Most typical issues to look for when dealing with classic cameras:
- * Dirty and unreliable shutters
- * Hazy lenses, with dust, fungus...
- * Focusing is hard or even impossible to achieve
- * Pinholes and tears on bellows
- * Rangefinder in need of cleaning and / or adjustment
Sometimes, one camera is more prone to some of those. Isolette for example are specially known for their synthetic bellows and dried grease, and when talking about shutters, Compur shutters tend to be a bit fussy. Me, I'd rather get a Prontor-SVS than a Synchro-Compur (even though top speed of both shutters are different, those top values are not realistic even when fresh). Nevertheless, a shutter is in the end an open enclosure, and the place where most frequently dust finds its way to the glasses. Most of the times a bit of dust will have no impact on final results, but things such as cat's hairs will be more problematic indeed ;-)
99% of the shutters found on medium format classic cameras were designed to work dry: graphite powder should NEVER be used happily, and NEVER EVER one should use WD40 grease or similar products. A good naphta flush is, at the best of ocassions, a temporary patch, where dirt particles will simply shift their location. A good cleaning includes dismantling the shutter, individual cleansing of each blade, and ultrasonic cleaner for glasses and shutter.
A repair is intended to solve a particular issue, such as a bellows replacement, lens cleaning or recollimation, rangefinder adjustment... A full CLA will consist of:
- * Dismantling of the camera and clean the inside
- * Dismantling and cleaning of the shutter
- * Shutter adjustment within tolerances
- * Dismantling and cleaning of the lens
- * Lens recollimation
- * Dismantling and cleaning of the rangefinder (if present)
- * Rangefinder adjustment (if present), both vertical and horizontal alignment
On top of that, it is also possible to:
- * Replace bellows
- * Replacement or recovering of leatherette and other coverings
Replacement of bellows can be done with hand-made genuine 100% leather replacements. They are available in a selection of colours: black and red, in addition to the fancy white. Bellows are always made on demand, made to fit a specific camera based on the requirements of the photographer. When speaking about leatherette replacement and external coverings, a great variety is available, from plain colours (black, red, blue...) to exotic leathers (snake, elephant...). It is always best to get in touch with your questions or requests, as well as to confirm availability.
CLA stands for "Clean, Lubrication and Adjustment". Prices here are estimations for a complete CLA. Contact with your particular details for a more precise quotation.
As said, these are average estimations only, and are highly dependant on each particular case. I am not a corporation, this is just one of my passions.
With all that in mind, it is important to remark that we are talking here about cameras 60+ y.o. If what you are looking for is a mint, unused camera without any kind of blemish or usage mark, as if it was out of the factory just this morning... then I am afraid this is not the place. However, if you are after an excellent camera, really nice and with all the quality capable of giving, then you are at the right place. I do not pretend to "create" perfect cameras, perfection is an impossible dream with most of our cameras since they are already in need of some care; nevertheless I adhere miself to high quality standards that allow me to leave cameras in full working order and as pretty as they can possibly be. I emphasize functionality over aesthetics: should you like to acquire a "shelf queen", write us with your requests or petitions.
Nevertheless, don't hesitate to get in touch with questions or suggestions. A classic camera in your pocket will always give you far better results than those of a camera which must be left at home because it is too bulky ;-)