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Refinishing in enamel
The paint we use to refinish Leica cameras is a one part stove-enamel , sprayed on at high pressure. It is a 30% gloss MOD specification paint ( Ministry of Defence) and is used on British military equipment .
The same applies to the olive green and grey (Anthracite) finishes .
After removing the chrome from top housings and component parts , the enamel is applied and then baked for 1 hour at 135 degrees C. The finish is a hard wearing coating that 'lifts' the appearance of tired and worn out chromed Leica cameras .
The UN Olive green is still used on military equipment and it is normal to leave the controls and component parts chrome , as on the original M2 and M3 cameras manufactured in the factory at Wetzlar.
The vulcanite is also restored and if a grey or olive green is chosen , this is matched to the 'leather' covering .
Each item is costed on an individual basis , as there is a certain amount of preparation involved. Other custom colours are available . Obviously the more 'dings' & ' dents' in the camera more work is required. Strap lugs can also be replaced at the same time .
New vulcanite for the back-plate is also included as well as the normal restoration of the vulcanite .
Prices on application . Sometimes it is necessary to o'haul & service the camera at the same time. If this is the case then a price is also given for the servicing aspect of the job.
M3 top housings , stripped of chrome , prior to painting
Leica M2 with 'bright-work'
Leica M3 DW
Re-furburbished prisms ( re-silvered ) are fitted on an exchange basis providing that the original part is suitable for restoring ie. chipped or scratched items cannot be accepted. Leicaflex , SL , SL2 prisms , Exchange Leica CL rangefinder prism Leica R3 prism with beam splitters Lens re-polishing and coating . Single layer MgF2 coating can be undertaken and costs depend on diameter of lens element . Please E-mail for info. Re-cementing of lens doublets that have balsam fractures
Leica M3 back-plate stripped in preparation for painting in black enamel
The back-plate of the M3 DW consists of 32 individual components . Before refinishing in enamel the ASA/DIN scale is acid stripped to remove the chrome . The main back-plate casting and the scale plates are the only parts that are painted. After the enamel has hardened the film speed scale engraving is filled with white paint and the film type disc refitted .
The slight difference between our black finish is that it is about 2% matt as compared to the original Leitz black enamel.
STOP PRESS : We have had a complaint from a customer who had his camera enamelled nearly a year ago . He is bitterly disappointed because he covered the camera in electrical tape and after removing the tape nine months later the glue had removed some of the infill in the engraving . The infill for the engraving is not the same as the paint that is used to enamel the camera and if tape is put over the engraving soon after it is initially done , the glue will stick to the letter infill. Consequently when the tape is removed it can lift the infill unless the tape is warmed before pulling it off .
When the factory produced the cameras 50 years ago , the paint in the engraving has had 50 years to stick to the top-plate , if you put tape over the engraving soon after it is done , the glue in the tape will stick to the engraving from the instant you put the tape on , consequently the glue will react with the infill, so that the first time you remove the tape , it will pull off some of the lettering . The engraving is also shallower because of the thickness of the enamel and this doesn't help .
You should warm the tape up with a hairdryer before removing it , this will allow the glue in the tape to soften so that there is less chance of it pulling out the infill of the lettering. If you intend to cover the camera in tape of any kind , use a lo-tack type and try and avoid the engraving for the first year.
If you need to infill the engraving in a lens or on a body , photo shops sell a paint stick specifically for this job and it is something that can be done yourself quite easily .
I am sorry that this customer is so bitterly disappointed , but it stands to reason that ,if you cover the camera in tape immediately after it has had the engraving filled in , that it is likely to pull out when the tape is removed unless it is done carefully with a little heat to soften the glue .
If you have ever seen a chrome M camera that has had tape on for a number of years you will find that the glue in the tape will actually stain the chrome . It is impossible to remove these marks , so that whatever is done there will always be a tell-tail stain where the tape was . And that is on chrome !
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Re-silvering of rangefinders MORE INFO
Black Paint & Olive Green & Anthracite Paint Finishes for :