Help a reader! Screen crack on a Leica M9

Just received this e-mail from a reader asking for help. I figured I would post it here in case anyone has experience with this!

This is what my m9 looks like. as you can see this stupid giottos shield has shattered & apparently I’m suppose to use a hair dryer to remove it. based on some blogs that i read this will also remove the m9 plastic. anybody have any suggestions here. would appreciate any thoughts.

Daniel in africa. is there leica help in south africa?”


  1. I would avoid applying heat to your beautiful camera.

    Take some dental floss and carefully work it between the protector an the LCD.

    The residual glue may be removed with a microfiber towel and the best product on earth: PLEXUS.

    • I did in fact finally do this & it worked like a charm. Don’t have the Plexus here so I used Benzine solution which clean the glue. Thanks for the info. My camera looks new again.

  2. search for how to replace the glass on an iphone or mac. the hair dryer works great. Guitar picks work great for getting under the edge and prying it off. There are videos on ebay and ehow on how to do it from the people who make the various replacement glass. We do it all day on phones and computers and haven’t lost one yet.

  3. +1 dental floss

    I used dental floss on my Sony a850 – work very well, as I didnยดt trust the hairdryer ๐Ÿ™‚ Use the simple one without mint taste or whatever…

  4. Had this happen on my Panasonic GF1. Used a hair drier, I remember it being not a big deal, but I don’t remember any specifics of what I did. I might have used goo gone for any residue. I don’t know how yours cracked, but the thing is that if the Giottose shield is even a hair bigger then your LCD (it was on my GF1) it’s going to crack. If you’re worried about the plastic on your M9, you can try the Goo Gone sticker removal kit. It’s just a bottle of Goo Gone, which is great stuff, with a plastic tool, almost like a chisel or a spackling knife, to get between a sticker and a surface. It’s sharp enough to do the job, but made of plastic that’s too soft to do any damage. Works really well. You can find them at art supply stores (like Michael’s in the USA) and possibly hardware and stationary stores. Good luck!

  5. just a thought.. how does the cracked screen affect your camera besides not being able to view images? i mean it still does provide some kind of protection at this point, no? maybe it’s because i shoot so much film that i find the lcd to be useless.

  6. What’s good about this protector glass:
    1. Clear and bright.
    2. Border glues easy to adhere to body.
    1. Price
    2. Easy to crack (the glass is real thin and the border glue elevate the whole thing just by a little bit and the empty space allows the glass to bulge and break in time)
    3. The frame is a little smaller then the camera LCD so you lose out a little real estates.
    So I use a 3M clear tape for now. It is less clear then glass of course and in a month or two the corners will peel off.
    Any suggestion for a quality product?

  7. Next time try a cut down iPhone screen protector, much, much cheaper and it won’t shatter. Given the less than great LCD of the M9 it hardly matters if it is a fraction less clear than a Giottos given the histogram is the only accurate way to assess the image.

  8. I have the exact same screen that cracked. I am also upset about how easy it gets cracked and how to remove it. Hair dryer with hot air does the job.

  9. It’s not stupid. It probably saved your camera’s LCD. This is why we buy them. I’ve had one for a while and it works very well. The plastic films are not as clear and peel off too easily.

  10. Stupid Giottos shield? it saved your screen to be broken, that’s what it is for. Exactly same thing happened to me and I just removed each piece gently with the nail, not that hard to remove really. Then I was impressed to see the Leica screen was in perfect condition, not cracks or scratches, so I bought another giottos shield the next day.

  11. Daniel, just in case you did not yet have tried it with the floss method. I had the same desaster with a toppled-down DSLR and a broken Delamax GGS glass protector. I heated it carefully with a hairdryer and removed it piece by piece with the edge of a credit card. Worked perfectly.

    I recommend you to stick with glass protectors. If I had a plastic peel-off on my DSLR, its screen certainly would have been broken after that bang! But fortunately the glass protector absorbed the impact energy by breaking and left the camera’s screen perfectly intact. Good luck.

  12. I had a broken GGS protector.

    1. Folding bones (plastic)
    2. Thin stiff card or thin plastic card (access card, credit card, library card).

    1. Lift just a little the corner furthest away from broken edge with folding bones.
    2. Slide stiff card under and slowly along the length & width of screen protector.
    3. When card done its job lift broken protector.

  13. Thanks to Steve & everyone for your suggestions. I’ll try a combination of techniques to get it off. I like the dental floss idea. In the future, I will not use this particular screen protector. I’ll stick with the plastic peel-off ones. I’m currently in Namibia but will soon return to Cape Town, so if I have any problems I will check out Photographic Repairs.

  14. If you use a hair dryer, put aluminum foil around the area besides the LCD. This way you wont potentially melt the plastic knobs on the M9. Hair dryers are regulated to 170 Fahrenheit max, so it shouldn’t even warm up the plastic enough to cause any deformity in the first place, but you never know what kind of plastic you are dealing with. Most plastics melt above 300 F,

    If you want, you can put electrical tape between the aluminum foil and M9 so the camera wont get scratched by the aluminum foil.

    I used a hair dryer to remove the digitizer screen from my nexus one phone. It was shattered, and I left my heat gun at college, so the only thing I had was my mom’s hair dryer. Worked like a champ. I used an exacto knife to cut an edge into a popsicle stick and then a hair dryer to heat up the glue between the digitizer and the aluminum shell.

  15. Skip the hair dryer. Definitely don’t pull up a corner – that will put a lot of force on the M9 glass.

    Get some dental floss. Work it under a corner, holding it taut just like you would to get it in between two teeth. Use it as a back and forth saw to go under the back. Easy to do – will take 20 seconds.

  16. I know this isn’t any help but why use a screen shield in the first place? It would seem with all the problems caused by them on various equipment that the solution is worst than the possibility of a scratched screen. I just keep a micro cloth handy.
    I hope you are able to repair your camera. You might warm a dry soft towel or cloth first and then lay it against the screen. This may loosen the resin on the protector without damaging the electronics.
    Good luck.

  17. Well if you listen to the folks on a certain rangefinder based forum a screenless M9 would be the “bee’s knee’s” So you could always sell it to them for double the price. Street cred costs a lot.

  18. The Giottos screen protector on my D7000 chipped on one side a few weeks after I got it. It was not at all difficult to remove. I was able to get a fingernail under the protector to lift one side. When lifting the protector did crack through, but the pieces came off with a little patience. The adhesive lifted off cleanly with the cracked pieces. Did not need to use a hair dryer. Cleaned and wiped the LCD with lens cleaner.

  19. This happened to me….heat with a hair dryer/blower, gently, apply slight pressure with thumb to each section, and remove one at a time. I unfortunately permanently scratched the screen on my LCD doing this, but had I been a bit more careful, it would have been fine….

  20. The hair dryer is correct, just don’t blast away, heat it gradually. You’re on the right track, just remember less direct heat and more time.

  21. i have removed a cracked Giottos protector by sliding a credit card between the screen and camera and slowly working it around the screen. it separated the glue and after a clean with some glass cleaner and a cloth the camera screen was unscathed.

    oh, the camera had been sitting in indirect sun for a little while and i think that helped, with the glue being a little soft as a result. i’m sure, being in Africa, this wouldn’t be an issue.

    • Ignore all the advice given here and leave it be – Leica resale prices have historically been higher for ‘worn’ used items (particularly if owned by someone famous).

      If you are not famous – send it to Steve to use for a few weeks. This provenance, plus the damage, should increase it’s price immensely.


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