We offer a range of services to help you achieve the results you’re after. Not sure what you need, or what it costs? Get in touch.
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.
If your lens contains fungus, haze, oily aperture, excessive dust and debris – we can help.
You can find the description of what’s included in the full service and the prices here:
We stock a range of professional greases, imported from Japan, Germany and United Kingdom. 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 restoration and painting
Full lens restoration is also available, which involves a strip-down of the individual components, 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. We use the services of Camerakote for full lens repaint. You can find more information about lens repainting on their website:
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 can better advise the extent of the funugs, and send photos of the before and after to our customers.
Apertures can be de-oiled, de-greased and rebuilt.
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, we don’t offer lens polishing and re-coating services at this time.
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.
To read more about conversions, click on the link below: