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Minolta CLE Leica M Mount Rangefinder Minolta's electronic compact successor to the Leica / Minolta CL.

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CLE repair: Panorama in NYC incompetent?
Old 07-17-2011   #1
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CLE repair: Panorama in NYC incompetent?

Based on this site's suggestion:

I took my CLE in for a CLA at Panorama Camera Repair on west 30th street in Manhattan.

When I got the camera back, I noticed that the rangefinder patch was off vertically. I showed the repairman, and to my complete surprise, he couldn't see the problem! He treated me like I was crazy.

Later, I checked the horizontal alignment. At infinity, it looks o.k. though the vertical alignment problem makes it difficult to be sure, but at a meter away, the focus is off by two inches.

I took it back to Panorama Camera Repair, and he told me that within two inches is good enough b/c of depth of field and that no repairman in the world can align a rangefinder to the accuracy that I want. He says there is always a margin of error, and two inches is pretty good.

My question - is he right? Or is Panorama an incompetent repair service for any rangefinder? From what I understand, this shop repairs all of Adorama and B&H Photo's cameras.
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Old 12-03-2011   #2
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Hi, perhaps the panorama repairman is not incompetent but at least is no very wise nor very experienced...

Your short lenght based rangefinder should be enough to focus on spot any of the lenses intended for the cle (and others)

The RF is a precise tool for focusing but sometimes it`s not enough, you`ll need also to adjust the lens itself in order to achieve proper and precise focus.

So the repair man should know this and that...

Bye and luck!

m9 + sonnar zm 50
m3 + rollei sonnar 40
g1 + planar 45
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Old 12-03-2011   #3
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I vote for incompetence.

Two inches focus error is too much, for an f1.4 lens, and barely enough for the 40mm f2 that is made for the CLE/CL.

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Old 01-01-2012   #4
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Yes, I know that for most of my needs, the rangefinder would give me the approximate focus, well within the depth of field, but if the camera can be adjusted to provide full accuracy, I think it's good peace of mind to have it set right.

With the same camera, until I had it readjusted, the camera would not focus at infinity (at the moon, for instance) because the repairman used the top of the Empire State Building outside his window, a landmark which is a few blocks away from his office, to adjust infinity.
I spoke to Sherry Krauter at length about this experience, and she said that she adjusts this and other cameras to be within a millimeter of accuracy, which is what certified Leica technicians are trained to do.

I say beware of Panorama Camera Center.
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Old 01-01-2012   #5
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Fema at Panorama repaired my Contax IIa and did excellent work.
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Old 01-01-2012   #6
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I can get my film M rangefinders accurate to within less than a centimeter at close focus with a 50mm f/1.2 Canon so your repair guy was mistaken.

Phil Forrest
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Old 01-02-2012   #7
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Karen Nakamura's list is in serious need of updating.
Wolfram Umbach (Z-V Service) retired five years ago.
His hair was already all white when he ran a shop in Valley Stream NY 30 years ago...

Bring back the latent image!
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