Recovering A Yashica FX-3

Recovering A Yashica FX-3

The Yashica FX-3 was a very popular manual SLR with shutter speeds up to 1/1000 and built in battery operated exposure meter. A very easy to use, compact and light weight camera with only one major flaw.  These cameras were made with a leatherette covering which looked great at the time, but which has been proven to be prone to deterioration over time. 

Ours  is in great working condition but the leatherette covering was in similarly tough shape and needed a bit of work before it could sit on our sales shelf. 

I ordered a new leather cover made specifically for this camera from Milly's Cameras at Cameramill.co.uk and chose one in a bright yellow genuine leather. It was available in black but I figured that if I'm going to the trouble of recovering it the camera may as well look cool. 

All the pieces laid out, ready to recover this awesome Yashica SLR

After removing the original covering and wiping the camera down with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any residual oils or adhesives, it's time to start applying the new cover.

The pieces come precision cut to match each curve and corner, but leather has a bit of stretch to it so it was difficult to get the pieces on there without stretching too far and ending up with it over hanging the indents where it's supposed to fit.

Half way there!

The part that remains here is the most difficult because you need to align the round edge, the little notch at the top, and the round cut out for the self timer knob. With a bit of finagling it fit right in to all the notches and curves.

finishing touches

The one thing I didn't account for was the bubbles! When applying the largest piece at the back, a little bit of air was trapped right where there are screws under the cover. This was an easy fix though, and with the quick jab of a fine hypodermic needle, the bubbles vanished and the small pin prick is absolutely invisible.

Finished!

This camera is now finished and ready for sale! Find it online here or stop in the shop to take a look. 

Totally worth all the work and now I'm thinking about replacing the leather on some of my own cameras! Have you ever attempted something like this? Thinking about it for your own camera? Tell us about it in the comments!

Legal imprint