As some of you may know, leaf Aptus digital backs have been reported to have a issue with a vertical line exhibiting a change in gain where the two halves of the Dalsa chip are joined together.
About 6 weeks ago I discovered that my Aptus 75 has this problem. I shoot my architectural work with an Alpa 12 SWA, 24, 35 and 47mm digitar lenses. When using any amount or rise/fall the vertical line becomes quite evident.
I have been in very deep and detailed discussions with my dealer about my options with respect to a replacement back and whether or not this problem will and/or has been fixed. Leaf has said that this is an isolated condition and that they will replace the back for me. That was 6 weeks ago. At that time I was told that I was #3 on the list to get a new back (my back was 1 month old at that time).
It seems that from what I have been told the centerfold or vertical gain line problem may not be an isolated incident. I do not know the exact stat but reliable sources from Leaf have reported that only 1 or 2 out of every 125-200 backs that are being shipped have the centerfold! If accurate, this means that that a large number of Leaf Aptus 75 backs in use have this tolerance defect.
The problem seems to extend beyond the Aptus 75, possible to the Aptus 22 and others, I have received several emails from folks with Aptus 65's and 22 complaining about the same issue.
Leaf did send a gain adjustment program as a temporary fix but the program has some very nasty side affects on the file such as changing the gamma of the raw file and blowing out the highlights. It will also only run on Apple Mac and not on a PC.
I am very disappointed that Leaf has not come out and announced that there is a problem and provided customers and dealers with solid and pertinent information. We were told that Leaf will replace the backs only for architectural shooters who use camera movements. This is unfortunate as there are reports of the centerfold issue showing up in chips and cameras that are not using movements.
No one wants to hurt Leaf, I have thought long and hard about taking this public and decided to do so in the hope that Leaf will react and show a sense of concern and urgency that in my opinion has been lacking.
I respectfully ask Leaf to address this problem and tell us what they (Leaf) is doing with respect to a long term and comprehensive solution. In addition LC10 is a disaster, it is light years behind other raw developers and may be especially so once the new Capture One is released. It is slow and a PC version is still vaporware.
My decision regarding a new or alternative medium format back is in the formative stages, I love the Leaf product and the look of it's file. I am absolutely disgusted with the sense of concern and urgency that has displayed with respect to this matter.
I have heard from my dealer;
It seems that the information coming from Leaf has been only half accurate.
From what I am now being told Leaf has determined that all of the digital back senors are made up of two sections. The problem is once of a tolerance error in joining the two sections at the Dalsa factory.
The delay in replacing the backs is due to delays in obtaining good sensors from the factory. Leaf has indicated the current crop of backs coming from the the factory either do not have the problem, don’t have it to the same degree, or has it in fewer numbers. The delay appears to be due to Dalsa working on the problem and being unable to ship the sensors reliably.
I am anxiously awaiting a replacement bacl.