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Contax IIa rusty and green chrome removal
Old 06-12-2015   #1
Vintage35
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Contax IIa rusty and green chrome removal

I'm getting a Contax IIa black dial, it has some rusty areas near the top and I see some greenish powdery oxidation near the edges of the front plate. What is good to remove them as best as possible?

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Old 06-12-2015   #2
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Ive since used this on a camera, it leaves the rotted part red because of the copper, but it passes and turns brass colored eventually. http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...15&postcount=5
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Old 06-12-2015   #3
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I was thinking Vinegar for the green areas, what about the rust area?
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Old 06-12-2015   #4
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Is it really rust? The plate is most likely chromed brass rather than steel? I think the paste will take that off too, it works pretty well. It dries and you can flake it off. You need the salt for some kind of molecule/ion/jimjam transfer, I can't find the original scientific article that I originally read, originally. Is it red because someone already took off the green?

Here is another example..

http://pancakesandfrenchfries.com/20...-brass-polish/
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Old 06-13-2015   #5
farlymac
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If it looks like that on the outside, I'd hate to think what condition the inside is in. But then some of that may just be from being stored in the leather case. I've heard of Flitz brand chrome polish being used to remove stains and such. But I keep looking at the verdigris around the borders of the rangefinder window, and above the logo, and it makes me wonder how far in that goes. Or if it came out from inside. Granted, Zeiss's chrome wasn't the best back in those days, but this camera is looking for some replacement parts.

One thing, if you have a sonic bath, you can put some Lime Kool Ade mix in water, then run it for a short time to clean off the green. Run it too long though, and it will also take off the chrome. But then you could make your own black paint version.

Good luck with this one, Richard.

PF
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Old 06-16-2015   #6
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Phil, I haven't opened up the top yet but, it arrived today and I don't think it's as bad as it looks in this image (original eBay listing photo) The rest of the camera is like new, the bottom plate looks new, the inside of the film chamber is very clean, the RF looks good, the shutter slats look like new and it is very quiet. I'll have this one looking good. It functions well too, well worth the $48 I paid for it!

Going to try NevrDull or Navel jelly
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Old 06-17-2015   #7
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I don't know about the green, but my lla has something very similar to your front plate "rust". However it's not rust but an area of exposed brass where the chrome plating has worn away. As such, it can't be removed.

The better news is that it shouldn't be an indication of anything wrong within.

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D.
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Old 06-17-2015   #8
David Hughes
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Hi,

They told me years ago that the acids used to tan the leather react with the copper and forms copper carbonate, the green muck. Probably other nasties in there as well. Good luck with the treatment.

Regards, David
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Old 06-17-2015   #9
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I may have a go at one of these "Kits" to electroplate it myself
www.caswellplating.com/
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Old 06-17-2015   #10
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"Contax bumps" are on the leather only, on places where the leather covers rivets (some electrochemical reaction between chromed body, brass rivets and leather going on there). The Contax IIa had a excellent chrome plating - if that has worn away, the camera has been exposed to a pretty rough environment. Make sure the damage does not extend inside!
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Old 06-17-2015   #11
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If you visit the link I posted, the Plug N'Plate kits are quite simple, there is a video to watch. A kit with a transformer and wand and about 8-12 oz. Of solution for $32 is all that is involved. There also is a kit to remove chrome but since, as per the manufactures suggestion, the plating won't stick to chrome, only bare metal, I'm thinking smooth out the rough spots and the plating will stick to the bare spots
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Old 06-17-2015   #12
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Citric acid...(natural...non toxic)...dissolve about 3/4 cup per gallon of h20..soak the part for a few hrs...it gets all bubbly...if it doesn't get bubbly..add more Citric acid..
..and then....presto chango..the rust is all gone...but if the rust has eaten into the metal..there will be some pock marks left where the rust ate into the chrome..rinse in fresh water afterwards..dry part...done..
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Old 06-17-2015   #13
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Sorry, I mistakenly thought you wanted to remove all the chrome!

Citric acid works dandy for rust, ill second that motion.

Goodluck!
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Old 06-17-2015   #14
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Hi,

I call them Leica R Bumps...

Regards, David
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Old 06-17-2015   #15
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There was more chrome corrosion than I thought https://www.flickr.com/photos/rwrede...57654296644569 but the brass plating themselves are not corroded or pitted. And better news is the corrosion is only on the exterior. the interior looks pretty good for a 1951. The shutter is working fine.
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Old 06-17-2015   #16
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Nice repair notes on the Leica IIIa. Very detailed with images
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Old 06-18-2015   #17
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The verdigris (green muck) dissolves quickly in KET alcohol.
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Old 06-18-2015   #18
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what is KET alcohol? (go ahead and Google "KET alcohol" and you'll see what I mean, come up with "mixing drugs and alcohol and alcohol addiction..etc...)

I was able to clean the green areas with q-tips, then a scraping with my fingernail got the bumps out, leaving the brass plating underneath.
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Old 06-19-2015   #19
rick oleson
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Once you have it clean, if you polish the exposed brass with Simichrome or a similar metal polish, you'll be surprised how bright it gets.... when I did this on my worn Contax S, I couldn't tell just where the chrome left off and the brass began. Of course, it doesn't stay that bright very long.

I would save the DIY plating kit to try out on an old Sears Singlex or something, I wouldn't make my first experiments on a Contax IIa.
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Old 06-20-2015   #20
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Thanks Rick, I do believe now, it would be best to polish it first so I'm off to get some polish. I am committed to plate it though, I've seen the brass on this Contax (a rubbed area next to that top right screw on the face plate) and it is indeed very light but definitely a gold color compared to the chrome.
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Old 07-01-2015   #21
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Well I finished the project. It turned out pretty good. The camera itself is great, the shutter, rangefinder, etc. are all working great so the exterior was basically the only problem.


brass areas all cleaned and polished.


follow the instructions with the kit. the results are almost immediate. brush in strokes, brush - lift, brush - lift etc..., don't rub back and forth.


after plating


before and after. I only paid $48 for the camera but it's priceless to me.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
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Old 07-01-2015   #22
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Happy shooting!
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Old 07-01-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage35 View Post
what is KET alcohol?
KET, or Spiritus Ketonatus...euh...it's a high purity ethanol based alcohol for desinfecting skin and instruments. I use a 96% pure version for cleaning non-plastic surfaces on cameras.

But I guess it's called something else in the rest of the world. IPA should work just as well on dissolving verdigris.
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Old 07-01-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
KET, or Spiritus Ketonatus...euh...it's a high purity ethanol based alcohol for desinfecting skin and instruments. I use a 96% pure version for cleaning non-plastic surfaces on cameras.
Ketonated alcohol is just a Scandinavian term for denatured alcohol, and in modern times it contains both MEK and denatoniumbenzoate, so it leaves some residue!
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Old 07-02-2015   #25
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Hi,

Here's an example of the problem " IPA should work just as well on dissolving verdigris" as IPA means Indian Pale Ale to me and other imbibers...

Perhaps we should give the chemical formulas as even the chemical names change over the years.

Regards, David
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Old 07-02-2015   #26
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I just know this was going to come back and bite me in the @$$.

IPA = isopropyl alcohol

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Old 07-02-2015   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
I just know this was going to come back and bite me in the @$$.

IPA = isopropyl alcohol

Hi,

Oh! You meant that IPA! Well, my IPA is halfway there...

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...-empire-drinks

Regards, David
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Old 07-03-2015   #28
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I think I like David's IPA better, I'm going to try that one.

Nice looking job on the plating! What is the metal that it put down?
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Old 07-03-2015   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick oleson View Post
Nice looking job on the plating! What is the metal that it put down?
Thanks Rick, I'm not sure what you mean by that so I'll give two answers...

(1) The "wand" under the Handy Wipe towel is stainless steel. you plug one end of the 4.5 volt transformer into it, the other end clips onto the work, you wipe with the wand onto the object to be plated.

(2) it is actually Nickle plating with some 'bluing' added to mimic chrome. The explanation on the website is, normally nickle is put down first (or copper I've heard elsewhere) then the actual chrome. Since this is a touch up kit for hobbyists they simplified the process by adding some bluing agent to the nickle to make it less 'warm', eliminating the need for nickle first then chrome.

The site does have real chrome and gold or anything you would want actually. some 'packages' run as much as $10,000!
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Old 07-03-2015   #30
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I was never a fan of IPA. A fine stout was more to my liking. But yes, isopropyl is what I use.

Good work on the plating, Richard. You'll definitely get your $48.00 worth out of it, plus whatever the kit cost. Just don't try sticking a J-12 on it.

PF
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Old 07-03-2015   #31
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Thanks Phil I plan on using the kit on other cameras so the cost is somewhat split..LOL
in my drinkin' days, one of my favorites was an "Oatmeal Stout" from a local micro brewery
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Old 07-08-2015   #32
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Thanks, yes, that answered my question - I assumed it couldn't be chromium, but the color looks good. The 'bluing' additive would explain that. The usual application of chromium was called "Triple Chrome" plating: first copper, then nickel, and then chromium. Copper sticks well to steel, nickel sticks well to copper, and chromium sticks well to nickel. With a brass substrate, the copper can be left out. Chromium, of course, is pretty toxic stuff, and although it is still done, there's a lot less of it done today than back when we didn't know about such things.
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Old 07-08-2015   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Just don't try sticking a J-12 on it.

PF
It won't hurt the camera, but it might be a little rough on the J-12

=
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Old 07-08-2015   #34
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage35 View Post
Phil, I haven't opened up the top yet but, it arrived today and I don't think it's as bad as it looks in this image (original eBay listing photo) The rest of the camera is like new, the bottom plate looks new, the inside of the film chamber is very clean, the RF looks good, the shutter slats look like new and it is very quiet. I'll have this one looking good. It functions well too, well worth the $48 I paid for it!

Going to try NevrDull or Navel jelly
NevrDull would be my suggestion. Won't do any harm and will give you a good idea of what the next step should be. If all else failed, I'd take the camera apart and have the chrome re-plated if possible. Here in the eastern Pittsburgh, PA area there are several shops that can do the job.

Nice snag; good luck!
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Old 07-13-2015   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Just don't try sticking a J-12 on it.

PF
I thought a J-12 was a Zeiss Biogon copy...?
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Old 07-13-2015   #36
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It is, but it's based on the PRE-war Zeiss Biogon.
That's why it'll fit on the Contax II and Kiev derivatives, but not on the Contax IIa/IIIa.
The rear element of the J-12 extends too far back on them, so it would hit the light baffles/shutter.

The Biogon 35 mm lens was later redesigned for the IIa/IIIa.
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Old 07-31-2015   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
It is, but it's based on the PRE-war Zeiss Biogon.
That's why it'll fit on the Contax II and Kiev derivatives, but not on the Contax IIa/IIIa.
The rear element of the J-12 extends too far back on them, so it would hit the light baffles/shutter.

The Biogon 35 mm lens was later redesigned for the IIa/IIIa.
Thanks, I didn't know that. My J-12 is a M39/Leica mount but now I won't go looking for one for my Contax
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