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  1. #1
    NWM
    NWM is offline

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    Musty odor in old camera

    Hi, I just bought a used Nikon EM on ebay. The camera is in good working condition and looks great. The problem is that it has a musty odor which seems to eminate from the leather body covering. I put the camera in a zip lock bag with a baking soda odor absorbing canister[made by Arm and Hammer] for about 4 weeks, this helped some but I can still smell the mustiness. I should also mention that I changed the light seals and mirror foam due to some light leakage. Does anyone know of a safe and inexpensive way to get this musty smell out of the camera. I would greatly appreciate any and all advise.

  2. #2

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    Wipe down the camera inside and outside with vinegar (seriously). Then just let it sit.

    Most of it will take time to dissipate. I've received cameras that belonged to smokers, and those take from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to lose the odor.

    But the cameras will always need to be wiped down first. Ideally, you would want to get under the top deck as well, as mustiness generally comes from being stored in a cool damp place, which is the ideal playground for mold.

    You could also use some saddle soap to clean the leather. Follow that up with some shoe polish and buff to a nice sheen. Again, I'm serious about this.

  3. #3

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    Given the baking soda treatment, it may be that the smell is from the new foam seals. Sometimes the glue used and the plasticizers in the foam used can give off an odor for a while.

    If the camera works well, don't worry about the smell - let others suffer for your art for a change!! Just use the camera, leave it out in the air and I'm sure it'll slowly dissipate.

    Enjoy it!

    Bob
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  4. #4
    patrickjames's Avatar
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    Leave it out in the sun for a couple of days. This has helped me in the past.

  5. #5

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    Taking the negative view here, that it might have been held by someone with pee on their hands, Lemon juice works best, better than vinegar at absolutely neutralizing the compounds.
    I have cat, who when I am gone too long like to pee on things and the lemon juice, left on to dry eliminates the odor; you may then wipe it with distilled water if you choose.
    I have cleaned several mattresses from urine brown to undetectable that way, but I also use a wet-dry vac to remove both later.

  6. #6
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    I would try the same "Armor All" type of silicone spray that I use to clean the plastic in the interior of my car (and all my cameras, and plastic guitar cases, and ...).

    Regards,

    David

  7. #7

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    That smell is actually the lingering essence of experience, wisdom, and creativity. It is very infectious and can cause sudden bouts of enthusiasm and pure genius. I suggest leaving it be. Breathe deep and enjoy.

  8. #8

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    Or, there may be a dead mouse inside. Seriously, be sure you dont make things worse by putting too much liquid on (like vinegar or lemon/orange cleaner) and let the liquid get down into the fiddly-bits. Dab on with a sponge or cloth and wipe off quickly, you should be able to get any outside crud/smell off and make it better. I hope this helps you.

    Paul

  9. #9
    GM Bennett's Avatar
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    I picked up a very clean Super Baldax last year, but the leatherette had a kind of musty smell. I believe it was someone in the photo.net brain trust who suggested placing the camera in a baggie with coffee grounds for a few days, and it actually has made a big difference. And, zero calories...

  10. #10
    Akki14's Avatar
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    or put it in a box full of crumpled newspaper sheets. That's suppose to work for books anyway. I don't mind the old smell on my old cameras.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

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