Black Nikon Body Touch Up Paint

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by snegron, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I was wondering what type of paint can I use to touch up little nicks on black camera bodies like the Nikon FM2N and the F3HP? I noticed that the F3HP surface is not as shiney as the FM2N, so I am guessing they use different paints.
     
  2. StephenS

    StephenS Member

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    Proably different finishes from year to year too.

    Personally, I like those nicks on my cameras and the brassing as well. I'd just leave them and chalk the wear up to proper usage!
     
  3. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I'm with Stephen. I was proud of the hashmarks on my Navy uniform. They also indicated service. Only the image inside the camera is really important, not the appearance of the outside.
     
  4. StephenS

    StephenS Member

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    And, knowing how hard it is to match any finish on any surface, you could make the marks stand out more with a touch up. On a car it may be important to prevent rust, but that's not necessary for a camera.
     
  5. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    That is part of the beauty of the very very expensive Black Chrome Leica Camera bodies. :wink: :smile: They don't chip, but they do scratch a bit.

    Rich
     
  6. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I actually like to buy a camera that shows more usage!
     
  7. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    snegron,
    You can use enamel from the local hobby shop. It needs to be thinned a bit to flow evenly.
    The best way of course, would be to disassemble & strip the body before repainting.
    Also the paint you use won't wear as well as the original finish.
    As for the F3 I don't know what they use for a paint, but it's gonna be a bitch to match.
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    My black chrome M4P, bought new about 25 years ago, looked so bad, so fast, that a friend who was a Leica dealer suggested I send it back under guarantee. I couldn't be bothered -- but when I recently got another black body, an MP (I still have the M4-P) I went for black paint. Yes, it brasses -- but it's a lot prettier!

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  9. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Roger,

    Sorry to hear your M4P. I know I try to be extremely careful with my Leica R camera bodies and lenses; my cameras still look excellent. I have had 5. My original R4S bought new which was modified to as close to an R4SP as possible (which was sold). The R3MOT bought used (but looked excellent and sold) and the R7 which was bought used. I also have bought both new R4SP and an R8 cameras. I will say that the R4 and later cameras seemed to be finished better than the R3MOT with what appears to be a harder finish than the R3MOT. The R3MOT I would guess was about the same period that your M4P was made and that may be part of the reason as I mentioned.

    As I said though the Black Chrome will scratch, but caring for them they can still look excellent. My R4SP and R8 look better than the used R7 which still looks excellent.

    Rich
     
  10. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    There are two ways that I use on my Nikons..… Use a fine tip Sharpie marker, and repeatedly “dot” the marks to blend them in. Or get two small bottles of enamel paint at the hobby store—flat black and gloss black—and mix a small amount to get the right sheen. Then apply very carefully with a very fine sable brush, like the one you use to spot prints.
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Rich,

    Yes, they may well have improved the finish: I think my M4P may have been one on the earliest, maybe a year after 'black chrome' came out.

    I'm as careful as I can reasonably be but that M4-P went straight to India with me and has since travelled tens -- probably hundreds -- of thousands of miles to the US, Mexico, China and elsewhere, as well as a lot of Europe, sometimes by motorcycle, by Land Rover and other more-or-less arduous means. It's just come back from a 2345 mile round trip to Portugal in a 1972 Land Rover 88.

    My real point, though, is that my increasingly battered black paint MP looks romantic; the M4-P merely looks worn. I don't really mind as long as they both work...

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  12. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I find that automotive touchup paint is great for minor cosmetic finish repairs. Get the kind in the plastic tube with a brush in the cap.
     
  13. snegron

    snegron Member

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    That sounds like a good idea. I too like the way some black finishes wear over time, so long as it looks uniform. Problem is that I have an annoying little nick on the outer left corner of the prism on my F3HP. It is about the size of a pin head. There is no other brassing on the camera other than that little nick, so it stands out. I have an older F3 (the first non-HP version) with heavy brassing and it looks worn and run down. I purchased that one used back in 1984 from a press photographer and it looked worn back then as well!
     
  14. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I had a very similar problem with a nick at the top of an F eye level prism. I used the gloss black enamel, and applied the smallest spot of slightly thinned enamel with the tip of a dental probe. After it became tacky (almost dry) I gently touched the spot repeatedly with my clean finger to lessen the gloss and make it blend in. Or you could let it dry completely (several days) and slightly scuff the dot of paint with a well worn scotchbright pad (mask the adjacent areas with tape). My repair is only visible under magnification.
     
  15. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    They'll rub thin too
     
  16. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    A very durable paint is black glyptal enamel. However, this would require disassembly since to get the most durability the paint needs to be baked after application. But for anyone restoring cameras this is a good choice.