|FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
|Are the covering kits pre-cut to fit my particular camera, or do I need to cut them to shape myself?|
|All kits are pre-cut to
fit your exact camera type and version. No cutting is required.
|What type of glue should I use to apply the new
|No glue is needed.
All our kits are self-adhesive with an exceptionally strong synthetic
film on the back of every piece. The
use of additional glue can only weaken the adhesion of your new
|How are the kits made, and how do they differ from
the original covers?
kits are made by us. We don't sell factory original or "new-old-stock"
covers, although some of our kits are intended to closely match the
originals. We use exact steel rule dies and/or templates to
produce replacement covers from various materials . . . everything from
plain black leatherette to many different colors and types of fine
leather. Our kits cover all parts (and only those parts) of your camera
or accessory originally covered at the factory.
Some of our kits are cut slightly different than factory covers. These differences are generally not visible, and are incorporated into our designs to prevent the camera owner from having to remove a part that should be left alone. The most common example is the larger hole we cut for each foot on a 6X6 TLR, which is riveted in place and should never be pulled out!
|Are all the kits shown in stock and ready to ship?|
|All kits are cut to order. Cameraleather.com
is NOT an e-commerce site or
an e-Store! Most of the things you (and I ) order online are
"pulled from stock" and shipped the same day. When you order from us,
you are commissioning a custom piece
made just for your camera. So when we get asked a question like
"is the Cobalt Kid skin in stock for the Canon P rangefinder?", the
answer is nothing is in stock!
ordered kits, like Contax/Yashica or Konica, in basic black will ship
quicker than exotic leather kits, or more complex kits such as for
Leica M or TLR's. For more common cameras it takes
from 3 to 10 working days to
produce your kit before we can ship it, and more complex kits such as
Leica or larger formats can take longer. Medium/large format kits in
exotic or special order leathers can take more than 30 days to produce.
We try to accommodate special needs, so if you really need your kit for
a vacation or gift, let us know and we'll try to expedite it.
|Can I order a leather kit that isn't shown on my camera?|
can cover your camera in most
materials you see on the site. For example, if you see a nice color in
the Olympus section, you can have that leather cut for your Leica,
Pentax, or any other supported camera. There are some exceptions, such as
certain lizard skins, some of which may be too small to cover larger
sections on Leica thread and larger format cameras. To see the full
palette of coverings, you should browse the color
|I am not a camera repair technician. Can I re-cover my camera myself?|
|Yes. The kits are
engineered to be applied by just about anyone with basic hobby skills.
If you don't feel up to the job, we can install any cover on any camera
you send in. Ask for details. You will find our support
pages helpful, and they are a must-read before you apply your new
|Do I have to remove the old cover?|
|Yes! The new cover will not stick or
fit properly if applied over an old covering, even if the original is
in good condition. In fact, you'll spend more time
removing the old cover and cleaning up the camera than you will putting
on the new cover. The ease of stripping the old cover varies, but in
general the older the cover, the more effort needed to remove it. Most
cameras made since the mid-70's can be stripped off quickly; almost as
if you were removing tape. Contax and
Yashica SLR owners often are able to peel off the outer black
film, and assume that the new cover will go nicely over the "grey felt"
underneath. Well, the felt has to go . . . the new covering can
only go over bare, clean metal!
|Do I have to completely clean
off any remaining residue?
|The camera body
should be as clean as you can get it, but that doesn't mean you need to
remove every last bit of old adhesive. A stubborn, hard or sticky
residue will not affect the bond of the new kit, but anything that is
greasy or can be smeared, almost certainly will. Keep in mind that any
residue that you can feel with your finger may show up as a bump or
dimple once the new cover is applied. It's best to remove it first.
We get many inquiries on the best way to remove adhesive residue. The best advice is to get as much of it off by mechanical means before chemical means. So scrape off all, or as much of it as you can, before using a solvent. Then use a piece of cotton rag, dampened sparingly with some solvent, to clean up. Never pour solvent directly on the camera! We suggest that if you use one of the newer citrus-based solvents (such as "Goo-Gone") that you still give a final wipe-down with a traditional solvent such as denatured alcohol or lighter fluid. The citrus solvents leave a greasy film that can impair adhesion of the new cover.
|Do I have to dis-assemble anything on the camera?|
|Generally, no. The procedure is cosmetic only. Some photographers needlessly fiddle with self-timer or preview levers. Most kits are applied without removing these appendages, using the over/under method shown in Fig. 1 at the Leica help page. It's also unnecessary to mess with film memo slots on camera backs, which should never be removed. The new cover always goes around the slot, never under it--even if the original does. The only supported cameras that present the owner with self-timer issues are the Olympus OM-1and OM-2. The procedure is covered fully here.|
|What's the most important thing to remember about applying my new cover?|
attention to your own safety
than your camera. Most injuries occur when you aren't expecting them.
Never use a sharp tool pointing towards any part of your body. Always
wear approved eye protection. Be smart and don't take chances.
|How are the covers packaged and sent?|
|Take a look. . .|
All the kits, like the YashicaMat snake skin at left, are sent on a carrier sheet, and wrapped in a paper liner. The new cover sections stick lightly to the carrier sheet.
Each section can be lifted easily and placed on the camera. The carrier sheets are now made from a clear non-stick plastic instead of the white paper shown.
The carrier sheets are useful in applying your kit, and you can see why on the support page.
All the kits are self-adhering. No glue is required. The face is bonded to a sticky adhesive layer on the back. The adhesive will stick aggressively, but it can be removed and repositioned as necessary until precisely set, by using the "wet method." What's the wet method? Find the answer to this and other questions at the support page.
|Can I send my camera in for the work?|
|Yes. We offer a
removal/cleaning/install service. The service charge is from $25 to $80
depending on the camera. More than half our service work is recovering
Leicas. Please inquire by email to arrange for service work.
|Do I have to purchase entire sets, or can I purchase just the part(s) I really need ?|
|You may purchase a full set of replacement leather, or only what you need, and we can quote a price for any single part or combination of parts. For individual replacement parts we have a $10 minimum order. Certain cameras, like the Argus C Series, seem to invite their owners to dress them in multiple colors and materials, and we can provide a quote for these "Two-Tone" sets.|
|How can I pay?
|You can purchase
most of our pre-cut full sets, and leatherette sheets securely, at the
online order page, using any credit or debit card, or Paypal. For those
pre-cut kits which are not listed within the general categories at the
online order page, we provide a price quote and can send you an email
invoice. The email invoice form is just a pre-formatted page that will
take you to the same secure pages that our online order page is linked
to. This is a Paypal USA platform, but you may use any credit card. You
don't need an existing Paypal account, and you are not required to open
There are still many computer users who are fearful of entering their credit card information online. Every buyer who purchases our products online through a Paypal web site whose URL begins with the "https" prefix can be confident that they are buying in the most secure setting possible, and this includes (especially!) any purchase that you otherwise make by phone or "in person" at a restaurant or local shop, and that you might normally feel safe in doing.
Why? Those who fear entering their card details online, should be aware that merchants you give your card details to "over the phone" or by email, simply go online and type in your card details at a web site, or similarly encrypted network, themselves. We have never done this, and we never process or even see your card details. Paypal gives us your mailing address and email address, that's it.
We can also accept Postal Money Orders, and checks in $US from a US Bank. (Most banks overseas can provide this service.)