SL2 prism desilvering problem?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by raymond_tai, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. I have seen enough SL/SL2 bodies in used camera shops with spots on focusing screens and
    delaminating prisms to not contemplate buying one but then again maybe that is not a good
    sample rate since they are in 2nd hand shops for a reason. I then read on that
    this is a common problem. Will these finder problems happen to all SL2's eventually? My
    questions is that even if I do find an SL2 with a perfect prism should I expect it to go bad
    eventually with use? I rarely see this problem exist in other brands even the older Contarex.
  2. SCL


    No. But if you do have the problem send it to Sherry Krauter or Don Goldberg (given the age of these beauties you should contemplate a CLA anyway). Both the SL and SL2 are terrific cameras with really great viewfinders (big & bright), and excellent metering systems. I have both and prefer the SL2 slightly over the SL (yes I bought them both used and after a CLA they are probably good for another 25 years). I thought I had a slight desilvering problem in the SL, but it turned out to be deterioration of the focusing screen, which DAG replaced for me. I am told that Leica lost money on the SL2 because manufacturing costs outstripped what they were charging the customers...making it a terrific deal given its reliability.
  3. DAG (Don Goldberg) resilvered the prism block in my SL. I think it ran about $250 for the
    resilvering and he has to send it out of house for a few weeks. Leica ran out of
    replacement blocks a few years ago.

    The Leicaflex is one heck of a camera. Think of it like this, even if you spent $400 on top
    of the purchase price to get the camera fully rebuilt it is worth it, because where are you
    going to get a camera of such quality, for that price these days?

  4. Someone on this Forum once said that the best Leicaflex was a Nikon F3 HP -- after owning all of them, I agree. The Leicaflex and the SL2, however, are great fondlers & the lenses are cheap as Leica lenses go.
  5. I've only just handled the SL and SL2, they're very nice machines to be sure, but if the spotting or deslivering was so atrocious that it really interefered with using the camera, I would not buy it and then fork over another $250 on top of maybe $200 for an overhaul. I've seen enough of these cameras with little or no spotting that I don't think it'd be necessary to buy a really bad one. My Nikon F has a few spots in the finder, I find them quite easy to ignore, they're small, out of focus and not right in the center.
  6. This is obviously not a universal problem. My SL has not been abused and the prism is just fine. Some of us prefer Leicas, others Nikons. It's difficult to generalities out of personal preferences.
  7. Thanks very much everyone for your kind advice.

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