View Full Version : Good Photo mechanics and supply addresses in EU

10-May-2010, 10:51
Hi everybody!
I see that this forum is very USA centric, probably it's just because most LF non-professional users are located across the Atlantic, but here and there i find posts made by members living elsewhere, some of them very active.
Sadly most of the references posted on the forum refer to US shops/companies.
I undertsand that S.K. Grimes and LensN2Shutters.com do a wonderful job, but shipments to/from USA, at least by italian/european standards, are awfully expensive, and the total expense would be so high, to make it convenient only for high-cost equipments, or rare collectibles.
Even for more mundane necessities, like finding a hose and a rubber pump for a pneumatic shutter, i could find only US addresses.
A few posts ago there was a very interesting thread about were would be possible to find spare parts for a Packard shutter. I don't own one, but i have a large circular front shutter, with a flange and 3 screws, allowing the use with lenses of different front size.
Unfortunately it didn't come with the rubber hose and the hand-pump. I tried to find an old blood pressure instrument from which to steal the needed parts, but i couldn't find one.
It would be very nice to get at least one EU address to ask from.

I have some other small problems to be solved, some are very simple, most photo repairer could do them. Other works are not so simple, and i would like to have them made by a trustworthy one. For example i have to make a custom tube to fit the rear group of a 300mm CZJ Tessar behind the shutter, but most of the photo repair shops in my area are either not willing to take the job, or too expensive (and most of the times they specialize in totally different equipments, so i hardly trust them).

I think that a dedicated thread, with references to people/shops with a strong experience in LF equipments, residing in EU countries, would be welcomed by the many forum members living this side of the Atlantic.
Personally i wouldn't care if they have a true shop or simply do it as a part-time job, as long as they're truly experienced and know what they are doing.
I knew a very nice man, he was an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable user/collector of old stereo cameras, and he was a very good photo repairer/mechanic too.
With an old russian lathe, located in his basement, he used to make any kind of parts. Hewas just a retired man, already quite old, doing a part-time job, but i remember that all the works he has done for me at the time were very professional and very satisfying. Unfortunately he is too old now, and he quit working. That's why i am looking for somebody who could do the same things with the same passion and professionality. I don't mind if i have to send away my lenses/shutters/etc. as far as the time and cost involved are reasonable.

I didn't see any spamming on this forum, and US companies are reported very often, so i think it shouldn't be any problem having some infos posted for us poor EU users.
Whoever is taking care of this forum, please give us a green light or post your objections.

have fun


Steven Tribe
10-May-2010, 11:34
This is problem which is common to all post-industrial lands. Speciality shops and speciality services have been disappearing for the last 25 years. In 1985, I still had small workshops within a half-hours drive that could make white metal bearings ( for use in vintage engines) , buy all sorts of brass/bronze fitments and small stock brass tubing and a place that had a decent stock of European and Tropical Hardwoods. These have all gone as the ground value of their properties got too high so they sold out. The idea about retired craftsmen with lathes in their basement looking for meaningful "jobs" is somewhat exagerated - I certainly haven't found them! The people I have found that have lathes etc. because they have a dominant hobby themselves (like model steam engines!) and little experience/or interest outside this specific hobby. There are problems with the size (large radii) and the rather special skills of cutting large threads. I also believe that people who have found expert help with the right machines do not pass this information on to others (by choice or because the contact is already under pressure from all sides)!

It is no surprise to me that the only person who offers special machining services of interest to us is based in China (through e**y). He accepts one off orders - but only when he can see that there is a likelyhood of larger demand afterwards or a modification to an existing product he has.

But, of course, there is a need for tips as regard bellows material, pneumatic fitments, etc. As regards shutters - I don't think we can muster an alternative to the excellent US providers. Perhaps a German correspondent can say whether such a person/organisation exists for prontor,compur and compound?

I completely agree there should be a thread dedicated to "tips" and non-commercial offers from fellow members. I suggested it last December.

Marko Trebusak
10-May-2010, 23:13
Steven has his point. Even here in Slovenia it's increasingly difficult to find a workshop for all that small problems with fitting odd stuff to new cameras. I have luck with Fotomehanika (tel. +386 1 4271988) here in Slovenia, but they don't have a web. A retired craftsman working there occasionally restored iris of my Cooke to “like new” status. It wasn’t cheap job, but after that investment, I can use this lens in other positions beside wide open. A friend of mine told me, that they repair quite a few of his Compurs as well. Another option is local craftsman making prototypes of tools with lathe and milling tool. A friend of mine is such a person and he made me few odd adapters.

I'll be watching this tread development as well.


Dan Fromm
11-May-2010, 02:46

Uli Mayer
11-May-2010, 02:50
A repairshop frequently recommended in the German LF community is http://www.fotomechanik-reinhardt.de/index.html
Mr. Reinhard has an excellent repution for bringing even very old and badly damaged shutters back to life.

Steven Tribe
11-May-2010, 03:56
I forgot to mention that I think that the UK is something of an exception to the general dearth of small specialist workshops and suppliers in the EU. There is a tradition of almost shed-like workshops built sometimes in disused farm buildings - which can't be used for anything else. These go often under the name "Unit xyz" followed by the address. Even if you don't find the right person with the right stock locally - they often do know who does have the right materials/tools/experience.

Sascha Welter
11-May-2010, 04:36
I don't know about guys really making or building special parts, but I recently had my shutters serviced here in Athens (Greece). They are working fine now.

So, my recommendation is Picopoulos Camera Repairs, 26, Lekka street in the center of Athens. Tel. 210 3225650. Website: http://nicos-picopoulos.tripod.com/

I've bought an old 6x6 TLR in 86 from the owner's father. The current owner didn't raise an eyebrow on fixing my 57 and 67 vintage synchro-compur shutters. He told me that he received his first training at Bolex in Switzerland. I've heard that the 3rd generation of the family will take over the shop, but I haven't asked him if that's actually true.

alex from holland
11-May-2010, 05:27
for the rubber hose and pump, try hairdressers wholesale.
They are used by Hairdressers for spraying water .
As i am bold, for me it's a long time ago i have seen them LOL