Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

Camera Body Appearance

Published : 8th December 2003


I was wondering what people use to add a sheen to the black "paint" finish on film camera bodies. I own several cameras and I believe that clients want to see a camera that is clean and has the appearance of being well maintained.

Tempted to use a product here in Australia called "Armor All" but the instructions say do not use on paint. Not sure if the finish on cameras is paint?

Many Thanks
Tom Gleeson
www.cinematography.net



>Tempted to use a product here in Australia called "Armor All"

Aaaggghhhh!

Every camera assistant in the world respectfully requests that you never ever ever put Armor All or anything even remotely resembling Armor All on any camera equipment.

Not only will it get all over your hands and then onto the film, the back and front of the lens elements and the filters, the gate and all manner of other places where it has no business being, it makes it impossible for tape to stick to the camera and magazine. And as we all know, the camera department runs on sticky tape.

A nice clean up with a slightly damp cloth and perhaps a tiny touch up or two with appropriate detail paint is more than enough. When it becomes embarrassingly ratty looking there are a number of places that will disassemble your camera and re-paint it with the correct epoxy finish.

But please, from the bottom of my heart, no Armor All.

Rod Williams
Motion Picture First Camera Assistant
Petaluma, California
U.S.A.



>I was wondering what people use to add a sheen to the black "paint" >finish on film camera bodies.

A lot of cameras are painted - as silly as it sounds, you could try a rag or paper towel that has been very lightly dusted with Lemon Pledge furniture polish - this is actually not wax any more but a silicone preparation - we've used it on motorcycle bits for years to make a quick shine and make things easier to clean later...it is relatively benign as it is assumed that it will be sprayed on inappropriate furniture surfaces...of course it may make things a little bit slippery which could be a bad thing in the case, for instance, of 16mm mags which get grabbed side to side with one hand a lot.

What my late partner did with his 16 SR was to cover almost all of it with 3M brand safety-tread which is a pebbly rubber that comes in self-adhesive rolls. helps cushion the various bits of camera from knocks and dings, and might even quiet it down.

Mark H. Weingartner
LA based