Last week I posted an article on how to purchase a vintage Leica. In that article, I mentioned that I had tracked down a well used and abused 1961 M3 for a song and had Youxin Ye of YYe Camera performing a complete CLA on it. Today I present you with the results (the "before" is pictured below on how it sat in his shop - photo by Ye).
Youxin informed me he CLA'd the M3, specifically, cleaned and lubricated all the mechanical parts and cleaned the finder. He then adjusted the brake and verified all shutter speeds and adjusted the finder for both vertical and horizontal lines. From there, he noticed the front prism had a little separation, so he removed it and re-cemented it. The main prism is in perfect shape now with no separation signs. Next, he noticed that the long curtain had some aging stains, so he replaced it with a new curtain then reattached all the light baffles. Then he recovered the body in new leather - looks factory perfect to be honest. Finally, he put a body cap on the camera as the "junker" had it missing. This camera is completely polished and looks as if it were coming off the shelf in 1961.
Mr. Ye worked exceptionally fast on this camera. The turn around from contact to delivery in my hands was an astonishingly mind boggling 48 hours!!! Can't promise he'll always be that fast - but talk about an amazing first impression, eh?
I am working on a photo-shoot with him this summer, documenting his shop and story. We plan to go out for some nice authentic Chinese food as well. Such a gentleman. I'll publish the full interview here this summer.