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How to clean an old camera body??

Jim Rodda , Sep 01, 2000; 03:59 p.m.

I thought for sure this would be in the archives but I couldn't find it. (OK maybe I AM an idiot). I did see Phillip's section which is mainly about lenses and a "wet cloth" comment about the body. I occasionaly pick up "Estate Sale" type cameras. You've all seen them, they look like they were in the attic for decades. I have been using a tooth brush and water, occasionaly some lighter fluid. I am wondering what the effect would be of a no gloss amorall or some other treatment. The used cameras I see in a shop all seem to have been polished with something. What to you all use?


andrew schank , Sep 01, 2000; 06:14 p.m.

I use a quality leather treatment very sparcely after wiping down with a damp cloth. I than take a clean rag and polish it up after the leather treatment has soaked in a while.

Robert Segal , Sep 01, 2000; 06:53 p.m.

Isopropyl alchohol and a Braun plaque remover electric toothbrush (with an old brush head) and many, many lint-free wipes (such as Kim-Wipes by Kimberly Clark Corp.) This is for hand-gripped portions of the device, only, mind you. It's astounding how much hand oil builds up in the hollows.

Leather gets several treatments of mink oil to keep it from drying out.

Robert Segal , Sep 01, 2000; 06:55 p.m.

There is, by the way, a nice low-gloss 'polish' for hiking and work boots marketed by Kiwi and available in several colours. Polished items tend to tint what they rub against, though, so be careful when the camera rests against your white shirt. . .

gene crumpler , Sep 01, 2000; 08:39 p.m.

Any thoughts on how to get the chrome on a hassie body and mag. to really shine?

andrew schank , Sep 01, 2000; 09:20 p.m.

Most of the "chrome" on camera parts is actually an anodizing of some sort. Its not like the chrome on my old Alfa! Anything you do to polish it will make it worse if it is anodized, except for a very light cleaning to remove imbedded dirt on the surface. Usually any scuffs or marks you see that you'd want to try and polish out are into the anodizing, and can not be polished away. I'm not sure if your Hassie mentioned above has this type of a coating on the alluminum, but it probably does.

Gary Watson , Sep 01, 2000; 09:32 p.m.

Your Zippo is the right place for the lighter fluid.Armorall is the shits to get off glass and would serve no purpose on metal. Drink the water. A thick, clean terry cloth towel 'lightly' moistened with a mist bottle should remove a good deal of crud. Use isopropyl(sparingly)with Q-tips and thick pipe cleaners for hard-to-budge gick. Resist steam-cleaning.Avoid abrasives, detergents, solvents, and available miracle shine-ola potions.Take your time. Remember that it's not a car.

Jeffrey Rodgers , Sep 05, 2000; 11:05 p.m.

No armor-all!!! It will get on your hands when you use the camera and can end up on lens or filter. If you want to use a "conditioner" ( after cleaning) let it sit for a while and don't use the camera until it has been whiped with a dry cloth. BTW, do you have a cover over the lens opening?

Bruce Rubenstein - NYC , Sep 06, 2000; 09:34 a.m.

Most cameras are covered with vinyl "leatherette". I find that 3M Office and Desk cleaner does a good job of removing grunge without leaving a slippery coating, or drying out the plastic. A soft toothbrush, and/or some foam will get the junk out of the crevices. Start by dry brushing off as much junk as possible. For sticker residue, on metal or piant, a drop of WD40 on a clean cloth will work wonders. WD40 also works well on all chrome; just don't spray it on the camera! Just a bit on a Q-Tip (cotton bud), or clean cloth.

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