Lens cleaning services: Youxin, DAG, Sherry, John van Stelton

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by puketronic, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I'm not sure why I had to write John's full name...

    I have no lenses that are in urgent need for servicing but I'm planning, in the future, to buy some Leica LTM and M lenses. Most of my lenses are Canon/Nikon and are more or less fine, I think, and I don't think they need cleaning and I'm not particularly attached to most of them. I plan on selling some anyways...

    I'm interested in Leica LTM but I know that the the lenses are problematic, and for that reason, I would hardly trust anyone online to say that they are clean. Same with Leica M, although they have probably aged better, if I spend $1k+ on a lens, then I might as well get the most of it.

    DAG and Sherry seem to be the "best". Nobody really knocks them down, Youxin is cheaper and faster turn around but has a bit mixed reviews. John I only hear good things but he isn't heard so often.

    1. Anyone know the comparative rates? Youxin is $50 and is very good with his emails/communication. I haven't contacted the other two but I'm sure the answer is: it depends. I'm just wondering the order of magnitude. I might talk to them on monday and mention the lenses that I'm interested in.

    2. Anyone have bad experiences with Youxin? He is very prompt with his emails and friendly, I like that, but he seems to be the least reputable. If I had a real expensive lens that was a mess, then I'd probably go with DAG, but if I were looking into cleaning some relatively inexpensive lenses with some minor issues, then Youxin might be good enough.
     
  2. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Hi

    Buy in a shop inspect real carefully, pay premium.
    Buy from an on line dealer with a reputaton and a written policy for returns, pay premium
    If you buy a slightly fogged lens online then it may not clean up, it is very expensive to ghave reground and recoated, and may not be practical if it is a cemented pair...
    Some lenses fog over after a few years, however they are stored - ask for quote/estimate and turnaround before you send for repair...

    Noel
     
  3. emayoh

    emayoh Member

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    I actually bought my beloved M2 from Youxin Ye after he CLA'd it, and I've had a 50mm collapsible 'cron serviced by him as well. Really fine work as far as I'm concerned, though I can't compare him to the others you mentioned.
     
  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    you are approaching this with the wrong attitude == there is a lot of really nice glass out there, no reason to buy defective stuff with the idea that you will have it serviced -- servicing costs will eat up any savings over buying good to start with (voice of sad experience talking here).

    plus some servicing can bite you in the butt -- that haze? Might not just be haze, might be etching on the glass from oil outgassing requiring a new lens element. This happened to me, cost $200 for a 2.8 elmar 50mm.

    Buy local or from a reputable dealer like KEH.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    youxin ye serviced my m3 and 3 lenses about 7 or 8 years ago ( i can't remember )
    he also reskinned most of the body for me.
    i picked-up and dropped off inperson ( i am in the area ) and he showed me his workbench &c.
    all i can say is he is a really nice guy, and he does work that has been trouble-free.
     
  6. kokoshawnuff

    kokoshawnuff Member

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    I think the mixed reviews of Youxin are explained by the fact that he can't do some of the more complicated work that DAG and Sherry are willing to try. If he knows he can't do something he'll send it back to you instead of trying, which might annoy people if they're impatient. If I'm getting a CLA for a lens or camera, I'll send it to Youxin every time--he's faster and cheaper than the others. If there is something more complicated, involving lens recementing or the electronics of an M7, I'd send it to Sherry, DAG, Van Stelton or Leica.
     
  7. cyberjunkie

    cyberjunkie Member

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    I fully agree with your advice. Better buy a fully functional equipment in the first place, than have it serviced afterwards.
    It would be a loss 90% of the times.
    Buying defective items (at bargain prices!) makes sense only if you can repair them on your own.
    That's my experience, for what it's worth...

    From the quote above, i get that you had a lens element permanently damaged by lubricant outgassing.
    Are you sure?
    I have more than 150 large format vintage lenses (2/3 are in barrel), and i've never seen such a thing.
    Maybe the culprit is the grease used in focusing barrels, which is not present in LF lenses, but i wouldn't take it for granted.
    I've owned my share of old 35mm lenses (including many LTM ones... i've just sold a nice Russar 20mm in chrome), and i never found an hazy lens which was uncleanable.
    Most of the times it was just haze coming from polymerized lubricants, which free volatile substances over time.
    Sometimes the glasses were left dirty for long time, in a humid environment, so that some spores could start a fungal growth.
    One time the front glass of a Roussel lens was completely covered by a thick layer of what looked like hardened tree resin.
    ALL of them were successfully cleaned, with no outside help.
    That's why i am very curious about your experience.
    AFAIK the only glasses that were subject to glazing, or other physical degradation, where the early, unstable "new glasses" made before the end of the XIX century (very few made by Schott, most made by french or british glass foundries). Very soon the unstable ones were retired, and new ones with better specs were made available.
    Then there is the yellowing of glasses containing thorium... but that's another story. :smile:

    You reported something i am not aware of. So i would be happy to learn something more about it.

    have fun

    CJ


    Sent from my Android tablet
     
  8. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    well, sherry krauter told me that, i have to assume she was being honest. Apparently it happens a lot with 1950s leica lenses. she had to replace an element, which was why it cost $175 plus shipping and handling.

    it's a great lens now.
     
  9. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Hi

    Optical glass is not like window glass.
    Some of the glass used by Canon and Leitz (at least) in the late 50s will fog (sic etch) in situ, even in temperate climes.
    I got a nice paperweight, you can polish and recoat but expensive, and may degrade the lens performance.
    Some of the fogging is wipe of...

    Noel
     
  10. peter_n

    peter_n Member

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    I've used DAG, Youxin Ye and Steve Choi for CLAs and strongly recommend Steve. Not inexpensive but fantastic work: Steve's Camera Service.
     
  11. thomasw_

    thomasw_ Member

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    I will chime in my recommendation for Gerry at Kindermann in Toronto. Though not inexpensive, the work and turn-around-times are very professional. I have used Kindermann for CLAs on both my Leica M bodies and M-mount glass.
     
  12. Leicafx

    Leicafx Member

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    I just had my lens CLA'd by Youxin and it came back badly scratched. :sad:
     
  13. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    There's got to be be more to that story. And did you join APUG only 8 hours ago just to share that??
     
  14. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I've gotten user M3 and M2 bodies and a IIIF body from Youxin - all have worked perfectly. I also purchased from him a fully cleaned and restored old 35/3.5 Elmar from him that is pristine and beautiful and for a very reasonable price. I'd use him again in a heartbeat. That said DAG did a CLA on an old 50/1.5 Summarit for me very well done and Sherry CLA'd a Leica CL body for me and included a very informative and interesting 45 min phone call too. She's wonderful.
     
  15. goamules

    goamules Member

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    I started with Yoxin with a Leica IIIC CLA and shutter repair. It didn't work, I had to send it back. After that, I sent a Leica IID to DAG for the same type of job. It came back smooth, quiet, and in perfect condition. Then I tried DAG on a LTM lens, it was again a good experience. Then a couple harder lenses. Same. Last week I sent him a rare Cook C-mount. I expect the same.
     
  16. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Youxin did my father's IIIF RDST CLA. 90mm was a almost gonner, hardly had any sunlight through it for decades. He did the best he could, its now a nice soft focus low contrast portrait lens. The 50mm Elmar came back pristine. He also recovered the body.

    He also did my M2 CLA and recover. Great work.

    Sherry did my three M lenses, 35, 50 and 90. I did not want to buy a new element for the 50mm it has some haze, but still works well when there is no flair from the sun. It was a mess when I got it. Sherry did her best on it.

    KEH did a seperate M2, 12 years ago. They patched the broken off leather for free and did a fine job with the CLA.

    So buying iffy lenses with hope of saving them is a crap shoot. Although some clean up real well.
     
  17. goamules

    goamules Member

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    I just got back my Cooke from DAG. It had bad fungus, and I was worried about the coatings. It came back looking new. DAG even relettered the black engraving. He has never been stumped, I've used him about 6 times. He is not self-taught, he was taught in Germany by Leica, I believe. It shows.
     
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