View Full Version : Looking to restore a Kodak Master View 8x10 Camera and need help and advice.

24-May-2016, 09:25
Hey all, i was hoping on getting some advice on restoring a kodak master view 8x10 camera.

I want to restore it to full user condition. I received it in good condition but there is wear and tear. The metal and leather top strap is deteriorated and needs replacing. The metal is still fine but the leather is definitely gone. there is some rust but with brasso and wd40 i can restore the metal so i don't think i will need to replace that. I got both the 8x10 back and the 5x7 reducing. No lensboard but i can source it and/or am confident i could make some wooden ones.

The biggest thing i need help with is sourcing some bellows. I read that some like to replace the bellows with an alternate set to make use of all the movements but sacrifice stiffness. I also think i want to deviate from the standard black. Anybody replace theirs on their master view and have advice or can recommend a bellow maker?

Oh and besides brasso and wd40 does anybody recommend other cleaners? It has that terrible storage smell but i think most of it has to do with the original bellows.


Peter De Smidt
24-May-2016, 10:54

John Kasaian
24-May-2016, 12:38
Rust? On a KMV? Where? Mine was an alloy IIRC, not steel.:confused:
If there is enough of the old leather handle to make a pattern, most saddle makers or shoe repair places can make one for you

24-May-2016, 13:23
Brasso is bad. Leather straps are commonly available through antique rehab & repro shops.

24-May-2016, 14:01
why is brasso bad?

24-May-2016, 14:03
have you ordered from them before?

24-May-2016, 14:05
yes there was some sort of rust inside the 8x10 back. The rest is on some screws and the name plate.

24-May-2016, 14:55
have you ordered from them before?

I have a few leather straps suitable for large format cameras. They are not camera specific replicas, but functional. One source is Van Dyke. A sample page here. (http://search.vandykes.com/search?view=grid&w=leather+strap)

We really have to search their site. Here is a long version I have used (http://www.vandykes.com/9-12-bean-end-stitched-leather-trunk-handle/p/203088/).

A kluge hold down. :) http://www.vandykes.com/trunk-handle-holder-1x3-14-sold-each/p/205944/.

Surf for short trunk handles for starters. I have a couple I could not use. When I am back in the shop I will measure them and post if you wish. You could also measure the original and send us all the dimensions.

Greg Davis
24-May-2016, 14:56
I bought my Kodak Master bellows from Custom Bellows and they are nice. The original color was a dark brown, but I haven't seen anybody making that color now. The original handle leather was very thin. The padding was flexible , but much firmer than neoprene if you are looking to replace that, too.

John Kasaian
24-May-2016, 16:57
I'd test any anti-corrosion product on an inconspicuous place first to see if it will harm the wrinkle finish paint. You might try Eezox, available at hardware and gun shops. Consider applying vigorously with an old toothbrush if it doesn't harm the paint.

24-May-2016, 19:19

29-May-2016, 03:27
Try vinegar and / or ammonia for cleaning the brass. Let it soak a while first then scrub with steel wool.

29-May-2016, 05:11
Vinegar and salt is better as it forms a very weak solution of Hydrchloric acid. Stubborn areas I use fine wet and dry Emory paper.


29-May-2016, 05:43
Don't leave acids on brass for long, and don't soak valuable brass antiques in any acid, vinegar, citrus, or other. It will leach out the zinc, leaving the surface very discolored copper looking. It also weakens brass. Yes, I've used it to get heavy gunk off brass, but just wipe it on and don't leave it more than about 10 minutes, and rinse well. I saw a Petzval sold the other week, that looked like a copper penny, the seller had obviously let the barrel sit in vinegar or lemon juice for an hour or so. It ruins them. Yes, you can then abrade down through the copper layer, to fresh brass, but why take such aggressive measures on antiques?

For brass that is just mildly patina'd, I highly recommend Mother's polish (auto parts store), followed by auto wax.

29-May-2016, 06:54
I agree Garrett about the time, usually I don't immerse brass in vinegar & salt for more than 2 - 5 minutes and it's dilute, the very thin layer of copper polishes off with minimal effort. I've only resorted to using this once on a Petzval lens barrel and there wasn't really a better option. I'm not a believer in trying to restore something antique so that it looks new you need some of the original patina to give character.


29-May-2016, 18:04
About bellows replacement, be careful with who you buy from. I've only read good things about custom bellows. I didn't buy from them when I replaced the bellows on an 8x10 camera and later wished I had spent the extra cash.

22-Jun-2016, 06:22
Thanks all! I forgot that i have this material called gorgomyte. Its used to clean frets on guitars and is essentially coconut fibers (thus a good alternative to steel wool). As far as bellows, everyone has recommended custom bellows. Ill will still look into ritters if hes still making.