KM/KX/K2 (n)ever ready case material?


Dangermouse

Link Posted 01/12/2010 - 23:07
I've just found a couple of ebay listings for these, and while I know the front part is a royal pain I do find the back part excellent for protecting the camera from scrapes. Only thing is I don't know whether the cases are real leather or the cardboard-based stuff used on the M series? If the former I can safely buy a scruffy one and give it a good polish, the cardboard type seem impossible to restore fully as the fake leather outer tends to crack and flake off.

There's one here for a photo of what I'm on about.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Banjo

Link Posted 02/12/2010 - 00:25
Dangermouse wrote:
... If the former I can safely buy a scruffy one and give it a good polish, the cardboard type seem impossible to restore fully as the fake leather outer tends to crack and flake off...
.

Matt, I'm sorry, but the picture looks to me rather as if it is one of the vinyl-coated cardboard types. In anycase, there were no "hard leather" case in that style, only soft leather (if it was leather).

Now, as to refurbishing the half-cases (which I agree are most useful in protecting the camera) I have found you can restore them to full original protective capacity (and better), though not to their original appearance by carefully applying a single layer of craft felt (in a colour of your choice) using a quick drying,strong, craft glue, to the outside of the original half-case. This takes care of the flaking off bits as well.

The result is almost as strong as if they were made of fibreglass and very practical (if a bit nerdy)!

The technique is to get a worn halfcase, glue in place any major component parts that are flapping about, then measure up the panels (back, side and front can be cut from one piece and the base from another).

Then lay out the main panel first (on some newspaper), coat it generously with the glue, carefully apply it to the halfcase, and smooth it into place, shaping it by massaging it with your fingers and thumbs.

Make sure you have first cut out holes to fit any press-studs that attach the front half of the case, so it will still be attachable.

Use plastic clothes pegs and large rubber bands to clamp everything together and set aside to dry overnight.

The following day, coat the smaller panel (cut generously) with glue and attach as above (use rubber bands as clamps). Set aside to dry.

Once dry, use a suitable pair of scissors to trim any excess felt from around the joint between the two panels (and anywhere else). A brushing with a stiff brush will hide any join.

I find that it is the half-cases, generally that have suffered more from use, but the case-fronts are usually, still OK as is, so I haven't ever tried to "renovate" them. They would be a lot trickier.

So far I have renovated two Olympus OM cases and an Asahi Pentax MX half-case in this fashion: they serve me very well! And they are very robust indeed. The cost of the restoration is negligible, and you have a very individual item.
Last Edited by Banjo on 02/12/2010 - 00:39

womble

Link Posted 02/12/2010 - 07:01
Dunno about that one but the ones for my KX and KM are the earlier leather type as for the Spotmatics. That one looks tatty to me

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Dangermouse

Link Posted 02/12/2010 - 10:11
The KM did come in a Spotmatic case, as this had a sticker inside for a firm which had ceased to exist before the KM was released (Wallace Heaton) and a Super Takumar 35mm lens attached I decided it probably held a Spotmatic originally and found a clean spotty to go in it.

The KM fitted the back half ok but the front was a bit tight around the prism housing and lens (after changing it for the K 55/1.8 I already had). My KX has its share of scuffs and marks and generally serves as my spare film body, but the KM is very close to mint so obviously I'd like to protect it while using it.

I've had a couple of the M series ERCs, neither of which was in great shape. I managed to colour in the exposed cardboard with shoe polish but they still look scruffy. One was misdescribed as an MX case as clearly some previous owner had adopted the brute force approach without noticing that the MX is a bit wider...

I may risk buying that case anyway, if I can bargain them down a bit it's worth a go. I can't see any signs of flaking there and a good going over with polish would soon cover the grey bits.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.