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

  • From: "Raid Amin" <ramin@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2009 08:39:58 -0600

I was chatting yesterday with Eddy Smolov about cameras, lenses, and repair of 
cameras. He told me that there are 177 parts in a Contax RF camera that need to 
be taken into account when fixing such a camera. His experience goes back to 
when he worked for Kiev, which of course are copies of Contax cameras. Eddy is 
70 years old, and he has the spirit of a younger man. Eddy is about to launch a 
website for his services. He repairs any mechanical camera of any brand. In 
fact, his complaint to me is that some people seem to advocate that he only 
fixes Contax and Leica cameras. He loves working on Rolleiflex TLR cameras, for 
example. I have a 3.5F that arrived to me through ebay in a broken condition 
several years ago. I mailed it to Eddy six months ago, and he has been finding 
spare parts here and there. In the end, I was told that the front of the camera 
is not from that camera! He somehow managed to make the camera function, but he 
got my blessings first to disengage and I had to disengage the self timer [for 
some reason]. He needed a film transport mechanism for the 3.5F, which I got 
for him from Krikor. Now, the camera functions beautifully. If you call Eddy to 
inform him that a repaired camera is not functioning well, he will tell you 
immediately: "send it back". 

Raid
   

-----Original Message-----
From: rollei_list-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:rollei_list-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Marc James Small
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:19 PM
To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [rollei_list] Re: OT: SM Leica Restoration (was OT:Contax II and Eddy)

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>

Marc


msmall@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Cha robh bàs fir gun ghràs fir!

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