I think people are fixated on the situation in their own geographical niches.
I've never had a problem getting any of my cameras CLA'd or repaired (even fairly recently). Usually it was more a matter of which repairperson to choose.
The fact is that mechanical cameras rarely need spare parts, other than the odd piece of foam or spring, which are no problem at all to adapt to different models.
It's electronic cameras with their proprietary modules which are 100% dependent on original spare parts.
Again, some of these postings bringing up all these terrible "problems" older cameras have don't fit with my own real life experience at all.
a pentax mx! full mechanical, lr44 battery only for the light meter, a huge choice for lenses (even in m42 with the right adapter)
For some. Finding a mechanic for a Contarex gets a bit difficult, but that's due to a lack of spare parts. Finding a mechanic is simple. Finding a good mechanic is not too difficult. Finding a mechanic who is ready to repair a camera for a price below the market value of many cameras is difficult, but that's not the problem of a lack of mechanics. Many popular cameras like the Canon A1, AE-1 etc., many Minoltas and Pentaxes like the ME/MX, many Olympus OM cameras and many more are simply too cheap to get a repair. I can buy a working, serviced Canon A1 for 20-50 Euros, and that often includes 1-2 lenses. What if it fails? Repairing it is a waste of money, most people say. There is not a lack of mechanics, there is a lack of demand for time-consuming and cost-intensive repairs.
Originally Posted by CGW
For cameras with a higher market value like Nikons, Leicas and Rolleiflex cameras I can choose from a long list of repair shops. Some are better, some are not so good, and I think they will survive because people are ready to pay an acceptable price for a Leica M CLA or similar jobs.
BTW, I had a wonderful afternoon with my new toy, a Nikon F, made in 1962. I was out in the sun with that camera and a 50mm lens. I shot two rolls, and now the developed negatives are on my desk. The camera works just fine - not bad for such an old camera that was not serviced for decades; even the light meter works. I must admit I was lucky the light seals still keep the light out. I went to an electronics shop and purchased a battery for my other new toy, a Nikkormat EL. The light seals are finished, so I bought some black gaffer tape and "sealed" the camera back. The lightmeter works like a charm, the third roll of film is fine, too. And then there was a fourth roll in a Leica M3 I just captured in a household clearance. The long shutter times are too long, the rest just works. It was in a closet for 15 years.
The reason for this little story:
+1 for the recommendation of a Nikon F/F2/Nikkormat. Or get a Leica M.
Glad to see you got the F out of the closet.
Yashica TL Electro X. There. I said it.
I have found that the individual camera design in question matters more than whether or not it is of mechanical or electronic design. I've had troublesome cameras and completely trouble-free cameras of all types. For instance, nothing but trouble with Canon FD cameras (though they are probably my favorite cameras to use when they are working), but no trouble at all from Nikon Fs. Trouble with an AE-1 and Minolta electronic cameras, but no trouble from my Nikon electronic camera. Trouble with my Leica IIIc (1950's), but no trouble with my Leica IIIa (1930's). The history of the individual camera in question is also very important IMO.
I also don't assign any special magic properties to mechanical cameras. But I do prefer the way they are designed and feel in the hand, for the most part.
Look at Cameraquest
Stephen Gandy has written a fine article discussing the pros & cons of the Nikon SLR's and posted it on his Cameraquest site.
WTF are you a gandy shill? Voightlander and hes a dealer... how about a link?