Plaubel Makina repairers.

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by adrianlambert, May 14, 2017.

  1. adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Plaubel have suspended their repairs and servicing for the Makina cameras. Can anybody recommend an alternative repair shop for Plaubel Makinas in the U.K. or EU?
     
  2. jbmia

    jbmia Member

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    I just had a Makina 670 CLA'd by Frank Marshman (aka Camera Wiz). The price was reasonable. The turnaround time was fine. I didn't have any major surgery performed so your mileage may very, but I would do business with again.

    You can find a lot about him via searching the forums here. His email is: camerawiz@msn.com

    Oh yeah, careful with the CLA being offered on eBay, I did explore that option, but wasn't comfortable with their response to a few questions and found some poor reviews going back into their eBay history. I also contacted Nippon Photo Clinic and they wanted crazy money for a CLA (over $1k IIRC)... !!

    On a side note, I never understood how Plaubel (Germany) always seemed to be positioned as the authority on repair of these cameras, when the company was sold to Doi and they were manufactured by Konica back in the 70's/80's. One would think there would be some old retired ex-Konica guy in Japan with with more credentials.. Just a side comment ..

    Feel free to reach out if you need more details.

    (edit) Oops.. missed the EU / UK part. Left my comment for anyone stateside with some interest or in case you can't locate a resource on your side of the pond..

    John
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Thanks John. Just saw your comment on the other thread too. I may still contact him if I have no luck in the UK/EU so thank you.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You may wish to contact Mr. Marshman to find out whether he has recommendations for either people in Europe or how best to send cameras to him.
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Thanks MattKing. Good thinking!
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    I did also look into him quite a bit. I believe he's called Fema and used to own a place called Panorama Camera. There are some bad reviews on yelp and one awful one on google but they tended to relate to how he ran his business, tardy repairs etc. There are quite a few reviews that come from very happy customers too more specifically about his work. I've emailed back and forth with him through eBay and he seems, like a number of people in the industry to be a little bit cantankerous, which is fine if he can fix cameras well. He also claims to have a few Makina viewfinders in stock though which puts him in a very good position. I'd like to trust him but do have some reservations. That said, he's given me a lot of info whilst I've been kicking his tyres so I'm softening towards him. I also contacted Nippon repairs but they said they didn't think they could help with my viewfinder issues.
     
  7. FujiLove

    FujiLove Member

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    Hi Adrian - I would suggest dropping Miles Whitehead an email (mwcamerarepairs@gmail.com) if you haven't already.

    I don't know if he deals with Plaubel cameras, but he has repaired and serviced lenses and Mamiya 7 equipment for me and done a great job. He's also good value, reliable and turns the jobs around quickly.

    Good luck with your search and let us know how you get on.
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Thanks guys. I've just emailed both of them. My fingers are crossed!
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Frank Marshman just responded with a wonderful and clear response. Interestingly he vouched for the eBay repair guy's work but said it was his communication skills that people sometimes struggle with. So I kind of think that maybe I do have the measure of him. So Frank seems to be the man thus far. His prices are a tiny bit cheaper and he says he can clean the Viewfinder which would improve it and save money. So the question is whether I want a new/good VF from the guy of few words or take a chance on a cleaned up one from the nice, straight talking guy who explains everything. This is a tough call.
     
  10. colinstearns

    colinstearns Member

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    i don't really post too much here but this is a good reason. i recently sent my beloved plaubel makina 670 to Plaubel to be repaired and overhauled, you can find them here: http://plaubel.com/ and here: info@plaubel.com.

    perhaps more expensive than other places and the total fear of sending my camera to germany for repair but i would do it again 1,000 times for what I got back as well as the customer service. it took about 2 to 3 months but the camera is, for me, better than new. a full cla and it was dropped, film door was broken with shipping about $400. it was bargain.

    good luck with the best camera ever made.

    sorry, re-reading original post, and I might have missed something....not sure if this same place.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Thanks but they have now suspended servicing.
     
  12. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Member

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    Frank Marshman overhauled my old Makina III and did a beautiful job. He even manufactured and installed a piece of linkage that was missing inside the rangefinder mechanism. Interestingly it was the first time for him to work on a Makina III. I felt like a was rolling the dice, but he IS the man.

    From what I understand Frank is somewhat of a legend in the repair industry (in a good way).
    Now retired but still working from home.

    I do have another couple of old Plaubel cameras I have been thinking of sending to him.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Frank was very helpful when I emailed him last week. He seems like a great guy but he couldn't help with my viewfinder without a donor camera. He recommended another guy in NY that has one so I think that will be my solution. Thanks for the response though.
     
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  15. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Member

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    Adrian,

    If that is the guy on Ebay, let us know please how it goes for you.
    I contacted him last year, but was unsure about the situation.
    Ended up sending my camera to Frank Marshman. And Frank is a straight shooter.
    Still I would like to hear some good first hand stuff about Wiz-Cam

    Thanks -Dan
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    I definitely will. Since I bought the service on eBay he's been much more communicative although I did manage to coax a lot of info including costs out of him before I hit the button. The costs so far haven't changed so I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a shiney ready to go camera. I'll post all the details when I have it back. I contacted Frank too btw. He seems great and I would have gone with him but for the fact he didn't have a replacement viewfinder.
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I find it strange that Plaubel ceased their business without a reference to a repairer, as one would excpect their resting parts stock being sold to at least one repairer.
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    They did say that they were suspending it rather than stopping altogether. And that they were looking at outsourcing the servicing. Odd that they are disorganised.
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The stated on may 17th that they will "cease sales and repairs" at May 31th. And this information is still on.
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Just checked the website. It seems that they have! Better take good care of the cameras now more than ever!
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    Camera arrived back a couple of days ago. I'm hoping to run some film through it and get it in for processing early this week. On first appearances though everything is repaired and repaired well. He had it for about a week and was clear with his communications. The VF is brand new he says and it certainly looks to be so looking through it. Pending seeing a test roll I have to say I'm very happy. Will report back soon.
     
  22. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Member

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    I have sent Wizcam (Ebay Guy in NYC) my Plaubel Makina III to restore the viewfinder. It was missing parts inside according to Frank Marshman, who overhauled the camera last year.

    Will also report. He has been AOK to communicate with so far, and I have payed him through Ebay.
     
  23. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Member

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    Camera will be ready in seven to ten days. Replacing rangefinder cam (missing!), calibrating rangefinder, and cleaning rangefinder glasses.

    Total cost $150. I think I will have more work for this Guy. Not many can repair old Plaubel Makinas..............
     
  24. taomeister

    taomeister Subscriber

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    I took the plunge and got both the W67 and 670 sent to wizcam on eBay for repairs prior to discovering this thread, as I have been trying to contact Plaubel gmbH since May upon learning they were ceasing repairs, and they never responded with 3rd party repair options. So far wizcam has been pretty good about responsiveness and communication, so fingers crossed I should have both of them back in a couple weeks, which seems fair considering the ordering of a new bellows, etc.
     
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    adrianlambert

    adrianlambert Member

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    I have my camera back in tip top shape again!! Wizcam on eBay proved to be very good. There was a slight glitch but he told me to send it back and he'd cover the postage and sort it out right away which he did. In fact he refunded the postage plus a bit extra that covered the packaging too. Overall I'm very happy. I think this guy has some of the last new rangefinder units around too. His English isn't fantastic so bare with him, but as the last poster says, he's pretty good with his communications. Maybe it comes over as short but I put that down to English being a second language. I wouldn't hesitate to use him again.
     
  26. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Member

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    He kept his word and he did a great job for me. I would use him again, and probably will. I have a Makina IIIR that could use an overhaul.
     
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