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REPAIR SPECIALISTS


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On 6/25/2014 at 12:55 AM, AB007 said:

When I think of the best Leica Repair Specialist in the US, Don Goldberg from DAG comes to mind.

I just received back a 1954 M3.  I gave it to my son around 1990 after new sync contacts added and converted to single stroke.

Main reason was my vision and could not see 50 mm frames.  I am 80 now and vision is much better.  Son took camera to Europe 15 years ago and RF went out of adjustment on the plane.  I just sent it to DAG and he cleaned RF which had gone dim and unusable.

Came back perfect.  With new vision, I now see why this camera was so loved.  I can not get it back from son. He refused to trade it for a brand new film M of his choice

He is moving to a different apartment and I am donating some darkroom stuff like one of my two Focomat 1C.  I will construct a table for enlarger and tray ladders.  Washing can be done in area with water supply.  A new generation is starting.

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  • 2 months later...

I would send it to Will van Manen in the Netherlands. I would have suggested Ottmar Michaely but he has now been absorbed by Leica. The Summitars are the cheapest of all Leica vintage lenses, so it may be more economical to look for a good one than having yours cleaned. It is relatively easy to do a partial clean yourself.  The front section unscrews and you can then clean the back of the front element with a cotton bud and Iso propyl alcohol. If you are careful and open the aperture fully, you can also clean the front of the element behind the diaphragm in the same way. These are the most common surfaces to be dirty, from lubricant contamination and cigarette fumes etc, entering via the diaphragm mechanism. 

Wilson

 

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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE

Well sadly I have had zero contact with Camera Obscura https://cameraobscurarepairs.co.uk/ now in 8 weeks.  I have used all means to get a response from him regarding my M2 that he is repairing and customising for which I have paid him £465 already , of course plus the camera body he has of mine. 

So I now have issued a letter of intent (of legal proceedings)  to him giving Alex 14 days to respond - He signed for that letter and now over a week later no response. 

Next week I drive to Oxford to validate he still resides at the address that I sent the camera to and following that I shall issue legal proceedings against him for both my camera and my money back.  Very thankfully I communicated with him in writing over everything, so there is no denying he got the camera and was carrying out the work.  

I hate having to do this, but begged him to get in touch and now again Nothing !!

SO Frustrating 

Chris

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I get very frustrated with camera repairers, who agree to take work on, then never communicate or finish the job. Not mentioning any names but it will be five years in one month's time, since I last saw my 250FF Reporter. Given the ever climbing value of this quite rare camera (less than 250 made and many destroyed during WW2, when used by the military), I am more than a little concerned that I will never see it again and if I do, it will all be in a box of disassembled parts. I have agreed numerous deadlines for completion of the 250FF with this repairer but they never get met. 

Wilson

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14 minutes ago, wlaidlaw said:

I have agreed numerous deadlines for completion of the 250FF with this repairer but they never get met. 

I would be worried too. Hopefully there is a clear record of who owns what should anything awful happen. Are we talking MT? He is certainly first choice for such a wonderful camera, but there must be a question over when he finally packs his tools away.

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18 minutes ago, pedaes said:

I would be worried too. Hopefully there is a clear record of who owns what should anything awful happen. Are we talking MT? He is certainly first choice for such a wonderful camera, but there must be a question over when he finally packs his tools away.

I won't say who it is because not being an internet user, he cannot reply. 

Wilson

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In case it is Malcolm Taylor I can only say that before Robert Parker passed away in July he mentioned to me that he had bought a 50/1 Noctilux v4 this year and, owing to mechanical issues, he sent it to Malcolm to repair and CLA. 

After Robert's death I remembered about the Noctilux and felt that it might be a valuable asset in Robert's estate so on behalf of Robert's family I rang Malcolm, explained that Robert had died and asked Malcolm to complete the CLA and whatever repair was needed and to send it to Robert's family who would settle the bill.

Happily the family received Robert's repaired Noctilux within a fortnight and settled the bill.  At the family's request I inspected the lens and it worked as it should with the mechanical issues repaired.

Unfortunately Malcolm has received some, perhaps deserved, robust criticism as a result of a tragic matter that affected his work so I have posted this to restore the balance in some tiny way since he has no 'voice' on the internet and to reassure that Malcolm is able to complete work again. 

(For full disclosure, I have no connection to Malcolm, his family, or his business other than as a satisfied customer.)

Pete.

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Well Pete to reply to your post I have seen others claiming to have had quite fast turn over from the repairer in question. I just wonder why my repair seems to keep getting bumped down the priority list, possibly by easier jobs. I am trying to remain calm and positive about the situation but five years for a repair is taking the P***.  I feel that the work should be prioritised on a first come, first served basis. I am sure Alan Starkie could have mended my 250FF far quicker, given that he repaired my Combat Graflex, a camera he had never seen before and with a built in clockwork motor drive, film end indication in the viewfinder and film cut off guillotine, considerably more complicated than the 250. He had to have new parts made for it from scratch, with 3D metal printing. I was originally advised that the repair could take up to one year, to which I agreed and this was after the sad events to which you referred. Five years I did not and would not have agreed to. 

Wilson

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Wilson,

I'm sure I would feel as aggrieved as you if a repair of one of my cameras took five years, which is simply unacceptable, and I empathise.  I will assume that you've tried all the normal avenues for expediting the repair and return of your 250FF Reporter so I can only hope that further contact will produce success - and joy.

Pete.

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On 11/4/2023 at 11:21 AM, wlaidlaw said:

Well Pete to reply to your post I have seen others claiming to have had quite fast turn over from the repairer in question. I just wonder why my repair seems to keep getting bumped down the priority list, possibly by easier jobs. I am trying to remain calm and positive about the situation but five years for a repair is taking the P***.  I feel that the work should be prioritised on a first come, first served basis. I am sure Alan Starkie could have mended my 250FF far quicker, given that he repaired my Combat Graflex, a camera he had never seen before and with a built in clockwork motor drive, film end indication in the viewfinder and film cut off guillotine, considerably more complicated than the 250. He had to have new parts made for it from scratch, with 3D metal printing. I was originally advised that the repair could take up to one year, to which I agreed and this was after the sad events to which you referred. Five years I did not and would not have agreed to. 

Wilson

This kind of stuff happens all the time among the handful of people who are qualified to repair valuable mechanical items with scarce parts. In my audio career, I saw it with guys who did tape machine refurbishing and so on. They just let things get away from them, because they tend to be quirky, asocial types with zero background (and no interest) in small business management.

After five years, you should be absolutely furious and doing everything within your power to get your camera back. That doesn't necessarily equate to the repair tech in question being a bad person, or even necessarily a bad option for other people seeking repair. It just means he has royally, irremediably screwed up your repair job, and shouldn't be trusted by you any longer.

I feel for people who work on vintage mechanical and electronic equipment. It can be tedious work, and customers are often neurotic about their gear, despite knowing very little about how it works. But a certain level of professionalism is nonetheless required.

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/4/2021 at 10:56 AM, MarkP said:

Thanks for this. I've just been in communication with Anthony from Camera Obscura. Very impressed with the communication.  I'm just about to send my IIIf and Summitar for CLA/repair/restoration.

I looked at the Camera Works website but they are no longer accepting repairs from outside the UK. 

Did you ever get your camera back ?

 

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9 hours ago, Chris Piuckett said:

Did you ever get your camera back ?

 

Thanks for asking.  Yes, in the end I did.

Fabulous job.
However,  but the whole process was so painful and slow (almost a year) that I’m not sure I’d survive going through it again.  It was not uncommon for months to pass before I had a reply.

ps.  not hearing from him in 8 weeks is a very short time for Alexander 🙄.
Legal options, which I considered, were limited and difficult with me living in Australia. 

I’ll pm you.

Edited by MarkP
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  • 4 weeks later...

Peter did a superb job on my M4 and redid the awful job perpetrated on my IIf by one of the London Leica dealers. As I have owned the M4 since new and the IIf was my father's spare Leica, I was delighted for these to be back in first class working order again. Very sorry to hear he has passed away. 

Wilson

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