Hi. I am Mark Hansen,
and I have been repairing vintage cameras since 1996; first as a hobby and then as a business. I started doing my own camera repairs, so I could enjoy using my camera collection. At the time I was having my cameras repaired by Bill Crispien of Custom Camera Craft, but this was not only costly but time consuming. So I decided that if I could rebuild the engine in my car, a camera should be no problem…Well, I started with some very simple folding cameras, and TLR’s and found that I needed lots of help. With Bill’s help and advice, I was able to master simple leaf shutters like the Klio, and Derval, and I soon had mastered Compur, Compur Rapid, and moved on to Syncho-Compurs, Pronotor, and Prontor S, SV, and SVS. All the while, I was collecting all of the cameras I repaired. As this collection began to become overwhelming, I decided to offer my cameras up for sale to students and amateur photographers, at very fair prices. Now, I am known for selling fully functional eighty dollar medium format cameras and doing quality repairs on all sorts of rare and obscure cameras.
My collection has now shifted to 127 roll film cameras and some funky old TLR’s. I mostly shoot with my Rolleiflex 3.5E1, my many Baby Rolleis or when I am feeling energetic, my 4x5 field camera. Most of my photography now centers on nighttime black and white, Rock Bands, or daytime color slides, in industrial areas, or around bridges, or with my model airplane club. Unfortunately, you will not find any of my nighttime pictures here, as they do not reproduce well in the digital format. One thing that has always been the same for me throughout the years though: I am enthusiastic about vintage cameras, and about using them; I am just as enthusiastic about other people using them too. So no matter how old, how weird, or what it sells for, I will help you use that old camera.
Things to Know About shipping me a Camera:
1) I need only your camera, not the case, strap, or lens cap. These things have a high probability of being left off the camera when I ship it back, so to save me money and you frustration, please keep them with you.
2) Using only new packaging materials. The best way to package a camera is to wrap it in bubble wrap, then tape it with masking tape. Encase it in foam peanuts, leaving at least 3 inch's around the camera, to the box. Next use enough peanuts that when the box is closed there is a slight pressure on the camera and it cannot rattle.
3) Please include some sort of note regarding the nature of the repairs I am to undertake. This must also include your name, address, phone number, and email address. I continue to get cameras that have no information with them. Please, I cannot stress this enough, I need your return address. I am still getting about one in ten cameras with no contact information at all, and this is a real problem. At one time I would print every quote, then match them to the camera when it arrived. Now however I quote 2-3x more than I repair, so this was/is a real waste of paper.
4) I can no longer be responsible for cameras shipped to me via UPS. The last three shipped this way have been either damaged or lost. USPS Priority Mail is the only way to go, and works best for me.
5) Before you ship your camera to me, you need to take a minute and asses your expectations for the camera, and what if any part I am going to play in these expectations. I can make your camera as good as it will ever be. I cannot make it new again, nor do I have a warehouse filled with brand new parts. So in some cases cameras in otherwise good condition, cannot be repaired for lack of parts. Also, I am an eternal optimist, so I go way beyond the call of duty with any camera, long before, I decide it cannot be fixed. Or to put it differently, there ain't no throwing my arms up, and giving up, before all options are exhausted.
6) When I contact you and tell you, I have completed the work to your camera, it is working as it should. I get a fair bit of, what about the XYZ problem. Well I fixed that, or I would not have invoiced you. Also, and this requries a bit of faith...Your camera will be a good picture taker, if I have invoiced you a repair charge. If it was a bad picture taker, I would not have worked on it, and I would have shipped it back to you, with a minimum service charge.
My Business Philosophy:
The way I do business is governed by what some used to call the "Golden Rule". I treat you my customer, the exact way I would want to be treated. It is really that simple. That said, there are some simple tenants of the way I do work:
1) I estimate every job up front in writing.
2) I do all business in writing, no phone communication. I do this so we are all on the "same page" so to speak.
3) Should there be an unforseen change to the estimate, I inform the customer in writing, and get written approval, to proceed. Sometimes a camera will sit taken apart on my bench for a day or two, but loosing the days labor is better than an angry customer.
4) I include with every completed repair, an invoice with a explanation of the work I have done. Not just a reciept. I want to be clear to the customer what they paid me to do.
5) This is a big one! I strive to do the most thurough repiar, to the highest standards, I can possibly do. I am slow, because, I was taught by my father (a real perfectionist), to: Take your time, and do a good job.
6) I don't have a big ego. If I make a mistake I admit it. I am a human, and so I am flawed by design. I do not expect you to be perfect either. I am willing to be flexible with you, and at times I may ask the same of you.
7) I don't charge for my opinion. I stive to dissemanate information the best I can, to help you enjoy film photography more and extend the life of your camera. So, never hesitate to ask even a question you may think is stupid. There really are no stupid questions here.
8) I never ask for Payment up front. I have taken payments up front, but that was at the behest of my customer. "Here let me pay you because in a few months I may not have a job..."
9) I suppose this goes without saying, but I love old cameras. It turns my stomach when one cannot be brought back to life... I take it personally.
10) Lastly, I don't judge my customers on things like personality, or nationality, or ethnicity, how much their camera is worth, or what conditon it is in, I treat every customer exactly the same. There are not better or worse customers to me, just jobs to be done, for people that need them done.
I know I am not the only perons doing Rolleiflex, Ikoflex, Contax, or other old camera repairs, and I know I am not the most economical. So ask yourself what those other shops