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some questions on restoring an arri sb


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#1 Daniel Miler

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:18 AM

I am currently working an a couple of arri s/b that i got, and I have a BL waiting in line.
I got the cameras in great functional shape, and now I want to do some aesthetic face lift on them.

I have two main questions:
1. what is the black patterned material covering the sb body and mags, and what is the best method of cleaning it without causing it harm? also, is it possible to do anything about engravings and scratches on this material?
2. one of the cameras (an earlier type sb; serial no. 8549) has a motor locking lever and a cannon sync out which are different from those I know from other sb's, so my question is, do you think these parts are original parts that originally came with this camera, or later add-ons/ replacements? if so I would try to replace them with original ons.

pics of my aesthetically challenged magazine and of the camera parts in question:
http://sbfacelift.tumblr.com/

thanks everyone,
Daniel




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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:55 PM

The paint is a type of wrinkle finish enamel used on a lot of older photographic and optical equipment. I believe it was a two-pack paint, hardened by baking. Later Arris used a 'spatter' paint finish.

For cleaning you can use a damp rag with a mild cleaning agent, window cleaner works well. Some people like to use shellite (napthal or Zippo fluid in the US). For tough stains try a citrus cleaning agent, but old tape residue in particular can be a bitch to clean off. A good quality corrosion inhibitor like CRC 2-26 or 5-56 lightly applied with a cloth, then wiped down with a clean rag is a good idea if metal is starting to tarnish, I also use it with a cotton bud on screw heads. Avoid acetone, thinners or other strong cleaning agents that can discolour the paintwork.

You can use automotive touch-up paint to fill in scratches, or wrinkle finish spray enamel for larger areas but it can be tricky to match the colour exactly, and the surface needs to be thoroughly clean and de-greased. For a proper restoration you need to strip the camera right down, a very big job.
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#3 Daniel Miler

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

Thanks Dom,
Once again you save the day (:
Do you have any opinion about the motor locking lever and the cannon sync out? do you think they are original?
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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:51 AM

If you are taring it down all the way, I suggest sending the frame/body to Visual Products (sponsor of this site) where they can do a perfect paint job for you. Those guys buy up tons of old gear from Panavision and rental houses then refurb it for resale. I'm sure they can give you a really good quote for painting it only. They gave me a reasonable quote on painting my Eyemo body a few months ago.

Having these guys at least to the paint will make a big difference as it's a very specialized process.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Opal

Glidecam

The Slider

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio