Over the past few months, we’ve had reports from the USA, UK and Australia of the difficulty of repairing some older Leica digitals, specifically the popular X1 and X2 models. Some users are so disappointed that they are moving to other makes.
Our regular contributor Jean Perenet in Normandy, has been an enthusiastic X2 user, but now the camera has broken, and he has been forced to turn to Panasonic for an equivalent-size alternative.
It’s good news, then, that UK owners can now have their cameras repaired by one of the greatest experts in the field. David Slater, whom many British readers will know from his many years at Leica UK, has moved to another company in the photographic field, mainly associated with cinematography, and has decided to offer a service to owners of Leica compact digitals from the Panasonic make-overs to the X1/X2/X range which he handled so well while at Leica.
For David, this is a spare-time occupation, and since he is often out of the country on work, he has set a three-to-four-week schedule for returns. If you need your older Leica serviced or repaired, contact David at David@Camera-Focus.co.uk, and he will estimate the cost and timescale.
Since leaving Leica UK, David has found a new home at Panavision. Says David, “clearly, they value their repair engineers, and we have far more resources than I have been used to in the past, including CNC machining, injection moulding and 3D printers to make our own spare Panavision parts. Then there is the lens projector for optics testing along with the normal shutter speed testing, aperture grading and optics collimator.
“Overall, Panavision has a very professional team, including former Zeiss, Arri, Nikon, Canon, Minolta & Sony technicians all working together.
“In addition, I still repair many of the Leica optics from the cine world, such as the Leica M-based Leitz M0.8 lenses and the larger Thalia and Summilux-C lenses. Then there are many of Panavision’s own lenses dating back to the 1950s. Some of the Panavision optics were specially commissioned and built by ELCAN (Ernst Leitz Canada). In addition, there are the extra anamorphic optics to deal with, which add a new challenge. In addition to the normal maintenance of cameras and optics, Panavision also adapts optics to achieve specialist signature looks for cinema photographers.
“But this is work, although I am sure Leica enthusiasts will be interested to hear what I am up to. The digital repairs will be done away from the office and in my spare time, but I think the background serves to give potential customers the confidence to proceed with a repair.”