[rollei_list] Re: OT: SM Leica Restoration (was OT:Contax II and Eddy)

  • From: Marc James Small <marcsmall@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2009 00:18:40 -0500

ELNY quit working on LTM cameras in the early 1980's. I believe that Sherry Krauter then bought their remaining stock of parts. I am surprised to hear that she gave poor service on an LTM camera. I believe that Sherry worked for Leica as an LTM repair person and only left them when they ceased doing LTM cameras. Caveat: I have only had professional dealings with her and have never had her repair or rework any of my cameras. And my dealing with her were almost twenty years back.

For LTM repairs today, I would suggest Eddie Smoloff. He redid a IIIf RDST one time which came back, in ten days, better than it probably was when it left the factory. That was during the spike of IIIf RDST prices in the middle 1990's, and I sold the camera for three times what I had paid for it and paid Eddie to overhaul it. If any of my LTM cameras went belly-up on me, I would probably send it off to Eddie. (I currently have not a single FED, just a IIIc, a IIIf RDST, and a IIIg. Wonderful cameras, but I prefer the IIIc. But, then, I paid $3 for an APDOO self-timer at a camera show and swapped a LF lens of some sort for a Geiss Kontakt IIIc which allows me flash, at another camera show. I have no money at all in my camera collection, just a lot of sweat in judiciously buying and selling and knowing the market. This is the first year in which I've not gotten a card from Nishizawa for the Yuletide. That is sad. I hope nothing bad has happened to him: he made me a LOT of money back in the Longago!)

John Van Stelten at Focal Point also does magnificent work on LTM cameras. He is swamped so there is a long line to wade through, but his work is grand and the price of admission, while more than Eddie's, is still reasonable. John overhauled my original Leica, a IIIc which will have to be peeled away from my cold fingers after my death as this is ONE camera I will almost certainly never sell while above ground.

My personal favorite repair guy is Ken Ruth at Bald Mountain in California. He will talk your ears off on the Dameche, but his work is worth it, albeit he charges an appropriate fee for top-of-the-line work. There is an extraordinarily long wait but, then, I might be able to run some interference with John or Ken if necessary, as I have praised both in my LTM book and they owe me a few favors yet.

Kindermann in Canada is also VERY highly praised, though, again, I have never used their services, though they did unsnarl a technical query for me some years back on a Leitz part number when Leica New Jersey would not respond, as is generally the case.

I am the only person to have ever had a bad experience with Essex Camera in New York, highly praised by List Member Ed Meyers, but that only involved the preliminary discussions with a fellow whose command of the English Language needed some improvement, so I cut them some slack. Essex also seems above the mass in terms of a fine mix of speed, quality of work, and price.

I am not certain whether Goldberg works on LTM cameras but he is another possibility. I have never met "DAG" nor had dealings with him but, again, I've never heard a bad word about his work or cost.

All of my Rolleiflex work, at least for the big TLR's, goes to List Member Harry Fleenor, and I recommend him without reservation. His work is impeccable. He did my Rollei 35S in record time and must have undercharged me, given the great quality of his work. And his work on my Automat, Type 3, is beyond any criticism.

Richard Knoppow can advise for repair sources for the Speed Graphics. I picked up a Baby Speed Graphic and followed his suggestion and the camera came back in magnificent condition. Unfortunately, I've yet to use it, as I seem to have to either mutiliate the back to fit a 6cm by 9cm 120 film thingy or else to cut down film in a dark room to fit the plate holders. Once I get my dark room up again, you guys better watch out! <he grins>


Cha robh bàs fir gun ghràs fir!

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