I just got my Leica M2 back from a clean, lubricate and adjust (CLA) plus a few other enhancements and repairs. No big deal you say and normally I’d agree. However, here’s the end result.
What if I told you that this jewel of a camera left my hands here in San Diego last Monday night (9/21/2015); went all across the United States to Youxin Ye on the east coast and was back in my hands today (9/30/2015). That’s only nine days for a CLA including seven in the hands of UPS and the post office. That’s an absolutely incredible level of service and I couldn’t be happier to have it back. Please don't expect Youxin to deliver all his work in a matter of days, it's a physical impossibility.
I bought this M2 about six months ago from eBay. It was a pretty good deal, around $600 if I remember correctly. The camera at that price had some issues.
The rangefinder focus was off both in the vertical and horizontal. The leather covering was in fair shape but it did have a tear around the rangefinder window, not bad but definitely something I wanted to fix. The viewfinder was definitely not in great shape, it was dim and had a few pieces of dirt or dust that were very apparent when taking a shot. The mechanism was decent, no huge issues but compared to my MP I could tell there was room for improvement.
1. Perform a complete CLA
2. Replace the brass lugs with new steel lugs as recommended by Leica
3. Add multi coated windows
4. Replace the body cover with an Aki-Asahi cover
Youxin cleaned and lubricated all the mechanical parts of the camera and adjusted the shutter speeds and brake. He cleaned the finder and adjusted the rangefinder focus which was definitely off when I sent it to him. There was a large dirt spot on the rangefinder patch which he cleaned. Youxin replaced the leather cover and the strap lugs to the new Leica steel lugs. Finally he replaced the windows with new multi-coated windows.
According to Youxin the camera had recently been worked on (before I bought it) but the work wasn’t done very well. It looks like the old lubricant wasn’t fully cleaned off before applying new and the mask wasn’t touched which left the dirt spots.
It’s still a “user” camera according to Youxin but an above average “user.” For me that’s perfect. It will continue to be a user camera. I plan to use it as a daily driver and when I’m out on a planned photo shoot, it will hold either black and white or color film depending on what I put in my MP which I’ll carry along too.
I am so happy to have the M2 back in such a short time and with such quality work applied to it, thanks Youxin. I think I got some special treatment by dropping Ray’s name on Youxin. Thanks Ray. You can see some images of Youxin and his workshop on Ray’s blog post when he had his M3 worked on.
As always, thanks for reading.