Have a question as to what everybody's preferences are for restoring the appearance of a vintage camera.
I thoroughly clean the outside (alcohol to metal, baby wipes to leather-like surfaces), but I don't polish the metal or replace the leather-like skins unless they're totally trashed. I kind of like the patina of some use. Where do you shake out and is there sort of an "industry" standards/limits?
Post by belgiumreporter on Dec 2, 2019 8:03:48 GMT -5
Janus, i don't think there are industry standards on how much a camera can be cleaned/ restored,but some common sence will take you a long way. As long as a camera is "cleaned", internals made dustfree, external dust and grime wich accumulated over the years removed you can't go wrong.
I am strongly against touching up the paint or laquer of the body though i don't mind replacing the leatherette when it's beyond restoration (especially on "cheaper" cameras) I've replaced the notoriously bad leatherette on some later model contaxes with some crazy colour snake skin leatherette and sold them to people wich were very happy with how they looked. All in all how good a camera looks same model good shape/bad shape will be reflected by it's (resale) value. I wouldn't mess with expensive or rare cameras apart from a gentle wipe with a soft brush or cloth.
Here's a nice black pentax after a thourough clean, some people will find it not worthy of collecting, others may beg to differ and say the camera has a beautifull patina...it has no dings or dents and every thing works so for me it's an ok camera.
The other extreme, a perfect 1958 asahiflex with extra period correct lenses,all the boxes and paperwork like it just left the factory.This is a best case scenario, no cleaning needed.
Here's where i draw the line, these dents cannot be repaired, unless the top plate is replaced,wich raises the question if it would be worthwile or cheaper to just get another one in a better condition.
From the user point of view, restoration in order to ensure function (lubricants,& sometimes removing excess lubricant, changing springs etc) may be necessary, but any outward sign of what Leitz used to label" fremder eingriff" may drastically reduce collector interest. Better to do as museums do when restoring; use contempoerary techniques and materials, but make the new parts stand out so as to show what the original was. This would not apply to the more recent miniature mechanical marvels, but to wooden large -format.
Post by yashica1943 on Dec 3, 2019 10:30:24 GMT -5
For the 'standard' SLR's and 35mm compacts that I have bought, the ones that I keep have to be very good cosmetically and preferably working. If the metal body parts look dull I clean them with a cotton bud dipped in water or sticky stuff remover, a lot of cameras bought off ebay have a light covering of tobacco smoke residue, even if they do not smell. I did have a camera (Yashica FX-3 I think) that smelt so bad I sealed it in a plastic bag with an open dish of Sodium Bicarbonate, that worked well. I have replaced the leatherette covering on one Yashica and a Contax 139 Quartz (red snakeskin -it looks great) I have not replaced any mechanical parts except a rewind crank on a Nikon. I don't like dents and try to avoid anything with wear around the strap attachments, but that is just me. I had a few Pentax S1a in various states of quite good condition, but have sold them on but kept the nicest one. I did go through a time when I was trying to find a good Singapore built Rolleiflex SL35 and tried a little gentle lubrication and fiddling under the baseplate of 5 or 6, but have given up on that endeavour as a lost cause. I have only kept my German built SL 35 which is just like new.
I prefer to clean dust, nicotine and 'alien intervention' from my cameras with detergent and cotton buds. I will use aluminium polish on my silver coloured lenses. But apart from that I prefer them as they are - specially if they're more expensive or rare models.
I don't mind the odd dent, but never in the pentaprism area (as so much can go wrong there).
Black paint brassing to me is great, I love the natural wear patterns. Black bodied cameras I go over with brasso wadding, it brings up the shine and makes the brass sparkle.
I have on occasion touched up a lens with a gun-black pen. But wouldn't go overboard. People expect a 70 year old Hektor to have a little brassing on the barrel.