My 50mm Leica Summicron has a weird history. It is a fairly recent lens (made in 2000), and I found it on eBay for what seemed like an incredible ‘Buy it Now’ price. When I read through the listing in its entirety, I found it was missing the rangefinder helicoids which meant that it would not mount on or adjust the rangefinder patch. I decided this would not be a bad lens to fix up and decided to watch it.
About 3 days later the listing finished and was promptly relisted with a price drop to just $280. As new Summicrons list for around $2,500 and a nice used one for about $1,300, I committed straight away. When I received it I then trotted off to my repair guy but he wasn’t sure where to source the part and suggested I hunt around on line for it.
My first stop was to the local Leica repair people, Kindermann. They have a reputation for doing good work, but when I rang them I found them difficult to deal with. The guy wanted to know why I wanted the part, how come it wasn’t there in the first place and why I wasn’t asking him to do the repair work. He intimated that I was totally wasting his time if I didn’t do it this way, but now interestingly I will never recommend his services to anyone.
Leica USA has their parts and service contact listed directly on the website, so I contacted them. Dave, who is the parts manager, was excellent; promptly responding to emails, very courteous and always helpful. Turned out the part I needed, was also included in the focus helicoids, the lens mount and the latter half of the barrel – basically half the lens....and it was also $400! Gulp! However with the huge initial saving, I ordered the part. After a few weeks it arrived (it had to be shipped from Germany), I took it over to my technician to be put together. He took one look at it and said it would only require 5 minutes and a few screws. “I won’t charge you. I know you’ll be back with other stuff.” He knows a good customer when he sees one....
A Leica 50mm Summicron M is THE bench mark in lens performance, always sharp, always contrast, always excellent. If there is a problem, it’s you.
|All photos shot with Sony NEX-3 and Leica Summicron 50mm Type 4|