We know there is a lot of analog cameras in a range of formats available used or even new. But if people can’t get their analog equipment repaired it is bound to die out sooner or later and that would certainly make it less tempting to invest any serious money in analog kit. For someone using analog cameras professionally it is vital to have reasonable priced option for service and repairs. So what options are there?
Analog cameras don’t break you say? Not at all true. Like anything mechanic they need regular attention or they will eventually let you down. This has cost me some potentially amazing photographs with 2 of my favourite cameras, Hasselblad 500 C/M and Polaroid 600 SE. Both are sturdy, professional cameras that are built like tanks, but they still need love and attention.
Having camera equipment serviced or repaired is not cheap, analog or digital. This often leads to people putting film cameras on the shelf when they stop working, at least if they can’t service and fix them themselves. This is also reflected in the number of people that answered questions about where they turn to for CLA and repairs, a lot of people simply have never had an analog camera seen to.
From my own experience, and looking at the survey responses, there are quite a few options for the time being. If you don’t live in a big city it is likely you have to send your camera away, unless it is one of the big brands still active today like Nikon or Canon (which are often accepted at their certified workshops). Where your camera needs to go depends on the camera’s make and age. Some places specialise in Leica, some in Hasselblad and so on. Most camera stores will have connections to several repair shops, so if you don’t know where to go that is the best place to start.
There are old technicians out there that have no web page and only get work by reputation. They are unfortunately becoming quite rare and hard to find.
We asked you if you thought your favourite service centres would still be around in 10 years. The answers were not optimistic, mostly due to the old age of the technicians working there. This causes some real concern as it takes years and years of experience to fix these intricate machines and lenses. If they don’t or can’t employ young apprentices the art of camera repair is in real danger.
If all else fails there are still places like Sendean Cameras in London. They fix pretty much anything and seem to , but you have to go to London or entrust your beloved camera with the postal services or couriers.
Here are the most popular service workshops from the survey:
If you had to point out a place for a newcomer to service their camera, what links would you send them?