I've been breaking my cameras for decades.
Here are the places with which I've had good luck.
Just as important as fixing the camera is that a real repairman leaves no tracks: no marks on the screw heads or anywhere to suggest that he's been inside the camera. If you get a camera back and there are marks on it, that was a bad repair. I refer to these marks as "technician tracks."
Before you ship anything to anyone, be sure to confirm that they really are at the address I've listed for them.
Nikon & Canon Digital top
For current digital cameras, I always send them straight to the manufacturer's own repair facility closest to me.
Few if any independent repair facilities are Nikon or Canon certified or trained. If they are, be sure to ask for what cameras.
For digital cameras one especially needs full access to very specialized test equipment, firmware, software and tools for in-depth service of DSLRs and point-and-shoots.
Independents can clean and do most things, but if I really break a DSLR, I send it directly to Canon or Nikon because I know they have the most complete facilities.
Canon or Nikon have referred me to local authorized independent repair shops, which also do great work. For instance, Kurt's in San Diego has all the factory equipment for Nikon.
I've always had very good results with both Canon and Nikon's repair depots. If anything wasn't done properly the first time, a polite request got it done the second try.
Nikon 35mm Cameras top
For older cameras, as well as newer cameras for which Nikon no longer stocks parts, these are the guys I've used.
None of these guys has a website; they do repairs, not websites.
TLC Camera Repair
Gus is my guy. I send him everything that I don't send directly to the manufacturer.
Gus can fix anything, and never leaves any tracks. He fixes classic LEICA cameras, too, so Nikons are easy for him. Gus has worked on many, many cameras for me.
Berrie is one of the guys Nikon sends out to large sporting events to provide live repair and sensor cleaning service to the NPS pros covering the event.
He's also an independent repairman. I sent him an FE that needed repair, and it came back quite clean. I haven't sent him anything else yet.
Canon 35mm Cameras top
A reader sent me a Canon T90 that had the usual EEE shutter error. I looked for a T90 repairman, and it turns out that Steven is a T90 specialist.
Since I had him on the phone, I also sent him a New F-1 and a Canon A-1, as well as a T90, for overhaul.
Everything came back working perfectly, and looking far better and cleaner than when I sent it in.
ToCAD America serviced Contax up through 2015, and handed it off to:
Nippon Photo Clinic
Gus has been fixing anything LEICA that I can throw his way, especially screw-mount and other LEICA delicacies from as far back as the 1930s.
Not only does Gus get it fixed, he never leaves any marks. The more complex and delicate and difficult the repair, the more excited Gus gets. Unlike other repair shops who won't touch old cameras for fear of breaking them, Gus knows how to rebuild and repair anything. He's not just swapping parts.
I have never been able to stump Gus with anything he couldn't fix well.
Of course Gus fixes Nikon and Canon and Mamiya and everything else I've sent him, too.
I've even had Gus work on sealed LEICA M3s, preserving the L seal. Gus is the guy for LEICA repairs.
If it's worth having done right, it's worth sending to Gus. The even better news is that his pricing is still a lot less than you'd expect for LEICA repairs. Gus was charging only about $225 + parts in 2011 for LEICA body overhauls. Don't expect Gus to stay this inexpensive for long; he's getting very busy, for good reason.
Likewise, Gus is an expert repairman and he does the work himself. Since he's getting so popular, expect to have to wait a while. Gus takes the time to do it right; he's not just trying to farm out all the work or slam though your job fast to get to the next one.
This is why I use Gus for everything. I want it done right and don't mind waiting.
Kurt's repairs just about anything, and is even certified by Nikon to do warranty repairs for free, as well as fixing slide projectors. Especially if you're in San Diego, check them out.
Kurt's has been in San Diego since 1975, and I've used them since the 1980s. In 1997, they adjusted the rangefinder to my Mamiya 7.
I haven't used them recently, however everyone who uses them tells me they are as good as ever. They are factory authorized for Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Minolta.
Camera sensors are very sensitive to infrared, and so they all have filters to block this so our pictures look normal.
LifePixel removes the IR blocking filter, so the camera now is very sensitive to infrared. With Live View or mirrorless, it's easy to see the effects as you shoot. With a DSLR viewfinder, you have a normal view and the results are crazy; it's your choice.
Infrared conversions have been around for ten years or more, and many people love sending their old camera to be converted instead of throwing it away. It's like getting an almost free IR camera.
After doing as many conversions as they do, there's now much more they do for normal photography:
Sensor Replacements & Repair
With all the filters they've removed from the fronts of other people's sensors, they have more than they know what to do with.
If you've scratched your sensor, instead of throwing away the camera of paying for a replacement at the manufacturer, LifePixel is just as skilled at replacing the cover over your sensor that you just damaged! They only charge about $250 ~ $300 for this.
Most people don't realize that the "sensor" is really a complex multi-layer sandwich of many layers. It's the top layer, the outer cover, that boneheads damage, and it's these that LifePixel takes off when they do conversions, and so they have an unlimited supply of them.
But wait, there's even more:
Anti-Alias Filter Removal
You could buy a new model camera or pay more for a version where the maker doesn't bother to include the anti-alias filter for sharper pictures.
LifePixel is also skilled at removing the anti-alias filter from the camera you already own.
This is a much less expensive way to update to the newest sensor technology. They can remove the anti-alias filter and leave the infrared filter alone for normal use.
Help me help you top
I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.
The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
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Thanks for reading!