Linx

How to Clean Vintage: Cameras (Brownie Reflex)

Sometimes you can get old cameras for almost free because they look all moldy inside. And sometimes they're salvageable. Here's how I cleaned one (water damage on the inside) I got for a dollar at a recent tag sale.

Brownie from tag sale in Melville
See those moldy bits on the inside of the lens?



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Dirty here, too, but, more importantly, here's where the screws are.

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Yikes, viewfinder horror. Also inside.

So, first things first. Take the camera apart. The brilliant thing about these old cameras is that there isn't a lot to them. An eyeglass repair kit might help you with the little screws here. I just used a knife.

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Next, our key supplies. Alcohol is nice because it evaporates quickly and leaves no streaks or spots. Cotton swabs are nice because they can get into the tight spots and aren't linty.

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Pretty much all of the next shots will be details of spots you'll need to clean. I just dip the clean swab directly into the alcohol and then switch to the dry end if a little too much alcohol distributes on a surface.

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Don't bother with the alcohol on any surfaces that look like they're not made of shiny plastic or glass. The plastic and glass surfaces are the parts we really need to be clear. You can use the dry end of the swab to dust off any debris on other surfaces.

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It's not that important but I clean any dirty grooves in the parts while I'm at it.

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This one has a crack in it, so it's good I only paid a dollar and will only be using it for display.

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I also clean grooves on the exterior while I'm at it.

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Now put it back together. The pitting on the front surface is not going to come off with alcohol. It's not that important, anyway.

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Clean and uncloudy lens.

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Viewfinder not perfect but easy to see through now.

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Enjoy.


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2 comments:

  1. My husband collects old cameras. At first I thought it was because he liked photography, but I have later realised that it is the machines and how they work what amazed him.
    He will love your post.
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I love to see what's going on inside things, too. :)

      Delete

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