View Full Version : a poll
in light of recent posts about decorating a camera and my wanting to try to post a poll, i thought i'd combine the 2.
so, what do you think?
keep a camera the way god and the manufacturer originally designed it or re-decorate it, according to fashion and the devil?
I'm somewhat torn at a personal level. I love classical cameras looking the way they originally did and I go out of my way to even get a hood that was intended for it 'back then'.
On the other hand cameras are tools that involves a lot of creativity and I love seeing that shine through sometimes in how cameras may be 'dolled up'.
I also like the black paint jobs that places like Shinataro do.
So - my vote is 'yes' on proposition 42 - Camera-doll-up
Uuuh, difficult (says the one who'll cover his M2 in Pink Paradise Snake leather). :)
I wouldn't redecorate my Bessa R, my CL, my Eos, my Zorki, and some of my FEDs.
But I have a few FED2's extra and I'm inclined to have one or two of them painted with miniatures. Maybe I should go back to Thailand for a short break and go to one of those parasol painters. They did a wonderful elephant on my Eos camera hip bag. Of course, I could save me a bundle and find a rice grain painter here in Amsterdam to do the trick.... Tomorrow I'll try to find one! :)
I have to answer both ways, I guess, or maybe "decorate at will" with reservations on collectibles. But a custom decor job gains collector acceptance the longer ago it was done!
Restoration is another matter too. With cars, restoration (even to a condition better than original) is accepted and even expected. But collectible guns lose value and "legitimacy" if restored. The patterns of wear and abuse are considered part of the story/history of the item and shouldn't be destroyed by refinishing.
I am NOT a camera collector (I have to keep reminding myself of that), so I don't know what effect restoration has on collector camera value.
I would personally hesitate to have a chrome camera painted, as it would be hard to return it to new condition, and the serial number could "tattle" that this was not a black-paint body originally. But I think Brian's badly dented Nikon rf body is an example where the refinish added more value than it removed (if any).
I'd have less hesitation about repainting a painted camera. I would never gold-plate a camera or polish up the brass to look like gold. I think I might like an offbeat color like grey, blue, etc. This could be a conversation starter, to put my photo "victims" at ease quickly. :-)
This is a matter of personal taste and each person should have the freedom to do whatever they want. But I prefer my cameras to be stock. Many years ago I tried to convert a beautiful chrome Canon FT-QL SLR to black. I was inspired by an article in Modern Photography that detailed the process, and at the time I thought black was "sexy." To make a long story short, I was very disappointed with the results. I vowed to never attempt such a thing again.
In the case of my SP, it had body damage that just ruined the lines. No one complains of someone knocks the dents out of a '57 T-Bird and gives it a new coat of paint. But, I would hate to see a '57 T-Bird painted hot pink and given rabbit fur upholstery. Restoration is one thing, flagrance is another. Red cameras and lizard skin do not do anything for me. But a Shintaro (or other professional) painted camera that has been painstakingly restored to its former glory and correct operation is akin to what the Smithsonian does with old aircraft; make it look and function like it was new.
Well, I wouldn't redecorate a really nice camera. To me, this includes my Canonet and the such. But you did bring the devil into this discussion. I really liked the spiffed up red Zorki we saw a week or so ago. I might be tempted to give it a go with a good FSU user to see how it comes out. I voted for purity, the green approach though. I also voted for Ralph Nader in 2000.
Here's what I've done to date...
As standard for me, I have :) stickers on all my lens caps.
I have second cheap 'blad body which is work in progress (think Catholic kitch).
My Linhof was stripped of that horrid jedi-cloak brown covering and replaced with a nice Imperial black.
Cameras I'm not touching-
Any of my Polaroid collection
FYI I'm not going to replace my Linhof badges with the Empire's six pointed star logo... :mad:
Personally, I like the classical look.
I could imagine decorating gear that's cheap and especially when it's not looking great to start with. But for gear that's expensive or has historical value, I´d rather keep it in it´s original shape.
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