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No two camera repairmen use the same solvents or glues. When I started repairing cameras over 40 years ago, I thought I needed the strongest solvents I could find for my camera work. Thankfully I got past that stage and cut my solvents down to naphtha and denatured alcohol. I chose these two solvents because they don’t damage the plastic in cameras, and they are safer for daily use in my shop. All chemicals will kill you if you are exposed to heavy solvent fumes with no ventilation. Use small dispensers for your solvents and put the large solvent cans in storage.
This is Zippo Lighter Fluid, 12 oz. This Zippo Lighter Fuel is naphtha and it’s what most hobbyists will need for camera work. Naphtha is mostly used for cleaning internal camera parts and to clean the body externally where the owner handled the camera or lens. There is no perfect oil based solvent, but naphtha works for cleaning and it will not damage Japanese 35mm cameras.
This is ColorTone Naphtha, 1-Quart Can. Naphtha is what most hobbyists will need for camera work. Naphtha is mostly used for cleaning internal camera parts and to clean the body externally where the owner handled the camera or lens. There is no perfect oil based solvent, but naphtha works for cleaning and it will not damage Japanese 35mm cameras. Caution: This large can is too dangerous to be left open on a work desk. You will need to buy a small solvent dispenser (4oz) for camera work.
This is SUNNYSIDE CORPORATION Sunnyside 83416 1 Pint Denatured Alcohol Solvent. Naphtha works best as a solvent for oil based cleaning, but a camera repairman also needs a water based solvent. Most of the time when I’m cleaning up the exterior of a camera body or lens, I don’t know whether I need an oil based solvent or a water based solvent, so I end up trying both. This is how I use denatured alcohol in camera repair. I try cleaning the top cover with Naphtha and then try Denatured Alcohol. Usually one or the other will clean the top cover surface. Denatured Alcohol is also good for cleaning camera electrical contacts. Caution: This large can is too dangerous to be left open on a work desk. You will need to buy a small dispenser (4oz) for camera work.
This is MG Chemicals 801C-P Super Contact Cleaner with PPE Pen, 10mL. Camera contacts tend to tarnish over time, so I always coat camera contacts with this Contact Cleaner.
This is W. J. Ruscoe P-612-LV Low Voc Pliobond Multi-Purpose Adhesive. Most camera repairmen use Pliobond Adhesive for camera repair. It is mainly used for reattaching the leather to cameras. I used it in the past, but switched to contract cement for reasons I’ll discuss on the contact cement ad. There is nothing wrong with using Pliobond. It works.
This is Devcon 18045 S-180 Regular Strength Contact Cement. Years ago I switched from Pliobond Adhesive to this Devcon Contact Cement. I like the way glue stays soft and does not harden. Sometimes a camera repairman has to go back into a camera and it’s handy if the glue holding the leather stays soft so he can remove the leather easily. There are different types of contact cement on the market, but this is the one I use.
This is NyOil - Thin Film Lubricant. I purchased a bottle of this product ten years ago and it’s only half empty. People think cameras need regular oiling like most small mechanical products, but the truth is cameras only need a few drops in the right places if any oil at all. The danger is putting too much oil in a camera. The less oil used to service a camera the better.
This is the BSTEAN Syringe Blunt Tip Needle and Cap - 10ml, 5ml, 3ml, 1ml Syringes 14ga 16ga 18ga 20ga Blunt Needles - Oil or Glue Applicator (Pack of 10). These needles are blunt and used for oiling cameras. If you buy a bottle of oil, like NyOil, you’ll need an oiler to apply the oil to the camera. I’ve tried many types of oil appliers and small syringe needles work the best to get into tight places in a camera.
This is the DeoxITX10S Oiler. A bottle of NyOil oil is more than most camera hobbyists need. I suggest this DeoxITX10S Oiler as a substitute. Read what I said under NyOil oil about cameras and oil. Most cameras don’t need oil and when they do it's usually just one drop in the right places. Don’t go crazy oiling every moving part in your camera.
Helical grease viscosity is a problem for all repairmen working on lenses. It’s always too heavy or too light for the lens helical and you can’t find out until the lens is reassembled and tested. If the grease is too heavy the lens will be hard to focus, and if the grease is too light, the lens will focus too easy. I can’t recommend any helical grease for lenses because each lens is different. It’s not the quality of the grease that’s a problem, it's guessing which grease viscosity the lens needs. You will just have to make a guess on what viscosity of grease you need for your lens service and purchase it. Even I have to find out by trial and error when working on lenses.
This is Grease, Helical #10 (Light) 8ml. A lens that is too easy to focus is better than one that is too hard to focus. I would go with this light helical grease.
This is Grease, Helical #30 (Medium) 8ml. It's pretty expensive. I would try the #10 (Light) first and buy this later if you need it.
This is MicroLubrol Helimax-XP Camera Telescope Optical Instrument Focusing Helicoid Grease w/PTFE 1oz 28g. I like the idea that this helical grease has Lithium and PTFE. I’ve had too many bad experiences with lenses that were hard to focus after applying light helical grease. I would buy this grease out of the three types listed here because of the lithium.
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