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09-19-2020, 05:40 PM   #1
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Leather case maintenance

I recently acquired a takumar lens with case, hood, everything including the original shipping box.
My question has to do with the leather case which like everything else looks like someone bought it and took it home
and stored it all in a climate controlled vault.

Do I:
A). Leave it alone,

B). Use some leather conditioner on it to preserve it .

Iíve used leather conditioner on other old damaged cases to keep them from getting worse but this thing
really looks like it was made yesterday so I donít want to screw a good thing up.

Incidentally the strap is still stapled in the original plastic packet. Just unbelievable.

Thanks for any comments, Mike

09-19-2020, 06:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdirondackMike Quote
I recently acquired a takumar lens with case, hood, everything including the original shipping box.
My question has to do with the leather case which like everything else looks like someone bought it and took it home
and stored it all in a climate controlled vault.
A photo, 'maybe' would be more explanatory.

To hearten you.... Last year, I bought a dye to paint the skins "black", you know for the cases of the K, M series lenses, are back as new. I do not know if your problem is identical or similar.

Ciao Mario
09-19-2020, 07:00 PM   #3
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To be more explicit, this lens, case etc. look brand new.
I just want to keep the case that way. If it helps, winters here are dry and cold,
the summer just ended hot and very humid.
09-19-2020, 10:15 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdirondackMike Quote
the summer just ended hot and very humid.
Hi Mike, congratulations on your purchase.
If the leather ( organic ) case is in great condition, I would put it in a re-sealable plastic bag and store it as far away from my lens as possible.
Very humid is ideal for mould and fungus to thrive, so for me, using it to " keep a lens safe " is not an option. Enjoy your new toy.

EDIT - Just my $0.02.


Last edited by pjv; 09-19-2020 at 10:27 PM.
09-20-2020, 12:02 AM   #5
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I don't think using a little high quality saddle soap would do the case any harm if it starts to dry out. As you probably know, drying out is the worse thing for leather.
09-20-2020, 12:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdirondackMike Quote
I recently acquired a takumar lens with case, hood, everything including the original shipping box.
My question has to do with the leather case which like everything else looks like someone bought it and took it home
and stored it all in a climate controlled vault.

Do I:
A). Leave it alone,

B). Use some leather conditioner on it to preserve it .

Iíve used leather conditioner on other old damaged cases to keep them from getting worse but this thing
really looks like it was made yesterday so I donít want to screw a good thing up.

Incidentally the strap is still stapled in the original plastic packet. Just unbelievable.

Thanks for any comments, Mike
I use mink oil for leather holsters and for boots. Should keep the leather from drying out.
09-20-2020, 01:45 AM   #7
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Depends if its real leather, PU leather or simply a film applied over cardboard or plastic.

Heres my two penneth.....

Genuine leather....polish with shoe black to remove any scuffs or just use a bit of genuine beeswax for a shine. If it needs cleaning some saddle soap.

PU leather...clean with mild detergent, scuffs can be treated with shoe black, beeswax to shine or silicon based polish, these need careful handling and dont immerse in water as the glue holding the PU together can break down.

Leather film...a lot of later cases are actually plastic and or cardboard with only a film of leather about as thick as kitchen cling film applied, sometimes the film is only plastic itself. Mild detergent to clean, silicon polish for shine.

My experience has been the majority of cases are actually very flimsy cardboard with PU or film.
09-20-2020, 01:54 AM   #8
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I have a Motorhead DLP, purchased second-hand, in a leather sleeve, which when I got it was looking the worse for bad storage. I use 'Nikwax' on my leather walking boots, and wondered whether it would do any good. The leather at first drank it like a traveller in a desert, but after several applications, it seemed as good as new - certainly vastly improved, more flexible, and the embossed printing stood out more vividly as well.

09-20-2020, 09:55 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdirondackMike Quote
My question has to do with the leather case which like everything else looks like someone bought it and took it home
and stored it all in a climate controlled vault.
I'd leave it alone, as the case is not really leather. If it's a black case with green/red lining then it's just made out of cardboard & some form of pleather.

I have a couple K Series lenses that I have stored in the same Pentax hard case for the past 45 years and while the black has faded a bit, all is well otherwise. There is nothing organic/natural about these cases to worry about mould.

Phil.
09-20-2020, 10:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I'd leave it alone, as the case is not really leather. If it's a black case with green/red lining then it's just made out of cardboard & some form of pleather.
I don't have many Asahi/Pentax cases for my Taks, but assumed them to be "leather filled" (leather-derived cardboard-like stuff) rather than wood fiber. I dress mine with shoe polish and so far, that seems to work well. As with you, I have not seen evidence by appearance or odor of mold with any of rigid lens cases from various makers.


Steve
09-20-2020, 11:13 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I'd leave it alone, as the case is not really leather. If it's a black case with green/red lining then it's just made out of cardboard & some form of pleather.

I have a couple K Series lenses that I have stored in the same Pentax hard case for the past 45 years and while the black has faded a bit, all is well otherwise. There is nothing organic/natural about these cases to worry about mould.
I have a couple of Takumar cases with red felt linings - so you think they have no real value??
Without taking them apart, how would one determine that they aren't real leather???
09-20-2020, 02:40 PM   #12
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That's always the question: is it real leather? Maybe one way to tell is by smell. The tanning processes and the leather itself has that "leather smell"

I have no Takumar cases. I don't think the case for my Pentax 50 - 58 mm (plastic) lens hood nor Refconverter M are leather. They have gotten very stiff but haven't started cracking at the stress points - yet. I'm not sure about the case for my Magnifier Eyepiece M. A few months after I got it used the the surface started to crack and bits flaking off at the bend/stress points. I used Picard's Antique Leather Dressing on it. It soaked up 5 or 6 coatings but the flaking has stopped and some of the suppleness has returned. The other cases just shrugged it off, not absorbing and appreciable amount even after a week.

Picard makes a variety of products best suited for the type of leather to be treated. A curator at a local museum recommended the Picard product.
09-20-2020, 04:33 PM   #13
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i think it's kiwi shoe shine stuff i use......helps out all the applicable old/neglected stuff i have gotten from goodwill.....it all looks so much better
09-20-2020, 11:03 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
Hi Mike, congratulations on your purchase.
If the leather ( organic ) case is in great condition, I would put it in a re-sealable plastic bag and store it as far away from my lens as possible.
Very humid is ideal for mould and fungus to thrive, so for me, using it to " keep a lens safe " is not an option. Enjoy your new toy.

EDIT - Just my $0.02.
I never thought about leather and lens fungus. I have a number of DA Limited lenses. To my fingers/nose, the green DA Limiteds came in leather pouches; my one HD Limited (newer, 2014ish) came in what is clearly a PU "pleather" pouch. But the green Limited lens pouches might be real leather. You think I should be worried?

I keep my lenses in a drawer with a few dessicant packs, but I am less than religious about dehydrating the packs in the oven as I'm supposed to do.
09-20-2020, 11:20 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by PocketPixels Quote
You think I should be worried?
I wouldn't want to influence you either way PP. With your gear, it must be your choice. ..................
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