Cameras are meant to be used and with that said, it shouldn't be a surprise if it gets dinged or scratched up. After all, how else are you going to capture moments if all of your cameras are just shelf queens, right? And now if you have a camera that needs a little bit of pampering, why don't you go all the way and customize it for good measure — and we're not just talking about putting on stickers. More like this level of customization.
Customizing your favorite Lomography camera (or any camera for that matter) is a great way to show love for your trusty shooter. And besides, who doesn't want to have a brand new-looking camera every once in a while? It may actually save you some money if you've got a terrible case of G.A.S. wink wink So sit back and let us show you how to customize your camera. We're featuring the LC-Wide, one of our favorite shooters to bring on Lomowalks, trips to the beach, mountains... basically everywhere!
- A roll of masking tape
- A pair of scissors
- A precision cutter (a small box cutter will do)
- A soft-bristled brush
- Cans of spray paint (color of your choice) one for primer, one for body color, and one for clear coat
- A set of precision screwdrivers
- One pad of 600-grit sandpaper (grit depends on the condition of your camera)
- Paper towels
- Rubbing alcohol
- Permanent marker/pen (whichever works for you)
- Cotton balls/cotton buds (optional)
1. Disassemble your camera.
This can be a bit time-consuming at first but when you get the hang of it, everything will be a breeze. Taking apart your camera makes the painting process easier and you get to see what makes your camera tick, literally. This part is should be done at a clear workspace to make sure you don't misplace the tiny screws and components that make up your camera. The precision screwdrivers will be your best friend during this part.
2. Label the parts before storing them.
As you take out screws and parts from your camera, be sure to know where each piece goes to avoid problems during the later stage of the build process. What we did here was we took every piece (screws included), bundled them together using tape, and labeled them according to their order during the disassembly stage. You may follow your own labeling system here — the best system is the one that works for you.
3. Sand the worn, painted parts down and brush the dust/residue off.
Just like with the last repaint tutorial we did, sanding and cleaning your painting surface are two very important steps. This allows the paint to adhere to the surface better and eliminates the possibility of having bubbles on your paint surface.
4. Tape and mask the parts you don't want to paint on.
The LC-Wide is a pretty compact camera so instead of using paper to cover everything off, we decided to use just the masking tape.
5. Clean and prep your painting surface.
Using the paper towels, cotton buds/balls, and rubbing alcohol, clean the painting surfaces and give them a good wipe down. This step helps in removing oils, dirt, and dust from your painting surface.
6. Start painting.
This is probably one of the most fun parts of the process because you get to see what your camera will look like. For this customization project, we used three cans of spray paint — one flat black paint for our base layer, one deep green paint for your main body color, and one clear coat paint to finish it all off. We used 2-3 coats per paint and waited three or more minutes in between coats to make sure everything is completely dry.
7. Remove all the masking and begin re-assembly.
A bit excited during this bit, aren't you? Don't worry, it's normal. We had the same feeling when we were working on this project! Make everything is completely dry before you start touching the painted surfaces and removing the masking tape. Remember the order of the assembly and use the labels in step two. That will certainly make things easier and more organized.
And you're done! Congratulations on completing your customization project! This particular LC-Wide camera that we've worked on had some rusty parts underneath so we sanded the affected parts before we put the camera back together. We love our LC-Wide so a little TLC for one of our favorite cameras here in the Lomography HQ is just what it needed.
Sound off in the comment section below to share your tips and tricks on how to customize cameras. Bring out those old faithfuls and rediscover the awesome feeling of shooting with your favorite camera!