Black Frames on M240

Discussion in 'Leica M Camera Forum' started by Ricoh, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

    91
    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    On two separate occasions I've ended up with black frames being recorded on the SD card. On both occasions the shutter sounds rather feeble, i.e. not its usual reassuring self when everything is normal. Battery no less than 50% and the EXIF recorded for the blanks is consistent with the next good shot with the same settings. Camera is 6 months old.

    Anyone else experienced this? I'm trying to decide what to do next.
     
  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Buy a second battery and try it with it- sometimes the battery does not supply enough instantaneous power to make the image. I've had this happen.

    The alternative is to send the camera to Leica, it is under warranty.
     
  3. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

    91
    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Hi Brian, I actually have two batteries and alternate them. As I'm a bit 'old school' when it comes to batteries, I try to let them run down before switching - I know it's not required, but I've read that the ideal regime is 20~80%. I've switched to a fully charged battery and will monitor, but it's sort of comforting to know someone else has had it (actually you're the third, me, you and someone else on the Leica forum) and the common feedback is battery charge. I must say I'm a bit surprised given the relatively flat-line time-based discharge plot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Then it is not the battery causing the problem. I would try reloading the firmware; that is a "Longer Shot". If that does not fix it- send it to Leica.
     
  5. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    739
    May 1, 2013
    If it was happening to me I'd suspect the camera judging my image as below Leica standards. :biggrin:

    Seriously, do get it sent in if a firmware reload doesn't solve the problem. That would be a good opportunity to ask them to clean the sensor too.
     
  6. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

    91
    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Thanks Carl.
    As I understand it there's an imminent firmware update to amend the 'check battery message' from occurring, mind you imminent is a mute point. I'm monitoring the situation and keeping a handwritten log of events. Once I've updated the firmware and if it happens again, I'll be sending the camera to Leica for rectification. However, one of the problems with transient defects is the inability of the repair team to replicate the issue and may just return the camera as 'no fault found'. But if Leica know of this, even though they haven't gone public yet, they might replace the widget required.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I suspect that Leica has seen this intermittent problem before, as it is a major issue and usually relates back to electronics failure. I would include the SD -or two- card with an errored frame on it with the camera when sending it in.

    Just one more thing to try: use a slower memory card, made by PNY or SanDisk. I've used 4x Cards in my Nikon Df, and Leica's. Less power draw, and less bursting.
     
  8. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

    91
    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Thanks for the reply, Brian. Are you saying this is a known problem or not and that others have had their cameras repaired?

    Out again yesterday and whilst taking a rapid succession of single frame shots using single instead of the continuous mode, with ISO set to 1600, all but one of the images were recorded normally. The odd one was totally blue in colour, and once again the shutter made a weird sound. Battery was at 80%.

    I'm using a 32 GB SanDisk card 96mb/s - I'll have to check the class. I'm wondering whether it is a card issue, so will swop for another. The trouble with intermittent faults, or apparent faults, is the infrequency of occurrence, but that's the way it is.
     
  9. PaulJ

    PaulJ Leica Place Regular

    I had something "similar" when importing files into Lightroom. The initial preview seemed to "squash" the photo to look like a panoramic format with black bars top and bottom (not sides). However, after the import was complete, they snapped to usual format and no problem processing.

    Given what we pay for the M(240), I would expect Leica to be proactive about either fixing via a firmware update or recall. With one of my two batteries I get the "Check the age of the battery" message but was told by the chap who manages the Leica store at the Royal Exchange in London that there will be a firmware fix for this as it's a known issue and not a problem with the battery.
     
  10. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    If the shutter made a strange sound- that's not just the imaging side of the electronics being a problem, which would be the most common cause of blank frames. If it was very cold, some of the sensors used to determine the position of the shutter mechanism in the cocking cycle can have a problem: this is infamous on the original M Monochrom, happens in freezing weather.

    I would send it in, with the card containing the bad frame- let Leica sort it out. I think you've determined there is a problem with the camera.
     
  11. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

    91
    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Camera is now on its way to Germany, complete with a sample black frame on the enclosed SD card.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016