For those who love brassing on their cameras...

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by holmburgers, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ok, check out this eBay auction for a brass Pentax http://cgi.ebay.com/Pentax-Brass-Body-Special-Camera-Pentax-H3V-RARE-/200596165996

    I'm quite fond of the brassing around the edges of my black cameras, so I'm wondering what it would take to achieve this look. Also, is it only black cameras or do chrome cameras have brass underneath? (a stupid question perhaps)

    How do you think this is achieved? Just sanding, or is there a chemical treatment that could be done?

    Anyways, I think it looks pretty cool...
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bblhed

    bblhed Member

    Messages:
    601
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    North Americ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That looks like it was disassembled and dipped into some sort of paint remover. Note the lack of sanding marks.
     
  3. nhemann

    nhemann Member

    Messages:
    203
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    NJ - Near NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    from the description its a special edition. Its most likely that they just didn't plate/annodize the metal parts of the body before construction. Or they made it just like always and just plated it differently period. I have no idea what the base metal would have originally been, though its a sure thing that they didn't make just the edges brass so we would tell if they had been handled well. lol.

    You could create your own but you would have to completely strip it down and send it to a plating shop - like the guys that do chrome...lot of work.
     
  4. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Perhaps the best thing to do is just use the hell out of it and get your own brassing.
     
  5. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Central OK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  6. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,360
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Alaska
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The covering plates of the Pentax Spotmatic and similar versions, like this H3V, were made of brass. Those versions with "black paint" can be easily taken to the brass with paint stripper. The "chrome" versions would need to have the layers of chrome removed, preferably by a chrome plating firm.
     
  7. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sure does look neat!

    Jeff
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Exactly right. Most older cameras' covers were made from brass sheet, because it can be easily formed into the shapes needed, and needs no underplate before chroming.
     
  9. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

    Messages:
    1,148
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Near Tavisto
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The black paint on Pentaxes of that era had/has a habit of crazing, cracking and going manky easily enough without the aid of too much paint stripper!
    I once spoke to an ex-camera salesman who told me how he'd sold a new black bodied SLR (I forget the make) only to have the buyer return next day to ask for some instruction in using it. Funny thing was, overnight the purchaser had taken some fine abrasive to the edges and corners of the body to give it that well-worn look, even though it had never had a film through it.
    Steve
     
  10. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hmmm... what kind of paint stripper are we talking about... in theory of course! ? :wink:
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It kind of sort of looks like someone wet sanded it then used rubbing compound.... excessive removal around sharp corners (like Prism area) is obvious.
     
  12. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,416
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Pretty much any paint stripper would probably work just fine, though I'm not going to test on any of my cameras.
    Contrary to what the seller claims, that camera almost certainly did not come that way from Asahi/Pentax.

    IMHO, either he stripped it, and is attempting to mis-represent it, or he's clueless.

    Reminds me of a feedback item I saw in a Pop. Photography years ago. They did an article about stripping the chrome off your camera and painting the previously shiny bits black. Some reader decided to shortcut the process and coat his camera with black Kodak opaque (not paint) without any disassembly, and was miffed that it didn't work afterward.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  13. freecom2

    freecom2 Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Maybe it's just the sceptic in me, but I also don't think it was any sort of special edition (just purely based on the picture). A "brassed" special edition would probably look far cleaner than that, even taking into account if this camera had been used. It just looks a bit too homemade and lo-fi to my eyes...
     
  14. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What types of treatments can you do to brass? Like patinas, bluing?, or are those just unique to copper & steel respectively?

    I agree, I seriously doubt this was a "special edition".

    edit: yes, since brass has copper in it, it can get a patina. Now that would be cool... :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  15. greybeard

    greybeard Member

    Messages:
    377
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Cal
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    For an idea of what can be done to metals, look at www.artchemicals.com (one of many sources serving the art world).

    "Bluing" as associated with classic guns and antique clock parts is controlled oxidation at high temperature; contemporary bluing is a chemical treatment and does not work on stainless steels.

    The original purposes of these treatments was to create a surface which was more durable than the base metal (the oxide holds oil better than bare metal, and helps prevent rust, and the patina on bronze doesn't streak or show fingerprints like the raw statue would) or just looked better (hence, Art Chemical and its brethren).

    An actual brass camera would quickly look atrocious unless kept carefully lacquered, but a statuary-bronze one might be cool :smile:
     
  16. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm thinking a green "Statue of Liberty" patina'd camera would look pretty awesome. :D
     
  17. greybeard

    greybeard Member

    Messages:
    377
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Cal
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You should move to Northern California. Out here, anything "green" can be sold for a ridiculous premium...
     
  18. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Haha... that brings a couple things to mind actually.
     
  19. semeuse

    semeuse Member

    Messages:
    462
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Treasure Coa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You could do an "acid green" patina to brass - looks pretty cool - should be able to find solutions at art supply places.

    The camera shown is definitely a black body stripped of paint - the claims of the seller are ridiculous. I think I'll spray paint my brownie cameras a variety of "Special Edition" colors and offer them at the same site for $200 each.
     
  20. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    Southern Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Jurgen (Certo6) on his website has a small article on fully brassing old cameras. He uses chemicals. But he finishes them with polish so they shine like gold. Some of his fully brassed folders look great with coloured bellows.
     
  21. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    cool, I'm gonna check that out.