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08-10-2009, 04:25 AM   #1
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Cleaning the old Camera

Nasty stormy night in Waterloo and with TV so bad I decided to trip the shutters of my old K2 and MX to make sure everything was still working. As usual they worked perfectly and reminded me how well these old mechanical cameras were made.

I noticed the leather covering was looking a little dry on these units so I tried some Armorall on a cloth and it seemed to work very well. This was only applied to the outer surfaces and I stayed clear of the viewfinder glass for obvious reasons. The only downside was the camera bodies were a little slippery afterward but looked great. I assume things will be fine as they dry out.

What do you guys use to surface clean your old cameras? Any commercial products out there or suggestions others might find of value?

Tom G

08-10-2009, 07:26 AM   #2
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I'd avoid Armor-all in the future. It has oils which migrate all over things, and it'll actually end up drying out your leatherette. I believe it also outgasses, (They have changed formulas for a while: the early stuff turned out to do more harm than good, even for its intended purpose.) and you don't want that near your lens coatings. (never mind dealing with the 'slippery camera' issues. An old damp toothbrush is a good way to go for cleaning: it might be a good idea to try and get as much of that Armor all off as you can, actually, it's likely to stay funny-feeling for a long time.
08-10-2009, 08:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I'd avoid Armor-all in the future. It has oils which migrate all over things, and it'll actually end up drying out your leatherette. I believe it also outgasses, (They have changed formulas for a while: the early stuff turned out to do more harm than good, even for its intended purpose.) and you don't want that near your lens coatings. (never mind dealing with the 'slippery camera' issues. An old damp toothbrush is a good way to go for cleaning: it might be a good idea to try and get as much of that Armor all off as you can, actually, it's likely to stay funny-feeling for a long time.
x2 on the Armor-all. I used to use a product called RVL on the saddles of my Harleys that left them supple but not slippery and Mink Oil on my leather jackets and chaps.
I'm thinking that using any of this sort of product on a camera is probably not the best thing to do
08-10-2009, 09:21 AM   #4
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Oops

I looks great but I'll start scrubbing away today. Guess I should have asked before I started cleaning.

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-10-2009 at 10:53 AM. Reason: typo
08-10-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I looks great but I'll start scrubbing away today. Guess I should have asked before I startes cleaning.

Tom G
Just be very gentle and patient. I'm not sure if that Armor-all might make leatherette want to separate or anything.

I didn't specify any cleaning products cause I don't know if those models used real leather or leatherette. I think you'll find that the worst of the effects of age actually can be cleared up simply by the damp brush technique, stuff sorta gets in among the pebbling and grain, makes it look faded. I believe I've used just a touch of saddle soap on something in the past, but I don't seem to recall well enough to have formed a strong opinion on it. I assume that means catastrophe didn't ensue.
08-10-2009, 12:00 PM   #6
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Camera repairman's secret

Sounds like another job for nose grease!

Chris
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