Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Gearhead Delights > Repair / Camera Care

Repair / Camera Care This is a good place to discuss the care and repair of your photo gear. You can share Do-It-Yourself repair and maintenance, as well as your recommendations for pro repairs. This new forum was created 4/1/07. PLEASE title your thread wisely, so others searching for a certain make of camera or repair person can find your thread easily!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Re-blacking camera-leather: shoe-polish ?
Old 01-15-2015   #1
Luddite Frank
Registered User
 
Luddite Frank's Avatar
 
Luddite Frank is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,439
Re-blacking camera-leather: shoe-polish ?

I have a couple of cameras whose black leather body-covering has become "browned" on the high-spots ( equivalent of metal bits becoming "brassed" ).

I have read comments here on RFF about using black shoe-polish improve the appearance of the leather.

My question is what TYPE / brand of shoe-polish works best, without rubbing-off on hands / clothing ?


My convenient options are:

Meltonian creme polish (I use this on my best dress shoes)

Kiwi "paste" polish ( in the familiar flat can )

Griffin or Kiwi liquid shoe dressing


I don't want to put something on that will become a sticky, forever on the hands / clothing pariah.

Thanks !
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #2
Highway 61
Revisited
 
Highway 61's Avatar
 
Highway 61 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,786
If actual leather :

- typically apply some high quality pure China ink (Rotring or another equivalent brand) with a Q-tip on the areas you want to re-dye
- let it dry for several days and redo the operation if the leather hasn't come black enough
- then apply some high quality neutral leather cream (Woly, Collonil)
- let it dry
- gently polish with an used, soft, clean toothbrush.
__________________

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #3
Sparrow
Registered User
 
Sparrow's Avatar
 
Sparrow is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Perfidious Albion
Age: 67
Posts: 12,451
... I wonder what they were finished with originally? ... I know one maker of leatherwear that uses nitrated lacquers, but I bet he's breaking all sorts of regulations in doing so
__________________
Regards Stewart

Stewart McBride

RIP 2015



You’re only young once, but one can always be immature.

flickr stuff
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #4
Robert Lai
Registered User
 
Robert Lai is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
Just use black leather dye. That's what it's made for. I use Fiebing's brand of dye for leather camera cases and other leathers that have worn.
Ideally you need to first strip off the old finish with some acetone (not nail polish remover, as it has oils in it). Use a Q-tip or a clean old rag for large areas. Then apply the dye and wipe off the excess. If the color is not black enough, apply again then wipe off. Eventually you will match the original shade.

Let it dry for a day, then condition the leather. Let the conditioner dry for a day.

Finally, apply a clear coat such as Meltonian neutral to protect the finish.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #5
Sparrow
Registered User
 
Sparrow's Avatar
 
Sparrow is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Perfidious Albion
Age: 67
Posts: 12,451
Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
I believe all the Nikon RF's were dyed and painted, to archive the flat finish.
... sounds like the same idea, he is italian and described it as 'like french polish' ... but it was painted on and dried in seconds
__________________
Regards Stewart

Stewart McBride

RIP 2015



You’re only young once, but one can always be immature.

flickr stuff
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #6
Luddite Frank
Registered User
 
Luddite Frank's Avatar
 
Luddite Frank is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,439
Thanks, chaps !

I will save the shoe-polish for its intended purpose.

The cameras in question are:

Voigtlander "Superb" TLR

Leica III , black, with leather (sharkskin?) body covering.

Will look for Feibing's at the local cobbler.

LF
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #7
FrankS
Registered User
 
FrankS's Avatar
 
FrankS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Canada, eh.
Age: 62
Posts: 19,391
How does one rejuvenate tired, dry leather?
__________________
my little website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

photography makes me happy
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #8
Sparrow
Registered User
 
Sparrow's Avatar
 
Sparrow is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Perfidious Albion
Age: 67
Posts: 12,451
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
How does one rejuvenate tired, dry leather?
We got some stuff from Ikea to use on the sofas, a bottle of stuff that cleans the surface and a second bottle to feed the leather .. I did my old pigskin jacket with it and knocked ten years off that.

I think the second one had petroleum-jelly in a water based emulsion
__________________
Regards Stewart

Stewart McBride

RIP 2015



You’re only young once, but one can always be immature.

flickr stuff
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #9
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,462
Hi,

Museums and bookbinders use a cream to deal with the old leather bindings on books but I can't think what it's called.

I also use something called "Lord Sheraton Leather Balsam" on my ETTRE.

Regards, David
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #10
Steve Bellayr
Registered User
 
Steve Bellayr's Avatar
 
Steve Bellayr is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,942
When I want to touch up something I use water based paint, preferably Winsor Newton. If you do not like how it comes out water will remove the paint. You can cover it with Renaissance Micro-Crystalline Wax. I have not tried it on camera bodies because I have not had the the need to do so. I have tried it on other items and it works just fine. It was recommended to me by a Smithsonian restorer.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #11
FrankS
Registered User
 
FrankS's Avatar
 
FrankS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Canada, eh.
Age: 62
Posts: 19,391
Thank you all.
__________________
my little website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

photography makes me happy
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #12
Luddite Frank
Registered User
 
Luddite Frank's Avatar
 
Luddite Frank is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,439
I will just add-in here, there is no product on this earth that will restore strength and integrity to ancient leather STRAPS, short of replacement.

Wouldn't want someone to think that one of these unctions will revive an old strap.

LF

Last edited by Luddite Frank : 01-16-2015 at 13:28. Reason: very bad speling.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #13
ray*j*gun
Registered User
 
ray*j*gun's Avatar
 
ray*j*gun is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Philadelphia area
Posts: 2,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luddite Frank View Post
Thanks, chaps !

I will save the shoe-polish for its intended purpose.

The cameras in question are:

Voigtlander "Superb" TLR

Leica III , black, with leather (sharkskin?) body covering.

Will look for Feibing's at the local cobbler.

LF
Leica III's (which model?) were NOT covered with leather! The covers are baked on vulcanite which is a kind of vinyl/plastic stuff. I don't know what would bring "black" back to vulcanite but I do not believe shoe dye will work.
__________________
Raymond
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #14
greyelm
Malcolm
 
greyelm's Avatar
 
greyelm is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,362
Quote:
Originally Posted by ray*j*gun View Post
Leica III's (which model?) were NOT covered with leather! The covers are baked on vulcanite which is a kind of vinyl/plastic stuff. I don't know what would bring "black" back to vulcanite but I do not believe shoe dye will work.
This may help. http://www.nemeng.com/leica/032b.shtml
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2015   #15
ray*j*gun
Registered User
 
ray*j*gun's Avatar
 
ray*j*gun is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Philadelphia area
Posts: 2,317
Ah yes greyelm.... thats much better and more helpful than my sad description and
__________________
Raymond
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-16-2015   #16
Luddite Frank
Registered User
 
Luddite Frank's Avatar
 
Luddite Frank is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,439
Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
Peel it off and throw it away. But only if the camera is a user. Seriously really dead leather just crumbles under heavy use, or worse may spread mold.

If you have a Canon Hansa or a Nikon One with original covering, you don't touch it without gloves.

The body covering on my Voigtlander "Superb" and Leica III are still quite tight and sound. No reason in my eyes to strip them.

Just looking for a way to get them looking black again.

They have rubbed "brown" on the high-spots of the leather grain from being handled / used.

If no product seems safe / appropriate, I will leave them alone.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-16-2015   #17
ZeissFan
Registered User
 
ZeissFan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,211
The high gloss of a new buffed leather covering recedes after a few days. It's leather. Treat it as you would treat other leather products.

There are times when the original covering is beyond saving. In that case, go for an after-market covering.

Some people like using cameras that look abused. Some don't. It's your camera, so you get to choose.

Here's a camera that was beyond saving. So I applied a new covering:

Before:






After

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-16-2015   #18
Dante_Stella
Rex canum cattorumque
 
Dante_Stella's Avatar
 
Dante_Stella is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,757
Black shoe dye, either Fieblings or Angel. It goes on blue-black, with an orange-ish sheen. Then follow with shoe polish. That's if it's leather. For vulcanite, you'll have to use a plastic patch. Be extremely careful with shoe dyebecause if you get it on anything, you will have a huge problem. It's even good a staining grained stainless steel.

That said, there is no need to "nourish," "feed" or coddle leatherette (which in the camera variety and especially old cameras is really what we would call bonded leather). It gets its strength from adhesive binders and its backing, which cannot be renewed (Armor All's claims notwithstanding). The front is just chopped leather bits (microscopic) held together with glue (leatherette is made from byproducts of other leather production, the grain being pressed in, and the whole thing essentially being painted). If your leatherette is falling apart, it probably has nothing to do with its tenuous relationship to an animal. It's the man-made part that's failing.

By the way, car "leather" is actually not that much different (car leather is either bonded or heavily treated), and that's one of the reasons it's so tough and liquid-resistant.

Dante
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-17-2015   #19
Ron (Netherlands)
Registered User
 
Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
 
Ron (Netherlands) is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeissFan View Post
The high gloss of a new buffed leather covering recedes after a few days. It's leather. Treat it as you would treat other leather products.

There are times when the original covering is beyond saving. In that case, go for an after-market covering.

Some people like using cameras that look abused. Some don't. It's your camera, so you get to choose.

Here's a camera that was beyond saving. So I applied a new covering:

Before:






After

Nice work! you can have the front plate rechromed
__________________
__________________
When day is done......

Leica: IIa synch conversion, IIIb, M6 TTL Millenium, 2x Rolleicord Vb, 2x Rolleiflex 3.5F white face, Rolleiflex 2.8A, 5x ICA Tropica

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-18-2015   #20
Luddite Frank
Registered User
 
Luddite Frank's Avatar
 
Luddite Frank is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
Black shoe dye, either Fieblings or Angel. It goes on blue-black, with an orange-ish sheen. Then follow with shoe polish. That's if it's leather. For vulcanite, you'll have to use a plastic patch. Be extremely careful with shoe dyebecause if you get it on anything, you will have a huge problem. It's even good a staining grained stainless steel.

That said, there is no need to "nourish," "feed" or coddle leatherette (which in the camera variety and especially old cameras is really what we would call bonded leather). It gets its strength from adhesive binders and its backing, which cannot be renewed (Armor All's claims notwithstanding). The front is just chopped leather bits (microscopic) held together with glue (leatherette is made from byproducts of other leather production, the grain being pressed in, and the whole thing essentially being painted). If your leatherette is falling apart, it probably has nothing to do with its tenuous relationship to an animal. It's the man-made part that's failing.

By the way, car "leather" is actually not that much different (car leather is either bonded or heavily treated), and that's one of the reasons it's so tough and liquid-resistant.

Dante

Dante,

Thank you for this explanation... very helpful.

I had no idea these "leathers" were so highly "manufactured".

Best regards,

Luddite Frank
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-18-2015   #21
locheeboy
locheeboy
 
locheeboy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Scotland
Posts: 136
Saddle soap for all yer leather woes.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-01-2015   #22
dxq.canada
Registered User
 
dxq.canada's Avatar
 
dxq.canada is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 135
Black tincture from eBay seller hobby-nexus
__________________
.
.
My repair blog: http://oldcam.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 13:14.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.