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Leica Ginza/Japan Repair Experiences - $1400 Estimate for Leica M7 ISO dial issue.

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Hi all, just thought I'd gauge some impressions before I take the next course of action over what I considered a minor M7 problem.

I have lightly used, basically babied M7 from the original release era that over the last year has developed an ISO dial issue.

Basically, without turning the dial, if I so much as nudge the physical round dial (not spinning, mere contact), the exposure meter would fluctuate by about 2/3 of a stop, overexposing. The problem goes away by spinning the ISO dial round and round briefly, although the issue always returns.  I assume the conductive track in the dial is dirty / got sweat on it too often due to it being against my chest when hanging from a strap.


I'm thinking of moving on from the M7 and getting an M-A, but before selling I wanted to get this problem looked at. 

I assumed a new M7 back door would do the trick.

I'm in Japan, so it went to the repair centre here. I'm not sure of the company structure here in Japan, but it would be repaired within Japan itself, not Germany.


I got the estimate back, they confirmed the original issue... and quoted me $1400 and a laundry list of work to be done, which in my view is unnecessary. I can't help but feel they are pushing it for the sake of finding work/ profiting from their services. It performed like a brand new camera, with very smooth operation aside from the ISO dial (which is just a badly designed area in metered Ms IMO). 

Back cover replacement (back door I assume?)

Shutter overhaul / shutter speed adjustment

Winding + rewinding operation adjustment 

Exposure meter adjustment

Exposure meter light receiving section adjustment (the white dot? it only has 1 tiny black mark on it)

Finder cleaning

DX reader update

Light seal / shield replacement

Rangefinder adjustment

Leather cover replacement to M-A type


I'll try to push them to just focus on the issue I sent it for, but it is typical for Japanese companies / services to tell you 'no' at any opportunity, so I'm not going to hold my breath (any experience with this would be good to hear!).

Would it be better to send it to Leica in Germany? Has anyone arranged it via e-mail?

Years ago, I had another M7 that I abused the hell out of, and it still worked perfectly when I sold it. It ended up looking twice its age, yet this barely used one apparently needs overhauled!




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Leica in Germany will give you the same estimate and take far longer. Leica likes to return cameras in as-new state. If I were you I would get a second opinion from one of the reputed third-party workshops. 

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Posted (edited)

This is typical for cameras with electrical sliding contacts that are rarely used. Some contact cleaning will likely do the job. However, I personally have no idea of how to access those contacts within the ISO dial, but a competent repairman should should.

Edited by wizard
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The cost is reasonable for the full service quoted, Many camera techs will similarly only do a full service on an older camera, fearing if they don't another issue for something they didn't service will crop up and the customer will complain. My M7 is in with DAG now to fix sticky frame line masks, but he also prefers to check over other areas.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Albo said:

which in my view is unnecessary. I can't help but feel they are pushing it for the sake of finding work/ profiting from their services.

Leica Japan? Highly unlikely.



what @jaapv said.

Edited by frame-it
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The point is that a camera that has barely been used over the years will likely need a full CLA. However, 1400$ is a Leica price. 

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Posted (edited)

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While it seems a high price it's common knowledge that it's Leica policy to return the camera in 'as new' mechanical condition which avoids the problem of customers thinking they know best about what is or isn't wrong with their camera. So if the contacts on the back door have corroded and need replacing it makes sense that the meter may also need re-calibrating for the new door or dial. And if the top plate is off it makes sense to check and adjust the rangefinder, and so on, etc.

Edited by 250swb
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Is it $1400 to repair the ISO dial issue or is that a quote for the whole laundry list?  If for the full laundry list then I think that sounds like an amazing deal, if its for the ISO dial issue only….well it seems about right.. I wouldn’t think it would be any less. 

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Sounds a bit high to me, I paid US$673 for Leica New Jersey to do the following about 2 years ago -

replace light sealing
adjust range finder
adjust exposure meter
clean viewfinder optic as far as possibl
adjust shutter brake
adjust shutter times
replacement photo cell
clean, lubrication and adjustment

this included replacing the DX reader and the "leather" covering as part of the service.



Edited by trisberg
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