View Full Version : Retina II bumps

11-13-2009, 08:06
I thought that I might be posting here since I began to check Retina prices on the bay a couple of years ago.

A chance purchase of a 120 folding camera from an elderly gentleman's collection, sold by someone who "doesn't know anything about cameras" put me onto one of two retinas for sale. I bagged a Retina II :D

It has a couple of prominent "Zeiss" bumps on the back, what it the best action for these, leave them?


11-13-2009, 08:14
You have to remove the leather, scrape away that crap, coat the brass rivets with something (I use clear fingernail polish) and then rebond the leather.

11-15-2009, 17:14
The original leather was applied using common brown shellac.

11-15-2009, 17:36
You need to use a solvent to loosen the shellac. Otherwise you'll destroy the very thin leather.

11-15-2009, 18:49
Regarding what kodaknagel and Colyn have said above, the correct solvent to dissolve shellac is alcohol. When reapplying the leather I used Indian Head gasket shellac which many auto parts stores have in stock. Indian Head shellac looks and even smells like the original shellac used for these cameras. Maybe something similar is available in England.

The alcohol I used was IPA or isopropanol. I have also used denatured alcohol in the past but the chemical added to the ethanol to "denature" it leaves a lingering nasty smell.

At any rate, if you can get an edge of the leather up closest to your target bump, apply the alcohol between the leather and camera body and let the alcohol soften the shellac and work under the leather a little more and reapply alcohol and so on. Don't try to hurry or get too agressive in lifting the leather or it will tear as noted above by Colyn.

Good luck with your Retina. I just went through this process with mine and I was very satisfied with the results.


11-16-2009, 23:42
Thanks for your suggestions. The two leather side pieces almost fell off. These pieces of leather are hard and look as if they could snap if handled incorrectly. I will try this to re-attach the leather.

It has had it's first outing with film (but without leather), a few blank frames to check for light leaks and the remainder of 24 fired off on a walk through the park.

No light leaks and it works well. Interframe spaces varied a little, but none overlapped which is fine for me. It looks good.

Thanks for your suggestions, I will recover it carefully.

Roger Hicks
11-16-2009, 23:48
Dear Dave,

Try a bit of leather balm on the covering. Apply from the outside (non-stuck-down side) only. Connolly leather balm is good.



Pickett Wilson
11-17-2009, 01:07
I don't have a direct answer, but both Contax cameras I've sent to Essex Camera for CLA that had "Zeiss Bumps" came back without them. If your Retina needs a CLA anyway, that might be an option.

11-18-2009, 00:01
Indian head shellac looks as though it may be available in the UK


though it isn't in stock at present.

Excellent tip, 'radiocemetery'! I'd spent hours trying to find a source of shellac adhesive - I wanted to try it for attaching focal-plane shutter-curtains. I was concentrating on "rim cement". It used to be used for attaching racing "tubular" cycle tyres to the rim, but nobody seems to use it any more. Came to the conclusion I would have to mix my own.

11-18-2009, 04:09
Grytpype. Yes I think that the shellac would work for attaching shutter curtains too. I am doing some work on a FED 2 that had the curtains attached with shellac. I used alcohol to release those curtains from the roller drums. The camera isn't done yet.

BTW I still have one bike with tubular tires, it is an Eisentraut from 1974 that I have owned from new. I like the Vittoria CX tire a lot.


11-18-2009, 04:18
How could I forget, I also have a 72 Raleigh Professional with tubulars, all Nuovo Record, Brooks pro. saddle, Reynolds 531 DB tubing. I guess I have already taken it out of my thoughts as it is for sale.:cool:


11-18-2009, 09:47
Classy kit! Never used tubulars myself - too scared of getting a puncture, though I knew one lunatic that used to cycle to work 15 mls each way through London on tubs (on a 'curly' Hetchins).

Apologies for straying so far off your topic, Dave!!


11-19-2009, 00:22
Thanks for the info everyone. I like the idea of treating the leather with balm. I've got some of this to help restore dry leather camera cases. It works well, as it should, it was pretty expensive (from the horsey/saddle shop).
Cleaning the old stuff off is important too, I appreciate the tips on alcohol.

As for glueing the leather back on, I think that a little contact adhesive will do for me.

I've since run another film through it (rubbishy shots in the local park) and I think that this camera may not suit me at the moment. I may offer it here when the leather is back on.