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Leica M9P

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Sensor Bifurcation issue (M9 CCD)

Update Dec 2020: to my surprise, this same issue exists in the Leica M10 Monochrome in 2020!

The M9 sensor uses a full-frame CCD. It has some clear limitations which emerge with use.

The sensor shows a vertical discontinuity at dead-center, visible as a vague line dividing the left and right halves of the sensor. This might indicate that the sensor is optically engraved (lithography) in two halves as opposed to a single pass (my explanation might be technically weak, but there is definitely something physical going on with two halves).

The bifurcation is rarely visible, but with images like the sunrise example shown here, it becomes visible when examining the individual color channels, and stands out more when sharpening is applied. It’s faint, but human perception makes it an issue, and when printed it’s unclear if it would be more visible, or disappear.

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Diglloyd Guide to LEICA contains in-depth coverage of Leica M system cameras and lenses, with additional coverage of Leica M Monochrom, Leica Q, Leica SL.

Special emphasis is placed on Leica M lenses and certain Zeiss ZM lenses.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly the Summilux/Summicron/Elmarit choice and/or Zeiss ZM.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning. Processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops [past 2 years or so].
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

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