Leica M9 on location

Leica M8 Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon

Our recent trip to Somerset was the first stock/travel trip that we have undertaken without using a DSLR. Having taken and used the Leica X1 and Samsung NX10 extensively the third camera we used was the Leica M9.

Leica M8 Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon

There have been many posts here concerning the quality of the images from this camera and they were superb as usual. This is the best camera we have ever used but the problem of the dust spots generated is becoming difficult. The Leica M8 was pretty bad and it seems the M9 is even worse. A lot of time is taken up with removing these and its getting to the situation where we are becoming reluctant to either include a lot of sky in our images taken with the camera or use an aperture wider than f5.6!!

Leica M8 90mm f2.5 Summarit-M

The M9 sensor is going to have be cleaned and since all attempts here to clean sensors ourselves have ended in disaster then it will have to be sent away. It has now gotten so bad that we are considering using it, after having the sensor cleaned, with one fixed lens which seems a waste of its capabilities. We have even contemplated selling it - which we really don't want to do.

This is a common problem and there are posts all over the internet with people having the same problems. There is no real solution other than great care and regular cleaning.

Leica M8 90mm f2.5 Summarit-M

This does highlight one of the ongoing problems with interchangeable lens digital cameras and full frame sensors in particular. Every large sensor camera we have used has been really bad for dust spots, whether it has "dust removal" or not. The D3, D3X and D700 cameras from Nikon were all awful. So were the Kodak pro 14n and SLR/n. The Canon 1DS MK II, 5D and 5D Mk II cameras we used also required a lot of work on the images.

The X1 gets more attractive by the day!! We are currently considering a selection of cameras with one lens permanently fitted to get over this problem. Shooting landscape in all weathers and conditions and constantly using different lenses is the worst possible scenario for creating sensor dust spots, but thats what we do. All the speed advantages of the new i7 iMac are being cancelled out by this never ending cloning out of dust spots, so something will have to change.

Images D & A

Leica M8 90mm f2.5 Summarit-M