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02-18-2011, 02:49 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I feel the same way. I have been putting off doing the re-skinning because I would prefer to feel the material first.

Sorry about your Ricoh 500 with the peeling skin. Which 500 do you have? The original 50's version or one of the more modern models. I have always thought that one of the recent ones would be a nice compact rangefinder.


Steve
I have one of the old 50's ones with the trigger-wind, BUT, mine is a special model with parallax correction called the "jet". It's quite nice, and I have the wide-angle auxiliary lens, which doesn't require an extra finder, you just use the entire finder and ignore the framelines.

02-18-2011, 02:55 PM   #47
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You know most sewing shops will have an assortment of faux leather materials that you can buy for upholstering. If you are at all handy with a craft knife you could just do it yourself and that way you would get to see the material beforehand. It is tricky though trying to cover a camera yourself, cutting the holes the right size etc. Those pre-cut kits do make it a lot easier....

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I feel the same way. I have been putting off doing the re-skinning because I would prefer to feel the material first.
Steve
02-18-2011, 03:07 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
You know most sewing shops will have an assortment of faux leather materials that you can buy for upholstering. If you are at all handy with a craft knife you could just do it yourself and that way you would get to see the material beforehand. It is tricky though trying to cover a camera yourself, cutting the holes the right size etc. Those pre-cut kits do make it a lot easier....
couldn’t you use the existing material that you pulled off as a template? if you are at all good with an x-acto knife, it shouldn’t be too difficult really.
02-18-2011, 03:29 PM   #49
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A wide variety of precut leatherette for many popular models
is available from cameraleather.com and aki-asahi.com.

Chris


Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 02-18-2011 at 03:35 PM.
02-18-2011, 03:35 PM   #50
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Cameras Leica (in difference from lenses Leica) never were superreliable.
02-18-2011, 05:22 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
Yup, the F-photomic.
I never used it for a long time since I transitioned to the F2 then finally settled longest on the F3..being the reason why, when I count backwards, I refer to the F as F1..and yes, as I recall there was a Canon F-1, but the one I always saw was the Canon AE-1 Program.
Canon's basically always called their pro cameras '1' since the original F-1 and right on till now with the EOS-1s, despite there being a lot of models and variants called that. (And they also developed an 'Everything-1' fixation starting in the Seventies: there was almost never an 'Anything-2' or any other number from those times from Canon. (Though there was in fact a Canon F-2: a dental/microscope variant of the F-1N or 'New F-1.' )

They definitely made some beefy cameras in their times, though: you could cold-cock someone with an FTb, no problem. (I tell the story once in a while. )

Though the all-metal wind levers were actually improved on when they went to metal levers with a plastic cover on the end: just as solid, more comfy and less thumb-callus.
02-18-2011, 05:37 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
couldn’t you use the existing material that you pulled off as a template? if you are at all good with an x-acto knife, it shouldn’t be too difficult really.
It depends how much, for one thing, the material distorts on removal, but it can be a helpful guide, and how much the new material may or may not stretch around the camera. (Thickness can be a bit of a factor if you're going around a bend of any kind) If doing one yourself by hand, it might pay to allow a little more than you might expect to need, get around any such bend, then trim the very end to match in place.

It's not like it's rocket science, but in general, the more complex the shape, the more it might be worth getting the pre-cut kits from the guys with the forms and dies and practice.

I've got some special old stuff I've been saving, though. (It's a leatherette that came from probably the plain back of a TLR or big Land camera, just not a color you see anymore: like a mourning dove grey-brown, and that kind of stuff is very stable and wouldn't stretch at all. Real leathers can afford more give.)
02-19-2011, 12:41 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
couldn’t you use the existing material that you pulled off as a template? if you are at all good with an x-acto knife, it shouldn’t be too difficult really.
It can be done. I have seen several examples on the Web where a high quality ladies purse or similar leather goods were used as skin donors. The kits from cameraleather and aki asahi are nice because they have self adhesive backing and are laser or die-cut to precise dimensions.


Steve

02-19-2011, 12:35 PM   #54
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Well, I think the best constructed film SLR I have is the Pentax S3/H3. It definitely feels a step above the Spotmatics I have in all ways, and still above the K-mount bodies I have (K2,MX, etc.). As soon as I touched it and gave it a few dry actuations of the shutter I had the urge to shoot with it. There is also something minimalist about it (no meter, nothing except picture in the viewfinder) that appeals to me.

Of course, that is not the same as long-term reliability. The S3/H3 is known to develop a sticky shutter (mine has), LX's can be fussy, the MX shutter speed readout in the viewfinder is wonky, etc. Most models by now have some cons for long-term reliability; however, a simple CLA (which really any film camera will need by now anyhow) should make any of these cameras good for a couple more decades!
02-20-2011, 06:33 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by macTak Quote
Well, I think the best constructed film SLR I have is the Pentax S3/H3. It definitely feels a step above the Spotmatics I have in all ways, and still above the K-mount bodies I have (K2,MX, etc.). As soon as I touched it and gave it a few dry actuations of the shutter I had the urge to shoot with it. There is also something minimalist about it (no meter, nothing except picture in the viewfinder) that appeals to me.

Of course, that is not the same as long-term reliability. The S3/H3 is known to develop a sticky shutter (mine has), LX's can be fussy, the MX shutter speed readout in the viewfinder is wonky, etc. Most models by now have some cons for long-term reliability; however, a simple CLA (which really any film camera will need by now anyhow) should make any of these cameras good for a couple more decades!
Seems to be true of most items from a good manufacturer in the 50s and early 60s. It is a good description of the technology of the time. I feel the same way about my McIntosh tube amps--way large for the power, but built like a tank with every part replaceable. There are reliability quirks, though.
02-20-2011, 01:47 PM   #56
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Well just for grins, having read this thread (and having put off for too long trying out my new, bionic, post-surgical-implant left eye), I went for a walk with my KX and K2DMD this afternoon (K35/3.5, K50/1.4 and K135/2.5). The camera bag wasn't any heavier than a modern DSLR with battery grip and a couple FA's - so, myth-busted!

Both are hefty, solid cameras (DMD feels heavier), both have a sweet, smooth shutter. I shot both auto and manual with the DMD, just for fun. The VF aperture indicator in both is truly helpful!! I like the match-needle metering system better than the center-needle system in my SP but that is truly subjective.

Fact is, though, none of the differences really matters enough to choose one over the other - just using a solid film body by any maker is a hell of a lot of fun. Last week I had an XA in my pocket on a business trip to Santa Fe and even THAT was fun (and a lot easier to get on the plane).

I think I'll need to have Eric change out the focusing screen in the KX for a split-image for my own comfort but that isn't relevant to everyone here.

Still, as Steve wrote, the SV (Sightseeing Screwmount) is the smoothest camera I have ever used (the K I purchased here is just a little TOO antique!).

Last edited by monochrome; 02-20-2011 at 02:32 PM.
02-20-2011, 02:10 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Still, as Steve wrote, the SV (Sightseeing Screwmount) is the smoothest camera I have ever used (the K I purchased here is just a little TOO antique!)
I have an original ‘AP’ and I feel the same way. its beautifully crafted and a fine piece of engineering, but its too antiquated for modern use. the SV is like I feel about Leica’s M3, a “Pinacle” of camera design. it fit perfectly within its time period and it fits perfectly within this time period. it holds a level of craftsmanship and design thats both timeless and almost too perfectly thought out. The SV like Leica’s M3 does this without being too industrial (how I feel about the spotmatic) but also not too ‘high end’ and fussy. it takes everything that was right about the Asahiflex idea and everything learned from then on and combines it into a beautiful, solid, well engineered, well designed piece of hardware that exudes fine craftsmanship and beauty, but you know is a rugged all around performer.

I know most will scoff because it has no meter, and thats all the reason to consider the spotmatic a better camera, but I say pick up a spotmatic and then pick up an SV. besides the lack of meter, you will see no loss of vital function, but you will instantly feel and see the difference in these two bodies, and you will know the SV is just ‘better’. I think it would be similar with an M3 versus a modern M6 TTL or M7. that M3 may be lacking in some ways to a more modern film equivalent, but you just know when its in your hands that the simplicity and rugged, simple beauty is just ‘right’. thats the SV, without a doubt. hands down, the best SLR Pentax has ever had, and one of, if not the best SLRs period.

of course im biased, so don’t take anything I say seriously, ok?
02-20-2011, 02:24 PM   #58
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That's great news, Paul. Your vision must be much improved.
Glad you can see again, and use those lovely classic cameras!

Chris
02-20-2011, 03:02 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
That's great news, Paul. Your vision must be much improved.
Glad you can see again, and use those lovely classic cameras!

Chris
Getting there
02-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #60
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For me, it's the Nikon F2. I'm particularly partial to the F2s. The thing is about the size and weight of a good sized brick, and is built like a tank.
It also has an amazing feature set for a camera of it's era, including step-less shutter speeds above flash sync and the possibility of shutter preferred automatic exposure (very rare in 1974).
The shutter could be timed to 10 seconds, and it held film registration very solidly if one wanted to do double exposures.
The LED readout proved surprisingly reliable, I think more so than the moving iron meter, and the LED was more visible with the external display.
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