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Leica Camera Repair Handbook: Repairing and Restoring Collectible Leica Cameras Paperback – 1 Apr 1999
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About the Author
Thomas Tomosy is a European-trained master camera technician, teacher, and writer. He is the author of "Restoring the Great Classic and Collectible Cameras," "Restoring the Great Collectible Cameras (1945-70)," and "Camera Maintenance and Repair: Book 2." He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I started with a working camera, but this book doesn't actually describe a troubleshooting procedure for each camera. It tends to suggest things that might be wrong (and possible solutions) within the dis-assembly instructions, but reading that far requires a pretty good intuition of what's wrong with the camera to begin with. Apparently the author has another book which goes over some general camera repair basics which might address this. Again, this was irrelevant in my usage scenario, but I imagine most people are interested in repairing their cameras.
Also, most of the dis-assembly instructions and descriptions rely on carefully reading the text and considerable experience in technical reading. There are not very many pictures, and the ones there tend to be low resolution and show the parts after dis-assembly. A reader that requires exploded diagrams to understand what goes where and is not very good at following a textual description might have some trouble here. My PhD is in electrical engineering and not anything mechanical, so I had to really slowly think about what the author is saying at every step to not get overwhelmed.
I will say however, in the case of the Leica CL, this book is pretty much the only information I could find (and I've searched extensively) about how to access the buried and more esoteric portions of the camera. For example, I was able to find information just on forums about how to recalibrate the rangefinder and light meter, but nowhere else was I able to find instructions on removing the circuit board from the camera. It's possible that other cameras might have more freely available information, but for the CL, this book offers great value and knowledge that can't be found elsewhere.
To some people this book will seem over their heads, a bit too technical and hard to comprehend. Aimed perhaps at camera repair professionals.
Actually, it doesn't suit either the person who wants to make a small repair or someone who wants to make a more technical repair. There's not a word there on how to replace the shutter or any number of things that many reasonably competent DIY do every day. It's not something I would do on just any camera. My M series are treated with care and professionally serviced. There are repairs that are beyond either my ability or willingness to spend the time and those go out.
But it helps to have good clear instruction. Shocking as it seems, just taking something apart and putting it together again can allow a simple repair. As one reviewer notes, there is better information out there for specialist groups/forums. After buying this I received a detailed service manual for my IIIf screwmount Leicas. In the same way, I have acquired fairly complete service manuals or instructions from those willing to share on
Soviet made imitations of Leicas (which are good for practice and confidence building).
Cameras are a bit like a mix of car mechanics and working on watches. But to use the car analogy, the Chiltonor Haynes type manuals sometimes fall a bit shy in the detailed information you need by covering too many years, but they're adequate. On the other hand, there are the full blown shop manuals for a specific model vehicle. Also useful (drive a Detroit truck occasionally and you'll know why).
This Repair handbook doesn't really come close to the skimpiest Chilton type book. It may be asking too much to cover both M series and Screwmount in one book, but the title is a misnomer. It is not really a repair handbook.
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