When you book your camera in for a full service, we also service your rangefinder. All optics are cleaned and adjusted and this includes any minor optical repair work, and accurate calibration and is included in the service price.
Screwmount cameras have a simpler rangefinder set-up. Cleaning the optics and fitting a new beamsplitter can dramatically improve the rangefinder. A new beamsplitter is fitted as standard during a service.
If any of the optical components in a Leica 'M' are chipped or damaged, we will endeavour to restore them so that they are serviceable and in most cases this is covered by our standard service charge. In the unlikely event that any of the optical components have to be replaced, this may incur additional costs.
This happens because the main prism has split. Originally, canada balsam was used as optical cement. If the camera is dropped or subject to a sudden shock, the two triangular halves of the prism can come apart. Light from the viewfinder can no longer pass through to the eyepiece due to total internal reflection but usually the beamsplitter is intact and often you can see just the RF patch and the framelines. The entire prism has to be rebuilt which is a big job and requires the use of a vacuum chamber in order to re-apply the thin film, semi-reflective mirror.
We will soon be in a position to be able to replace the entire M3 prism with brand new fully AR coated components. This is useful because the prism is made from high refractive index flint glass which is extremely fragile. If your prism components are cracked, chipped or even broken, we can now replace them. Something that hasn't been possible for many years.
If you want us to repair a blacked-out rangefinder but not carry out any other work, for example, your camera may have already been serviced recently, we can arrange that for you.
If you wish to remove the rangefinder from your camera, to send to us for repair/service/prism rebuild, the charge is PRICE. This is a useful option for overseas customers, for avoiding customs charges based on the value of the entire camera.
Blacked-out Viewfinder - Leica 'M'