T4 & TC leatherette replacement?

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Fellow Konica fans,

I hope you'll excuse a blatant bit of commercial intrusion on this bulletin board.

As a long time user of Konica SLRs, it's always bothered me that several of my favorite cameras were looking pretty bad due to that infamous shrinkage of the leatherette that seems to occur on all TCs, T4s & even T4 Winders.

The original soft leatherette on these cameras was nice when new, but also is very prone to wear & tear, from fingernails, strap attachments, etc.

Cosmetics aside, the leatherette also serves to provide a good grip on the camera and protect the camera's innards from dust, dirt and other environmental concerns.

But, I've never seen a replacement leatherette kit for these cameras and am sure Konica no longer offers anything.

Always a Do-It-Yourselfer, I got hold of a small quantity of good, self-adhesive leatherette which is very similar to that used on my FT-1s. With some careful cutting and a bit of trial & error, I managed to recover two TCs and a T4, plus several Winders. I'm about 95% ecstatic about the results. I can see a few small areas where I could improve the fit, for 100% satisfaction.

It occurs to me that other T4/TC owners might be interested in an easy to install DIY kit, pre-cut to fit their cameras (thus eliminating the trial & error!). I'm thinking this mainly because the only way I think I could improve on my own results so far would be to make up a precision metal template to cut the leatherette more exactly. Of course, that's not worth doing for the half dozen cameras I own & use. But, I could justify it if there were even a moderately small market out there for DIY kits.

So I thought I'd ask this group first to see if there is an interest in custom replacement leatherette kits for your TCs and T4s. It would not be for collector cameras, because the leatherette is not as original. But it certainly can make otherwise perfectly good user cameras look a whole lot nicer, years newer and much less of a public embarassment, plus serve all the functions a good quality leatherette covering provides.

If I were to make up kits, it would be some weeks or a couple months before the first kits could be available. I think I would be able to offer them, with complete instructions, for about $15 or $16 for one camera body, and optionally another $5 or $6 for a winder. It's possible we could arrive at some quantity discounts, too.

If you are at all uncertain about installing the kit yourself, you could always take it to your local camera technician for installation. I'm sure this would be relatively inexpensive, as it's not a very difficult or time-consuming job.

Please give me some feedback directly at AMfoto1@aol.com. I'd love to hear from you! Heck, maybe I'll find out there already is a source for these kits! If you are interested, please include the type of camera you would like to re-cover, TC or T4.

It's always nice to chat with fellow Konica users.

Alan Myers, San Jose, Calif.

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2000


That is actually a really great idea!

Good job. I think this idea will fly, but ofcourse it would of been more successful in the T4/TC era, but maybe not. There are a lot of T4/TC's out there that need replacing.


-- Anonymous, December 06, 2000

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