View Full Version : Kiev's new suit

12-03-2004, 07:17
An insane aim is surrounding my diseased mind.

I want to re-cover my Kiev 4A.
So I took possession of an old leather pattern book (stolen from my mother-in-law: I think she is more and more bewildered about her daughter's choice :angel: ) and these evenings I'm browsing it trying to involve my wife in this epochal choice.
I think my wife too is more and more bewildered about her choice :angel: .

Blue leather? Natural-tobacco? Engraved black?

Did you ever done this?
Wich kind of glue did u use?

I think that my Kiev, in a genuine leather livery, and with the CZJ Sonnar 1,5 on it, will be the coolest you've ever seen! :D :D

When I'll have the masks for leather cutting, I will share them with you, obviously...

12-03-2004, 07:18
I think Cameraleather.com has precut covers for the Kievs. I actually considered buying one just to dress it up myself.

12-03-2004, 07:38
Check cameraleather.com. Cutting the leather by yourself without a mask beforehand will mean you'll probably waste a lot of leather and time cutting your own masks.

Cameraleather has a wide range of leathers and colours.

Have you seen my Paradise Pink Snake leather covered Leica M2? :)
See here: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/4830/sort/1/cat/674/page/1 .

12-03-2004, 08:35
Ebay-seller 'aki-asahi' also has pre-cut Kiev leather (in weird colors and types, too), good prices and very fast sending...


12-03-2004, 08:45
Cameraleather is very good.
Also I got some coverings from Japan from Aki-Asahi.com. English page is http://www.aki-asahi.com/store/. I got a nice black Kiev covering very reasonable and it only cost $1 to ship to the US. It took about a week to get it.

He has a large choice of coverings and colors for many cameras. Highly recommended.

Fit very well and the Kiev looks very nice. Worth a look.

He also is listed on ebay with some real bargins.


12-03-2004, 08:46
Mmmmm, that Japanesque Gold would look good on my M2.... :)

12-03-2004, 09:08
Originally posted by Carburo
Did you ever done this?
Which kind of glue did u use?

While I've never recovered a camera, from all I've read the recommended adhesive is PlioBond contact cement, although I'd think that almost any high quality contact cement would do just fine.

Just don't use a glue that you can't later take off. ;)


12-03-2004, 09:25
Originally posted by Roman
Ebay-seller 'aki-asahi' also has pre-cut Kiev leather (in weird colors and types, too), good prices and very fast sending...


Thanks Roman. I was going to look for one of his ebay auctions and list it. I just ordered some coverings for my FX-103's and asked about coverings for my Welta 6x6 folder. I asked if he would consider sending scraps even.

One thing for sure, if he can help on the Welta it won't be scraps from cuts from RML's camera. :D

12-03-2004, 09:26
Carburo, I did the same thing.
I just got some faux (fake) leather (or leatherette), took off the old "skin" from my Kiev 4A and use it as a template.
Then I cut the new leatherette, and just glued it to the body. Now it's much "softer" and gives a better grip.
As for glue, I used an ordinary organic glue ("Neostik"), like the one shoemakers use for glueing shoe soles. I think any glue that works on rubber will be OK.
It's not permanent - meaning you can take the leatherette off without too much trouble.

Here's a photo of the finished new "skin"...


12-03-2004, 09:29
Denis, nice work!

BTW, can you tell me the setup you used to take the photo?

12-03-2004, 09:39
Originally posted by RML
Denis, nice work!

BTW, can you tell me the setup you used to take the photo?

Thanks, Remy.

I shot this with my (gasp) digital Canon A60.
Background - two blank white A4 pages, and I positioned the camera so that the (indirect) light would show the texture of the leatherette, and to get some kind of reflection on the lens. I think I put something as a support behind the camera and tilted it back a bit.
I think I scr**ed the white balance, though ;).


12-03-2004, 09:50
Denis, that's a super job on the replacement covering and I like the picture of the camera, off-white balance and all. :)


12-03-2004, 14:49
>I am smiling and shooting a lot, but I have an itch to go on a Tessar Hunt.<

I once shot a Tessar in my pajamas-how it got in my pajamas I'll
never know.

12-03-2004, 16:42
Denis, that's a beautiful camera!

Brian Sweeney
12-03-2004, 17:23
That is a great looking Kiev! If th Vulcanite ever goes on the M2 or M3, they are in good hands.

I am thinking of trying this on a Kodak Retina IIIS. The "paper-thin" leatherette on them is subject to wear-through. I took the leatherette off of some old Polaroid Scope cameras; big 4x5 cameras. Very durable, and looks a lot like the Leica Vulcanite. I may use that.

12-03-2004, 22:37
Yesterday I sent an email to Aki Asahi asking whether he can get me Japanesque Gold for my M2. (See here for an example on a Fed2: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15234&item=3850674930 )

His reply:
"Hello, I think I can cut Japanesque gold covering for M2 with my M2 dye. But I guess it is too garish for Leica M. You will regret."

I kinda like it though. It looks off the scale but at least no-one will take me serious with a camera covered in fake gold. Or, perhaps, after all, I am insane.... :)

12-04-2004, 01:49
RML, does this mean that Pink Passion is gone? Are you going to change colors for the seasons? I don't understand?

Actually, your daughter will like a change. Her "color" camera. She may start making requests.

12-04-2004, 01:58
Rover, the Paradise Pink is still on the camera, and I'm pleased with it. But that Japanesque Gold looks very nice. I can't afford another Leica so someday the pink leather will go and be replaced by the Japanesque Gold, which in turn might get replaced with something else some other day.

I'm glad I don't care much for fashion. Otherwise I might feel tempted to chance the M2's cover with every new fashion trend. :)

I'm secretly thinking of cutting my own silk cover. They have some very nice, thick silks in Mongolia. There's bound to a colour and pattern that will tickle my fancy.

12-04-2004, 02:18
You can have a "new" Leica every couple months this way, cool.

12-04-2004, 05:43
How i wish Aki-Asaki would produce coverings for CV Bessa R2!Then I could have a 'new' camera every year! :p

12-04-2004, 06:21
Denis I love the texture on that Kiev ! :eek:

"Japanesque Gold"

:confused: Remy... you wouldn't do THAT to a M2... would you ?


12-04-2004, 06:26
Taffer, you know it's not what's on the outside that counts, right? :)

Just imagine that luxurious gold on my M2... mmmm... I can almost smell the vinyl already. :P

12-04-2004, 06:28

12-04-2004, 07:25
You guys make me crazy. Now i start thinking of new cloth for my contax. Especially on its back the wear is a bit ugly, there's one wear-through spot of about 4x4mm, and there are a few zeiss bumps too.
Hmmm, what would fit it... some dark blue or patterned brown, or gray i'd prefer...
Lately Aki-Asahi has the contax iia/iiia coverings too...nothing can stop me now.

Three days ago i had a few friends at my place for a drink evening; they really really liked the contax! They were ripping it out from each other's hands (literally). At a moment i had to intervene to protect the lfront lens from fingerprints.
This never happened before, with the yashica's or the modern SLR stuff. Not even with the old TLR's. There apparently IS something about the Contax.
I just hope i can also be proud of the PHOTOS i take with it...

12-04-2004, 07:53
Pherdi, think about it, the Contax... in blue velvet !

Remember, ZI is blue...

back alley
12-04-2004, 08:57
do they make coverings for other cameras, say, oh i don't know, maybe an old canon rf camera...?


candy apple red...:)

12-04-2004, 09:14
Guys, it's not that difficult, really... If the cover on your camera is worn out, it's not that difficult to replace it. (Unless it's a Leica, I've heard that the vulcanite is really hard and not easy to scrape off...)

For Kievs (I don't know about the real Contax), the old cover is relatively thin, and comes off really easy.
Be careful when you take it off, and remove it without breaking/tearing it. Then use the old cover as template for making a new one. Save the old cover as a template for any new material you find later, when you want to give your camera a new "dressing", or a new color :)
I'm presently looking for new sources of leatherette, or even *real* leather.... in different colors. I've got black (as seen on the photo above) and blue :D
I've tried various shops that sell purses and such (leather and leather imitation), but no luck so far.
The material can't be too thick, and you have to take into account the tactile properties - i.e. it must not slip when you grab it with sweaty hands, etc...
I'd recomend a cheaper camera first, if you have one - for practice.

As I already said, any glue that is used for rubber should be OK - just as long as it's not too aggressive. That's why I wouldn't recommend any cyanide-based glues ("moment-glue" or "crazy glue", i.e. clear, colorless one that you can glue your fingers with, and later need a surgeon to unglue/separate them :D).



12-04-2004, 09:39
You could use that to really glue your camera to your hands... Then you would never put it down again.

You would take much more photos, and never want to buy a new camera :)

12-04-2004, 09:43
Congrats, Pherdinand!!!!

We should nominate you for the Nobel prize, since you just discovered the final cure for our malady!!! :D

C'm on, guys, Dr. Pherdi has a solution for us....
And, besides, we can brag that the camera is indeed "an extension of the hand" - he, he, he.... :D

Or perhaps we should glue it to the forehead?


12-04-2004, 09:45
:DThanks Denis, but i'm not a doctor -yet. And i will never be that kind of a doctor that helps people...

Yeah...hand or forehead? Fed or Kiev? RFF Poll or just plain fistfight?:)

12-04-2004, 09:57
Yeah but think about what a pain to load film then ! :eek:

So it's pretty clear that would only work for digitals :p