical damage from the removal process

- The sensor could be damaged or contaminated and compromised in the repair


process since the removal of the cemented layers cannot be done without
rigorous mechanical processes that may produce glass shavings or splintering
- The tightness and tolerances of the sensor package and cementing could be
compromised and not meet our required quality control level if the cover glass
were re-cemented after a repair
- A customer opting for this type of repair may not be able to identify any of these
damages right away and their consequences may only become apparent after
using the camera over time

Due to these concerns in repairing the sensor, through Leica or through any 3​rd​ party,
Leica Camera has decided the best course moving forward will be for customers to
trade-in their affected cameras for newer models that are free of these issues. In the
USA, the offering and prices through the upgrade program via Leica Camera USA’s
Customer Care department in Allendale, NJ are as follows:

Process for sending M cameras to Customer Care for sensor corrosion


evaluation:

1. Customer either ships camera directly to NJ or drops it off at a Leica Store, Boutique
or Dealer.

2. Upon receipt of camera, technician will evaluate camera for sensor corrosion.

No Sensor Corrosion
Leica Camera Inc. / 1 Pearl Court, Unit A / Allendale, NJ 07401-1610 / USA / www.leicacamerausa.com
Telephone (+1) 201-995-0051 / Fax (+1) 201-995-1686

1. If camera has no sensor corrosion, customer’s camera will be cleaned and returned
either to the customer or Leica Store/Boutique/Dealer.

Sensor Corrosion

1. Customer will select an upgrade model.


2. Customer will be guided through the upgrade process and logistics by a Customer
Care representative or a representative of the Leica Store, Boutique, or Dealer where
the customer dropped off their camera.

All other repairs on the Leica M9 model generation can still be carried out for customers
that have already received replacement sensors or who have cameras that have not
exhibited corrosion. For questions on general Leica M9 model repairs or the upgrade
program for corroded sensors, please contact Leica Camera USA Customer Care
department at 201-995-0051 ext. 9930.