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aoresteen
12-03-2007, 21:40
Who is the best Retina repair person in the USA? Leica had Don & Sherry, Contax has Henry, but who is the King of Retina repairs?

I'm considering getting a Retina IIa but before using it I would want it overhauled and adjusted to perfection.

Thanks!

FallisPhoto
12-16-2007, 13:18
Who is the best Retina repair person in the USA? Leica had Don & Sherry, Contax has Henry, but who is the King of Retina repairs?

I'm considering getting a Retina IIa but before using it I would want it overhauled and adjusted to perfection.

Thanks!

The very best guy isn't in the USA: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~Srawhiti/index.html

However, these guys are, and they are supposed to be very good: http://www.essexcamera.com/ One thing though: if you want the best, you'll pay for it. I hear their standard charge for overhauling a rangefinder is $160. That is why so many of us do our own.

thawkins
12-16-2007, 16:42
You might try Garland Camera and Repair in Garland, Texas. I don't have their number or address handy. They did a complete CLA on a Canon QL17 for me at a reasonable charge. He also replaced the foam seals, repaired the door latch, recalibrated the meter for a modern battery and adjusted the shutter. The camera works like a dream now. Garland Camera and Repair seems like a good outfit as they work on a lot of vintage cameras.
Good luck.

joe326cn
12-22-2007, 04:04
The very best guy isn't in the USA: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~Srawhiti/index.html

However, these guys are, and they are supposed to be very good: http://www.essexcamera.com/ One thing though: if you want the best, you'll pay for it. I hear their standard charge for overhauling a rangefinder is $160. That is why so many of us do our own.


wow, $160, it's too much expensive. :bang:

I did get one near mint cond+ IIc at last year, only cost me $100...... :)

Brian Sweeney
12-22-2007, 04:15
http://essexcamera.com/camera_list.php?brand=KODAK

Essex lists a standard charge of $70 for a Retina IIa. You can pack the camera with a check for $78, repair plus return shipping, and they will normally have it pack within 2~3 weeks.

A Retina Reflex is much more expensive.

George Mrus was the king of Retina repair, until his passing a few years ago. They were his passion.

FallisPhoto
12-22-2007, 10:37
http://essexcamera.com/camera_list.php?brand=KODAK

Essex lists a standard charge of $70 for a Retina IIa. You can pack the camera with a check for $78, repair plus return shipping, and they will normally have it pack within 2~3 weeks.

A Retina Reflex is much more expensive.

George Mrus was the king of Retina repair, until his passing a few years ago. They were his passion.

One of their repairmen says, in a magazine interview (Popular Photography), that their standard charge for all rangefinders is $160.

"At Essex, rangefinders cost $160 to repair, no matter how much the camera is worth. A torn shutter curtain on a Leica M3 (value around $600) or a Canon QL17 (value around $60) costs the same to repair."http://www.popphoto.com/howto/477/does-it-pay-to-repair-your-camera.html?print_page=y

bob cole
12-22-2007, 14:39
Who is the best Retina repair person in the USA? Leica had Don & Sherry, Contax has Henry, but who is the King of Retina repairs?

I'm considering getting a Retina IIa but before using it I would want it overhauled and adjusted to perfection.

Thanks!


As noted, aoresteen, the best Retina repair person is Chris Sherlock in New Zealand...I ran into a basket-case Retina IIIC (Big C) and described it to him...He replied almost immediately and said that while he could restore it, it would involve shipping both ways and would be fairly expensive to do it...I decided instead to unload it on Ebay after cleaning it up as best I could...

He is very easy to deal with and responds to inquiries...

As for Essex in Carlstadt, New Jersey, which is only about 25-30 miles from Times Square in New York , they also are very nice to deal with and have done lots of work for me over about 10 years...They used to buy old and broken cameras and probably have lots of usable parts for vintage cameras...Mr. Lee and Mr. Moon, English-speaking Koreans, were and probably still are the managers...

Brian Sweeney
12-22-2007, 15:40
Well, I've had several rangefinders repaired at Essex for the price listed in the online estimator. I do not know where the $160 number is coming from. It cost less than $160 to have my Nicca repaired and the shutter curtains replaced. It cost $180 to have my M2 repaired, including replacing the rewind gears. I only paid $420 for the M2 with the blown rewind, so it was well worth it.

I could understand if they used the example of a torn shutter curtain on a Leica or a Zorki, cost the same to repair. Replacing shutter curtains is above and beyond a standard CLA. I have yet to see a Canonet QL17, or a Retina IIa, with a torn shutter curtain.

JoeV
12-22-2007, 16:50
Retinas use leaf shutters, not curtain shutters. Which I consider one of their nicer features. I like being able to set the shutter/aperture using EVs, then have all possible combinations of shutter speed and F/stop available at the turn of a single ring, so one can choose the appropriate combination for the shutter speed and DOF required.

When people ask if the camera is shutter or aperture priority, I answer "yes."

I think $160 a bargain for repairing such an intricate mechanism, considering how few other leaf-shutter rangefinder cameras with German optics are available.

~Joe

bkrystad
12-22-2007, 18:40
Early this year, Chris Sherlock did my II and IIa for $80 apiece (I think it's at least $85 now). He did my Dad's IIIc for $80 + $20 for the cocking rack. Worth every penny.

FallisPhoto
12-24-2007, 16:24
Well, I've had several rangefinders repaired at Essex for the price listed in the online estimator. I do not know where the $160 number is coming from. It cost less than $160 to have my Nicca repaired and the shutter curtains replaced. It cost $180 to have my M2 repaired, including replacing the rewind gears. I only paid $420 for the M2 with the blown rewind, so it was well worth it.

I could understand if they used the example of a torn shutter curtain on a Leica or a Zorki, cost the same to repair. Replacing shutter curtains is above and beyond a standard CLA. I have yet to see a Canonet QL17, or a Retina IIa, with a torn shutter curtain.

The $160 is coming from an article in Popular Photography on whether it is worth getting a vintage camera repaired. In the article, one of the Essex repairmen said that $160 was the standard charge for the repair of ANY rangefinder. A link to the article is provided in my earlier post. I'm not saying that the article is right (apparently it isn't), but that is what they said. Personally, ever since I took a TLR in for repairs and was charged $175 (for freeing a stuck frame counter, a simple proceedure which would have taken about half an hour to fix), I've been doing my own. At the price I was charged, I could have bought a new camera.

giovatony
01-19-2008, 07:06
We are strange people we are!
We think little of paying $65- $90 per hour for a car repair plus 50% profit margin on the parts but to get our delicate little cameras fixed we balk at the cost of CLA or minor repairs.
Considering that the cars we drive are reasonably new but the vintage cameras we use every day are expected to keep working flawlessly l with little to no maintenance.
John

Brian Sweeney
01-19-2008, 07:28
It's cost to repair vs price to replace. It's hard to justify paying $160 to repair a $40 camera. I've learned a lot of simple repairs myself. I recently had a Leica III serviced, including the beamsplitter replaced, for $90. Prices do vary.