A few posts back, I wrote about the passing of legendary New York City Leica dealer and good friend Ken Hansen at the end of April. I still can’t believe I can no longer shoot him an email with a Leica question or browse and drool at the items in his eBay store.
My last purchase from Ken was a used Leica R6. The R6 is one of the most desirable of the R-series cameras because it is a dependable, purely mechanical camera with spot and center-weighted metering. Like most of the used Leicas Ken had for sale, the R6 he sold me last August appeared to have been kept in a time capsule. This is one of the photos of the camera Ken sent me pre-purchase…
The camera still had the protective foil on the baseplate…
Like every transaction with Ken, the camera was in a box on its way to me before I sent him any money for it. When it arrived, it was as described, cosmetically great and functioning as designed.
I shot a few rolls with the camera and noticed that the meter was off a bit, not much more than a half a stop or so, but enough to require some fiddling in Lightroom. And while the light seals were still pretty good, after nearly 30 years, it was time to replace them. Since this was my last ever Ken Hansen camera and I intend to keep it forever, a proper service was in order.
While there are many places to have Leica M bodies serviced, there are only a few options for service on Leica SLRs. One of those is DAG Camera Repair. Don Goldberg is well known as a master Leica service technician with great reviews and I have always wanted to try him. Seemed a perfect fit for this camera with so much sentimental value.
I contacted Don via email and he responded promptly with instructions and anticipated wait time. It’s always nice when a repair shop lets you know in advance how long it will take to get your camera back. I sent my camera off and had it back exactly as he promised.
The seals did need replacing including the one around the little window on the film door that show what kind of film you have loaded in the camera. This is a common source of light leaks in Leica R bodies. My R6 came with a weird grid matte focusing screen, so I also asked him to change out that screen for a split image one. Don also calibrated shutter speeds and meter, bringing the camera back to factory specs.
Very pleased with the service from DAG Camera and it’s nice to have my R6 back home. I’ve made a lot of nice analog photography friends over the past decade and my serviced R6 will always remind me of one of the best.