European Camera Service has re-opened in Melbourne to repair vintage Leica cameras and gear, after almost 20 years of the workshop being packed away.
Jorg Heumuller, a factory trained Leica technician, is running the show after attempting to sell the entire workshop in 2016.
Turns out that there isn’t a great deal of demand for an entire de-commissioned analog Leica service and repair business. But there is a shortage of old fashioned repairers, and Jorg’s unique talent was going to waste.
‘There was minimal interest for the money I wanted, which I sort of knew. I didn’t want to sell it for a pittance – it was too close to my heart. I realised I have these skills and there’s been endless requests from Leica owners in Australia to start up again,’ he told ProCounter.
With the business back up and running since its closure in 2004, Jorg can handle most old school analog Leica gear that’s in need of a service or repair.
But don’t bother enquiring about digital gear. Jorg wouldn’t touch it. His area of expertise is purely film cameras.
Jorg was born in the same town as Leica – Wetzlar, Germany. He was factory trained as a Leica repair technician in his teens, and spent the best part of 35 years as a repair technician.
He has an expertise in numerous vintage Leica product lines, including M cameras, SLRs up to the R6, lenses and binoculars, slide projectors, and much more.
Once upon a time – the ’90s to be specific – Jorg was the Australian Leica authorised repair technician.
But he wasn’t interested in digital technology, so he gave up the gig and is now simply a Leica factory trained technician.
‘My specialty is the analog and the old – vintage. Many professionals do want a little peace and quiet, and an old Leica is perfect for this,’ he said.
Most photographers have moved on from film. But many have fond memories of using old Leica gear and may occasionally run the odd roll of film through it. Others may have handed the gear down to their hipster children, or stored it away safely in the attic.
Either way, if the gear isn’t performing like it should, Jorg can assess whether he’s able to repair it.
‘I have a repair desk at my factory. It includes the Leica repair manuals from the 2C to M4, M5, M6. Maybe a hundred different complete manual books from the factory. Plus an extensive array of spare parts, and then specialised tools from the mid-60s to ’90s. It’s the whole repair shop.’
While Jorg only just re-launched European Camera Service, his skills haven’t rusted.
‘My last repair was yesterday. I never really stopped, I just didn’t make it known I was still doing it. Around four months ago I received requests for a few repairs. I got the bench back out, and since then I’ve done numerous repairs.’
Check out http://www.europeancameraservice.com for more information, or to get in contact with Jorg.