Leica M9 Firmware Version 1.196 Problems or Issues?

Problems with firmware version 1.196 for the Leica M9:

Does anyone have any problems or issues with the new firmware version 1.196 update for the Leica M9?  I think I might be having an issue with it.  I have my M9 set to “discreet mode”, and when I depress the shutter and let it go, the shutter won’t re-cock right away.  It takes quite some time to re-cock it preventing me from taking my next picture.  It seems as if it is almost stuck, and acts like I still have my finger on the shutter button.  It occurs randomly but it is consistent.

One thing that I should mention is this problem does not occur when I turn the “discreet mode” off in my M9, which makes me think it’s a firmware issue and not hardware.  Also, if anyone wants to repeat this process, so far, I’ve tested my M9 with a 50 Summicron that is not 6 bit encoded although I don’t really think that makes much of a difference.  My camera is in excellent condition, and it was just back from Leica for a sensor replacement, and calibration.  I’m not 100% sure that it is a firmware issue but this shutter problem only started after I installed firmware version 1.196.

Is anyone else having any issues with the new firmware 1.196 update for the Leica M9?  I really hope my M9 is not broken.  As I said before, I just brought it in to Leica NJ for calibration right before my trip to Bermuda.  I haven’t even really had a chance to use my M9 since my trip to Bermuda in June, so I can’t see how it can be a hardware issue, especially since I only started having this problem as soon as I upgraded the firmware.  Please feel free to comment below.  Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.  I would love to hear from fellow Leica M9 owners out there.  Also, I would greatly appreciate anyone sending me the older firmware if they still have it.

I never had any issues with the Leica M9 firmware updates ever, and the purpose of this post is not to discredit the new firmware in any way.  Who knows, maybe I just have to bring my M9 back to Leica NJ again.  I’m just trying to get to the bottom of this, and the purpose of this post is just to reach out, and see if anyone else is having a similar problem with the new firmware.  For the most part, my M9 still works.  It just has the re-cocking issue that occurs from time to time.  Thanks for reading this, and thanks for stopping by!

46 comments… add one
  • rocheung

    Other than I also came across the shuttle doesn’t or delay to recock, I also found my M9 suddenly cannot detect the card yesterday, one time only. I am using sandisk extreme 16g 45m/s. After I take the card out and insert back several times, it resumed to normal. I am not sure it is bad contact or not, but it was happened right after I upgrade the firmware.

    • Patrick

      Hi rocheung,

      Great having you here, and thanks for your comment. I mentioned this issue earlier on l-camera forum, and discovered that you are the fifth M9 with this issue. At least we can take some comfort in knowing that we are not alone. I’m sorry to hear about your memory card issue. So far, I’ve only tried Sandisk Ultras (8 and 16gb), and had no issues with them but I haven’t tried my Extremes yet. Right now, I am trying to find someone that may have a copy of the old firmware. I think I might call Leica NJ to report it. If you hear anything, please feel free to leave another comment. If I hear anything new, I will post it here. Thanks for stopping by and take care.

    • Christopher

      I have the same problem. The explanation below from Leica doesn’t make any sense to me. I too am glad to hear it’s not just my camera – M9-P.

      • Patrick

        Hi Christopher,

        Thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, at least we are all in the same boat so we know it’s not our cameras. My guess is that the explanation from Leica was probably translated. The email that I got from Leica NJ basically told me that they didn’t even know there is a problem. I’m just going to install the previous firmware version, and wait until Leica does something to fix this issue. My advice to you is to maybe do the same, and if you can, email Leica NJ (if you’re from the U.S.). The more emails they receive, the more likely they’ll actually realize there is a problem. Please keep me updated on your progress, and I will do the same here. Thanks for stopping by!

  • I’ve recorded my M9 in discreet mode (with a coded lens, if that makes any difference):

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kzq3oc2xaecbwn0/m9discreet.wav

    The first sound is the shutter pressing down, then I wait for about one second, then you hear the silent releasing of the shutter, and then there’s the recocking. I’ve done that a few times, but on the last one I pressed and released immediately. There is quite a bit of time between the release and the recocking sound (a bit more than 0.3s, according to the audio). I can’t compare it to the old firmware, though, and I never use discreet mode.

    It seems like they might have finally solved the banding problem, though:

    http://blog.markprobst.net/2012/01/24/yet-another-leica-m9-bug/

    • Patrick

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your comment. I am probably going to call Leica NJ tomorrow to report this issue. If anything, maybe I can get a copy of the older firmware. Glad to hear the banding issue is fixed though. I remembered when I first saw the banding issue, Leica had no idea what was causing it. They said it was the first they seen of this issue. This was when the M9 was first introduced. Leica NJ, however, took great care of me, and helped me out any way that they could including offering me a M9 replacement body. They’ve taken care of all of my Leica equipment many times, and I have nothing but praise for them. Nice blog/photos btw! Take care!

  • Barry

    I have a M9-P with latest firmware and also have the same problem when the camera is in discreet mode, it won’t re-cock until the red light goes out. occasionally I wasn’t shooting rapidly. they were single shots. forcing stoppage.

    • Patrick

      Hi Barry,

      Thanks for commenting. It seems there are quite a few of us with this issue. I think I will call Leica NJ tomorrow to report this problem. Right now, I’m just looking for the older firmware because I actually shoot in discreet mode. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Barry

        Got a reply from Mr Wehnge of Leica AG tonight and I quote:

        “After consulting our quality assurance department again this issue is as follows:

        The behavior is a compromise between an optimized debouncing of the release button and the prevention that the shutter does not re-cock during the read-out of the CCD sensor.

        It only occurs in “discreet” mode when you release the button very slowly.

        To avoid this, please release the button uninterrupted and completely and wait a second before taking a new picture.

        To take fast image sequences please use the burst mode.

        I hope this explanation clears up the issue.

        I apologize for the confusion.

        If you have further questions feel free to contact me.

        Mit freundlichen Gruessen / kind regards

        Ansgar Wehnge

        Leica Camera AG
        Customer Care – Software Support
        Solmser Gewerbepark 8 / D-35606 Solms / Germany
        http://www.leica-camera.com / ansgar.wehnge@leica-camera.com
        Telephone +49(0)6442-208-108 / Fax +49(0)6442-208-490

      • Patrick

        Hi Barry,

        Appreciate the info! I sent an email to Leica on Monday, and the very nice Carmen at Leica NJ directed my email to technical support. I unfortunately did not get such a great response. Apparently, they never even heard of this issue. That’s why I never reported back on my blog. This is great information, thanks for mentioning it here. Please keep me in the loop if any further progress is made, and I will do the same. I will post this so that others may see this if they are having trouble. Thanks and take care!

  • Hi Patrick,

    Found your website through Leica forums. Also encountered this problem with my M9 on 2-3 separate occasions. Camera took about 6-7 seconds to recock, but I didn’t notice if it was after the red light turned off. Also to the other comment, my camera also couldn’t read my SD card one time, but all I had to do is turn it off, push the card out, push the card back in, and turned it back on – Read fine from that point on. This may have been caused by my crappy no-name brand SD card so I dismissed it.

    Info for your reference:
    Firmware 1.196
    380**** Serial #’d Leica M9 Steel Grey Paint
    50mm Summicron uncoded (just like yours!)
    Bought with 1089 actuations, up to around 2300 now

    All of these problems are disappointing!!

    • Patrick

      Hi Eddie,

      Thanks for stopping by, and leaving a comment. I also tried my M9 with my 50 lux ASPH, which is coded, and I still have the same issue. If you can, send an email out to Leica NJ (if you live in the U.S.) to report this issue. The technician told me he didn’t hear of this problem before but hopefully with more reports, Leica will do something about it. Yeah, it is a bit disappointing but at least we’re not along in this, and we know that our M9s are ok. If you here anything new, please feel free to mention it here again. Take care!

      • Patrick,

        Thanks for your reply. Actually I’m located in Osaka Japan, so my nearest Leica joint would be Leica Ginza, Tokyo. I’ll be sure to contact my local rep next time I meet him here, maybe he can help spread the word and make this an international case (if it isn’t already)!
        Best,
        Eddie

      • Patrick

        Hi Eddie,

        Thanks for your comments. Oh cool, Japan. Yes, contact him whenever you get a chance. Hopefully, if enough people know about it, Leica can come up with a fix a bit faster. Thanks for stopping by,

        Take Care,

        Patrick

  • I have a M9-P with firmware version 1.196 and also have the same problem when the camera is in discreet mode. It didn’t happend before.

    Thanks to provide the info that reply by Leica.

    • Patrick

      Hi Chandler,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that you also have this problem. It’s really unfortunate. Did you email Leica? If so, what was their response? Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jorge Reinoso

    I have a M9-P and I don’t down lot the new firmware waiting for hire if the problem is fix , please , some one has the result about ? Thank you

    • Patrick

      Hi Jorge,

      Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I have the older version of the firmware, which I plan to install. Hopefully a new version will come out soon. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jorge Reinoso

    Hi Patrick ,
    thank for you comment , like you a keep my old version until leica fix the new version 1.196 , please if you here some new about the firmware I like to know

    • Patrick

      Hi Jorge,

      Thanks for your reply. I will definitely report back here if I hear anything. Thanks for coming by here!

  • Mahesh

    Thank you for posting this. I upgraded my M9 to 1.196 a few days ago, and I have the same problem – in discreet mode, when I release the button, it takes a long time before the shutter is cocked again. I also found that my battery life has significantly reduced. I have 2 batteries – both are only about 6 months old.

    • Patrick

      Hi Mahesh,

      Thanks for the comment! If you can, send Leica an email about this issue. I’m hoping that if more people do that, Leica will finally acknowledge it, and do something about it. I wrote to Leica but I was a bit disappointed with the reply. Also, sorry to hear about your battery problems. For now, I just reinstalled the older firmware. Please keep me posted if you have any more news, and I will do the same. Thanks for stopping by, and take care!

  • Hi!

    I have the same problem. My M9 was on repair in Solms and came back with the new firmware.
    I’ve been so worried that it was a hardware failure and I’m really happy to find this post here.

    I’ve also been using an Eye-Fi-card before the upgrade. It worked really good, but now the camera don’t recognize the card.

    BR
    Dawid

    • Patrick

      Hi Dawid!

      Thank you for the comment! I originally felt the same way that you did. I thought that I was the only one with the problem until I mentioned it on my blog, and on l-camera forum. It just kind of sucks that Leica hasn’t really done anything about it. I have contacted Leica about the issue, and I maybe you should do the same where you are. Maybe, if there is enough people complaining about it, they will come out with a new firmware to fix it.

      Too bad about the Eye-Fi card issue. Have you tried reinstalling an older firmware? By reinstalling the older firmware, you might also get rid of the re-cocking problem as well.

      Take care!

      Patrick

      P.S. Nice photos btw!

  • Thanks Patrick,

    I have contacted Leica and they confirm the problem about the re-cocking problem.
    I hope they will fix it.

    //Dawid

    • Patrick

      Hi Dawid,

      Great that you had a bit more success than I did with Leica. I’m glad that they’re finally acknowledging it. I hope they fix it soon too. Please keep me updated if you hear anything more from them. Thanks for stopping by Dawid!

      Patrick

  • Same problem here, and happy to know that they are acknowledging it and (hopefully) fixing it for the next firmware release. In the meantime, how did you go back to 1.174?

    Thanks.

    • Patrick

      Hi Eduardo,

      Thanks for your comment! Sorry for the late response, I had a pinch nerve in my neck that prevented me from doing anything. I glad Leica finally acknowledged it. I emailed Leica NJ for the older firmware release, and they sent me an attachment through email. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask! Take care!

  • I have the same issue and it’s really bothering me. Does anyone know of a way to go back to (re-install) firmware 1.176?

    • Patrick

      Hi Marios,

      If you have the old firmware, you can reinstall it. If you don’t you can email Leica, and they’ll send you the previous version. That’s what Leica did for me a while back. Hope this helps!

  • Adrian

    Hi all,

    I’m interested in knowing whether anyone has reported banding issues since upgrading to the newest firmware. I am still on 1.176 an am reluctant to upgrade because of battery and discreet mode issues but would be persuaded if it resolved the banding issue. I note that I have experienced some banding as reported in some forum posts, and I agree it is worse with some cards.

    Has the new update resolved this?

    • Patrick

      Hi Adrian,

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t remember seeing any banding issues but I did trade in my M9 shortly after. I know that’s not much help but in my opinion, I should’ve never updated the firmware because I didn’t have many issues with the previous version.

  • dlew

    i’m having the same problem with both the recocking and banding (which is occasional). i love the camera so i’m dealing with it but i’d like to see it fixed. ugh.

    • Patrick

      Yeah, I’m sorry to hear that. The M9 is a great camera but I’m surprised Leica hasn’t produced a fix yet. It’s been quite a while. I thought one was in the works at one point.

  • cidereye

    @ dlew – Re: The banding – Are you using an old battery? I know Leica say they fixed that in v1.196 but who knows??

    Would be nice if Leica finally sorted this firmware out and gave us a fix I agree. If the likes of Ricoh & Fuji can continually provide fixes via firmware updates for relatively cheap cameras then surely Leica knowing how much of an investment their customers have to put into buying their products can get off their backsides and show some respect for this with some fixes?

    • Patrick

      Hi cidereye,

      I completely agree. Fuji is absolutely great with firmware updates, especially on older models. Fuji even goes as far as put new useful features in like focus peaking in the X-E1/X-Pro1. I don’t own a Ricoh but I heard great things about them as well.

      Is v1.196 still the latest version for the M9? I traded my M9 in sometime last fall, so I haven’t kept track of the updates for that camera.

      All the best,

      Patrick

  • cidereye

    @ Patrick – You do realise you can downgrade your firmware do you? Did mine today and it seems to have solve the re-cocking, buffer issues so far.

    It’s a bit tricky to find the previous version but I eventually found it here:- http://www.driversdown.com/drivers/Leica-M9-M9-P-Camera-firmware_101708.shtml

    • Patrick

      Hi cidereye,

      Yes, I do but if I remember correctly, I think by then, I already either traded my M9 in or was about too. But thanks for leaving the download info! I know a few people had trouble finding it.

      Happy Holidays!

      Patrick

  • cidereye

    Hi Patrick,

    Yes v1.196 is the latest firmware for the M9 released on 23.07.2012.

    Ricoh are just great for firmware upgrades, on the first one for the GR they added a 47mm crop mode too so you can now shoot at 28/35/47mm with the camera. I think Fuji must have watched Ricoh and learned because they are just flying with their updates also.

    It really is something to seriously think about before parting with cash and investing heavily in any camera system and one good reason why I would never invest with Sony again and probably not with Leica as their firmware updates are as rare as hens teeth.

    • Patrick

      Hi cidereye,

      Sorry for the late reply. I still have some family visiting that I’m showing around NYC. Wow, they definitely need to upgrade that firmware. I wonder if the ME has the same issues?

      I love when camera companies really make an effort to make valuable changes and improvements to their cameras. When I first bought the X100, the bugs sometimes drove me crazy but the camera really changed for the better thanks to the firmware updates. Another thing that’s great is that Fuji gave X-E1/X-Pro1 owners focus peaking. I was quite frankly, surprised that they did this because I was thinking that they would only introduce new functions on newer models. Even after I purchased the X-E2, Fuji updated the X-E1 with faster autofocus and the ability to adjust the intensity of the focus peaking.

      It’s really great to hear that Ricoh does the same. Camera equipment is expensive, and it’s all electronic so there’s definitely going to be bugs or things that need updating. It’s really nice when camera companies are on top of this.

      Have a great New Year!

      Patrick

  • Kimmo Varjonen

    Hi everybody

    I have the same recocking problem with my Leica ME. Also when browsing and zooming picture to left or right, it goes to next picture and dont stay in the zoomed one. This is rather occasional, have any person experienced that bug?

    • Patrick

      Hi Kimmo,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Sorry to hear that you’re having the same issue as the M9 users. I’m surprised Leica has not addressed this problem yet. Have you tried reinstalling the older firmware? If you don’t have it anymore, I know Leica will send it to you if you email them. I haven’t heard of the other bug you mentioned, and I didn’t have that issue in my M9. Did that bug surface when you installed the latest firmware?

      Best regards,

      Patrick

  • kimmo

    I have new ME (now used), it should have the latest firmware. Would the older version be better or issue free? Before that I had M8.2, which had no issues, except “coffee stain”.

    • Patrick

      Hi Kimmo,

      I never owned the ME but when I reinstalled the older firmware on my M9, it worked perfectly (trouble free). So, it’s definitely worth it to try the older firmware. If you don’t like it, you can always switch back to the newer one.

      If you don’t have the older firmware, email Leica and explain the issue that you’re having, and I’m sure they will send you the previous firmware to try. I got my older firmware from them as well.

      I hope this helps you out!

      Take care,

      Patrick

  • Barry

    Hi Patrick,

    I am back after two years, the problem still exists, I saw a shred of light today after learning you can install the older firmware, so I emailed Leica, they did send me a file but when I tried the camera says the file is not compatible with my camera… strange…

    • Patrick

      Hi Barry,

      It’s great to hear from you again. Sorry to hear about your continuing troubles with your M9-P. If you want to try downloading the previous firmware from a different source, Cidereye (he commented above) left this link with the download.

      http://www.driversdown.com/drivers/Leica-M9-M9-P-Camera-firmware_101708.shtml

      It might be worth a try. Who knows, maybe the firmware Leica sent was corrupted or something. If that doesn’t work, have you tried stopping by a Leica Boutique store near you? Maybe they can figure out what is going on or determine whether or not you need to send your camera in for service.

      Best regards,

      Patrick

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