We offer a range of services to help you achieve the results you’re after. Not sure what you need, or what it costs? We can explain what services are right for you and tell you more about our fees. Get in touch by clicking the link below.
We can service, clean, lubricate and adjust almost all Leica M, Zeiss ZM, Voigtlander VM, and legacy LTM lenses. In addition to that – most mechanical lenses made in the last 100 years. Old lenses like the pre-war 5cm Jena Sonnar from 1935, all the way to the 50mm f/1 Noctilux, we have worked on and serviced with delicacy, care and attention to detail.
Summicron, Summilux, Elmarit, Sonnar, Planar, Biogon, Nokton, Heliar, Ultron, Jupiter, and the list goes on.
We are highly experienced in optomechanics and the physics involved in bending and manipulating light. We understand how the lenses work down to engineering design, material property, wavelength and photon level operations. Not only we are able to diagnose and repair most mechanical problems with lenses, but we are also actively designing and making our own lenses in-house. We utilise ray-tracing software and advanced 3D CAD applications, model FEA simulations on our designs, and purpoosely choose memorable classic lens formulas to resurrect with new modern AR coatings and high precision all-metal mechanics.
You can find the description of what’s included in the full service here:
If your lens contains fungus, haze, oily aperture, excessive dust and debris – we can help.
Click on the link below to see the list of prices for our services:
We stock a range of professional greases, imported from Japan, Germany and Russia. We can thoroughly clean and regrease your lense’s helicoids and are sometimes able to offer alternate grease viscosities to improve focus movement. This service works great for lenses like the early Summicrons, and many tabbed LTM lenses from KMZ, Canon, Contax, etc., in which high-speed focusing may be preferred over the more dampened feel.
In rare cases, where a customer may desire the old fashion greases (non-synthetic), we have these too.
Certain lenses, like the 50mm ASPH M-Summilux, have inherent issues with a phenomenon called ‘focus pinching’. Due to their triple helicoid design which causes the FLE to move at a different rate than the primary optical block, it induces extra strain on the helicoids to perform the secondary element movement. Often the lens begins to pinch at the helicoid when trying to find focus, the user then induces more force through their finger on the tab, and then the added force applied overcomes the helicoid strain. The released force causes the focus to then jump, often past the precise position the user was trying to achieve. Interestingly, fallen back to either a thinner synthetic grease from stock or reverting to the type of grease the manufacturer used before their shift to synthetic greases, helps greatly in fixing this issue.
We are also able to offer 6-bit coding on certain Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses, but this currently involves a mount replacement. We are developing appropriate jigging, tooling, and CNC programs, which will allow us in the future to reference a consistent datum off a customer’s existing LM bayonets and apply the 6-bit coding very accurately from there.
Many other camera lens repair companies use traditional methods of using ground glass at the film plane with a 10x loupe to check for centring and collimation. We use a high resolution full-frame digital sensor to peer through the lens at the appropriate film/sensor plane registration distance, in conjunction with a German-made Messsucher and optical magnifier that uses its swing arm to then engage the rangefinder cam on the lens under test. We can then compare the live feed from the digital sensor showing the placement of critical focus on the lens side, against where the calibrated Messsucher believe it should be via its split prism patches. Adjustments then can be made to the lens to bring both sources in line with each other, and this verification of coinciding can be done anywhere from 700mm to infinity. Thus, we can ensure a form of calibration accuracy on rangefinder lenses to levels above the traditional ground glass and film loupe method which has been traditionally utilised in the past.
Once calibration has been verified as near distance and infinity, with often many in-between distances verified also, we fill out a calibration certificate that is laminated and provided back to our customers.
Full lens restoration is also available, which involves a strip-down of the individual components, often getting a bath in an ultrasonic cleaner to remove all debris and old lubricants. Touch up paint can be used to cover over brassing or silvering on black lenses, and clear anodised aluminium lenses (like Zeiss Jena and KMZ Jupiter), can be fully polished to a near mirror finish. We also can have your camera lenses painted. Changing the font colours to red instead of yellow on Leica lenses is also available. We also have certain leatherette finsihes, light absorbing paints, and seals that can bring sometimes even the most condition challenged lenses back to new glory.
Read more about a complete restoration of old Sonnars in our post:
Fungus removal is done using various safe formulas we have found that work very well. Sometimes, fungus damage may be so severe, that coatings have been removed off the elements. Thus, even after the fungus is removed, its footprint, known as ‘ghost of fungus’, remains. More often than not, all the fungus will come off, and we see this ‘ghost of fungus’ phenomenon very rarely, but it does sometimes occur. Once we gain access to the lenses internal elements, we often then can better advise the extent of the funugs, and send photos of the before and after to our customers.
Apertures can be de-oiled, and de-greased, rebuilt and even converted to round ‘perfect bokeh’ apertures.
Many classic rangefinder lenses suffer from some focus shift. Often, it’s not too noticeable. Specific designs, like the 50mm Sonnar and 35mm ASPH Summilux V1, it’s so pronounced, it can be annoying unless the user knows how to compensate for this.
We can calibrate lenses that have noticeable focus shift, to a particular aperture for you. On Sonnar lenses, f/2.8 calibration allows for the smaller apertures down to f/16-22, to all be in focus. However, f/1.5 and f/2 become front focused then. Choosing f/1.5 instead causes f/4 and f/5.6 to be back focused. With f/1.5 Sonnars, we’ve had a lot of luck choosing f/2.2 as the calibration point.
This causes f/1.5 to be sharper than the f/2.8 calibration, but then also causes f/4-5.6 to be sharper than the f/1.5 calibration, almost a happy compromise. Equally, we can do f/1.5 or f/2.8, which are the classic calibrations also if you prefer.
Aperture blade modification and complete aperture change is something we plan on offering in the future. Read more about it here:
In certain optical formulas, haze can get trapped between two elements on a doublet or triplet stack. In these situations, it’s very difficult to separate the two elements, and precisely rebond them after cleaning. We have mostly seen this on Voigtlander LTM and VM lenses, as well as older Minolta M-Rokkor lenses. At the moment, we don’t have the facility to do this type of separation and rebonding in-house, but we have an international expert with whom we can subcontract out to, to perform this process if need be.
However, the haze that is ‘hard baked’ onto an optical element, from years of exposure without cleaning, we can usually remove. The same can be done for mild scratches. The process is rather labour intensive and involves hand polishing the affected optics very carefully with cerium oxide for several hours.
We are currently looking into procuring a spherical lens polishing machine, which would automate this process. The process also results in the lens AR coating on that surface being removed. We have had excellent results with our process, bringing back to life many lenses that had a grey veil, low contrast and bad flaring on their images. Sometimes the process leaves something called ‘onion ring bokeh’, where, the polishing process to remove the haze or scratches, shows a faint but visible presence in the bokeh balls when the lens shoots at the wider apertures. Many modern electronic AF lenses from Sony and Zeiss also suffer from this aberration in their bokeh balls due to the polishing process of the aspherical elements. We bring this up, so our customer are aware that removing haze or scratches is not always a flawless and straight forward process. More often than not, there is some minor remnant left, which could affect the integrity, definition and clarity of the bokeh balls. Nevertheless, we offer this service if the customer requires it.
General haze and fungus removal on non doublet and triplet sealed elements is usually done under our full service. The more persistent baked-on haze, treating ghost of funugs, and coating damage is not inclued under the standard full service, but often can be addressed at cost, depending on the extent of the issues. Again, we often send photos to customers of these areas once we gain acess to them and attempt to clean them.
We are able to have lenses recoated with new AR coatings. However, this is something one of our subcontractors provides for us, and their pricing structure is such that, whether we do 30 optical elements or just 1, the price is very similar, as they are all done together in a batch process.
If you would like us to AR coat any non-doublet or triplet elements, this may fall under a long lead time service. To transfer the price break down to our customers, we typically wait until we have 30 or more elements that need their old coatings stripped and new AR coatings applied, then send them off as a batch.
We are not able to offer AR coating on doublet and triplet blocks, as the process would be of such a long lead time, we would not want our customers separated from their equipment for this length of time. We believe very firmly no customer should be separated from their camera or lens, being repaired, for no more than a few months.
Currently, we have two AR coating subcontractors, one in the United Kingdom, and another in Lithuanina.
Due to our in-house LIDAR scanner, powerful 3D CAD and CAM software, and custom-built, high accuracy dual 4-axis CNC and lathe machines, we can offer a complete engineering, design and fabrication of brand-new parts based off your old, broken or damaged lens parts. If you have a broken part on your lens, we can design and manufacture a new part for you. Sometimes, to offer a more cost-effective solution, we may be able to repair the part also. As we keep most of the process in-house due to our machineshop, we can transfer this service to our customers at much lower rates than other providers.
To have a look at our custom-built CNC machine, follow this link:
We can custom-make parts for your lenses, such as focus sticks and finger tabs. Finger tabs can be designed specifically to the diameter of your focus finger. The finger tab can be permanently attached to the focus ring when you send us your lens for servicing and customisation. Alternatively, we can send you our removable version which uses non-permanent 3M VHB.
3M VHB is the same powerful double-sided sticky tape used by auto manufacturers to bond their logos and car lettering to automobiles. It is also used on Leica cameras to attach the aftermarket tumb grip called ‘thumbie’. We give you three sets of 3M VHB on every finger tab ordered. For removable versions, we often need a few simple dimensions from your lens, which can be taken with a calliper (such as the focus ring outside diameter, width, and any other unique features). The diameter of the finger used for focusing, at the top joint, can also be used to personalise the tab for you further.
We offer full conversions of non-rangefinder coupled lenses to Leica rangefinder coupling.
In the spirit of Miyazakisan of Japan who first inspired us with his masterful conversions of Contax G lenses to Leica mounts, we are able to offer conversions of certain types of lenses, adapted over to Leica M mount. Typically, 50mm SLR lenses are the most cost-effective for this conversion, as their focal lengths can often be adjusted to become the standard 51.6mm, used by Leica, Voigtlander and Zeiss Ikon rangefinders. Ideal candidates are the Contax 50mm 1.4 Planar, Canon 50mm FD 1.2 L, Minolta 50mm MD 1.2, Nikkor 50mm 1.2 Ai, and the SLR Magic 50mm 0.95 Hyper Prime (LM mount, non-coupled version). Many other M42, Pentax, Olympus, etc. lenses can also be converted.
Lenses outside the typical 50mm focal length require special helicoids to be made, to translate their movement back to the standard 51.6mm reference. Having the front of the lens rotate on 28, 35, 85 and 90mm lenses adapted to rangefinder coupling is more cost-effective than having them not-rotate, as the rotating version can use the simplicity of a sloped CAM, thus bringing the price of the conversion down. Non-rotating lenses require two new helicoids and two brass fork sliders, which take the main focal lengths movement and translate it back the 51.6mm reference. Thus, while this is usually the most elegant and sought-after solution for non-50mm lenses, it is also the most costly.
We work with local aerospace suppliers, to offer an assortment of finishes to all our custom parts, from black, silver and many other colours of anodising, to nickel and chrome plating. We are also able to plate parts in 97% solid gold, which is also known as hard gold. There is a limit also to how thick any anodising or plating can be, to ensure we do not influence the tolerances between the parts on the lenses.