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05-08-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
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How to clean the chrome cover on cameras?

Hi, I was looking at this still life photography contest, and saw a great picture of a shiny nice Zenit: 1X - Photos
The top cover looks so clean and the leatherette looks so black! I surely would like to make my cameras look like that, but honestly don't know what treatment to apply without damaging anything. Any ideas?

05-08-2011, 11:56 AM   #2
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I like to use a q-tip moistened with some 90% rubbing alcohol to clean the chrome on the top of my film cameras. Just make sure the q-tip isn't dripping, as you don't want any to spill into the guts of the camera. Worked pretty well for me.
05-08-2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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I don't think Photoshop would be of any use in this case. Will buy some isopropyl alcohol tomorrow. But what would you recommend for the leatherette? Used shoe polish for the case, it worked well.
05-08-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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I never used anything more than a damp cloth for camera bodies and ArmourAll for the leather.

05-08-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Use Photoshop.

Chris
05-08-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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I use goo gone (naptha) and alcohol on a q-tip. Used separately of course.
For stains that the goo gone can't clean, the alcohol is there and vice versa since they clean different stains.
05-09-2011, 10:05 AM   #7
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I have used Goo Gone, Windex, mild soapy water, and Isopropyl alcohol with various degrees of success and excess. The worst that I have encountered is lifting the paint from lettering when using Windex (easily fixed with lacquer stick).

Photoshop is also very useful as is 1-2 stops overexposure (hides an abundance of ills).


Steve
05-13-2011, 02:42 PM   #8
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I have cleaned the camera with isopropyl alcohol, but it didn't do any miracles. I would have liked it to shine. It cleaned whatever was on the mirror though. Be careful not to spill alcohol on the plastic frame counter glass because it will fog it. Don't ask me how I know that.
By the way, is it safe to unscrew the top/bottom covers, as the camera might need a cleaning inside too? Is there any piece that might fall off and needs special attention? Maybe a special screwdriver required?

05-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #9
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I doubt that camera is as shiny and ‘new’ looking as it appears. I think its a product of the photograph itself more than the camera. for example:


this was my beloved SV when i first received it. it look nearly brand new, but the chrome and leatherette were actually in far rougher shape then they appear. good lighting and quality post processing can do wonders. however, all the actual suggestions for cleaning are great so take heed.
05-13-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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Windex contains 0.02% of hydrochloric acid by volume. I don't use it at all for anything anymore as it ruined the wood finish around my bay windows with just the fine mist of the spray settling while I cleaned the glass.

A good microfiber cloth damp with warm distillted water cleans real well, except for heavy deposits of oils, grease, etc. For anything the water/cloth can't get off diluted 409 works well.

Last edited by ghl; 05-13-2011 at 08:17 PM. Reason: misspelling
05-13-2011, 08:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
good lighting and quality post processing can do wonders.
So true! None of my cameras look as good in person as they do in the pictures. Well, that is not quite accurate. My Yashica-44, Pentax Super Program and Chamonix 045n-2 actually look better than the photos, but that may just be a problem with angle and staging!

Cameras and Lenses - a set on Flickr


Steve
05-14-2011, 07:55 AM   #12
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The leather I don't usually mess with too much other than wiping it down with a very lightly damp cloth once in a while. I use a little bit of this metal cleaner on my chrome bits though. Works like a charm every time. I love this stuff actually. It's the best metal cleaner, IMHO. It's nice and gentle but it gets the job done.

MAAS
05-14-2011, 08:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Probably used just to buffer the pH, since ammonia is rather alkaline.
Not enough to do any harm to the chrome covers on your camera at any rate.

Chris
My thought as well. That leads in to a cautionary note regarding window cleaner and many household cleaner/degreaser products. These are often fairly strongly alkaline and can pit aluminum. If you have a "silver" lens or body of unknown composition (thinking FSU), take care.


Steve
05-14-2011, 08:56 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
The leather I don't usually mess with too much other than wiping it down with a very lightly damp cloth once in a while. I use a little bit of this metal cleaner on my chrome bits though. Works like a charm every time. I love this stuff actually. It's the best metal cleaner, IMHO. It's nice and gentle but it gets the job done.

MAAS
I want the "pre-treated" polishing gloves!


Steve

(...curious though as to whether they will polish my hands as well...)
05-14-2011, 09:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
A little nose grease will put the shine back.
It's good for fine scratches on lenses, too.
I have tried that already, it was ear grease in fact, I had plenty to spare, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's good as long as you keep it away from the shutter cloth.
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