Leica IIIc: Solms wants my firstborn!

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by kavandje, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    So I sent the IIIc in for a checkup, and they want silly money to fix the shutter and recollimate, and it won't even fix the second viewfinder image's invisibility.

    Needs new shutter curtains. Second viewfinder image not visible. Slow shutter speeds slow and/or sticky. Lens lubricant sticky; adjusting the aperture makes the collapsible lens' bayonet disengage.

    I don't really want to consign this camera to a parts bin or a display case, so I'm open to suggestions...
     
  2. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    I have experience of Leica Service only in the UK and only once around 12 years ago - it was ridiculously expensive and very poor. From what I hear, Solms is good but also stupidly expensive.

    The going rate for a good independent repairman in the UK (such as Newton Ellis & Co. of Liverpool) to fix your camera is approx. £100 for a shutter service (more if new blinds are really needed, they can be reconditioned, but Leica won't tell you that), £100 to £125 for a rangefinder service with prism resilvering, and around £50 to lubricate the lens and clean easily accessible internal surfaces (no dismantling of lens groups). The problems present on your IIIc are likely to be present on any example which has never been serviced and still has its factory lubricant inside from nearly 60 years ago - it is cheaper to buy a serviced camera than to buy a camera and have it serviced, but you could not sell your camera for very much in an unserviced state.

    PS: Please say how much Solms wanted??????
     
  3. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I'm assuming you sent it to Leica. They don't want to fix something that was discontinued over 60 years ago. Send it to one of the independent repairers who are known for fixing Leicas, like Sherry Krauter, Don Goldberg (DAG Camera)
     
  4. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    ... except that I'm in Germany right now. Any suggestions re. European independent Leica repair?
     
  5. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    The Leica Historical Society of America keeps a list. Most are US or Canada, but here is one in Germany

    Wetzlarer Feine Mechanik
    Feinwerkmechanikermeister
    Niedergasse 41
    35630 Ehringshausen
    Germany Ottmar Michaely
    +49 6443 833880
    +49 6443 833881 Fax
    Ottmar-Michaely@t-online.de


    The Range Finder Forum has a thread with addresses and references which they humbly call “The Definitive Leica Technician List For CLAs and Fixes”

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65581

    I have no personal experience with these people or even a Leica. Just thinking of the day that old Bertha here gets too heavy.

    John Powers
     
  6. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Try Maël Bilquey at phototechnique (www.photo-technique.com).

    He has a good reputation, I'm very happy with the CLA he did on my Yashica mat 124.
     
  7. Joe Grodis

    Joe Grodis Member

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    About 25 years ago I began "collecting" cameras and eventually through trading and selling and what not I ended up with dozens of high-end cameras. Now, I don't just put them on display, I use each and every one of them. Sending out cameras for repair eventually became a nightmare if not impossible. So, I did my homework (which never stops) bought some watchmaker specs and specialized tools and gave it a go. I started off with some easy Yashica TLR meter repairs then "practiced" on a few Zorkis before touching the good ones. I even do new leatherette... You'd be surprised what you can do if you really want to. I suspect in the near future to get 60+ year old cameras fixed it will have to be done free lancers at home.
     
  8. Rik

    Rik Member

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    Send it to Will van Manen in the Netherlands, reliable independent and good Leica repair man.
    His website is www.kamera-service.info.
     
  9. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    Newton Ellis! (See earlier posting).
     
  10. gmanp

    gmanp Member

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    Gerry Smith at Kindermann Camera in Canada; worth it for whatever the postage is to send it.
     
  11. elekm

    elekm Member

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    You know what? It might seem like a lot of money, but I think it's worth it. The bottom-feeding mindset says otherwise, but any 50+-year-old camera will benefit from service.

    If anyone gets into photography, you realize rather quickly that it's an expensive hobby. And so you must be willing to either handle the repairs yourself or be willing to pay to have the work done correctly.

    That said, there are a number of reputable repair people who will be able to do this job likely for far less than what Leica will charge.

    Either way, it's money well spent.