What is CLA service?

  • I've seen the term used in used lens listings, e.g "recently CLA'd".

    I have a few questions, but I think they're related enough to only warrant one post:

    • What does CLA stand for, and what is it?
    • How much does it generally cost?
    • How do you decide whether a lens might need CLA?
  • Staale S

    Staale S Correct answer

    10 years ago

    "Clean, Lubricate, Adjust", as Maxwell said. It is usually encountered when discussing Leica camera bodies, those things need a checkup every two decades or so. But, yes, lenses can be CLA'd too.

    For lenses, it basically means dismantling the thing, cleaning dust and other deposits from the lens surfaces, replacing the goop that lubricates the focus and aperture mechanisms, and (hopefully) putting it all back together in working order.

    If I had an old lens where I could see fogging on the internal glass surfaces, where the focus mechanism was uneven, too stiff or too loose, or ditto the aperture mechanism, I'd consider having it CLA'd. I have no hard data on what it'd cost for a lens though; for what it is worth I did pay a couple hundred Euro for CLA on a Leica M3 camera body recently.

    I don't know about usually used for Leica bodies. I have noticed it mentioned in nearly every used rangefinder I've ever seen.

    True, true. But Leicas make up a lot more of the mass of rangefinders in use than they used to do when they were new :)

    It sounds like you have a few extra Leica rangefinders laying around, could you send me one? :)

    Well... a Leica I, 1929, a III, 1936, an M3 and an M5, but... nah, I'm keeping'em :)

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM