‘The Repair Shop’, which has been running on the flagship channel BBC One since 2017, sees members of the public bring I treasured items which are given a new lease of life by different repair experts.
The show, hosted by Jay Blades, became a huge hit in the UK during the Covid pandemic lockdowns and has spawned international versions in both Australia and the Netherlands.
Pozella, who runs PPP Cameras from Birmingham, is the first camera repairer to appear on the show.
The episode, which was shown in the UK on Wednesday evening (27 September), showed Pozella working on the Rolleiflex TLR.
The BBC’s listing ahead of transmission said: “Joining the line-up of expertise at the barn is new camera expert Pierro Pozella. His first assignment is a camera that belonged to visitor Harry’s grandfather, a graphic designer at ATV in Elstree Studios in the 1970s and 80s. The twin lens camera was used on set as well as at home for taking pictures of his family.
“Sadly, the camera has now fallen into a sorry state, but Harry is keen to use it again to continue the legacy of his creative grandpa George.”
The Rolleiflex was intact but well-worn from Harry’s grandfather’s use, but the shutter was sticking open when the button was pressed. Pozella discovered the shutter blades were locking because of excess oil and aperture blades were out of alignment.
After completely disassembling the shutter unit and the aperture mechanism – which included soaking each aperture and shutter blade in chemicals to dissolve the years of accumulated grease and dirt.
Pozella, 27, has been repairing cameras for more than a decade, after seeing how many cameras were being thrown out for minor defects when he was working in a charity store.
“What led me into repairs was my fascination for analogue cameras and the history that they hold,” Pozella said in a press release for the new episode. “As film cameras were deemed redundant at the time, there was a surplus of broken cameras being binned as people didn’t know what to do with them.
“It seemed crazy to me that cameras nearly 100 years old were just ending up in landfill and I wanted to change this. To understand how these cameras worked, I started by pulling them apart to learn how to fix them. Through this process of reverse engineering, I was able to gain the knowledge I needed, to repair and save these cameras.”
He was discovered via his social accounts and said that when the production team first contacted him he did not think it was a genuine offer.
Pozella said that a future episode of this series sees him grappling with a particularly difficult repair: an Adox Sport camera.
“This camera was used by the client’s grandfather in the Vietnam War. When it arrived, it probably would have been easier to manufacture a new camera than it would have been repair – there were parts missing screws missing everything was broken, springs gone.
“I made several tiny springs, replaced the bellows and even custom-made and 3D printed a brand-new part for the camera. Despite being a complex repair, it was exciting for me to create replacement parts from scratch.”
Pozella, who also creates replacement 3D-printed parts for certain cameras, has also opened a film lab in Birmingham, recently profiled on Kosmo Foto.