Huge difference in CLA Costs
Old 01-19-2018   #1
dd786
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Huge difference in CLA Costs

Hi All,

I am trying to figure this out.

What is the deal with the difference in the costs of a leica screw mount CLA in the UK.

Cameraworks UK charge about £143
Newton Ellis about the same
CRR was about £180 before he stopped
Malcolm Taylor wants £270

What do you think?
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Old 01-19-2018   #2
ian_watts
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Cameraworks UK charge about £143
Newton Ellis about the same
CRR was about £180 before he stopped
Malcolm Taylor wants £270

What do you think?
To me, they are all in the same ballpark. Malcolm Taylor may value his time more highly than the other technicians and charge accordingly. It is good that there is still a choice.

You should ask Leica for a quote then you will see how expensive a CLA can be (they might no longer accept LTM bodies but a CLA for an M is now around €800).
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Old 01-19-2018   #3
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The same ball park yes for the first three. Malcolms is 50% higher than CRR and almost 90% more than Cameraworks and Newton Ellis, literally almost double.
I once read the expression "reassuringly expensive" in an article somewhere. What i want to know is if i will get a better camera back from Malcolm than from the others?
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Old 01-19-2018   #4
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There are almost certainly online reviews of all of these guys. I would do some homework, see who has the best reputation, if any of them are better known regarding working on Leica screw-mount bodies, etc.

There could be all kinds of reasons why Mr. Taylor charges what he does. He may be more detailed in the work, but he could also be pricing himself at a level to sway some from sending those type bodies if he prefers working on the newer models.
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Old 01-19-2018   #5
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Youxin Ye. He has done a number of my Leicas. Five day turnaround maybe $150.00us.
His email is [email protected]
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Old 01-19-2018   #6
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I second Youxin, done several for me and great service!

If you are located in the UK, Cameraworks is excellent.
I have an M mount CLA'd by Alan Starkie, runs like a dream.
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Old 01-19-2018   #7
John Lawrence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dd786 View Post
Hi All,

I am trying to figure this out.

What is the deal with the difference in the costs of a leica screw mount CLA in the UK.

Cameraworks UK charge about £143
Newton Ellis about the same
CRR was about £180 before he stopped
Malcolm Taylor wants £270

What do you think?
I've used Malcolm Taylor many times in the past, and he replied when I quizzed him over pricing that he doesn't know how some of these techs. can carry out the work to Leica factory specifications, using the correct lubricants etc. for the price they do.

Bear in mind that both Malcolm and CRR are Leica trained technicians, have a vast supply of spare parts - and the correct machinery for checking / testing / collimating lenses and bodies. Also, unless things have changed, Malcolm (and I assume CRR) don't really do CLAs, they fully service the camera - in my experience there's a world of difference.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 01-19-2018   #8
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I go to DAG, and I pay accordingly. I get back cameras and lenses that function beautifully. You get what you pay for (usually).
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Old 01-19-2018   #9
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A lot of pricing has to do with backlog. It doesn't make sense to charge too little and then end up acquiring a pile of cameras that won't even be looked at for several months.

The same concept works for professional photographers. If services are in demand to the point where there simply isn't time to accommodate new customers, the price goes up.

I don't know if Malcolm Taylor is in this situation or not.

What I can say, after sending many cameras across the pond over the past year and a half, is that the quality of the work provided by Alan and James Starkie at cameraworks-uk.com is hard to beat. I have a IIIf that is on the UPS truck today, should be here in a few hours. They did a full CLA and paint job in less time than others have completed plain CLAs.
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Old 01-19-2018   #10
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I spread the wealth. I have used DAG, Youxin and Guz Lazzari in the US and have been happy with all three. However, I have also had experience with those whose prices were lower that I won't be using again.

If the tech has the experience and the necessary tools, lube and parts to do the job right, then the prices you have quoted are really not that far apart.

Like Raid says, usually you get your money's worth, however much that was. It is your camera and your money, feel free to send it anywhere you want. But if you are into Leicas, they aren't exactly discount store items.
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Old 01-19-2018   #11
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I would ask for a list of the scope of work done for a given price.
Technicians differ in what they address.

I can say from getting Rolleis worked on over the years.
There is a big difference between getting an Overhaul vs a CLA.

If Malcolm does a complete tear down and re-assembly to spec, vs one of the others pulls the top off and cleans and lubes and few adjustments.... well quickly one can understand the price difference.
Ask each to describe the scope of work on their punch-list.
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Old 01-19-2018   #12
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Go by reputation, then see what the price is. A google search should answer those questions.
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Old 01-19-2018   #13
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Horses for courses I'd say, speaking from experience

I would send lenses to Malcolm Taylor for polishing, repairs and adjustments.
And I would send CameraWorks UK anything I'd want repainted and serviced.
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Old 01-20-2018   #14
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Peter at CRR Luton has done some excellent work for me. A complete rebuild and repaint on a IIIc; servicing several LTM lenses; and servicing two Minox sub-mins. If he's still working, then I would highly recommend him. He does really know Leica.
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Old 01-20-2018   #15
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There's a select group of repair technicians, well known, mentioned often on this forum, and they do great jobs, but repairing a camera is not rocket science. I've had Zeiss cameras repaired by people not named Henry, and they've come out fine without busting the bank or waiting five years. I've used DAG and Sherry (Sherry often) and they've done great jobs, and they charge what their reputation demands, but I've had other people repair Leica cameras (and lenses) for less, and they did good jobs too.

One item to consider is that some of these repair techs have access to spare parts other do not. I'm fairly sure Sherry Krauter for example bought up all the spares for M5 and Leicaflex from Leica USA (or am I just imagining that?). Not every camera though needs replacement parts. Usually meter stuff.

Sometimes you hear on these forums that cameras are mystical things that only a few special people can repair. That has not been my experience.

Heck, a lot of forum members do their own repairs.

Then also remember Cameraquest (you know, the guy who owns this forum), well, he repairs cameras too.

So I echo the comments above about back log and general reputations.
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Old 01-20-2018   #16
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Try Miles Whitehead. Great work, quick turnaround and around £80 plus postage for a service.
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Old 01-21-2018   #17
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My experience with Malcolm Taylor wasn’t positive... 2 cameras sent for overhall about 20 years ago... cost me a fortune...terrible customer service...both had to be returned...more than once... I wouldn’t recommend or ever use again!.. just my opinion though...

This was one of the main motivators for learning how to repair myself...
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Old 01-21-2018   #18
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2nd negative opinion on Malcolm Taylor. I once sent him some gear that disappeared for about 2 years. It cost me a bomb and there was nothing special about the quality of the work.
The comment above that he is a Leica trained technician is incorrect as far as I know as I believe that he used to be an architect. Also I read interviews where he said that the first Leica he repaired (his own) was because he didn't have the money to have it fixed by someone else, which implies that he is self trained.

CRR Luton (Peter Grisaffi), I used to use him. The work is not that great and your camera comes back reeking of god knows what every time (cigar smoke?). He's left fingerprints on the inside of my camera's viewfinderfinder the last time he looked at it, and there's no way to get hold of him directly.
As for being knowledgeable and Leica trained, he once told me that the goggled 35mm summaron should work fine even if I used it without the goggles, make of that what you wish.

I will never ever use Newton Ellis again, I sent them my Rolleiflex a few years ago for a full service. I paid over £200 + shipping and the camera had to be returned several time because the lens board would be misaligned every time I'd take the camera out of the box, with shipping on me every time.
A year after the "service" the camera failed again and it's just come back from Brian Mickleboro for another service.

I've just had my M4 back from Alan Starkie at Cameraworks. Great communication, knowledgeable, easy to get hold of. They will do all sorts of mods to your request. Fairly priced. What more do you want?
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Old 01-21-2018   #19
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Had a Leica (M4-2) serviced only once. Based of references and turn around time and price used Youxin. The slow speed escapement was completely gummed up. That has been about 5 years and the camera is working fine. Unfortunately I use the camera very little, no fault of the camera, I just prefer my OM's and SLR viewing.
I think at least half of problems with Leica's is lack of use. Probably true for any all mechanical camera with lots of little moving bits.
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Old 01-22-2018   #20
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I think this is probably true. I've heard negative opinions about most, if not all, of the Leica 'specialists' who are regularly discussed here. The IIIc I bought from the classifieds here had allegedly been recently CLA'd by one of the top US based Leica repairers before I bought it but was in a dire state when I got my hands on it. I suspect that the secret is to find a repairer and establish a relationship with them and take it from there. And use the camera reasonably regularly.


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Had a Leica (M4-2) serviced only once. Based of references and turn around time and price used Youxin. The slow speed escapement was completely gummed up. That has been about 5 years and the camera is working fine. Unfortunately I use the camera very little, no fault of the camera, I just prefer my OM's and SLR viewing.
I think at least half of problems with Leica's is lack of use. Probably true for any all mechanical camera with lots of little moving bits.
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Old 01-22-2018   #21
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Well thanks All for the opinions. I have decided on one UK repair Technitian and will report back. I have sent him my IIIf which isnt in great shape so we will see.
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Old 01-22-2018   #22
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Originally Posted by Ade-oh View Post
I think this is probably true. I've heard negative opinions about most, if not all, of the Leica 'specialists' who are regularly discussed here. The IIIc I bought from the classifieds here had allegedly been recently CLA'd by one of the top US based Leica repairers before I bought it but was in a dire state when I got my hands on it. I suspect that the secret is to find a repairer and establish a relationship with them and take it from there. And use the camera reasonably regularly.

This is a fair point. I have also read negative comments about all the UK technicians except one. This particular one seems to have very similarly structured and glowing reports everywhere i am very skeptical about them - i wont name them but perhaps i am also a skeptic a little too much.

Anyway, i wont have enough cameras to develop a relationship with a particular repair technician however it is a nice thought!
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Old 01-23-2018   #23
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FWIW, I think people are more inclined to post negative reports than routine good ones. Especially, if one bad one appears the others all chime in and it looks really bad.

We ought to count them and then do an analysis but I don't think enough good ones appear to make it valid...

Regards, David
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Old 01-23-2018   #24
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FWIW, I think people are more inclined to post negative reports than routine good ones.

Regards, David
Furthermore many of the 'reports' are not first hand.
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Old 01-23-2018   #25
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Originally Posted by Davidhel View Post
My experience with Malcolm Taylor wasn’t positive... 2 cameras sent for overhall about 20 years ago... cost me a fortune...terrible customer service...both had to be returned...more than once... I wouldn’t recommend or ever use again!.. just my opinion though...

This was one of the main motivators for learning how to repair myself...
So he was exactly up to Leica spec in every way!
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Old 01-30-2018   #26
David Hughes
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...Anyway, i wont have enough cameras to develop a relationship with a particular repair technician however it is a nice thought!
Hi,

You have a Leica and that is the start of it. I don't think there's anyone on this forum with just one (dozen)...

Regards, David
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Old 01-30-2018   #27
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Originally Posted by dd786 View Post
Hi All,

I am trying to figure this out.

What is the deal with the difference in the costs of a leica screw mount CLA in the UK.

Cameraworks UK charge about £143
Newton Ellis about the same
CRR was about £180 before he stopped
Malcolm Taylor wants £270

What do you think?
A camera in need of attention for a gummy shutter and/or a dim dusty viewfinder and/or a faulty rangefinder mirror doesn't necessarily require complete disassembly and rebuilding to be restored to fully acceptable operating condition ("good working order").

Many competent shops can restore an ailing camera to fully useful/useable condition without tearing the thing down completely. Pay for only what you need.
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