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Pentax 67 - Restoration Project
Posted By: tomart, 03-09-2013, 03:19 PM

From some time I`m a happy owner of my 1989 Pentax 67 Medium Format Camera.

In the UK they are still pricey and not as easy accessible as in the USA. So after long research and limited budget I found one from photographer student. The camera was in bad condition, light seals completely gone, paint was peeling off, some leather was missing and there where deep scratches on the body and plastic covers. I used the camera succesfully and shoot some 15 rolls of film. But I like to keep and have my equipment spotless so I decide to do something with it.

With bad British weather behind my window I decide to prepare my P67 for upcoming spring time and tried to make look a few years younger.

Below is the description and steps I took to remove all the leather and covers without moving any mechanical internal components. I was following the official Service Manual Instruction of Pentax 6X7 camera which you can find here - Pentax 67 Service Manual, and I decided to follow one rule only – don`t touch internal mechanical components. I wanted to give the camera a nice look and avoid trouble by removing some mechanical parts which can be calibrated using specialise tools.

Please be aware that this is not an official way of restoring/removing external covers, this was only my project and I was doing this on my own risk. I don`t take any responsibility for any damage caused by using these instructions.



1. Tools and parts.



I collect all sort of tools before I started. Below I listed anly the ones I used.

Set of precise screwdrivers - no comment :-).
Scalpel blades with handle - great for removing old light seals and cut new ones.
Loctite 7063 - great for cleaning remains of glue and other dirt - best for cleaning the surface before painting.
Dremel Multitool - Google it.
Custom made tool - picture below.
Lens ring tool - picture below - purchased from Micro-tools.

Pentax 6x7 Service Manual - my website - ServiceManual.
Leatherette replacement - CameraLeather - USA store.
Light seals, self adhesive seals, foams, cussions - UK store - Cam-Spares.









Before restoration.


Here is some pictures I took just before I started the restoration.

















2. Removing old leather.




Before I started removing the leather, I had to make sure that I can find the replacemant. I was looking for self adhesive one to save me the problem of applying adhesive myself. I found a great offer from the shop in the United States and they even cutted for me to my specification. Here is the link to the website - CameraLeather. I decide to get the Seal Grain Black Leatherette (Coarse) and I`m very happy with the results, I belive this leather looks much better that the original one.
If you like to purchase some leatherette from this shop specifically for the Pentax 67, please ask for it by email, as they don`t officialy offer them for that camera on their website.



Below are the pictures of the new leatherette and the old one from the back doors removed to compare them. I believe this new pattern looks very well on Pentax 67.
This leather has very strong adhesive which of course is great, but becouse it is not easy task to align the new strips properly on the body, I order two sets just in case I do something wrong and I have to start again.










3. Removing back doors.



Removing back door isn`t a difficult task, after the leather was removed there is only five small screws holding the back doors. I get some small, self locking bags to store all the parts together with descriptions and drawings. I record on video my steps where the assembly was more difficult containing lots of small parts and diffrent screws sizes.







Here are the doors with the leather removed representing the state of the paintwork, there is rust and scratches and I don`t like it :-).
Removing the paint was not difficult, after so many years it was just peeling off very easy. In some places, where the paint was harder to remove I used the multitool from Dremel with diffrent sets of metal and copper brushes. I had to watch the film type selecting window in the doors to don`t damaged it.







After all paint was removed there was no way back. I used grey primer paint before applying the gloss enamel on top of it. I forgot to take pictures of the door with primer finish but later in this article you can find other parts with the primer applied.

There was a few attempts before I get the right thickness of the both coats. First time I aplied three layers of primer and three of black gloss paint and this was a mistake. The finish was to thick and I knew that this can cause a problem when the part have to assembled on the body. After cleaning all again I applied two thin layers of primer and two of black gloss enamel paint. This was the finish I was looking for.

After some research I found out that the original paint was baked in the oven, the problem was that I didn`t have the experience to try this and didn`t have the oven so instead I used high scratch resistant enamel paint and primer. This give me a nice hard finish, I didn`t paint the internal site of the doors as they are painted using special anti-reflective paint and they was in great condition.




Below some pictures after the job was done and after the new leather was applied.











And after leather was aplied.









And some bigger photo of finished part.
















4. Removing bottom covers and film locking mechanism, bottom right and left corners of the camera.




On the bottom of the camera on both corners is the film locking mechanism assembled on top of the covers. Disassembling this is not a big problem, only trouble was to make some custom made tools to remove special screws holding the assembly - one for film locking mechanism and other for the covers. After the top screw was removed the spring and locking mechanism is free to be removed. The covers are hold by a ring type screws and the special tool is needed to be able to remove them. I believe pictures below shows more detail and no explanation is needed.








All parts was in good shape and just a proper cleaning was needed. Paint was removed from bottom covers. As the restoration process took me almost two months I was labeling all parts with detailed descriptions to help me assembled them in the wright order after all painting job was finished.



5. Bottom covers paint work.



This process was a bit more tricky than the back doors painting job. I found some informations in internet that the bronze is difficult to paint and a good idea is to prepare the surface properly before painting. I used metal sponge to scratch the surface so the paint particles have something to stick to. After that I clean the surface using Loctite cleaner.


Next problem I came across - how to hold parts while painting ? I get some funny but perfectly working idea - I found some old markers pens and glue them to the internal site of covers using super glue, that way I was abble to hold them in my hand while painting and after that I just keep them in the old glass to dry.

On the pictures below where all parts are together you can noticed that one is missing - this is the right corner part, the one with shutter button. I didn`t restore this one from a few reasons:

1. - The part was in perfect condition so there was no need for painting.
2. - I was afraid that I will be unable to paint again the 67 marker.
3. - I was unable to remove the shutter button and the shutter locking mechanism which was chrom and painting this part could cuse that will be difficult to perate it.



Paint removed and covers ready for painting.













Two coats of primer applied - old marker pens glued to the internal part of the covers. You can clearly see on the picture that the layers are really thin and only reason I used primer was that when I tried painting the parts without primer the paint was just running down without covering the part, in other words, there was nothing which allowed the paint to stick to the surface of bronze metal.











Finished parts - I tried to achieve the same color as the right corner, which I didn`t restored. When the parts was put together site by site there was a tiny diffrent between parts and I was afraid that will be visible on the camera but I was surprise that after the camera was assembled there was almost no diffrent between them.











6. Top left corner.



To be able to remove the left corner I had to removed the plastic covers first. After the leather was removed there is all clear and all screws are clearly visible. I started from the back and later the main bottom cover. The top one on the back of the camera is easy to remove, there is only four screws. Two underneath the leather and two from inside of the camera just above the focusing screen. The three TTL Pentaprism connectors holding the part in place so after removing the screews cover have to be pulled upwards.











Removing the bottom cover is also easy. After the leather was removed all the screws are clearly visible. I disassembled the battery cover so I can cleaned and prepared for painting later on.












For plastic covers restoration I faund a great plastic polishing paste - Xerapol. Deep scratches have to be removed using water sand paper grade 1200 to 1500 and after that using paste polished the part to high gloss. It works fantastically and the different is clearly visible on the pictures below.







And the cover after polishing was done.













After the bottom cover was removed, there is nothing on the way and I was able to easy remove the site covers. I started from left site where the flash connectors are placed. This part is hold by 5 screws, 3 are visible on site of the cover and two are from inside of the camera, just above the focusing screen. I had to make sure that I clearly describe the screws as they are diffrent lenght and thread types. Ther is also spring loaded pin which holds the prism on place so I had to be careful to not to lose the spring and remember the spring orientation.






Simmilar steps are taken when removing left plastic cover, just to remember about the spring and pin which holds the prism. On the left site I found a bigger than usual screw, which is protruding through the cover. Becouse the screw is bigger I was sure that this one has a different purpose then holding the cover. It was covered by small copper circle shaped cap which after removing the old leather, sticks to the remaining glue on the bottom of that leather. First I was thinking to unscrew this one as well, but after all the smaller screws was removed the cover become loose and I was able removed it. I don`t exactly know what is that screw for, but I think that is some kind of regulation/calibration screw so I was happy that I didn`t tried to removed it.

The Mirror Lock-Up switch is a part of the cover and could be removed after for cleaning.
Don`t clean the remains of old light seals as they are a perfect indication and help in positioning the new ones and this have to be done just before replacing them.








After all plastic covers have been removed there is nothing on the way and I was able to remove the right bronze corner of the camera. It is hold by only three screws around it and on top of it by shutter timing dial with three tiny headless screws in it.

Only one small problem - after removing screws the shutter dial turns around his own axis loosing original position, the screws are tighten in the V shape cut out around potentiometer in exact orientation and there is no any sign and indication of where that position is. But there is a simple clue which helped me to position the dial again in the right place.

On the potentiometer and between the dial timing marks is the significant jump (gap) between 1/1000 and X position so after turning the potentiometer one way or another is easy to find that jump (gap) and align the dial in to corresponding gap on the timing marks.










And after all that steps the cover is free to go and ready for painting preparation.

Below some pictures after the cover was removed and just before painting.















And finished part.










7. Removing the Winding Lever for anodizing.




This part was the most difficult one. I was afraid that I can break something or lost some parts. The best way is to follow the service manual as there is lots of parts assembled together in the wright order. I was recording all my steps so after a long period of time with help of video I was able to put everything together again. I will try to explain best as possible the steps I took to remove the winding lever.

Below is the screenshot from the service manual representing the exploaded drawing af the Winding Lever mechanism. The top cover with the window is hold by tiny, REALLY TINY headless three screws in the same way as the shutter dial on the left corner cover. DON`T LOOSE THOSE SCREWS.






















After that screw is removed there is just a few washers, so no explenation is needed and the best way is to follow the Service Manual. For cleaning purpuse I removed the cover as wel but I`m not going to show how to do this as this could be done using Service Manual.




8. Removing Bayonet Seat, Spring, Stopper and Coupler ring assy.


Acording to the Service Manual, Bayonet Assy is set precisly so I was taking small and slow steps when removing those parts. For adjustment, small shims are used so I had to be careful to not to mix them and keep them separated.



Screenshot from Service Manual representing Bayonet - Back Adjustment.


















And after.




9. Anodising.


All parts below have been originally anodised but after so many yeras they was exposed and highly scratched and damaged. Working in aircraft industry I was lucky to have access to anodising department in my work. After short chat with my friends on anodising area and getting some advice I was told to not to remove or polish the scratched areas on the parts. This of course was judged by them and if the scratches are deep and big they have to be removed manually before anodising. I have to admit that I tried to removed old anodising using Dremel tool and the result was just devastating - part was completely damaged by me and I spend a few weeks to find replacement. Old anodising was removed very easy by my friends in anodising area. My mistake, but I new the risk when I started this project.


I was so excited seeing new parts that I forgot to take some pictures after and even before they have been anodised, but the final effect will be visible on the fully assembled camera on the end of this article.












Counter dial cover and film type switch before anodising. (I forgot to take pictures after anodising.)







10. Handle restoration.



I was hoping that the handle will be the easiest part of this project, but I was wrong. I had to make a decision - remove permanently the hot shoe and anodise the covers as originally or keep the hot shoe and paint the covers. The reason why I get across this problem was easy - the hot shoe on the handle is from steel and I was told that this cannot be done especially together with aluminium cover attached to it. Problem is that hot shoe is attached using short rivets and they, once removed cannot be attached again. So on the end I decide to paint the covers as they was badly damaged and scratched.




Before painting.








And after.






And slowly we get to the end. I try to review and update this article if I forgot about something. Please keep in mind that steps and instructions presented in this tutorial are only part of the job. I didn`t describe all steps taken as some of them can be found in Service Manual and others don`t need any explenation. I pointed the most important parts of this process.







And finally some comparison of camera before and after this looooong process.


BEFORE










AND AFTER










Last edited by tomart; 04-02-2013 at 02:45 PM.
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03-09-2013, 04:05 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Very very neat both to restore your own camera and to post your steps and experiences. I look forward to reading your continuing posts and enjoying your progress alongside you.

And I love serials in the British tradition

Last edited by monochrome; 03-09-2013 at 06:24 PM.
03-09-2013, 04:22 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Thanks for sharing this, it's a really enjoyable read so far.

The results on the film door are amazing! It looks better than new. I really look forward to seeing how the rest of the camera turns out. I've been looking at 67's for a while now and there are quite a few out there in this kind of condition. I get the feeling that this guide is going to make it hard for me to resist buying one.
03-09-2013, 06:43 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Nice work! Can't wait for your next step.

03-09-2013, 09:19 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Impressive results! I look forward to your future posts on the restoration!
03-10-2013, 03:25 AM   #6
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Thank you for all comments, I try to post some updates today. There is so many photos and steps involved in this project that I have to find the way to post this in some correct order.

Thank you.
03-10-2013, 09:13 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Buy the way, do you take into account that new primer and paint layers may increase the size of restoring parts.
Just my two cents.

Cheers.
03-11-2013, 12:20 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pavpen Quote
Buy the way, do you take into account that new primer and paint layers may increase the size of restoring parts.
Just my two cents.

Cheers.
Yes

That's way I applying only 4 layers, 2 primer and 2 paint. Pentax 67 is far from having tide tolerances. I tried few times before I was happy with the paint finish. My camera is fully assembled now and I just finished my second roll of film.

04-03-2013, 11:40 AM - 1 Like   #9
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tom"s pentax

Hi, i work with tom and seen his work over many months, the time it took and the detail tom achieved was excellent, the camera looks great and im so glad he can now use it again. WELL DONE TOM. (football).
04-03-2013, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Great job, Tom,
Congratulations.
04-08-2013, 02:06 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Superb work!
That's something to be proud of.
05-16-2013, 09:20 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Hi

Great work. fantastic read.

I have just got a Pentax 67ii and it has got scuff marks on the prism finder and some chipping on lever. Can you tell me how to restore the paintwork. I have seen your work and it looks great. But I am not sure of the process and materials I will need to complete that finished look. I don't want to make it look worse.

Thanks Peter
08-05-2013, 06:52 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Hello tomart
Great work, a very good tutorial for the adventurous amongst us. By the way, did you upgrade your prism finder to a metered one, or did you have both, to begin with? Many thanks. Tony
08-05-2013, 08:13 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Fantastic work. That is a big project and you really did that camera right. I'm sure this will be a great help to others who might find themselves wanting to spruce up their camera.
08-05-2013, 08:40 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Nice restoration. Looking good. It also looks like you added a metered prism.
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