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  1. #1

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    Restoring white lettering on lens.

    I have an old lens and the writing on it, stops, and manufacturer details although still there, is so brown it is very difficult to read. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how it can be restored?

    The paint (I assume) is only just in a very shallow engraved letter / number - I don't think I could make an acceptable job by repainting. I was thinking more of a bleach type action. the lens barrel looks like blackened brass, i.e. not painted.

    I hope I have made things clear

    nn

  2. #2
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Sorry, I can't help but would like to know the answer to your question as well.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  3. #3
    KenFretz's Avatar
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    Restoring white lettering on lens.

    Check out http://www.micro-tools.com/store/ite...temCode=L51120 at Micro-Tools. It is designed to do what you want to do.

    Ken

  4. #4

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    I work at engraving shop and just asked our engraver your question. So far we haven't come up with anything. Hope you find an answer.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

    http://darkroom317.deviantart.com/

  5. #5
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Go with KenFretz' suggestion. That's the stuff we used to spruce up customers' cameras at no charge when I worked at a full service camera store 30+ years ago. It's available in different colors, and we kept yellow, orange, green, red, and white on hand to match different lens manufacturers. It works like a soft crayon, rub into the engravings and wipe off the high spots with a soft cloth and a light touch, then let harden. Looks like the original with little effort or skill needed.

    Lee

  6. #6

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    Fill the gaps with white oil-based model paint (such as Testor's enamel), and wipe off the excess?

    Usually, I do the opposite, with a sharpie and/or sandpaper.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Maybe it's just dirty. I've used alcohol with a soft cloth to gently remove crud from engraving without harming the paint. I suppose naptha (lighter fluid) used sparingly might work also, or maybe a citrus-based cleaner followed with a damp cloth would be safer than either. If you think the paint is discolored, maybe a little hydrogen peroxide applied with a tooth pick or similar tool would work, but I think cleaning and the paint stick Ken pointed out would be better than trying to bleach.

  8. #8
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    As long as the lens works why bother with it?

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I have always been able to clean the numbers. Just don't use a solvent that removes the paint. I have yet to need to resort to the lacquer stick.

    If it is a LF lens, then having readable numbers is a real plus when peaking around the front of the camera to set the lens in dim light .

  10. #10
    Lee L's Avatar
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    I've seen lots of lenses that were well used enough that the lacquer was completely gone from the engravings. One good reason to re-fill the engraving is that it makes the settings much easier and faster to read, especially in low light. This is almost always worthwhile with older cameras that provide viewfinder information by optically relaying the lens barrel markings into the viewfinder of an SLR.

    Lee

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