Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/07/11

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

From: (Gary Stahl)
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 96 10:21:00 EDT

Leica Service

On April 18 1996 I sent my M4-2 to Leica Camera (Northvale NJ) for repair.  
Specifically I wanted to have the range finder adjusted, vulcanite replaced 
and a general CLA.  I also sent a 50 mm Summicron with some particularly 
stubborn spots on the front element and asked that it be cleaned.  

About 10 days later I received an estimate from Leica quoting a price of about
 $300 for the work on the camera and $100 for the lens.  They also estimated 
4 weeks to do the work.

I sent them a check a few days later, which arrived there on May 7th and 
cleared my bank on May 10th.  I called on June 10 (4 weeks after the check had
cleared) to check on it and was told that the lens was done but that the camera
 would lake two more weeks.  Three weeks later (July 1st) I called again and 
was told that the work was complete and that the camera and lens would be
 shipped that week. It was.   I received it on July 10. 

The whole process took 11 weeks (eight weeks from the time they received 
payment).  In any case longer than I'd expected.  

Was it worth it?

First the good news.  

The range finder is dead on.  The shutter sounds much better, quiet as an M-3 
at all speeds.  The film advance is much improved, still not as silky smooth 
as an M-3 but very nice.

The new covering looks great.  It is the M-6 type material cut for the M4-2. 
The old vulcanite material is no longer available. I was advised of this before
 hand and since this camera is a 'user' I didn't mind the non-original material.  

My camera is a little unusual in that it has a raised brass guard around the 
lens release button (like the M-3 and M-6).  I imagine that this required some
special fitting of the material but they did a fine job.  The material was 
puckered at the base of the preview lever but I pushed it into its proper place
 with the tip of a small screwdriver.

The lens mount has been polished and lubed. (perhaps excessively).
I was surprised at how smoothly it mounted.  

Now the bad news:

A lens brush bristle or a long strand from a cleaning cloth was left behind 
inside the viewfinder.  Annoying only because I know its there. It is only 
noticeable from the front and does not interfere with using the camera.  
Still I expected greater attention to detail.  

The lens is so heavily lubed that every time I go from infinity to 3 feet or 
so it drags a glob of grease out onto the lens barrel.  I can wipe it off with
 a tissue and I suppose it will eventually stop.  There is so much lube it 
actually make a slurping sound as you focus from infinity to 15 feet or so.

The spots on the lens are still there.  One is slightly reduced.  I searched 
the box for a note or something explaining (or apologizing for) why they were 
not removed.  I'd have been mollified if they'd simply included a note saying 
they'd tried to remove the spots but couldn't.  

Last night I was so angry about the lint in the viewfinder and the gooey lens
that I was ready to ship everything back and demand that they finish the work 
correctly (I am a little bit German). Today it seems trivial, especially since
the summer is half over and if I ship it back I might not see it again until
the Fall foliage is out.

Anyway, for those considering sending equipment to Leica for repair, this was 
my experience.  I was partly please and partly disappointed with their work.

G.A. Stahl