A home-based business in Columbia Station will take care of almost any camera repairs someone might need.

Vince LaValle, owner of Ultimate Photo, said he was a photographer who had learned to master camera repair.

“I was a photographer for a long time and wanted to learn the process of repairing cameras, so I took a course on that,” LaValle said. “I then had this business in a real store (Sprague Road and Marks Road) with a studio in the back, a repair room and I sold cameras and accessories.

“But I decided to close the store and do the photography and the repair.”

LaValle said he sees a great opportunity in repairing the cameras.

“I did a lot of weddings and the photography industry was changing a lot,” he said. “I saw how things were going and I got into the repairs. “






Vince LaValle, owner of Ultimate Photo at Columbia Station, in his workspace.




LaValle said he could perform various camera repairs.

“I like to make old film cameras, but I’ll do just about anything,” he said. “If I can’t do something, I know someone who can.

“With big companies, like Nikon and Canon, customers are sending cameras back to them. But these companies don’t do repairs, they just outsource them to other companies, so I know several guys who do because there’s sort of a network of us.

LaValle said repairs can take a long time.

“I do a lot of lens repairs,” he said. “Some people end up damaging the lens because they don’t install it properly and push it into their camera.

“There are a lot of components that they end up damaging. I also repair the small battery hatches because they break regularly.

“For older film cameras, I could clean the lens. Sometimes the diaphragm deteriorates because it’s not in use. It’s an intense repair, but I’ve done a lot. involves opening the camera, cleaning the lens, blades, removing dust and other items.

LaValle said the cameras cover different eras.

“I can fix ’70s cameras,” he said. “It’s old Minolta and the Cannons from the 1970s; I do a lot.

“Part of it is cleaning the camera after the foam has deteriorated over time and the camera needs cleaning. These are modern cameras too, so that’s about it.”

LaValle said recovery depends on repair.

“If it’s a simple cleaning, it can take three to five days, but it depends on the types of parts I need for the job,” he said. “I will also tell the client if it would cost too much and not be worth it for them.

“So I’m open and honest with them about the process. “

LaValle said business was pretty good.

“There really aren’t a lot of places around,” he said. “Some of these other stores might want to sell someone a new camera.

“I can usually take a look at something and tell you if I can turn it on. And the price is reasonable. I also repair projectors for people and can convert old slide photos to digital. “