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07-18-2020, 02:35 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Wrapping the KP

Well, a couple of months ago I purchased a used silver KP. With only 8000 actuations and a price that was too good to ignore I decided to go for it since, even if extremely satisfied with my K-70, I have always loved the "retro" look of the KP, especially the silver one.

It became instantly my "only" camera! The level of customization you can achieve is unbelievable, and the third wheel is a game changer for me. Actually I can take pictures and change all the settings I need without ever accessing the menu and keeping my eye in the viewfinder - unbelievable! That is exactly what I was looking for and I got so used to it so quickly that it is now my camera of choice almost any time.

The only "defect" of the camera I purchased was that its previous owner kept it in a too tight bag, so with time the silver paint on the angled edges of the top (plastic, unfortunately) flash housing came off. I knew that before purchasing (it was the main reason of the lower cost) and I believe I could leave with it, but I was lying to myself and each time I looked at the camera those black borders were disturbing me. I never cared about such details on my other cameras, maybe because I have always had black bodies, but on this otherwise shiny and gourgeous KP the sight of those black scratches were really disturbing me.

I tried to cover them with silver markers and apparently it almost worked, but it was enough to use the camera once and the marker's paint came off as well . I thought of using metallic gray paint specific for plastic but I was reclutant since if the color was not exactly the same one I was likely to do a mess that couldn't be cleaned later without damaging the original color.

In the end, I came across the ad of this spray paint which is normally used to customize cars, bikes and other stuff, and I was hooked. It is not exactly a paint, it is a sort of liquid plastic that you spray over the object you want to change color to and after it dries up it forms a wrap on it. By adding several layers of spray (letting it dry each time) the color evens and this wrap becomes a scratch-resistant skin that protects your object and that you can simply peel off when you want (or if the result are not satisfacory to your taste) without damaging the original paint beneath and leaving it as new.

I am attaching the final result. I have to say that I am impressed! The color is only slightly darker than the original body paint and the finish is exactly the same. The overall look is quite pleasant to my eye and I thought to share my experience in the event that someone else wants to experiment (many colors are available for thos who like colorful looks).

As soon as the new flagship is out and the price of new KP bodies hopefully drops I'm going to buy a second silver one and I'm going to wrap it up from the beginning so that I can use it without fear of damaging the original paint!

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07-18-2020, 03:46 AM   #2
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That is so good! And I totally agree, the silver KP is the best camera EVER! I got a bit preoccupied with battery life and bought a battery grip! If you can get one for a decent price, do it! It makes a massive difference with big lenses and is a joy to use. It dies make it a big camera and I am looking forward to taking it off, putting my medium grip back on and shooting with limiteds (I am doing a single in challenge with a big, heavy vivitar). Anyway, back to the paint. Details please maybe a website address. It does look very cool
07-18-2020, 04:46 AM   #3
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Thank you Cerebum! The wrapper I used is made by an italian company (www.wrappingspray.com) and the color I used is their metallic gray aluminum (GRIGIO ALLUMINIO METALLIZZATO – Wrapping Spray)

I don't know for sure if they ship outside Italy but I think so. If you search for "spray wrapping" or something like that you will most probably find other producers elsewhere in Europe selling similar products (make sure they can be used on plastic like that one, however!)

As regards the battery, yes, at this point the battery grip is definitely on my whishlist for the occasions when you need more power, but honestly for my average use the two batteries I have are more than enough to get to the end of the day.
07-18-2020, 05:05 AM   #4
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Very nice results, thanks for the tip.

07-18-2020, 07:21 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
Very nice results, thanks for the tip.
Thank you! The good thing of using this product is that you can actually remove the wrap anytime you want without fear of damaging the original paint, and if you want you can experiment with other colors. In fact I wonder how it may look using the metallic gray titanium they have in stock, which is even darker that the one I used... or even the bronze/brown metallic. On the other hand, on a new camera you may want to apply only their transparent paint to retain the original look of the camera with the benefit of the scratch protection given by the wrapping...
07-18-2020, 07:46 AM   #6
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Removable? Interesting, a very nice option for some other uses where you might want to easily and cleanly return to the original color or simply "I wonder what this would look like".
I may try ordering a couple of colors for myself if they ship to the US.

I have a friend nearby who uses Plasti-Dip for similar purposes but I don't personally know how difficult it is to remove it if you change your mind later. In the case of your camera you probably wouldn't want to anyway, wanting a permanent fix rather than temporary.
07-18-2020, 08:12 AM   #7
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Very nice - considering some of my kit is enhanced (= held together) with olive green gaffer tape. For some reason, none of it has ever been stolen ...
07-18-2020, 10:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Removable? Interesting, a very nice option for some other uses where you might want to easily and cleanly return to the original color or simply "I wonder what this would look like".
I may try ordering a couple of colors for myself if they ship to the US.

I have a friend nearby who uses Plasti-Dip for similar purposes but I don't personally know how difficult it is to remove it if you change your mind later. In the case of your camera you probably wouldn't want to anyway, wanting a permanent fix rather than temporary.
Yes, Plasti Dip is very similar to the product I used, but they do not sell (or at least I was unable to find) the metallic aluminium grey color I needed. It adheres perfectly like a second skin so it will not peel off alone, however if you use a sharp blade to lift it along the edge it can be removed without hassles. It comes off in one piece (it is very difficult to rip off if it's thick enough) and it does not leave any residue on the bare surface. The only precaution is to apply several layers since the more layers you add the stronger it becomes and the safer you are that it will not rip off once you remove it. The producer recommends at least three layers, I applied six...

Yes I'm not going to remove it until it will be consumed for use, after that I will peel it of and will apply again, but I'm confident it will last long. Since it is not necessary to dismantle the camera in order to spray it but only mask the rest of the body it is also quite easy to apply (it took one hour and half from beginning to end), each layer dries in 5-10 minutes.

---------- Post added 07-18-20 at 10:26 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
Very nice - considering some of my kit is enhanced (= held together) with olive green gaffer tape. For some reason, none of it has ever been stolen ...
So yours is not only scratchproof it is also thief proof! :-):-):-)

07-18-2020, 11:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
Very nice - considering some of my kit is enhanced (= held together) with olive green gaffer tape. For some reason, none of it has ever been stolen ...
I know the feeling. My Kx has a cracked bottom plate. It needs duct tape to keep the battery door closed.
07-21-2020, 04:39 PM   #10
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Yes indeed- the silver KP is a beautiful camera as well as being a great performer! I got mine new during some great specials, and wound up with two of them! Real treasures, for sure.
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