If your camera isn’t what it used to be you might need to have it services. Here’s everything you need to know about Leica CLA with a handy directory.
This page only deals with CLA, for repairs check out the Leica repairs directory.
What is Leica CLA?
Leica CLA stands for Clean, Lubricate, Adjust. This is simply servicing of the camera. Unlike most cameras, Leicas have many mechanical parts that gets used or gets knocked out of their positions causing the camera to act up, so they need servicing from time to time. This is nothing to worry about, this is routine procedure.
As you can see from the poster below of a Leica M2, even the most basic of Ms are pretty darn complex. So unless you have a really good feel for repairs it is better not to attempt a CLA by yourself.
So, what are the “Symptoms” that you need Leica CLA? The answer is twofold. First is when your camera feels “off”. It’s not the same feeling when you press the shutter release button or when you crank something. That might be an indication that a CLA is needed as the lubrification is running down, just like the oil in a car. There are more pressing symptoms however:
- Something is stuck in the viewfinder
- The shutter speed is no longer accurate
- Your focus keeps being off
- You keep seeing dust on your images
If something feels off, it most likely needs servicing. You do not need to do CLA often but it depends on how heavy you use the camera or if you dinged it.
You do not particularly need to send it in every set of years (tho it wouldn’t hurt). The best thing to do is to wait until you feel something is off and get ready to send it in. If you wait longer, the shutter speed being off might ruin your images.
Leica CLA Directory list
Below is where you can get Leica CLA in the USA and other parts of the world. More information added constantly so bookmark this page! Prices and turnaround are estimates only. If you are looking for the most cost conscious one, it’s YYE Camera.
If CLA is needed for your Leica, I recommend that you choose a specialized repair shop. Leica’s are perfectly mechanical cameras and the only way to get it repaired is usually by somebody who knows how mechanical rangefinders work.
Not everybody knows how to repair them properly and it can lead to subsequent damage or make the problem even worse than it was before.
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How this works
To have your Leica serviced, get in contact with the repair shops above. This is not only about money, it is also about backlogs. Not a lot of people know how to repair mechanical cameras so they might be quick or not depending on how much work they have ahead of them.
They will have you ship the camera, make sure it is insured. Once it is shipped the repairmen will work their magic and have your Leica serviced. Once they are done they will ship it back. The really big downside of having your Leica cleaned and serviced is that you won’t have it for at least one to two months.
I hope you enjoyed this article about Leica CLA. Unlike most cameras Leica Ms are rangefinders and they are mechanical, so just like cars they need some oiling and recalibration from time to time, making servicing an integral part of owning such a legendary camera.