Camera Clinic in Melbourne has recently carried out a repair of my Leica MP film body. In short, this worked out to be an excellent experience from genuine, capable staff who cared about delivering a top notch result, and certainly provided it. I’m confident in the quality of the work and thrilled with the result. For a more detailed review, read on…
I’m a Leica user (hence this website). And I get it that because of the value of our gear us as Leica users are very pedantic. We want things to be perfect. Even though we know these are tough cameras made to last a lifetime, we still tend to baby them because of their value. So as part of the Leica user community in Australia, it stands to reason we want to be able to access a trusted source for repairs and service.
When it comes to building cameras that are meant to last a lifetime, in depth technical knowledge from support staff for when things need fixing is just as important as the camera having been built with the finest materials. Similarly, the customer needs to be able to access technicians who can carry out work properly with a commitment to quality workmanship, and inspire confidence in the customer that their valuable cameras will be looked after and treated with respect. Leica Australia’s service centre for repairs, Camera Clinic, delivered on all these points with a recent shutter curtain replacement on my Leica MP.
For a bit of background, I don’t rate myself as a great photographer I just enjoy using Leica cameras. I enjoy reading up about the history and being a part of the Leica culture, and tend to look up to Leica Australia brand ambassadors like Nick Rains or probably my favourite photographer based on images, Jesse Marlow. Side note, I met him in Adelaide in 2018, great guy. I’ve collected Leica bodies and lenses like odd socks since 2015 starting with the M240, MP240 Safari Set, the MP Film and M10. More recently I’ve been expanding my collection of lenses and now have the privilege of owning each member of the Summilux line and in the past have enjoyed the Summicrons and Elmarits. If I add it up, it is a scary six figure number in Australian dollars that I’ve spent on my collection and I choose to support Australian retailers by buying new through them, namely Photoco. Sure I could save some money buying online from an overseas source but then I miss out on learning from decent knowledgeable staff at the retailers and Leica Australia. A chat with Steve at Photoco to learn something new about how to use my camera or Leica history at the very least is worth supporting Australian retailers.
More importantly, I value after sales service for repairs and warranty which, given the expense of the Leica gear, I appreciate.
What was the fault?
I had a small light leak appearing in some images. Admittedly repair took a while, but only because of waiting for a replacement part from Leica Germany. COVID delays held things up. But, as per below, Camera Clinic did all they could to expedite the process.
Your Leica equipment is in good hands at Camera Clinic. Initially I thought I’d prefer for my camera to go back to Germany for any and all repairs and thought that only Leica staff themselves should be opening it up. But after researching, I became confident in Camera Clinic. I’ve only spoken to the Leica technician there, Wayne briefly but immediately had a sense of trust in him. As a rep from Leica themselves emailed me, “Wayne is considered to be one of the best [Leica] technicians globally,” and is fully trained by them. A search on https://www.l-camera-forum.com/ tends to find people talking positively of Camera Clinic for Leica repairs, “you would be better off with them [Camera Clinic] than going anywhere else.”
In Collingwood, Camera Clinic is a third generation family business proudly providing camera service to all manner of photographers. This family business thing stood out when they knew I was itching to get the camera back, and I’m aware Wayne went in a weekend to dedicate some time to recalibrating the shutter speeds on my camera which is a long and tedious job. Clearly, they do all they can to help the customer.
In the past they’ve adjusted the rangefinder on my MP when it was new (it needed it) and assessed a lens.
I have no affiliation with Leica, Camera Clinic or any dealers but I do like to rave about those I have had a good experience with. Lets face it, in the highly competitive photographic service space where more goods are thrown out and replaced rather than repaired, and is also an expensive business to be a part of, they need to keep their good reputation. I want to get it out there, to all the Leica users in Australia, Camera Clinic is the place to go. And I currently have the proof, my MP, sitting on my desk loaded up film waiting for me to get out and shoot.
Camera Clinic’s report:
Dismantle the camera. Replace the long blind, leather and screw. Apply light leak protection. Fully recalibrate the shutter speeds. Check the focus. Clean and service the unit as necessary. Reassemble and test the unit.