Leica M9 Sensors: Injection of new life into used camera market
Last week Leica did the right thing by taking full responsibility for the corrosion issue affecting all M9-series cameras, including the M-E and Monochrom. As a result, in just a few days, new life has been injected into the used camera market. It's no secret than in the two months leading up to last week's announcement, used M9s had been gathering dust on dealers' shelves. Confidence had deserted the market and, of course, word soon spreads around the Leica world.
Ivor Cooper of Red Dot Cameras in London's Old Street tells me that since last week he has sold three used M9s whereas the market had previously been stagnant for weeks. He also took the precaution of getting his remaining stock of pre-owned cameras checked out at Leica Mayfair. He took in seven cameras, including three M9s, three M9-Ps and one Monochrom for a health check. Three of them had some problems and have been sent off to Germany while the others, including the solitary Monochrom, had their sensors cleaned and received a clean bill of health.
Until this recent hiatus, CCD-sensored M9-series cameras were in great demand. I know of two long-time Leica enthusiasts who, having tried the M 240, sold up and returned to an M9 because they prefer the image quality. This isn't a universal view, however, and many more of my friends are truly delighted with the CMOS-sensored M. However, it does show that there is still a great demand for the older models, including the current Monochrom with CCD sensor. Leica's brave decision to stand by its customers will have removed all doubts in the minds of users and, as a result, the market is picking up rapidly.