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Leica declines to perform CLA on 90mm Elmarit
Old 04-30-2019   #1
johnsonjj22
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Leica declines to perform CLA on 90mm Elmarit

After sending in my 90mm/2.8 Elmarit (11807) to Leica for a CLA and 6-bit coding last week, I got a notice today that they're sending it back.

Knowing there was almost no way they could have done the work in less than a week, I called in to ask for a detailed status update. The regular repair/service website showed nothing. The service rep informed me that because the lens is no longer in service, and they have no parts for it, they declined taking it apart for a CLA. Nor do they apparently have the part(s) for the 6-bit coding for this lens.

I'm loathe to send it anywhere else based on horror stories I've read elsewhere about unresponsive technicians or botched "repairs".
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Old 04-30-2019   #2
Huss
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Contact DAG. Always been excellent for me.
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Old 04-30-2019   #3
Deardorff38
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What Huss said.
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Old 04-30-2019   #4
davidnewtonguitars
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I know nothing about the Elmarit, but I know that for us film Leica users, third-party techs are what we have to rely on. Leica techs are trained on current production products, but they put their pants on like any other person. Leica may be leaving the repair business, except for current production. Isn't there some commercial law that specifies a 10yr support window for durable goods?
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Old 04-30-2019   #5
Beemermark
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Wow, I've always given Leica in NJ the benefit of the doubt and they've done excellent service for me over the years but after reading this post I won't be sending them anything. All Elmarits (and for that matter all single focal lenses) are simple to repair for any semi-intelligent technician. I have the same lens bought about 10 years ago, so I don't even consider it "old". What parts would you need to CLA a lens anyway? As far as the 6-bit coding Leica service engraved them, it wasn't a replacement part (mine was bought new un-coded but came a coupon to have Leica engrave it).


The fact they sent the lens back with no explanation is even worse. Now I'm worried about my M7. If they can't repair a simple lens how will repair an M&?
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Old 04-30-2019   #6
beltz6
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Youxin Ye CLA'd a 90mm for me last year.
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Old 04-30-2019   #7
rfaspen
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First. You will not get a horror story with Don at DAG camera repair. You will receive the best service possible. Some might say better than Leica themselves (my personal opinion). If you're inclined, do a little reasearch on Don Goldberg (DAG Camera Repair), you'll probably learn about his father as well. Both world-class Leica (Leica trained) technicians and frequently considered the best there is (father passed away).

Second. It is a bad sign that Leica NJ won't do a CLA on what I consider a recent lens. They were offered new through dealers just a short time ago....I think I saw one about 1-2 years ago at a Leica Store. So, what's the deal now? CLA and engraving the coding pits should be simple service for Leica. I remember how they used to service all kinds of older stuff. I know someone who sent in a Standard for some service not too long ago (OK, its been a few years) and Leica made it nice. Hmm. now that I think more about that I think he may have sent to Leica Germany and not NJ. And now that I think even further, it seems that many of the complaints I've heard about recently are all assoicated with Leica NJ, and not Wetzlar. Perhaps a pattern? Perhaps just my imagination? I just send to Don when possible.
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Old 04-30-2019   #8
ptpdprinter
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Perhaps this is how they are handling their turnaround time problem.
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Old 04-30-2019   #9
Takkun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
Wow, I've always given Leica in NJ the benefit of the doubt and they've done excellent service for me over the years but after reading this post I won't be sending them anything. All Elmarits (and for that matter all single focal lenses) are simple to repair for any semi-intelligent technician. I have the same lens bought about 10 years ago, so I don't even consider it "old". What parts would you need to CLA a lens anyway?
Agreed, but you'd be surprised, based on anecdotal stories I've heard. Most of the horror stories involve disassembling cameras with integral lenses, but I've heard of botched lenses, as simple as they are.

My own experience with various repairers has been hit and miss. One local shop did a great job on two Canon lenses (one LTM, the other FD), but for some reason tried to disassemble my M5 for a simple RF adjustment and damaged it in the process.

Another shop around here told me it's 'normal' for a fast prime to be extremely soft (I was having focus issues at infinity) and said they needed to borrow my digital body for whatever tests they intended to perform. No thanks, not handing over my brand new M for a simple collimation.

Not saying they're incompetent per se, but not always familiar with the product at hand, but you'd think Leica would be. I can't see how a lens with no electronics or zoom is substantially different to work on than modern products. To their credit, they did manage to replace the shutter on my M8, albeit scaring me half to death with a 'we are currently searching our global network for a critical part' email....I'm truly sorry that you didn't get the same luck I did.

DAG, Sherry, and Youxin are the way to go. I sent Don a 90 T-E years ago and while he took long enough for me to forget I even owned it, came back in spectacular shape. Sherry has been a wealth of knowledge on the M5 and always seems to respond to my emails within hours, despite her reputation as more inclined to telephone contact.

Haven't worked with Youxin, but the Leica specialists at my local shop refer out-of-warranty repairs to him, so that definitely speaks to his work.
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Old 04-30-2019   #10
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This makes no sense.
Just today I picked up my M6 from a CLA at Leica NJ previously serviced and botched by one of the people mentioned above. In Leca’s possession are a 50 Rigid and a MATE E49 for overhaul, both long out of production

Has to be more to the story.
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Old 04-30-2019   #11
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I sent my mid 1980s 75 Summilux to them for service without any issues. Seems odd.
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Old 04-30-2019   #12
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What is wrong with the lens that it needs a CLA? I understand about the coding.
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Old 04-30-2019   #13
johnsonjj22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
What is wrong with the lens that it needs a CLA? I understand about the coding.
The aperture ring is kinda stiff.

They finally updated the service order with:
"INTERNAL LENS ELEMENTS HAVE EXTENSIVE COATING AND PITTING DAMAGE WHICH CANNOT BE REMOVED. REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR THIS LENS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. NO WORK TO BE DONE."

I'm not sure about the internal lens elements, I've looked it over pretty well in the past and noticed dust, but nothing else that would cause concern. The images I've made with it are crazy sharp with great contrast and typical Leica "warmth". I guess I'll go over it with a fine tooth comb when it comes back to see *** they're talking about. Not sure why they couldn't just lubricate the aperture ring and add in the 6-bit coding with a caveat of the above statement...
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Old 04-30-2019   #14
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Ah! There is more to the story.
When I had sent in the 50 Rigid to Leica (another improperly repaired lens by a name mentioned above) I had asked them to contact me whether it was even worth doing a CLA. I got a call back later that week from a ttexhinician who had put it on the optical bench and did an MTF analysis. He concluded it was a worthwhile albeit pricey repair.

Something else to remember is that YYe does not have a collimater when he’s working on your lens. DAG does. Don’t know about Sherry but I’ve spoken to her. She’s quite on in years.
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Old 04-30-2019   #15
johnsonjj22
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Regardless of the glass condition, I inquired about simply doing a CLA on the rest of the lens:

"I am sorry your lens could not be fixed. I am told that when parts are no longer available, the technician does not like to go into the unit because if something were to be obstructed, they canít replace anything due to no parts being available. I hope this helps."

For common lenses and cameras (like a 50 'cron), maybe they have more spare parts. I'm not sure this 90mm Elmarit was ever a very popular lens which may explain why they don't have parts available.
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Old 04-30-2019   #16
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The MATE is far from common so I don’t subscribe to your argument. Sounds as if your money may be more wisely spent by getting another copy of the same lens in better condition. Leica probably did you a favor.
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Old 04-30-2019   #17
Dante_Stella
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Is it a RoHS issue with replacement glass? New environmental regs went into place since that lens was put to market.

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