F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

May 2010. Stephanie died peacefully on 19th April after a short stay in hospital. She had been suffering from acute cervical cancer. Fred will continue to run the business to the best of his ability. The web site is slowly getting under control again as he tries to take over some of Stephanie's responsibilities, and learns some of the mysteries of Dreamweaver.

Restoring Classic and Collectible Cameras by Thomas Tomosy

Reviewed (by Fred) in Classic Camera Magazine number 33

This book, whilst complete in itself, really follows on after Mr Tomosy's earlier books, "Camera Maintenance and Repair" Volume 1 and "Camera Maintenance and Repair" Volume 2. These two books detail operations which are only summarised in the volume presently reviewed.

Mr Tomasy's style is to take specific tasks, and to go through them, explaining more complex parts of the operation, but tending to ignore what may be regarded as fairly obvious, leaving these parts to the operator's common sense. For example, I found particularly interesting, the careful explanation on restoration and manufacture of camera bellows. I had no idea what was involved in this operation, and after reading about how to do it, I feel that I would take to it like a duck to water!

It is necessary to remember that the author is dealing principally with the situation in the United States. I felt that many restorers in Britain would find some of his methods unacceptable, for example use of plywood when natural wood is preferable and easily obtainable, and using plastic radio knobs when diligent searching should provide a more acceptable replacement. Some of the cameras selected as easily obtained examples to work on are much less common here, but alternatives can easily be found.

Some of the materials described in the book are not immediately recognisable here: SOS appears to be similar to a Brillo Pad; I am still not sure what Fantastic is - it sounds like a detergent, possibly of the Fairy Liquid type.

Chapters deal with Restoring a Wooden Camera Stand, and Lenses and Shutters, using specific American examples. Restoring a Folding Camera deals with typical examples from 1900 to 1950. Wooden View Cameras, and the Large Format Focal Plane Shutter give much useful information. There then follows a chapter on Medium Format (120 and 127) which in a few brief pages deals with the Ensign Cupid and the Rolleiflex - obviously coverage of the latter is sketchy to say the least. 35 mm. Classics includes Contax, Exakta, Leica, Nikkorex 35, Universal Mercury, and Contaflex s.l.r. This is the longest chapter, containing 21 pages, but what a lot of ground it covers! The final chapter deals with the Minox subminiature. There then follows an Abstract summarising information from Mr Tomosy's previous two books, and an appendix explaining some terms used in the book, and giving a few useful addresses for supplies. There is a good index.

Parts of this book are excellent. All of it is useful, and it is recommended reading for enthusiasts who fancy their chances at repairing and restoring. Mr. Tomosy makes clear (though not as clear as in his earlier volume) that this is work for the dedicated, patient and skilful amongst us. In no way does it take the place of skilled specialist training, and official service manuals accompanied by camera manufacturer back-up. I have been involved in skilled work all my life, but I am still very nervous of tackling camera repairs. Reading this book has given me a little more confidence in the belief that it might not be quite as difficult as it seems.

Click to order Restoring Classic and Collectible Cameras from amazon.co.uk

Click to order Restoring Classic and Collectible Cameras from amazon.com

Thomas Tomosy has written other books on camera repairing, which we have not seen (yet). These are:-

Camera Maintenance and Repair: Book Two: Advanced Techniques

Order from amazon.co.uk or amazon.com

Restoring the Great Collectible Cameras

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Sorry - no longer available from amazon.com

Leica Camera Repair Handbook: Repairing and Restoring Collectible Leica Cameras, Lenses and Accessories

Order from amazon.co.uk or amazon.com


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