If you spot any mid-century rangefinder cameras in poor working condition, then you might want to point them towards Illot Vintage. You see, Illot collects and restores 45-70 year old vintage cameras back to working condition.
The restoration process itself is a long and tedious one: First, Illot cleans the entire body; then they disassemble the viewfinder so it can also be cleaned; then they check and clean the rangefinder, focus, and battery; followed by a quick test of the light seals, lens, shutter and aperture blades; then finally, the shutter speeds are then tested, the leathers replaced with veneer, and the restored shooter tested with film.
Illot sells their restored cameras on their website. Some models currently online include the Konica Auto S2 and the Canonet QL17 Mansonia, both of which are priced at $2,250. An Argus C3 in Mansonia is also coming up, while the Mahogany version of the camera is up for sale for $1,875.
As you probably already know, no two restored cameras are the same; it’s pretty rare to see such fine worksmanship on these vintage shooters. So while it might seem like you’re paying a pretty hefty price to get them, you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth in the end.
Take a look at Illot’s gallery of cameras both for sale and for show on their website.