Where have you got your Barnack repaired and what did it cost?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by 2F/2F, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    [Moderator's note: Typo in title corrected.]

    Hello,

    My Leica IIIc, which by chance I have used to shoot most of my favorite 35mm photos over the years, needs work. Shots show a blown out line running vertically through the frame, indicating that the second curtain does not close all the way. They also show horizontal streaks from the above-mentioned vertical line to the edge of the frame, indicating that the gap remains when advancing the film.

    I took it in to Steve's Camera in Culver City, CA, which is the normal repair shop on which I have settled. He is reputed to have a lot of knowledge on these cameras.

    Steve checked out the camera and gave me an estimate. The camera needs a CLA and new shutter curtains. The parts are $150. Labor is $235. Additionally, a CLA on my Summitar would be $125 labor. The lens service is not absolutely needed, but it does have a relatively big hair in it and the aperture ring is a bit stiff, especially in cool weather.

    I would like to know a few things.

    1. Have any of you ever used Steve's Camera for Barnack Leica repairs/service? What were your experiences?

    2. Does this quote seem in line with other quality Barnack Leica repairs/service? The quote on the lens definitely seems high, considering it is in much better shape than the Canon FD lens they overhauled for $45, and much easier to service. It just needs to be cleaned and lubricated. I am also leery of spending $150 for parts that are obviously going to be used. How will he make sure the parts aren't going to go south overnight like mine did?

    3. There are a few other recommended repair people. Krauter was the last name of one of them, and the other was in Canada, I believe, and may have been three initials (DAG?). I also want to hear experiences and prices at these two places.

    Thank you in advance!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2008
  2. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    My personal choice for Leica repair is Sherry Krauter
    Mark
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Let's see, It's a Leica therefore you must be loaded. I haven't repaired cameras for $$$ for a while but when I was in the biz the Brand demanded a premium price for service. Just like that Swedish brand. Not for any reason other than ADP(additional dealer profit).
    Repairing the lens is easier than most because there are NO linkages to deal with and are quite simple.
    The body is equally simple to deal with as long as no parts are broken. It's very common for a technician to make new curtains for one of these things rather than buying them.
    DAG & Sherri Krauter both have excellent reputations. I believe Sherri's business name is "Golden touch" I don't know if Steve's prices are out of line or not, but you will pay a premium for the label "Leica"
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Can you give any info on what you've had done and what it cost you? Have you used the equipment heavily since? It's not a necklace. I need it to work perfectly, as it did for the 57 years before it broke. I shot an average of 75 - 100 rolls a year through the camera, plus or minus.

    John, I know what you are saying is true. I just want to see how close these estimates are to being in line with others working on the same cameras, so I can pick a repair person and start budgeting for the fix. The camera and lens together cost me $225 in near mint cosmetic condition, and I used it heavily for years before it went south, not mentioning whatever use was put on it in the half century before I got it. The glass and lens body are literally in near perfect condition. Kind of hard to spend over $500 in repairs on a cheap camera, but you gots to do what you gots to do. I am just making sure I am not getting *overly* gouged, and looking for a line on other options.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2008
  5. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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  6. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

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    I've never used Steve's but that price sounds reasonable. DAG is around $280 for a CLA and I believe Sherry is close.

    Avoid oil can Ye!!!
     
  7. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Youxin Ye
    Email wye7@yahoo.com
    Location 16 Fairview Rd
    Canton, MA 02021-1720, USA
    tel: (781) 830-9141

    Honest guy, does great work. It's been some time since I've been in touch but I hear he's still out there and bringing them back from the dead.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i brought my m3 to him.
    he reskinned it with the original leather -
    cla'd the camera and 3 lenses ..
    he is honest, and does good work.

    john
     
  9. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    DAG is Don A. Goldberg. He's in Wisconsin, not Canada.

    http://www.dagcamera.com/

    His prices are very reasonable and his work is excellent. He'll give you a non-binding estimate on typical CLA and repairs. Both Don and Sherry are Leica factory trained with decades of experience.

    Lee
     
  10. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    since you're in the area, you might also check with Pro Camera Service in Thousand Oaks.
     
  11. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    You will not want to send your camera to England, but I have 12 Leicas (equal numbers of screw-thread rangefinder, M rangefinder and R), most of which have been serviced by Newton Ellis & Co. of Liverpool, and every time a CLA without parts but sometimes with reconditioning of shutter curtains has cost me around £125 ($200 at the present exchange rate). Cost of rangefinder overhaul, with resilvering, about the same if necessary. Leicas are cheap in the same way that Mercedes autos are, purchase prices and servicing are expensive, but the products last a long time, so the operating cost per year is quite reasonable. Other APUG threads in the past have noted that people who service Leicas cheaper than above tend to cut corners by flushing mechanisms without dismantling, etc. Lens cleaning in particular is highly cost-effective, once mold starts, it can really spread fast if left untreated.
     
  12. lens_hacker

    lens_hacker Member

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    KEH did a great job on my Leica CL, a difficult camera to work on. Jammed shutter, repaired and CLA for $150.

    Youxin Ye replaced the beamsplitter and CLA'd three of my Barnack cameras, CLA'd two others, and repaired and CLA'd my M2. All are working perfectly.
     
  13. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    He "CLAed" my IIIf and less than a year later it had to be completely redone. I would not use him again.
     
  14. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

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    He CLA'd ?????? my IIIf RD. Upon return the camera was dripping oil and the curtains were oil saturated. I returned the camera and told him to fix it right. He then tried to charge me for new curtains. A month after getting the camera back the slow speeds quit..

    A friend recently got his IIIc back from oil can Ye and found the clutch had been greased. This part isn't supposed to be lubed..

    I'll never do business with him again..
     
  15. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Not to diminish KEH, but just as info, Sherry Krauter is the authority on the CL. IIRC, she was the person that Leica sent out to train the authorized Leica repair staff on CL maintenance and repair when it was issued as a new model.

    Lee
     
  16. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    Same here. Seen a Leica M3 'fixed' by Mr Ye. Its shutter jammed about 3 weeks after the camera returned. Sending it back wasn't a feasible option since the cost of sending the M3 from and to, and back again, the Philippines was quite high. Mr Ye even took - and did not even offset its cost against the total charge- a large strip of shutter curtain material which the M3's owner sent along with the camera as possible replacement for the old curtains.

    Mr Ye said that the curtains were not suitable since they were for the III series Leicas. The strip was good to make perhaps three or four complete shutters. They're probably going or are already in the Barnack types he's serviced, and charged for it.

    As for the M3, the owner decided to send it to a good Leica repair shop in Hongkong (much closer to Manila) instead.
     
  17. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    I'm very sorry to hear about your problems with Youxin, esp w. a IIIfRD.
    These are some pretty serious mistakes.
    Meanwhile the 2 IIIa's he fixed for me (1 in '99 and 1 in '02) are still operating perfectly, slow speeds and all..???
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks for the replies, and thanks to the moderator for fixing that mistake. I am gonna try Steve and see what happens. I don't have a trust issue so much as I wanted to make sure that the price was not out of line. I normally pay $150 to $175 for an overhaul. Adding a shutter curtain replacement for an additional $100 labor is probably as reasonable as I will find. $150 for a few strips of vulcanized material seems crazy, but what the hell else am I going to do?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2008
  19. raid amin

    raid amin Member

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    I highly recommend Eddy Smolov. His rates are super low while his expert work is superb.
     
  20. lens_hacker

    lens_hacker Member

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    Well, I checked all of the cameras that Youxon Ye repaired, all are working and none show any signs of oil seeping where it should not. They are all operating correctly. Several were jammed when sent to him. Youxin is not the only repair facility that I've used, I've used Essex, KEH, Strauss, and Nikon. I will not send another Leica to Essex, two jammed within a year of being repaired there. I was disappointed in Strauss, returned a Nikon P&S camera that was under warranty as "not having a problem" when the autofocus was way off and test photos were included. Nikon fixed it under warranty.

    And I doubt anyone else will replace a beamsplitter and CLA a Leica for $100.
     
  21. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    <-- Another satisfied Sherry Krauter customer.

    Sherry cleaned and repaired the shutter on my
    Leica II, recovered it with new leather, and brought
    back an impossible Summar back from the dead to
    near-pristine condition. (It had weird milky blotches
    on the front element and local NYC shops refused to
    touch it.) She's the best.

    Sanders
     
  22. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    $150 for shutter cloth? How much would the charge for the straps be?
    And $150-175 for the service?

    Leica repairs are truly expensive. The latest Leica I have (came in about April this year) cost only $150. It wasn't working right, but a few squirts of lubricant and lighter fluid in the right places restored it.

    I have a junker IIIf now, with some missing parts. I plan to find some replacements and restore it. Did the same about 5 years ago to a 'scrap' IIIc, which now is a fine shooter.

    I have some DIY shutter cloth here, similar to what I installed in the IIIc. This material is what I've been using for all the shutters in the Zorki and FED I fix. If you want, I can send you some, gratis. That is, if the service centre would use them.
     
  23. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Just had a nicca Barnack CLA'd, pinholes in the shutter cloth repaired and a lens cleaning $100 at Camtech. Truly you should consider them. They trained at Sheridan college cut their teeth on rangefinders.
     
  24. stark raving

    stark raving Member

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    If John Maddox (L & J Leica repair) is still in business, I can highly recommend him. He did great work on my IIIc about 5 years ago. I would consider him Sherry Krauter's equal on screwmount Leica's. I believe he does only screwmounts, no M cameras.
     
  25. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I will second Eddy ( 123camerarepair@gmail.com ). I haven't sent him any Barnack bodies, but I have sent him a Pentacon 6 TL and a Yashicamat, both within the past two months.

    Both came back working like new, rapid turn around, and very reasonably priced.

    Michael