Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Little Maintenance

I like to keep things for a long time. Some things I shouldn't hold on to any more, but that's another post for another blog. This post is about a couple of cameras that have been around for a while, and fixing the problems that come up as cameras age.

As anyone who's owned a Yashica FX-D knows, the original leatherette covering didn't last very long. Mine has been without most of its covering for a very long time. This doesn't affect its operation of course, but it sure looks like hell. If you have this problem with an FX-D or just about any other camera, there are people out there who provide kits to replace your covering with a new one.

Another problem that crops up with old cameras is the light seals disintegrate. The Contax RTS I got from my Dad was suffering from this problem. Here's what the cameras looked like before the work began:




Fortunately everything's available on the internet, including light seal kits. In fact, I got both my Yashica leather covering and my RTS light seals from the same place: Aki Asahi

The package arrived from Japan only a few days after ordering, and here's what it contained:



I ordered the black leather covering, but I guess Aki Asahi think if they're going to stick one of these sets in the mail it's just as easy to throw a second set in the envelope. My second set is blue, with a lizard-embossed pattern. I decided to stick to the plan and use the black. The quality of the leather is much better than the original, but if the black I put on ever does come off then I'll try the blue lizard skin. Both the light seals and the camera coverings are self adhesive and do not require any glue.

Full instructions on how to apply the covering are here:
http://aki-asahi.com/store/html/FX-D/replace/index.htm
so I don't need to repeat that, but here are a few shots of the process:















The light seals on the RTS were more time consuming than the leather covering on the FX-D, since the little buggers are so sticky and have to be shoved into tiny grooves. (That's probably why you get three sets.) It took a lot of patience, but I think it went well. Of course if the first roll of film shows my RTS to be more of a Holga and leaking light like a sieve, then I still have two more sets of light seals. :-)







Altogether it cost me $US 23.75 ($CA 30.11) for three sets of light seals and two complete leather covering sets for the Yashica. It took about three hours to complete both projects.

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