need tips on preserving cameras

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by darinwc, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I've ended up with somewhat of a 'collection' of cameras. Nothing really expensive. But I would still like to make sure they are protected against rust and time.

    I was thinking that since WD40 is designed to prevent rust, I could spray some on a towel and rub in on external metal surfaces.

    what else can I do to preserve my collection?
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    In the absence of professional opinion, I shall offer my own. Were they mine, I would not use WD-40. I collect vintage military firearms and have been advised against WD-40. I use a silicon spray, listed as safe for food-preparation areas and equipment.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I was told that WD-40 is corrosive and not to use it on locks or cameras.
     
  4. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    It is corrosive, its designed to break rust and such to loosten bolts.
     
  5. Terence

    Terence Member

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    I have yet to see WD-40 corrode anything. The WD stands for water displacement. It is meant to protect against corrosion by removing water and leaving corrosion inhibitors on the metal.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    WD-40 is likely to migrate to places where you don't want it. This is why it's not usually recommended for cameras.
     
  7. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    +1

    I use it regularly to over-winter a vintage motorcycle and use it on all unpainted metal (alum, chrome) and never had a problem with corrosion.. on the contrary and the bike is forty years old.
     
  8. Joe Grodis

    Joe Grodis Member

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    I've been using the Weiman Stainless Steel wipes. I sort of stumbled upon this stuff while managing a night club. I have a rather large collection of cameras and use these wipes on "ALL" of them. This stuff has proven, to me at least, to be safe on all camera exteriors. So far it works fine on leatherette, metal, and even polycarbonate cameras (the plastic ones). So you'll always see a container of these wipes in my CLA kits! It's something like a combination cleaner / lube that has the end results of Armor all. Be sure to use sparingly because it goes a long way
     
  9. unclemack

    unclemack Member

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    Take advice from a repairer you trust in the same climate as yourself. Seem to remember one in Vacaville years ago. I'm a UK based, retired repairer.

    People have on occasion brought cameras to me that they've tried to "repair" with WD40. And RUINED them! Great for motorcycles, OK for locks but death to cameras.

    Cameras like a reasonably constant temperature; if you see condensation on your lens it will also be on internal metal parts. Sweat from your hands on those really hot, humid days - rain, obviously, avoid.

    For storage keep in a cupboard or cabinet away from direct sunlight - not too much of a problem here in the UK - away from heating radiators or appliances, preferably against an internal wall, not in a kitchen or bathroom. If you have a spare room, great. We breathe out moisture all the time so if your cupboard has to be in a bedroom or living area choose the bigger room if you can to minimise humidity.

    "Airing cupboards" are found in some houses in the UK - the hot water tank is in there - great for drying towels but will dry out some lubricants in cameras and cause others to separate & migrate. Leather can crack, adhesives can fail.

    Exercise is good if you have the discipline for it, most of us don't. But if you can manage it, using them regularly helps to keep them moving.

    Having said all that... I have some cameras that have been untouched in boxes for up to 25 years. Just now put batteries in four of them and all work fine!

    Some will disagree but I don't use desiccants or plastic bags - each item I wrap in a square of undyed clean cotton cloth. Mostly because I've never known for certain all the possible causes of degradation of light-trap foams.

    Hope this is of some help but don't forget I'm at least ten years behind the times...
     
  10. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Good advice for the operator as well as the camera. There is an old medical saw. “Motion is the best lotion.” At nearly 70 I take the Labradors for 8-12 miles a week of hiking. We keep the WD-40 for things in the garage.

    John Powers
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Short term WD-40 will free a lock, but then corrode the guts out of the tumblers over time. This leads to a greater problem.

    Steve
     
  12. jcorll

    jcorll Member

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    Personally, I would save the WD-40 for in the garage. I wouldn't dare get it anywhere near my cameras. It might not be corrosive, but I would think that it would make the outer casing (Whatever it may be: Leather, Vinyl, plastic, rubber, cowhide, wood etc. etc.) oily. I do agree with the Stainless Steel wipes.
    When I decide to put a camera away for a couple months, I usually do a deep cleaning of everything, and put it in one of my bags with Sillica.

    My thoughts, take it or leave it!
    -JC
     
  13. Bosaiya

    Bosaiya Member

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    Dang, those are some old dogs! Or was that in dog-years?

    Most of my cameras are wood or leather covered, I normally put on an extra thick layer of the appropriate wood or leather treatment if I'm going to be storing them for any amount of time.

    I treat my cameras the same way I treat my antique furniture, with any luck they'll both still be around for future generations to enjoy.
     
  14. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    I will just add that my cameras will never get near a can of WD40 - it's designed to penetrate and will get everywhere eventually.
     
  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    WD-40 will peel the leather from the camera body.It will migrate under the edges and dissolve the adhesive. As Anscojohn states, use silicon. There are silicon impregnated cloths that are designed for wiping down metal and removing fingerprints and other corrosive materials that would eat into the metal finish. I dont think I would use an aerosol spray, as the solvents in it will do the same as WD-40 to the leather.

    Rick
     
  16. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    I would also add that silicon should be used carefully too - it will make the body rather slippery in my experience which may not be the desired effect...CRASH...oh sh*t there goes my £2000 Leica onto the concrete...!
     
  17. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Just a note that silicon damages lens coatings. For my collection, I use a little leather dressing on real leather, wipe the metal with a Windex dampened cloth and clean lenses with a good lens cleaner and tissue. I don't use the cleaner if it's only dust. Keep my cameras in a display case in the living room. Some of the shutters get sticky from disuse, but they all look good. My Grandmothers 1917 Kodak Autographic still looks and works perfectly, and that's the oldest one. Just the way I do it - your mileage may vary.
     
  18. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    Even if you're lucky and silicon doesn't damage the lens coating, it's still a complete nightmare to remove as it's designed to be ultra slippery so everything slips off it including lens cleaning fluid.

    I read somewhere that lighter fluid (Ronsonol or Swan brand etc.) is a good general purpose camera cleaner (NOT for lenses) - does anyone else use lighter fluid...?
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I have used WD-40 on camera parts, but never spraying it on, it can just occasionally help, but I then thoroughly cleaned the parts afterwards.

    Ian
     
  20. frdrx

    frdrx Member

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    I do, besides alcohol and spit. Never anything else.
     
  21. pentaxpete

    pentaxpete Subscriber

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    I wonder how to re-furbish the leather cases on my old 'Folders' I have been given, such as Ensign Selfixex 16/20 Mark i (two of those!) and my latest free camera a 1950's Agfa Isolette III -- I put 'saddle soap' on the leather cases and straps but it dulled the finish -- shall I put Brown Boot Polish on the cases and straps? -- also, I oiled the struts and linkages for the shutter release, using a pin to pick up the smallest amount of oil and the film winder knobs -- which are not so stiff now !
     
  22. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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