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Zeiss Contax Forum for the classic Zeiss Contax I, II, III, IIa, IIIa , G series, and if you want to push it, the nice Contax point and shoots. Some spill over from the Kievs, the Soviet copy of the Contax II/III can also be expected. Plus the ONLY production camera ever made in classic Zeiss Contax Rangefinder mount WITH TTL metering ... the Voigtlander Bessa R2C.

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Old 10-03-2006   #41
Wayne R. Scott
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I sent a Contax IIIa to Steve on August 24th, 2006 with payment for CLA. I received the Contax IIIa back on Sept. 1, 2006. Eight days turn around time from leaving my home to returning home. Camera is smooth as butter to operate. Frame spacing of film is adjusted so that modern film processors do not pull out their hair trying to cut between the exposed frames like before.

I will send Steve more cameras.

I once sent a camera overseas by air parcel post and it took 3 months for it to arrive at its destination.

Wayne
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Old 10-03-2006   #42
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Ah, well. Now I am on the fence again.
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Old 10-03-2006   #43
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Hi Wayne just wondering if you contacted serota outside of the bay, me and the other guy contacted him outside the auction site. Sure I understand packages can get lost or take a long time, it's just that he has not been straight with me on this, and was outright caught in lies with the other guy, it's been more than three months, the camera is missing, it's insured, file a claim, makes sense no?
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Old 10-03-2006   #44
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Customs can be a crap shoot. I don't know what what happened, but I am surprised some times when packages travel like they are just going next door, and others going to the same place take forever. I would like to hear more so that we can know best about this guy.
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Old 10-03-2006   #45
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The counter-argument to that is that to send something out of this country, you are required to attach a custom's declaration to the package - that declaration has a number and the USPS uses it as a tracking number.

I sent a parcel to the UK two weeks ago in a situation where the buyer was very anxious to receive it prior to going on a trip. Using the custom's number, we were able to know exactly where the parcel was - including a detailed account of its movement through customs.

If Steve has mailed the camera, he would have a custom's declaration number that he would be able to provide. The fact that he has not done so could be looked at as a bad sign.
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Old 10-03-2006   #46
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I think that depends too on the services offered by the destination country too John, If that country doesn't have the infrastructure to track that number, the track ability is gone. For instance, short of using Express Mail I don't think we can send a package with tracking to Canada via the USPS. And of course, Fed Ex and UPS have their own challenges not the least of which is costs.
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Old 10-03-2006   #47
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You're right - not all services are available to all countries. (e.g. you cannot insure a parcel to the Phillipines.) But Japan is one of the countries where nearly a full range of services are available.

Even if it wasn't, the parcel's custom's number would show that it entered the USPS system at some date, even if it did not provide any information past that date.
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Old 10-03-2006   #48
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It's almost like we're discussing two different Steve Serotas. I did have a running email conversation with him outside of the eBay messaging system. I had sent him a IIIa with a dead meter and included a f/1.5 Sonnar not on the prepaid service. He was able to replace the meter cell with a new one for $45 extra, and serviced the Sonnar for $25, so I sent him a second PayPal payment for these services.

As an option he removed the "Zeiss bumps" at no charge, as neither of us has any use for rust or other "body rot". In fact this discussion got us sidetracked onto 1960's Fiats, Triumphs, Volvos, and Corvairs, as he's a car nut too.

All this, including his ordering-in a fresh meter cell from the manufacturer, and shipping both ways from the West Coast, took from 30 July through 15 August this year, so it was pretty quick I thought.

He was using three email addresses: [email protected] as mentioned in the auction which is also his PayPal payment address, then later [email protected], and finally [email protected]
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Old 10-03-2006   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougg
It's almost like we're discussing two different Steve Serotas.

Agree.
Well, so far only three people here have dealt with him directly:
Positive: 2 (Dougg and Wayne) - both in the US
Negative: 1 (Steamer) - Japan

I'm still tempted to send him my IIIa.
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Old 10-03-2006   #50
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Steamer,

I contacted Steve outside of e-bay. I sent an e-mail to him and got a quote and list of services. I mailed a MO with the IIIa to him. Granted, I am in the States. I am not sure that this makes a difference other than shipping times.

Wayne
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Old 10-03-2006   #51
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[quote=Dougg]It's almost like we're discussing two different Steve Serotas.

You hit the nail on the head there. When this whole thing started, communication was great, had a very cordial phone conversation and when I saw his feedback on e-bay, I chalked the whole thing up to postal error and just expected serota to make an insurance claim and settle up.

If anyone really cares that much I've got the entire e-mail documentation of how things shaped up. I am an honest man myself and I just expect others to do the right thing as well. Everyone who got your cameras back in great shape, well that is the group I want to be part of.

The 3 questions I have which Serota will not answer are: 1 what is the customs or insurance number on the package in which he "sent" my repaired Contessa, 2 Why doesn't he file an insurance claim for the "lost" camera, and 3 Why doesn't he answer my e-mail?

Member "X" may want to weigh in with his experiences if and when he gets his camera back. This is all I will have to say on this until I move things ahead to a conclusion one way or the other with help from the police in his township.

Every one here is over 3 times 7 and can make their own decisions on where they want to repair their cameras.
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Old 10-09-2006   #52
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Has Dougg received his IIIa back yet? Report?
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Old 10-09-2006   #53
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dsymes,

Read post 49 of this thread.

Wayne
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Old 10-09-2006   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsymes
Has Dougg received his IIIa back yet? Report?
...and post #34 on 8/15... But only now has a roll of film come back from processing & scanning, and last night I worked over some of these scans for upload. My impression is of smoothness in the look and a bit of flare from very bright areas. I tried to find some situations that would challenge rendition of bokeh. I did not make notes about apertures used, but tended to bias it toward as open as conditions permitted at 125 film speed. Fuji Super HQ 200, exposed at EI = 125, normal C41 lab processing and scans. Second shot (Jessica at the photo lab) definitely wide open. In the third one, maybe around f/2.8, see flare at the side of the window and along the edges of several boards.
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Old 10-09-2006   #55
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Here's three more; the first with glittery highlights on the water, second to see the overall rendition at mid-apertures and does have some OOF background, and lastly looking up at some grapevines with those tough bright-sky spots through the leaves. Close examination reveals some of the nature of this lens, fresh from CLA by Steve Serota; it's likely you will see things I haven't, and I'll enjoy reading your responses.
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Old 10-30-2006   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnM
I have purchased a Contax IIIa which while it is in usable condition, could really use a CLA.

Now, I understand that Harry Sherer is considered the cream of the crop in terms of Contax technicians, but his waiting list is measured in years and that's a little longer than I would like to wait. (I may put this camera on the waiting list and have it CLA'd elsewhere in the interim - who knows.)

Does anyone have any experience having older Contax repaired/serviced in the US? Someone mentioned to me that CameraQuest or Essex may do it - other re
commendations?
Dear John: Ive had Henry Scherer redo all my Contax cameras and where did you get the notion that his waiting list is up to a year? Maybe a month at the longest. He's really quite the wizard with the Zeiss Contax and he does superb work on lens cleaning, adjusting, etc. If you havent allready done it, drop him an Email and he'l tell you up front what you can expect to wait for the work to be done. Personally, there is just no substitute for Henry's work. When he has finished your camera, it is as good, or better then new and an absolute joy to operate. Don't lose hope, get in touch with Henry!

Best Regards, Robert Perkins [email protected]
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Old 10-30-2006   #57
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Yes, Henry is good. But I'm number 87 on his waiting list. And, since he seems to complete 1 - 2 cameras per week, I've got about a 1 year wait.
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Old 11-30-2006   #58
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Mark Hama [[email protected]] also does Contax repairs.
He's in Marietta GA.
He's doing a CLA on my G2 now.
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Old 12-01-2006   #59
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The Kyocera Contax G2 is a completely different animal than the Zeiss Ikon Contax cameras of the 1930s-1950s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1dave
Mark Hama [[email protected]] also does Contax repairs.
He's in Marietta GA.
He's doing a CLA on my G2 now.
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Old 12-01-2006   #60
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The guy on ebay, Steve S, is pure BS. Email me for details but so far he has kept my money and my camera. Months go by. He answers email for new business but nothing but BS regarding my Hasselblad.
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Old 01-29-2007   #61
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Well, I'm the Vic Stewart that Henry Shearer seems to be featuring on his site. I had the very best experience with Henry, and got my camera back in a WEEK! (plus a couple days for shipping. He worked absolute MIRACLES on my camera, and later on some lenses I sent him. The camera is absolutely glassy smooth! I'd get on the waiting list. I'm sorry to hear it's taking so long now. I guess I was one of the first. Still use the IIIa all the time. The Sonnor is my best lens!
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Old 08-01-2007   #62
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With one of my Contax IIIa cameras being at 16th of Mr.Schererís waiting list after more than a year , I sent out two other IIIa bodies to Steve S. (http://camera-care.com/). In fact, I didnít expect much, considering some negative experiences posted in this thread. But, What I received each time is a meticulously CLAed camera in less than a week. Astonishing workmanship, indeed. It might be just my luck, but want to add one more positive feedback for him.
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Old 08-01-2007   #63
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Brightfinder glad you got your camera fixed there, My camera and money were stolen by the same guy, caveat emptor.
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Old 10-21-2007   #64
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Recently I had my Sonnar lens CLAed by DAG Camera but the experience was really bad. I had waited about one month for him to CLA my lens. After he received my lens he did not reply my email anymore even he had replied very quickly before I sent the lens. The Result was entirely unacceptable: problems are still there and he even dented some aperture blades and damaged the press rings and its threads. I have never had my lens cleaned before, but I don't think a professional repair man will scratch the press rings when he open the lens. I really regret having his service, because I cannot see any improvement on my lens after the CLA but damages.
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Old 10-28-2007   #65
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John at Focal Point did a CLA (complete) on my Contax IIA 18 months ago.

Two weeks after I got it back from another "technician", using the self timer caused the whole camera to "lock up", this was after a supposed "CLA".

Rather than send the camera back to the original repair party I decided to send it to John as he had overhauled a few Nikon rangefinder lenses for me and I remembered that he did CLAs on screw-mount Leicas and Contax. So I sent it to John. He reported that the camera had locked up because it was very dirty inside and that to overcome this the shutter was adjusted tight..so tight that it caused the self timer to lock the camera.

After a thorough cleaning, the camera is silky smooth with that familiar very gentle Contax shutter release and accompaning sound. After a year and a half it continues to work well.

I would have to recommend John, google him and ask if he is still doing the camera CLAs.
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Old 11-23-2007   #66
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The following might be of interest to any llA/lllA owners in the UK who need repair work performed on their camera(s). I have just had my llA repaired by Ed Troszka, Euro Photo Services, 150 Harrowgate Drive, Birstall, Leics. LE4 3GP, tel. 01162674247.

The camera had been plagued by a rangefinder which was vertically misaligned and shutter speeds that were way off. All problems have been resolved most satisfactorily and the camera is in excelllent working condition. Ed did a fine job and his price was very reasonable. I will certainly use him again whenever the need arises.

Needless to say, I have no association with Ed other than that of a very satisfied customer.

Ted.
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Old 12-18-2007   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnM
I have purchased a Contax IIIa which while it is in usable condition, could really use a CLA.

Now, I understand that Harry Sherer is considered the cream of the crop in terms of Contax technicians, but his waiting list is measured in years and that's a little longer than I would like to wait. (I may put this camera on the waiting list and have it CLA'd elsewhere in the interim - who knows.)

Does anyone have any experience having older Contax repaired/serviced in the US? Someone mentioned to me that CameraQuest or Essex may do it - other recommendations?
Do you need a 85mm f2 Sonnar? or maybe a 21-135 optical finder?
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Old 12-18-2007   #68
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I used Steve S. for my service need despite the comments here because I could not wait for Mr. Scherer to get to my camera. While my service might not be up to Henry's standards, it certainly is up to mine. I paid my deposit with Henry and still have my place in line, so when he calls me in 11 months, I'll send it to him. In the meantime, I have a fully functioning IIIa that is as quiet and smooth as ever.

I also got this camera back in less than 10 days.
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Old 12-31-2007   #69
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Happy New Year to all. I just received my Contax lla which I had sent to a Mr. Edward Smolov in Brooklyn ,NY on recommendation of a fellow RFF member. A friend had given me the camera a month or so ago.. all shutter speeds were the same and it was kinda dirty from sitting in his garage for who knows how long.There was also a dime size dent in the top cover.Well the camera is back,operating and looking like a jewel.And yes the dent is gone. Mr. Smolov went above and beyond anything I had expected.Regards,Bill
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Old 01-11-2008   #70
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Bad news for anyone in the UK or EU looking for competent service. Steve Ash has shut down his service:
"As from 10th January 2008 I have closed the Contax Repair Service [...]"
http://www.sdash.plus.com/index.htm

best

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Old 02-04-2008   #71
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Talking

[quote=ALPSSNOW]Recently I had my Sonnar lens CLAed by DAG Camera but the experience was really bad. I had waited about one month for him to CLA my lens. After he received my lens he did not reply my email anymore even he had replied very quickly before I sent the lens. The Result was entirely unacceptable: problems are still there and he even dented some aperture blades and damaged the press rings and its threads. I have never had my lens cleaned before, but I don't think a professional repair man will scratch the press rings when he open the lens. I really regret having his service, because I cannot see any improvement on my lens after the CLA but damages.[/quote


Just thought I had better mention I had a recent good experiance with DAG that was much diferent as what was reported above. As I had had good experiance with a few Leica lenses af ew years ago I sent two Sonnars to him for repair, a 85mm that the lubrication had seized up in from 30 years of not being used, and a 50mm that had kissed the sidewalk and the aperture could not be moved. I was in no hurry to get them back as I assumed he would have too much going on around Christmas time and when I had not recieved a email back from him I just called him up. after talking to him he emailed me the cost of repair within the hour and I sent him payment the next day Jan 18 and the package was returned to my house last fri Feb 1st, 13 days after sending payment (much faster than I was expecting)
Now the exciting part...... he did a great job. Both lenses focus and change aperture with a silky smoothness that I would find it hard to belive was any better when they were new. ME VERY HAPPY!!!!!!!
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Old 02-05-2008   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedley
The following might be of interest to any llA/lllA owners in the UK who need repair work performed on their camera(s). I have just had my llA repaired by Ed Troszka, Euro Photo Services, 150 Harrowgate Drive, Birstall, Leics. LE4 3GP, tel. 01162674247.

The camera had been plagued by a rangefinder which was vertically misaligned and shutter speeds that were way off. All problems have been resolved most satisfactorily and the camera is in excelllent working condition. Ed did a fine job and his price was very reasonable. I will certainly use him again whenever the need arises.

Needless to say, I have no association with Ed other than that of a very satisfied customer.

Ted.
Ed is very good. I have bought a Contax IIIA/ 50mm f1.f sonnar and a Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 533/16 from him. Both cameras were serviced by Ed prior to purchase; both are excellent. If you are in UK, I'd strongly recommend Ed.

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Old 06-28-2008   #73
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This is a great thread with useful info. Bump.
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Hello...
Old 06-28-2008   #74
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Hello...

Well Henry Sherer did a cla on a contax IIIA for me and he did a gorgeous job, I highly recommend him regards.
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Old 06-29-2008   #75
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Steve still offers CLA for $115 for the Contax. The link offered in this thread stillworks.
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Old 08-03-2008   #76
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Yes, Henry is good. But I'm number 87 on his waiting list. And, since he seems to complete 1 - 2 cameras per week, I've got about a 1 year wait.
Still waiting, but I'm approaching the 'top 10' on the list. So it looks as if my wait will have been 2 years!
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Old 09-19-2008   #77
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For $125 or less, Master repairman Eddy Smolov will repair your Contax. I don't see the point in paying more than 3 times as much.
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Old 10-20-2008   #78
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As noted in the above post, I think the reason to pay two or three times as much is to get that service that does not take short cuts on your camera.

It just depends if you want to get it working or if you want a camera that works better than new.

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Old 10-22-2008   #79
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Quote:
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As noted in the above post, I think the reason to pay two or three times as much is to get that service that does not take short cuts on your camera.

It just depends if you want to get it working or if you want a camera that works better than new.
I would assume that Raid is recommending a service that does not take shortcuts, but is far less expensive. No matter what, some people will always believe that the most expensive must be the best, but they often end up paying for hype.
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Old 10-25-2008   #80
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We shoot contax cameras with Zeiss lenses because we want the best glass available. If we didnt want the best possible lenses with cameras to use them, we should shoot Canon FD (or something) SLRs because they work well and have more than decent glass, and are cheap.

If we wanted the best service we would go with zeisscamera.com, if we wanted less than the best we would go with anyone else. But why shoot an expensive camera with exotic glass if you are going to go the economy route on trying to get the camera to work well =/

To each his own.

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