The following unedited reviews were formerly in Photo.net under their
"Member Recommendation" tab, and are as they appeared.
Unfortunately, this 'Recommendation' section was removed in a website revamp:
Email : Carlos : I have a 670 body [Plaubel] that has a persistent light leak that
so far has stumped two repair technicians.
After TLC service 10-20-2017:
Greetings, Gus. I’m so pleased to say that the 670 is working really well!
Enclosed are scans of two frames from the first roll that I’ve put through the 670 since getting it back from you. The scans don’t really do the negatives justice at all! The negs themselves look spectacular, very crisp, crazy sharp. And call me crazy, on a light table these HP5+ negs look like FP4+ or even Acros 100. I say this because before today I’ve just never gotten results from HP5+ with such a wide and subtle range of densities. I’m already looking forward to enlarging negs from this camera! By the way, the banding that you see on the far right side of the scan with the antique building is not because of the neg but rather due to my crappy flatbed scanner.
At any rate, many thanks again for your work, patience, consideration, and help. I just can’t say enough good things about this repair experience. Truly, truly wonderful. I’ve already loaded the 670 again! - Carlos
TLC Camera Repair : Thank you
Art Brewer Subscriber, November 03, 2016; 04:45 P.M.
Hi Gus, Just got back home and I wanted to say AMAZING !! THANK YOU !! You did such a beautiful job you job on my 1939 Leica lll Mod G camera and lens. Your one of a kind , please keep up your incredible attention to detail and workman ship. It’s great to know a man that loves his work.. all the best in the future Art Brewer
TLC Camera Repair : Leica IIf plus lenses - came back perfect
Arnold Neimanis, September 30, 2016; 06:09 P.M.
I found Gus through the Ken Rockwell site (after researching my Leica LTM purchases from KEH on Google). After everything I had read, Gus seemed to be the perfect choice for restoring the Leica and lenses completely inside and out. While communicating with Gus, I also obtained a Leica MR meter for my M3 which I sent in to TLC. He was able to give me advice on the feasibility of a repair and provided me with a link to a parts MR meter which he used to complete the job. It took awhile to finish all of the items but after receiving them, it was well worth the wait. From the description of the work required, I knew that it was going to be awhile but everything was done to perfection. I now have a Leica and lenses in my possession which work and look almost as good as the day they left the factory 60 years ago - amazing. I think the highest compliment I can give Gus is that he did the job the way I would have done it myself (if I had the experience and knowledge!). He does not rush or cut corners and is very easy to talk to. His work is top-notch and highly recommended. Thank you, Gus!
Keith S Subscriber, July 30, 2016; 10:10 P.M.
I too experienced a minor issue with the assistant -- never pulled my finished items for return to me. However, this was a minor issue of little consequence, as I have never been in a hurry. Over the past several years Gus has done a lot of work for me. Two Leica M3's, a number of Leica lenses, MC, MR, and MR-4 Leica-Meters, and a hazed/fungus'd Canon FD 50mm f1.4 Breechlock. No matter what the wait time, you always get nothing from Gus but the highest quality of work with extreme attention to detail. I have always had a suspicion that the items Gus services will be better-adjusted than when originally released from their respective factories. I am now at a point where all of my Leica equipment is restored, and due to the effort Gus has put into it, my Leica items will last for decades more and can be passed along in perfect operational condition when that day arrives.
TLC Camera Repair : His repair skills are amazing
Ric Donato, July 26, 2016; 05:10 P.M.
Received my Leica IIIf from Gus Lazzari. This camera now appears and functions as though it arrived brand new from the Leica factory. Now, the camera operation is smooth and I know how it must have performed when first sold. Regarding his work it is outstanding. Communicating with Gus was easy, both on the phone and via e-mail; thus a pleasure to work with.
The following is copied from my invoice repair sheet, here are the things he fixed on the camera: Quote: Complete disassembly, replaced 2nd shutter curtain due to cracking and RF split-beam due to decay. Then performed CLA to achieve factory specifications. Lubed transport pivots, advance know & clutch. Solvent washed rewind mechanism. Felt baffle bars re-glued. Cleaned viewer, 2nd image system and added contrast dot in RF unit. Cleared release shaft & button. Cleaned "flash" electrical switch contacts confirmed 50th of a sec calibration. Calibrated vertical & horizontal RF standards. Re-calibrated shutter speeds to within factory specifications. Curtain brake adjusted for cushioning & quite operation. Re-filled engravings with paint. Treated body vulcanite cover with protectant. Unquote.
Here is the story of a previous CLA on this same camera by a repair person in the Atlanta area. After getting it back from them it just did not perform as I thought it should. In fact it felt as though the only thing that other shop did was wipe it off. Frustrated I sent it to Gus expecting a few simple easy adjustments. When Gus inspected the IIIf his report quite surprised me. From Gus' report it was then obvious the previous person took advantage of me and my money doing nothing to the camera. After Gus worked on the camera the difference is positively amazing. Thank you Gus.
Though all the above are glowing comments there was only one downside. His back office assistant was letting him down. According to Gus his assistant doing assistant duties, such as sending invoices, posting payments, shipping back equipment, was not following through. After speaking on the phone with Gus about my experience he resolved those issues. For business folks it is important to realize that as good as we are at our jobs, our back office can make us appear the hero or ogre.
Yes, I am positively impressed with Gus' service on my Leica IIIf, and will again use his services. Also, without reservation recommend him highly.
TLC Camera Repair : New life for an old lens.
Gary Gwin, July 07, 2016; 10:31 A.M.
A few years ago I purchased a Leica R4s and a few lenses from a friend of mine who was a former photographer. My favorite among the lenses was an Elmarit-R 28mm, f2.8. It looked a little rough, but seemed to work and I love the angle of view of the 28.
One day the focus just stopped working. I had read a lot about people repairing Leica M equipment, but assumed no one would work on R lenses and decided to just replace it. Unfortunately the prices of used R lenses were too high, so my lens sat unused for some time.
One day while browsing on the internet, I found a story about Gus Lazzari. I decided to e-mail him and find out if my lens could be repaired and at what cost. He responded quickly, told me what was likely wrong with the lens and gave me an estimate. He did caution me that he took time to repair everything correctly and that if I was looking for a rush job he would not be able to accommodate me.
I was in no hurry, and felt from Gus' comments that he would do a good job. After great communication as to how long the repairs would take and when I would receive the lens back, I picked it up from FedEx yesterday.
I cannot believe the quality of the repair. If I did not know better, I would assume Gus threw my lens away and sent me a new one. The glass is beautiful, looks as though it has never been touched. The finish is bright and shiny and the focus is smooth as it can be. It is like holding a brand-new lens. Gus even replaced the missing Index Red Dot. I could not be more pleased with the care and pride that Gus puts into his work.
TLC Camera Repair : From A Repeat Customer - Gus is the Best!
Rick Hom, March 02, 2016; 11:31 A.M.
First Experience: About 7-8 years ago, I read Ken Rockwell's rave about Gus Lazzari's Leica restoration work. At that time, I had purchased an early 1950s Leitz Summaron 35mm/f3.5 because I loved the B&W rendering of this lens in images I saw here on Photo.net. My Summaron had significant haze covering its internal elements and was unusable.
I sent the lens to Gus after an email exchange or two to get to know him better. A couple of months later, I was re-united with my lens. WOW!! It looked new and performed even better on my M8 & CL. I am very certain that it now performs as well as or even better than when it first left Wetzlar all of those years ago. I love this lens, still use it (often) today and am very thankful for Gus' masterful restoration.
Recent Experience (4 Days Ago): I purchased a pair of original 1960s-1970s Leitz 10x40 Trinovid binoculars off eBay, the ones with the 7 degree FOV and unique Uppendahl prisms. As usual, these binos were not in the "mint" condition advertised by the seller and we had to settle accordingly after the original sale. I called Gus to see if he did Trinovid CLAs, he did, so I sent them to TLC. BTW, Gus is a terrific guy to talk with! He said that he would repair and treat my Trinovids like his own. A lot of work was done, internal element cleaning, re-collimation, new eyecups, etc.
Just received my restored binoculars a few days ago. And Gus did treat them as his own. They are now just incredible!!! Perfect collimation, much brighter than before and excellent sharpness. I directly compared them to bird-watching buddies' current premium Zeiss and Swarovski binos and my Trinovids are just as sharp, just as bright, and have a wider FOV. They give up a little contrast to these current premium binos (which benefit from today's coating technology), but sharpness and a wide FOV are the characteristics that I value most in binoculars, so I am very well pleased.
Final words. I was not in a hurry for the above restorations and anyone with vintage Leitz gear should not be either. Gus is meticulous and fine work like his requires significant time. Are his rates reasonable? For high-end Leitz or Zeiss optics or cameras, they are very reasonable. Try asking the factories' service shops, if they will even work on vintage items. Last, I trust Gus. If he says that a service or part is needed, that's good enough for me. I know that I will be enjoying my Leitz gear that he restored for many years to come.
TLC Camera Repair : The results were way beyond my expectations.
Stephen Lux, January 14, 2016; 09:11 P.M.
Gus— did a superb job on my 1959 Leica M3 camera and 50mm Summilux lens. They are like new again! The surface scratches and discoloration in the chrome is gone; the vulcanite is rich deep, supple and now complete. Mechanically, the camera feels solid, super-smooth, and sings with precision. Most importantly, It now operates as it should, a pleasure to use, allowing me to easily make properly composed, accurately exposed and beautifully detailed images. Thank You! Stephen Lux.
TLC Camera Repair : Gus brought new life to my 1958/59 Contax iiia
David Paine Subscriber, December 16, 2015; 11:02 P.M.
I recently purchased a great looking Contax iiia, Colored Dial, dating from somewhere around 1958/59. When I received the camera, was disappointed that the shutter was not operating correctly, and focus was not as smooth as I had hoped. I debated returning the camera, but since the cosmetic condition was so good, I decided to keep the camera and find someone to CLA the camera for me.
My initial searches turned up only two technicians who were highly recommended for the Contax CLA - one never replied to my email and the other had a 4+ year wait list. I had read about Gus' Leica work on Ken Rockwell's site, so decided to check with him to see if he would tackle a Contax. I was pleasantly surprised when he replied quickly that he would be glad to do the work and that he treated every camera he touched as if it were his own - I sent my camera his way the next day, and had a detailed quote for "full restoration" to factory specs a week later, with a quoted 5-6 week turn-around.
Five and a half weeks after authorization, Gus contacted me that the camera was ready. He shipped immediately after my payment and I received the camera yesterday. After opening the box, I was blown away - had expected excellence, but received better than that. My first word was simply "WOW!" The camera looked/felt as if I had just purchased new. The controls are all silky smooth, focusing is fluid and easy, and the rangefinder is amazing. The camera will easily provide another 50-60 years of enjoyment!
I highly recommend Gus and TLC Camera Repair for any camera work - will be sending him my 1938 Leica iiib when it needs its next CLA.
TLC Camera Repair : Gus saved my precious Leica Lenses
Jose Antonio Esteban, October 04, 2015; 03:33 P.M.
I use Leica R lenses primarily for shooting video for fashion clients. The Leica R lenses are gorgeous and are the next best thing to cinema lenses that are 4 times the cost. I bought a Leica R 28mm on Ebay and discovered that there were spots on the lens that I didn't notice at first and lapsed my opportunity to return it. I heard about TLC repair from Ken Rockwell and decided to give it a try. I was blown away when I got the lens back and it was pretty much in brand new mint condition. A couple of months later, my Leica R 35mm 2.0 got damaged due to a faulty wireless follow focus unit that torqued the focus ring so hard it snapped it along with the aperture ring. The lens was in mint condition before that and I thought that was a good $1500 down the tube. I sent the lens to Gus thinking he'd tell me that it was done and, lo and behold, a rush fee later, I got the lens back in even better condition than I had bought it in less than a week.
Gus is the Leica whisperer, its that simple! ~Anton
TLC Camera Repair : Gus - world class quality in repairing Leica
Ben Wibisono, August 29, 2015; 10:24 P.M.
When I first contacted Gus, I did not have a Leica yet. I asked him some advice about Leica camera and lenses, and he gave me lots of information that enable me to make informed decision buying Leica via eBay.
I ended up getting an M6 and an M3. I sent the M3 and 35mm Cron w finder optics to Gus. Gus did a thorough analysis when he received the goods. It took a while to CLA this combo. But when I got the M3 and the lens back, I (and my wife) was impressed on the quality of Gus’ work. The M3 looks clean and smooth, the camera operates smoothly. The lens also looks as if it just came out from the factory. The finish is shiny and clean. I don’t exactly know what Gus did, but it looks like the lens was painted new. He also provided a post CLA summary of the work he did with recommendations on how to take care of the camera and lens.
It’s worth the wait for the quality and thoroughness of the CLA that Gus did. For me, I kept myself busy with the M6 and 50mm Cron (DR version) while the M3 was in repair. Now that I got the M3 back, it is time for the M6 and 50mm Cron to be CLA’d by the Master.
TLC Camera Repair : TLC Camera Repair Review
Preston Young, August 10, 2015; 08:18 P.M.
A few years ago my father left me his 1957 Leica iiif with an 3.5cm Elmarit and a 5.0cm Summarit. The cameras were left in a Mississipi storage shed too long and were in poor shape. The curtain had holes, the speeds were horrible, the lens were more fungus than glass (or at least it seemed that way). I called Gus and he was very helpful and informative on the camera so I sent it into him for repair. He promptly responded with his evaluation and I had him go ahead and fix it. Years later, the camera is still working great and looks like new... and Gus still is willing to answer questions and give advice. I can't recommend TLC Camera repair highly enough. Gus is a class act and I would send more cameras to him without hesitation. Attached link to my last trip with my Leica iiif.https://flickr.com/photos/54307417@N03/sets/72157654691840663
TLC Camera Repair : Gus is a master at restoring Nikon lenses
Joe Biegel, July 03, 2015; 04:15 P.M.
A few months ago, I discovered that my pre AI Nikon 28mm f2 lens didn't seem to focus easily on the screen of my F2. I looked at it with a flashlight and to my shock and horror it looked awful inside...tons of hazy stuff. I emailed Gus and he said "Now, these ultra fast Nikon lenses with their current age have extensive lube failure that has out-gassed causing lube contamination of different internal systems. Solvent washing followed by a complete, clean, lubricate and adjusting (C L A) would be performed in order to get the lens back up to factory specifications." Well, I just got the lens back from Gus and it is better than new. Lens looks great, feels great and images rock. THANK YOU GUS!. Now, it did take awhile to get through GUS's queue, but he always answered my emails and when the lens came it was SO worth the wait.
TLC Camera Repair : TLC Camera Repair - Gus Lazzari is a Master
James noel, March 22, 2015; 02:59 P.M.
Just wanted to post about my extremely positive experience with Gus. Sent in my Nikon FA for a CLA and within the same day of arrival I had a really good list of things Gus indicated would be addressed/replaced along with a quote for the work. Gus indicated a 6 week or so delay but I was lucky to get mine back a little earlier than that. When I received the package after the work was done I noticed it had some body parts that he had replaced! The camera looks and operates as if it were brand new! Gus's work is impeccable! He even included he original quote and detailed work list on the receipt. If anyone has any reservations about sending something to Gus it is so worth the wait. I honestly find myself tempted to send in my F100 just because it's a bit old and I'd love for it to have that new feel to it again ;)
TLC Camera Repair : Leitz Wetzlar Trinovid Binoculars CLA
Harvey Lashier, December 12, 2013; 06:37 P.M.
I purchased Letiz Wetzlar Trinovid 10x40 binoculars "in excellent condition" on eBay. When I received them the prisms and lenses were so foggy that they were unusable. Following Ken Rockwell's recommendation, I sent them to Gus Lazzari for CLA. I received them back earlier this month, and they are now FANTASTIC! Gus does great work at reasonable prices, and I recommend him to anyone needing service on Leitz/Leica equipment. Thank you Gus!
TLC Camera Repair : Leica IIIc, IIf, and Summaron 3.5cm
William Millhiser, December 02, 2013; 10:09 A.M.
Gus recently CLA'ed my grandfather's IIIc, IIf, and Summaron. I had been using these bodies for the past 25 years, and the "like-new" cleanliness of the rangefinder and viewfinder is the most striking aspect of the renovation. The replacement cover on the IIf is also noteworthy. --WPM, NYC
TLC Camera Repair : Thanks to Gus, I now understand...
mitch ly, November 15, 2013; 10:21 P.M.
I bought a used M3 DS (738xxx) from a camera shop about two years ago, and I shot with it "as-is" for about a year. I found that I had difficulty focusing in low light situations, and attributed that to inexperience. After taking a look through the viewfinder of a newer [digital] M, I realized my viewfinder and rangefinder patch were both very hazy.
I sent it to the Leica store for a repair estimate, learned that they wanted to do *too much* to the camera and charged a ton for the repair. I then decided to call and ask for Gus' help, and, luckily, made it just before he stopped accepting new requests. I sent the camera in to Gus, and the estimate I got back was roughly a third of what the Leica store had quoted, but the estimated turn-around was significantly higher.
The actual restoration turn-around was considerably longer than the estimate Gus had given me, but it was well worth the wait. The viewfinder is now crystal clear, and the little specks that clouded the rangefinder patch are all gone. Thanks to Gus, I now understand why the M3's viewfinder is still widely regarded as the best.
(The restoration performed on the rest of the camera is absolutely amazing, too, but completely overshadowed by the breathtaking viewfinder...)
TLC Camera Repair : Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 sends its regards from Greece!
Xenofon Pappas, November 09, 2013; 08:57 A.M.
I own a Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 collapsible, a true jewel of a lens. When I got it, it had some serious defects, like fogging (due to the lubricant) and several scratches on the front element. The collapsible Summicrons were quite notorious for their soft front glass element that was easy to scratch, and its age and usage apparently didn't help it either.
After a lot of consideration and internet research, I decided to send it to Gus Lazzari, quite hesitantly at first, I have to admit. The rave reviews I had read pretty much everywhere around, comforted me and eased my mind a bit. I didn't have very high hopes, but I thought that it would at least come back in better condition.
It took a while for it to come back (there was a delay, but to my knowledge it wasn't actually Gus' fault), but my, oh my, was it worth it! To say I was impressed when I saw my (now CLA'ed) Summicron, would be an understatement! I was absolutely astonished by the work that had been put to the servicing of the lens. Everything was smooth, clicked firmly in place, and the front element was crystal clear! The whole lens was finally a joy to look at,hold and shoot with!
The delay for the whole procedure had made me grumpy, but seeing the result made me forget about it. Apart from that, Gus was always willing to inform me about the details and the delays that had risen up, we had constant and very good communication all the time, so in the end, I wasn't left feeling unsure or uncomfortable with my choice.
I would definitely recommend Gus Lazzari and TLC Camera Repair to anyone interested in lens restoration and refreshing services. If you have an old lens that you love but can't use because it needs cleaning, scratches removal or service in general, Gus knows his job.
Mr Lazzari, thank you very much for restoring a precious gem of a lens to its prime condition! Xenofon Pappas
TLC Camera Repair : helped add a new dimension to my hobby
richard kline, September 14, 2013; 12:04 P.M.
A 30 year Nikon user, I succumbed and bought a Leica M9 in December 2010 after reading rave reviews from Nikon and Canon owners for several months. I liked it so much, I eventually started wondering about Leica's "legendary" camera, the M3. After some deliberation, I bought a DS M3, Leicameter MR-4, and DR Summicron with goggles, all on ebay, and sent them all to Gus.
My next contact with him was when I received an incredibly detailed assessment of the current condition of all the equipment, far more in-depth than I ever would have imagined, in which he even noted a small defect in the Summicron front-element coating which "could affect picture quality, but only in flare-prone conditions."
Well, I gave him the go-ahead to make everythig as close to new as possible. He took apart and adjusted everything, ordered missing parts, even disassembled the lens and sent the front element to a colleague with a vapor-deposition chamber to have it re-coated.
When I got it back, it was beautiful. Every moving part was so smooth that just enjoying the tactile feedback from dials, switches, aperture rings, etc. was a complete joy - German mechanical perfection brought back to full glory. I recently took it on a trip to Yosemite, where I carried the M3 with an M9 almost everywhere I went. The M3 was such a joy to use, I don't think I would have missed the M9 if I hadn't brought it. Everything functioned flawlessly, meter was spot-on, I really couldn't believe I was using a 50+ year old camera. All I can say is, "Thanks, Gus!"
TLC Camera Repair : Beyond being a "repair" shop
Robert Weinberg Subscriber, August 17, 2013; 09:59 A.M.
I agree with all of the positive stories about Gus Lazzari. Most refer to Gus as a repair man for me after receiving my M3 from TLC I would rather consider Gus to be a conservator and a restorer of Leica cameras. Yes, my M3 is repaired but, beyond that the body and mechanic of the camera have been saved and restored from the ruins of time and deterioration from misuse of poor storage conditions and general neglect. And what I sent to Gus has been conserved for years of further enjoyment. For me, in closing, TLC is a conservation and restoration lab rather than a repair shop where I believe there is a higher reverence for each project Gus undertakes which in my case my Leica M3 speaks for itself. Bob Weinberg Santa Fe, NM
TLC Camera Repair : 1958 Summicron 2.0, Now Like New!
Peter Janssen, July 11, 2013; 09:27 P.M.
This beautiful vintage lens had a problem focusing properly. Prior to sending the lens to Gus, he provided me with a few tips to make sure it was the lens itself that needed attention. He then applied his "TLC" to the summicron, and it is now like new! Reasonable lead time, fair price, great results. Thanks Gus.
TLC Camera Repair : Leica IIIf - 59 years young!
Scott McLeod, March 10, 2013; 06:13 A.M.
I bought a cosmetically near-mint IIIf RD ST (s/n puts it from 1954) advertised as having had a "recent CLA". After I'd had it for a couple of weeks the shutter started sticking, and I hadn't even put a roll of film through it. Rather than mess around with the original seller I decided to send it off to Gus, who CLA'd my M6 TTL a few years ago while I was studying in the US (I'm back home in Australia now). I also sent along a Canon 50/1.8 II LTM lens that needed to be cleaned internally and re-lubed but otherwise seemed okay. I received a very reasonable repair estimate for both items and gave the go-ahead.
As with the M6 TTL, it was *absolutely* worth it, regardless of the international shipping costs. The camera and lens came back spotlessly clean and feel like they were made yesterday, not more than half a century ago (the lens is a little younger, dating from sometime between 1956-58). All the controls are firm and tight, yet silky-smooth, the optics are remarkably clear and bright, and the shutter sound and feel is really something. Even the slightly acrid smell the camera had when I first got it is now gone. I was initially worried it was the vulcanite and therefore something I'd be stuck with no matter what, but since it's no longer there I assume it was actually some of the original lubricants, which do tend to "go off" eventually. The end result is really quite amazing.
In the interim I grabbed an extremely nice Canon 50/1.4 II on ebay and had no hesitation in sending that to TLC for a CLA. In summary, I have zero reservations in recommending TLC Camera Repair even if you don't live in the USA - superior workmanship and a pleasure to deal with!
TLC Camera Repair : Leica iiif camera repair
Stan Para, June 27, 2012; 02:32 P.M.
I purchased my Leica iiif in the mid 1950's in Thule, Greenland. After many years of good use I let it stand idle for thirty or more years. I looked all over for someone to repair the camera. The main problem was a sluggish shutter. By some miracle I found TLC Camera Repair. After speaking with Gus Lazzari I was impressed with his knowledge and confidence that he could repair the camera. He always emphasized it would take fourteen weeks or more and to be patient. Without knowing much about TLC Camera Repair I decided to "take a shot" and send the camera. Mr. Lazzari was right in warning me to be patient. I thought I did pretty good. I was overjoyed, after a long wait to hear from Mr. Lazzari that the camera was ready. I couldn't believe my eyes when i received the camera. Not only did he repair the shutter he restored the camera to LIKE NEW condition. It looks as good as the day after i took it out of the box in the 1950's. It brought back memories of my time spent traveling the Arctic region aboard the Coast Guard Icebreaker Westwind. Thank you Gus for a job well done. You are a master at what you do.. Stan in Georgia
TLC Camera Repair : First class restoration job
Mike Cooke, February 07, 2012; 06:52 P.M.
At the end of 2010 I bought a Leica lllf on ebay - big mistake!!! The camera body was quite nice, but the 'insides' were a complete disaster. I sent it to Gus Lazzari who sent me a detailed explanation of the problems and what it would take to repair and restore it to full use. Gus spent a year finding parts and restoring the camera and the quality of his work is outstanding. Last weekend I had the pleasure of using my Leica lllf for the first time - a whole new experience. I'm delighted with the repair and would recommend Gus to anybody.
TLC Camera Repair : IIIf, like Lazarus, has risen from death into new life
Larry Terrell, November 29, 2011; 08:38 P.M.
Some months ago I had mustered the courage to begin approaching repair shops around the U.S. about bringing my Grandfather's Leica IIIf back to a usable status. It had lain dormant for some number of years prior to his passing, but after my Grandfather's funeral, it was bequeathed to me with its' collapsible Summicron attached and a few other lenses in the kit (a moldy faux leather bag that was moulting). Although in a controlled environment, my 'new' camera lay dormant for better than a decade while I took great care with moving it, but never went the extra step to bring it back to working order. The grime of age and non-use along with green oxidization had accumulated on parts of the camera, the lens was very sticky and I had almost given up hope of being able to afford their return to a usable status. Some repair shops, though with very good reputations, were asking more than I could readily afford to bring my IIIf into the modern era. It was at this point that I found Gus Lazzari and TLC Camera Repair. His reputation was stellar, he was very approachable, and his pricing quite fair and more within my budget's eventual reach. Little did I realize the extent to which his repair prowess had been underspoken by his fair pricing and approachability. I have just today received my Leica and I hope to share before and after shots to show the extent of rebirth that has been given to my Grandfather's (now My) IIIf. At the time I had approached Gus about taking in my camera, he was actually contemplating temporarily ceasing taking in new repair work due to his heavy load and the eventual moving of the physical location of TLC repair. For a few months he actually did stop with new work in order to focus on the backlog. I am grateful he allowed me to get mine in the queue. To be honest, the wait was longer than I had initially anticipated, but I have NO REGRETS as I know without a doubt that my camera and others' cameras were given the same attention to detail and amount of care and expertise and throughout the wait, Gus stayed in contact. I am truly grateful for having found Gus and TLC and will not hesitate to bring my camera gear to him again and again. For now, I am learning to become one with my camera, studying all era-specific literature, and am heeding the manual's call to be able to operate my Leica 'blindfolded'. I will definitely share some pics when able. Thank you Gus!
TLC Camera Repair : Gus Lazzari, is simply the Best
Josue Armand Serrano, October 14, 2011; 05:44 P.M.
I first found out about Gus and his servce, doing my research on Leica repair services. I found many, but not all answer their phones, or e-mail me back. I guess they were very busy. Gus, answered on the first ring. I felt comfortable talking with him, and he was very helpful. So I mailed my Black Leica Standard E cir.1938, and Summicron 50mm f:2.0 lens that was in real bad shape...with haze, fungus, and everything you can imagen...I saw I my a bad deal with the lens, anyway...Gus said I ll see what I can do with the lens. I recieved the Leica and Summicron yesterday, went I open the box and saw the camera and lens I said ..WOW, I would never believe they would look this way. I am very happy with his profesional work, fair price, and his quickness to communicate.
TLC Camera Repair : Time machine
Fritz Christer Bratz, July 03, 2011; 04:14 P.M.
I bought an M3 and a pretty beat up lens, as well as a iiif, of eBay, and sent them to Gus for CLA.
Gus was on the ball from the go, and gave me prompt feedback that the eBay sellers had overrated the state of the equipment they were selling. I went back to the sellers, and received discounts on both the M3 and the 5cm Elmar based on Gus' assessment.
Now, I knew Gus was well reputed, but nothing could have prepared me for the moment when I unwrapped the finished items. The equipment practically shone, and when I pushed the shutter of the M3 for the first time, I was totally taken aback by the silky sound of perfection.
I've written Gus and told him that if he told me he had a time machine, that enabled him to go back in time and buy the products as new, I would believe him.
I have no other experience with other Leica repair specialists out there, but I can endorse Gus Lazarri wholeheartedly. He communicates well, the prices are fair, and you will get back your equipment in factory condition.
I really don't need any more Leica stuff, but in time I will get another camera, just to experience again the excitement of opening another parcel from Gus.
Best regards, Fritz Bratz Lillestrøm, Norway
TLC Camera Repair :
Gus and his TLC Camera Repair are simply the "Zen of Leica" -- no ifs or buts.
Jose Nabielsky, June 09, 2011; 11:16 A.M.
I learned about Gus from Ken Rockwell's camera blogs on the 'Net.
Gus and his TLC Camera Repair are everything that Ken said, and more.
I just had my wife's 'Cron 50, silver, latest version, CLAed by Gus, and retrofitted to 6-bit encoding.
I received the lens yesterday, and the scruff marks on the built-in hood are gone! The optics are crystal clear, and the lens clicks and focuses better than new. Simply pristine.
[As an aside, all the photo gear is my wife's -- she is the trained professional photographer, I am just "Boy Friday" helping her cause.]
I had used Sherry Krauter before on two other Leica lenses (Elmarit-M 90 and 'Cron 35 ASPH). Never again! What a difference! Gus provides total communication throughout with an spectacular end-product. No comparison.
Next I will be sending to Gus for CLA my wife's trusted Olympus analog kit: an early 1980's OM-2 and three Zuiko lenses. She would kill before departing of them, but after seeing the 'Cron 50 she was sold. And that was no small accomplishment.
doctorj Washington, DC June 8, 2011
TLC Camera Repair : Guss fixed my MP quickly and at a reasonable price.
Tommy Venegas, April 26, 2011; 04:30 P.M.
My bright line frames no longer were changing when the lenses were changed on the camera so I found Guss on this forum. I gave him a call and he was able to give me pretty good idea of what the cause was and the fix for it.
I sent it to him and had him do the CLA also where he found the shutter to have some inaccuracies ( he fixed that also ). The camera was returned well within his time estimate. I think it ended up being about 4 weeks.
I would definitely recommend him for anyone needing repair or maintenance of their camera gear. He was easy to talk to, came across trustworthy, and his work was great. I'll definitely use him again.
TLC Camera Repair : Gus rocks! Great service and quick turn-around on my Leica gear.
Carl Follstad Subscriber, April 04, 2011; 11:43 P.M.
I first read about Gus and TLC Camera Repair in the PNet forums. People were showing off their recently repaired lenses (and showing off PHOTOS taken with the lenses). I had some similar lenses waiting for some service (CLA) so I wrote to Gus and he wrote back to me promptly, with prices and expected turnaround.
The lenses were sent in and came back in less than a month fully serviced. It was so nice to see a 50-year-old lens returned to perfect functioning!
I feel it's necessary to mention that the reason I hadn't sent my lenses in for service with some of the other Leica service people was because of tremendously unreasonable delays in getting equipment serviced and returned to me. And apparently some of these same people seem to take a odd sort of pride in not answering their telephone or eMail. Gus is NOT one of these people, thankfully! He's quite responsive.
Next, I reached out to Gus for a full CLA on my Leica M4-P. Again, eMail turn-around was quick, an estimate was quoted and I added an optic upgrade to my CLA request. Gus even held a spot in his service queue for me so I could use my camera until just before he was ready for it (he needed parts). He dropped me an eMail when he was ready. I sent in the M4-P and within two weeks he had given the camera a "once over" in order to provide me exact detail on what was wrong with it and what it would cost to set it right. I told him to go ahead and do the repairs. I had it back in two weeks. It looks and works great and the original optics were returned to me as well.
Based on my experiences, Gus is a first-rate professional offering fair prices, quick communication, and reasonable turn-around for repairs.
I'm sending him a couple more lenses for service this spring.
TLC Camera Repair : Gus Lazzari is the best Leica technician there is.
Peter Silva, March 29, 2011; 11:56 P.M.
I wanted the finest CLA for my newly acquired M2. This camera was an eBay score and it was in mint condition except that the lubrication had all dried up. The camera wouldn't shoot at all. It needed a CLA from the best Leica tech I could find.
I called Sherry. No answer. I emailed her. No answer. I called Don. No answer. I emailed Don. No answer. Okay, fair enough...they are busy and don't need my business. I then remembered an article from Ken Rockwell on his website about a Leica service tech whose name I had all but forgotten. So I went to Ken's website and found Gus Lazzari. Ken raved about Gus and especially about Gus' ability to CLA a vintage Leica without compromising the infamous 'L' seal.
I called Gus the next day. He picked up after only two rings. Great! Someone who actually answers the phone! I liked this guy right away.
I went through the standard details with him, cost, time, description of services, etc. Through the entire conversation Gus was really low key, very knowledgeable, and easy to talk to. No pretense, no snobbery. He told me his wait time was something like 90 days, but that if I wanted to, I could hold onto the camera for 2 months and then send it and he'd get to it right away. He assigned me an 'absentia' number so that I'd get 'in line' with his repair schedule in 90 days. So, I did this. Two months later I boxed up the camera and shipped it off to Gus, not knowing what to expect...
After 3 weeks I now have the camera back from his magical touch. Wow. It is better than new in every respect. Gus Lazzari is a first rate technician...an artist. I couldn't ask for more. The viewfinder is crystal clear, the controls are spot on, every aspect of this camera is precisely like new. He even applied a clear vinyl covering over the top plate as a bonus.
And the 'L' seal is still very much intact, just as Ken Rockwell raved about.
An honest, thoroughly competent technician. Thank you Gus Lazzari.
mar d, February 13, 2012; 01:18 P.M.
I have not experience rapid service if you can call 13 weeks speedy when I was quoted 12 weeks. Does not return emails promptly. I'm not sure anyone is worth a 13 week wait!
TLC Camera Repair : Nikon S & 50mm f/2 CLA
Dave Jannetta, January 31, 2011; 10:47 P.M.
After scouring the web and contacting various individuals and companies I finally settled on Gus to repair and clean my Nikon S and the accompanying 50mm f/2 lens. I had purchased the camera through craigslist as it was in good condition and was a relatively good deal. But the shutter needed repaired, there was some cosmetic wear (some bubbling on the leather), and the aperture blades had a bit of oil on them. So, although Gus was a little pricier than some of the other options, I was able to have a conversation with him and felt really comfortable that my money would be well spent.
Four months later (longer than I would have liked, but it's understandable considering he's currently looking at a 6 month turnaround as of late Jan 2011) my camera arrived in the mail, shining like it was brand new and functioning like the day it rolled off of the factory lines in the early 1950's. I'm in the process of shooting the first roll of film, so will certainly comment back on the accuracy of the shutter speeds, but over all, I couldn't be happier with the results. The bubbling is completely gone and there's even fresh paint covering some of the scuffs on the black areas. The aperture blades are clean and the glass looks cleaner than when I sent it away.
I have no idea what goes in to repairing these things but Gus certainly has an appreciation for the intricate mechanics and beautiful hardware of the camera itself and, presumably, the art that they are used to create. Would definitely recommend him for any of your rangefinder repair or cleaning needs.
TLC Camera Repair : Repair of a Leica 50 f/2 Summicron Rigid
Brian Roberts, December 28, 2010; 04:09 P.M.
I recently purchased an old Leica Summicron Rigid 50/2 on eBay, and it showed up in...less than perfect condition. Fungus, haze, and abrasions from careless cleaning, sticky aperture blades and a very stiff focus ring. As the seller was unwilling to provide a full refund, my lens went into a box and off to NC to meet Gus.
When it returned, it was a completely different object. The chrome was polished, the fungus and haze were gone, the aperture blades clicked through perfectly, and it is now a joy to focus. Even the lens hood, which had been scratched and worn but about which I was not particularly concerned, came back shiny and smelling of fresh paint. The lens is now perfect. It's as if it was shipped out of Solms in the 1950s and directly to my door, and attached to my old M3 it accompanies me everywhere I go.
To top it all off, Gus is a really nice guy, and his prices are lower than the quotes I received from many lesser repair persons. Seriously, if you want it done right, send it to Gus.
TLC Camera Repair : Leica 50mm Summilux Lens from eBay
Steven Brys Subscriber, December 20, 2010; 01:19 P.M.
About a year ago, I bought a beautiful looking Leica 50mm F1.4 lens from a seller on eBay. It cost around $1,000, and considering how nice the lens looked in the photos, I thought it seemed like a good deal. When I got the lens, a cursory review of it confirmed to me that the lens was as it was described. At the time, I was so busy at work, I had little time for photography. So,I just put the lens away with the intent to use it someday.
That someday came a few months ago. I was on my way to work one morning and was struck by a SUV in New York City. I broke a few bones, but survived. I could not walk for three months. But if there was silver lining in this cloud, I had some time I could devote to photography, as I was recovering from my injuries. One day, I took the lens out, and put it on my M6, and fired some test shots. When I got the film back, I noticed how incredibly soft the images were. I felt sick to my stomach, realizing what this probably meant. I got the lens out again, looked through a bright light, and there it was - white, hazy, spider web like formations. I felt like a jerk for not inspecting the lens more closely when I first got it. I am admittedly a novice at this sort of thing, but I failed to exercise sound due diligence. What to do? It was too long since the purchase so I had no recourse to the seller. I do not even have his eBay ID anymore.
One day I ran across this name - Gus Lazzari - and saw all these wonderful stories about the magic he performs on Leica equipment. I figured it was worth a shot, what else could I lose. I sent the lens off to Gus. His diagnosis was an advanced case of fungus. But he thought it was worth trying to fix it. So about 8 weeks later, I got the lens back. I could not believe what a beautiful job Gus did. But having been fooled by appearance once before, I made the only test I could, and that was to take some photos. This time I used an M8 - I have some films shots on the way. What a difference! There is a dramatic difference in the sharpness and clarity of the results, before and after Gus.
So yes, I am not an expert, but I can see what Gus did for a lens that was destined to be re-sold on eBay for parts as is. Now I have not just a usable lens, but a lens that produces very pleasing results to my eyes. And for all that great work, I was only charged around $170! A bargain in my book. So I just want to share this story with my Photo.net community, and use this to send a real, sincere thank you to Gus Lazzari. He is the real deal. Thanks, Gus!
Wayne Hylton, December 19, 2010; 05:27 P.M.
TLC Camera Repair did such a great job refreshing my 27-year old Nikon FA and 18 year old Nikon F4 babies that when I got them back they were almost unrecognizable. They looked almost brand new. I searched my local area in Fairfax, VA for a camera shop that could provide this service that was once commonplace. Well those days are passed, unfortunately. One well known national camera store said they could refresh. After 9 weeks, which originally was supposed to be 3 weeks, I got back 2 FA and 2 FE and I was thoroughly disappointed. Seems all they did was made the body nice and shiny. The inside guts seemed untouched by any hand outside of mine. I found TLC Camera Repair on a famous (or is it infamous) website that recommended it highly. I sent the FA & F4 for a full refresh to reset them back to factory settings. It took 8 weeks, but the wait was well worth it. I can now actually see VERY CLEARLY through the focusing screen, which was cruddy. Foams and seals replaced. Moving parts lubed and everything calibrated. SWEET mama, I am loving life once again. Photography gives me more joy than anything else and it is great that older "classic" pieces such as these Nikon gems still have a place in the shutter-bug world. Thank you to TLC and will definitely be sending my F5 and FE for the same treatment. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!
TLC Camera Repair : M2 Cleaning & Adjustment
Wayne Taylor, October 12, 2010; 09:23 P.M.
After reading about Gus's high standard of work on Ken Rockwell's site, I exchanged several emails regarding a CLA of my M2. Gus was prompt to answer every question and concern I had. So off it went to Gus. This is my first M Leica, and I thought the controls felt and sounded OK, but that a CLA couldn't hurt. But I was really impressed by the change in feel after Gus's work. The film wind is much smoother than before, and the shutter even more quiet. I can better understand why Lecia's have earned their reputation. The two rolls I've shot since the CLA have noticeably more consistent exposures, so either I'm suddenly getting better at metering or Gus did some good work on the shutter. I had thought the camera looked OK for its age (50yrs), but the difference in appearance was dramatic. Gus somehow removed corrosion on the bottom plate, and replaced a pan-head screw without asking and without charge. In sum, I'm glad I asked Gus to do the work, and recommend him without hesitation.
TLC Camera Repair : Nikkormat FT3 Transformation
Douglas Lysinger, August 14, 2010; 03:07 P.M.
I recently have started "collecting" cameras that I've always wanted to own, but never could afford. But I've not been buying mint collectable cameras, but ones that have been used and are in need of some work. I then send the camera to the person who is the "go to" person for that particular brand.
I recently picked up a chrome Nikkormat FT3 camera from Goodwill. It was in good shape, and was sitting there like a cute puppy at the shelter, looking for a new home. I couldn't resist, so it came home with me.
The next step for me was to find a "Nikon guy" that would work on a Nikkormat. I found a guy in Florida who is highly rated, but I ran across some web articles about Gus Lazarri. I liked what I read, so I sent the FT3 to Gus.
He e-mailed me when he received the camera, quoted me the cost of repair, and e-mailed me when the repair was done. After he received my payment, the camera shipped. I received it a few days later.
When I opened the box, my first thought was WOW!! I could barely tell that it was the same camera. I looked almost new. I don't have a Nikon lens (yet), so I've not run any film through it, but I have fired the shutter a few times ... it is SOOO smooth now. As soon as I get a lens, I am going to run some film through it.
I have a Canon F-1 that I will be sending Gus soon. And now that I've found someone that does fantastic work, appears to take pride in his work AND enjoys doing it, I will be looking for more "orphans" to "adopt".
I hope you have an opportunity to give him a try. From my first experience with his service, I doubt you will be disappointed.
TLC Camera Repair : M6 CLA and Repair
Dr. Benjamin Schaefer Subscriber, July 26, 2010; 02:18 P.M.
Hail to the Camera Doctor. I recently bought a M6 in great "external" condition but alas, it was sick with some broken internal organs causing it to lag at higher shutter speeds. As this was not a geriatric case to be left to vegetate in my camera closet, I sent it to Gus. Not only did Gus fix it, cleaned it and CLA'ed it, he did it at lightnign fast speed for a great price. He is hard, if not impossible, to beat.
TLC Camera Repair : Leica iiif
Dan Cauley, May 05, 2010; 11:22 A.M.
I had my Leica iiif body and Summicron 5cm f2 lens serviced by Gus Lazzari at TLC Camera Repair and I could not be more satisfied with the result. I sent him a 50 year old non-functioning camera that looked its age and he returned a fully functional gem in near mint condition. All controls are woring very smoothly, the shutter fires almost silently and the lens is clean and clear. The biggest surprise was how bright and clear the view and range finders are, I feel like I am looking through a new camera.
I would highly recommend trusting Gus with any camera that is worth restoring and preserving.
TLC Camera Repair : Gus Lazzari CLA and repair of M6TTL
Michael Smith, March 21, 2010; 12:39 P.M.
I tried TLC Camera Repair because I had read good things about Gus on the Interent. I gave him a call and found him immediately informative and knowledgeable about Leica, but also all aspects of camera repair. I told him the meter had failed in my camera and it was in need of CLA. Within a day after receiving my camera, Gus had already determined my flexible printed circuit had failed and needed replacing -- an uncommon failure, he told me, but it happens. He would also calibrate, clean and lubricated my camera to factory specs. His estimate was well within what I expected to pay, but turn around time was estimated to be as long as six weeks due to the availability of the FPC. Well, I had my camera back in less than three weeks! Of course the meter worked again, but more importantly, the camera functioned like new. All functions are silky smooth and the viewfinder is bright and crystal clear, thanks to Gus's meticulous cleaning. What else can I say about Gus Lazzari and TLC Camera Repair? He is informative, fun to talk to, always keeps you updated via email or phone, meticulous, and a very, very fine Leica technician. Bottom line is Gus goes the extra mile for his customers. If you got a Leica, or any brand of camera you want to keep in top working order, send it to Gus! Michael Smith Chapel Hill, NC
TLC Camera Repair/ : My Strongest Recommendation!
Doug Begley, March 17, 2010; 12:13 A.M.
I had never used TLC Camera Repair and bit the bullet, sending in two 35mm Pentax Super Programs I use regularly in my business. To control expenses, I asked merely for a bottom-end functional cleaning and basic checkover, ignoring any dust on the viewfinder windows. Gus Lazzari quickly contacted me to let me know he was unhappy with the tight rewind shafts, which I had never mentioned. It explained why new film was often slipping off the winder shaft on both cameras, something I was just living with. He fixed them both and superbly repaired a badly damaged plastic viewfinder eyepiece frame on one. Then he did his best to send them back long before they were required, and they honestly look new, work great now, and are ready for me to start using again. I was stunned when I opened the box. All this while sticking to my original quoted price. I generally view the price paid as thanks enough for services, but in this case Gus went well over and above, which is why I'm writing this. I will not hesitate to send my working cameras back in a year or two when they're filthy again, and expect that a more vintage personal camera will make the trip, too. If you are uncertain where to send your camera (like I was) then I recommend Gus Lazzari to you. He's very up-front and open, as well as skilled. A very positive, fret-free experience at a reasonable price.
DougB, TLC Camera Repair/ : Fantastic work
TLC Camera Repair : Gus Lazzari CLA of Leica M2
Paul Keller, March 08, 2010; 01:46 A.M.
I tried TLC Camera Repair after determining that it is actually Gus Lazzari who Ken Rockwell had spoken so highly of on his website. Apparently Gus recently relocated from SoCal and set up shop in North Carolina due to family needs. I called Gus and found him to be fun and informative. Very free with his extensive knowledge of Leica repair and he quickly determined my Leica M2 only needed a CLA to rectify it's shutter and viewfinder issues. Turnaround time would be two weeks once he received repair authorization, and the price was well within my acceptable level. Let me emphasize.... Two Weeks! Upon completion my M2 had been transformed into the smooth solid buttery feeling precision instrument begging to be used the way a Leica should be. The rangefinder/viewfinder is crystal clear and accurate. The shutter inspires confidence with it's accuracy at all speeds. The shutter release again has the legendary feel early M's are known for. Not only did Gus preform an excelent CLA, he repaired a small missing chunk of vulcanite near the base and touched up the screws on the front of the body. He also replaced the wax seal at the 12 O'clock position of the lens mount. All without being asked or charging extra. His email communication throughout the process was excellent. I am a bit reluctant to share my extreemly positive experience with TLC as it may help to make Gus too busy and thereby less available for my future repair needs. I should mention that I do not know Gus personnaly and that this writing is my own objective experience. Paul K Tacoma, WA