Question #1: Regarding a flash, the Spotmatics that I owned didn't have a hotshoe and required a flash with a cable. So, any flash with a cable will do. Or alternatively, there used to be available a hotshoe with its own cable that plugged into the camera.
Question #2: I've re-covered a Minolta XD-11 with a new covering. And more recently, I re-covered my Rollei SL 35 E with a new covering.
As far as what you do, use what you want. It's your camera. Seriously.
Cameraleather.com offers a bunch of different coverings, but his service has been seriously spotty to the point where I refuse to buy from him any more. More recently, I've used coverings from Aki-Asahi.com, which for some reason seems to be on an extended vacation.
Question #3: I wouldn't worry about these. They're nice to have and quickly lost. Very quickly.
Question #4: The biggest downside of using color daylight film indoors without flash can be the color shifts from incandescent or fluorescent lighting. You can use a color compensating filter, but that usually will cost you a stop.
With Japanese cameras, make sure that you replace the foam seals.
Okay, above tech info duly noted, and I'm digesting all of that info.
As to the camera leather issue I'm actually thinking about using a couple of different vinyls that they had. (I think I'll skip the sequins and feather boa idea, thanks!) One of them is a very small metallic overlaid leopard print in shades of mostly dark aqua, silver, and purple with black spots. They also have another vinyl that looks like it's made of mixed silver, light aqua, and pewter with a pretty subtle snake pattern.
That colored leopard print would be fun on the black and I think the other would look amazing with the chrome of the FX-2 but they're really not as wild as it sounds. Some of the prints on the 2 camera leather sites I've been to are actually quite a bit bolder. The only thing that will make them really stand out is that the prints are a bit metallic overlaid.
Last, quick question, one of the cameras has someone's initial etched slightly to left side of the prism. If I put something over the prism to cover it, say a small decorative shape in metal would that affect the camera in any real way in so far as taking pics are concerned? I'd like to cover that up, but I don't want to screw up the function of the camera in any way. He etched his name on the back too, but that's easily covered with a little metal plate or whatever. I'll take a pic tomorrow and post it here so you can see what I'm talking about.
Originally Posted by John Koehrer
I've had all too many cameras in which people scratched their name, their Social Security number or some other ID into the prism housing, the back, the bottom plate and other areas with what looked like an old nail.
You should be OK with covering this up with anything. Sticker, decal, piece of metal. It's not conductive (doesn't conduct electricity) for the camera. Although metal top decks will conduct electricity, but not in a manner that's required for the camera to function.
Last year, I re-covered a Yashica FX-D with this:
I also have a pink leather covering for a Minolta XD11 (with the goal of selling it to a woman).
But whatever works. Just have fun with it. Good luck!
Hey, my Bell & Howell EE127 is covered in a denim-like twill and it came that way from the factory. It even has a matching case.
Not quite an answer to your question, but related: I have seen pictures of an Exakta that was re-covered in a red leather or leatherette. It looked quite good. Of course, the Exakta was one beautiful looking camera, even if one disagrees with the ergonomics of the camera.
Originally Posted by magkelly
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For flash, a Vivitar 285HV would suit you well. Won't damage electronics on a d_____l SLR (have used one on a D1H Nikon - and a D1x), and will work on pretty much anything that has flash synch. Still can be found new for less than $100.