Leica Telescope Repair

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Last week I traveled up to Ryston, near Ely, to get my birding ‘scope repaired and yesterday I gave it a proper test at Oare Marshes, Kent, getting wonderfully clear views of both Long-billed Dowitcher and Bonaparte’s Gull. I would like to give a huge thanks to Gary Hawkins of East Coast Binocular Repairs for helping me out in an optical emergency and restoring my ‘scope to its original condition for a very reasonable price while I waited. I was very thankful for the restoration of my ‘scope as when I contacted Leica they were unable to provide a repair although their staff, particularly Jo Pertwee, were very helpful and put me in contact with Gary.

The problem with my ‘scope was that the coating had come off of the objective lens resulting in a very foggy image and making it impossible to use at higher magnifications. This problem was acknowledged by Leica as a manufacturing error but they did not have any lenses available to replace those in ‘scopes with damage owned by their customers, including myself.

I was offered a 30% discount on any new Leica product or a private repair using a lens from a scrapped telescope which is what I eventually obtained from Gary Hawkins. Normally when a company acknowledges that their product has a defect there is a recall but in this case there was little that Leica as a company were prepared to do. I was not very happy with the offer of 30% discount as it would leave me with a bill of around £1500 that I could not afford and for what? Another inferior product? Thankfully Leica staff did go out of their way to find me the best possible result and Jo Pertwee contacted East Coast Binocular Repair for me and reserved one of the few remaining objective lenses for my repair.

While I am grateful to Leica staff, particularly Jo Pertwee, for their efforts, I am not very impressed with Leica’s response to an issue which is a result of a manufacturing problem and it did not surprise friends who have had similar experiences with Leica. In the end I have a ‘scope which is fully functional again but the replacement lens is from the original batch and so has the same potential problem with the coating although Jo Pertwee is in the process of sending me a UV filter to protect the lens from the wear and tear of the weather.

The bad news for others that need the same repair to their Leica Televid (and there are many of them) is that I was provided with the last objective lens that is currently available!

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