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  1. #1

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    Buying Leica LTM

    I'm interested in getting a bottom-loader and some LTM lenses, particularly that summitar and summicron.

    Now many of these bottom loaders are probably running slow and the lenses hazed up. It might* be cheaper and overall a better idea to just get any decent shaped body/lens and have them CLA'd.

    1. The go-to people seem to be Youxin, Sherry, and DAG. Maybe a few others but they spring to mine. I haven't shopped around but Youxin's prices seem fair and his reputation pretty good: $120 for a bottom loader CLA and $50 for a cleaning. How are the rates of Sherry and DAG, somewhat similar? DAG seems to have the best reputation, so I'd expect 50%-100% more. When I have the lens/camera at hand, I'll give them a call and shop around a bit.

    2. I wouldn't get a lens that is heavily scratched, has fungus, or excessive dirt, but it's safe to get one with a stiff aperture and/or light haze, right? I'm especially concerned because of Leica's soft coatings.

  2. #2

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    sherry and dag charge close to $200 for a cla -- and they both tend to be pretty backed up.

    I actually got a very good CLA on a IIIf from Essex in New Jersey. Worth checking.

  3. #3
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Excellent decision. I bought my 5 LTM cameras from an collector and they were shining like newly manufactured. I used Summitar and Summicron and their only competitor was Zeiss at their age. When you cut the rolls leader at home , it will be extremelly fast to load the camera. Now I am using a FED1g from 1954 and damn sharp. Try to buy your camera from a repairperson you mentioned and it will be fine.
    Last edited by Mustafa Umut Sarac; 08-02-2012 at 05:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Excuse my ignorance, but what does LTM stand for?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #5
    MDR
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    Leica thread mount = screwmount Leicas

  6. #6

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    i might add, krauter tends to resist servicing screw mount leicas, she prefers to concentrate on Ms.

    Your mention of willingness to buy lenses with a slight haze or a few scratches is being way to pessimistic -- there is a lot of really good old glass out there, don't settle for less than excellent. Some of that haze can be very old lens cement (which was tree sap, really) that has gone bad, or etching from oil outgassing. Older Canon lenses are also really very good.

    you will also read a lot of discussion about trimming the leader using a special tool -- don't waste your money or time, just hack off about 3 inches on one side so it looks a lot like the picture on the bottom of the camera's inside and you're good -- precision is not critical, all it has to do is get past the pressure plate...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by summicron1 View Post
    ...(tree sap, really)...
    "Canada Balsam"

    (We're talkin' Leica here, remember...)



    s-a
    I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
    - Garry Winogrand

  8. #8
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Canon ...? prffff

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by semi-ambivalent View Post
    "Canada Balsam"

    (We're talkin' Leica here, remember...)



    s-a
    Canada Balsam is a resin. Sap is something utterly different, as anyone who has tapped maple trees and boiled syrup is aware.

  10. #10

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    Regarding the loading of the "bottom feeders" (including the Canons) -- you can use a business card inserted between the film plane and the film, over on the sprocket side, and it works like a charm to seat the film properly. No trimming needed.

    I believe Karl Bryan works on the bottom feeders also -- very reasonable prices and fast. I have only used him for Minolta Autocords, though.

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