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Thread: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

  1. #1
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    Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    I've seen numerous older cameras with their skin redone, but not as many newer cameras. Was looking at changing out the 'sharkskin' of the M9 for the 'vulcanite' of the M9P/M8.2. Wondering if any of you have done this and if so, how well is it holding up? I suppose durability is my main concern.

    http://aki-asahi.com/store/html/M8/M8.php


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Quality stuff. I've bought many kits from him.

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    I haven't, though I'm considering it. Heard nothing but good things about their stuff.

    Cameraleather.com was the former reigning champ, but their communications and timeliness leave a lot to be desired.

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    So their kits are holding up well after use?

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Quality stuff. I've bought many kits from him.

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Yes, it's quality stuff.

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Cameraleather.com was the former reigning champ, but their communications and timeliness leave a lot to be desired.
    +1000

    I've tried fruitlessly to buy leather from them. Both for an M and for a Polaroid 900. They're reluctant to help and very slow to reply, business must be booming.

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Based on the slow response time from cameraleather.com, I decided to pick up a kit from aki. We'll see how quality is. I'd hate to replace the original skin with an aftermarket and have it fall apart in a year.

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    How many times do I have to say that it is quality. Unless you are tremendously hard on your equipment it will last a long time.

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Good to know, thanks Monza. It's one thing hearing quality, but as I haven't seen a used kit to see how well it holds up, I was still hesitant. Suppose your trifecta of 'quality' posts should reinforce the idea of quality

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Got my kit in the mail. Wow, talk about fast shipping!

    before


    stripped. Old skin came off really easily. Was able to not only keep it in one piece, but also reapply it to the card Aki sent in case I need to use it for something in the future


    all cleaned up and ready to go. Used Goo-Gone to remove the last bit of residue the old skin left behind.


    original M9 'shark' skin


    new 4034 'vulcanite' skin


    after


    I've been using vinyl wrap on various applications for years so the install process was quick and painless. Probably took me less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Extremely pleased with the way everything came out. Now I just have to see how well the skin holds up.


    Cheers,
    M

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    That looks fantastic mdwsta4 - well done!

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    When comparing images posted of the original M9 covering vs. this newer after market one, I noticed what appeared to be a small slit cut in the circle that will eventually surround the frame selector lever on the front of the body. This slit appears on the original Leica covering but not the aftermaket one. My question is does the frame lever on the M9 body or anything else (on the body) have to be removed to install this aftermarket covering or dies it simply fit over all levers, buttons etc. Thanks!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    I don't know if the new one had a slit around the frame lever or not, but as soon as I took it off the backing, it split so I would assume that it was and simply didn't show up in the original picture of the skin on its backing.

    Regardless, no, I did not have to take the frame selector lever off, but that area did require the most amount of finessing. Easiest way to do this is to wet the adhesive so you are able to maneuver the skin more easily. Otherwise it is too sticky. I used an extremely small flat blade screw driver to ensure all areas were properly applied around this area.

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    I'll try and document the process. I have a #4034 sitting on my desk, waiting for my new (to me) M8...

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Quote Originally Posted by mdwsta4 View Post
    I don't know if the new one had a slit around the frame lever or not, but as soon as I took it off the backing, it split so I would assume that it was and simply didn't show up in the original picture of the skin on its backing.

    Regardless, no, I did not have to take the frame selector lever off, but that area did require the most amount of finessing. Easiest way to do this is to wet the adhesive so you are able to maneuver the skin more easily. Otherwise it is too sticky. I used an extremely small flat blade screw driver to ensure all areas were properly applied around this area.
    Thanks ever so much for the response mdwsta4...that is extremely helpful. Two additional questions:

    1. What fluid did you apply to the back of the new covering (the adhesive side)? Simply water? Did you apply it only to a few problematic areas where you had to slide the covering in place of to the entire back of the new covering (adhesive side) prive to apply it all?

    2. They show a choice of coverings but only sshow a image of one. I assume the one they show is the one you purchased...#4034? Any idea what the others look like?

    Michael, documenting the process would be very imformative!

    Thanks!
    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    There are detailed illustrated instructions on the Cameraleather site: cameraleather.com Leica M leather installation

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Sure, it'll be fun and hopefully informative!

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Thanks ever so much for the response mdwsta4...that is extremely helpful. Two additional questions:

    1. What fluid did you apply to the back of the new covering (the adhesive side)? Simply water? Did you apply it only to a few problematic areas where you had to slide the covering in place of to the entire back of the new covering (adhesive side) prive to apply it all?

    2. They show a choice of coverings but only sshow a image of one. I assume the one they show is the one you purchased...#4034? Any idea what the others look like?

    Michael, documenting the process would be very imformative!

    Thanks!
    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Not really sure how 'detailed' you can get. It's not rocket science. Pull off the old skin, clean off the adhesive, apply the new skin. Here's another link showing how it's done: Re-skinning the Leica M8 efixhotography – News. Thoughts. Pictures.

    I have a solution that I use, but you can do the same with tap water and even a tiny drop of soap. You can apply all over depending on how worried you are about applying the skin correctly the first time. I only used it around the lever.

    I believe they have pictures of all the skins/textures, just not all on Leicas.

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Well, my M8 got here Friday, and it already has some new clothes! It wasn't too bad. Be patient. I've posted some thoughts and images in my flickr account (made a set for it). Check it out! I like the results...


    Leica M8, with new clothes. by Michael Hulcher, on Flickr
    Portfolio
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    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    looking good!

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    I did my M3 a few months ago. Like new!

    Frits

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Gorgeus!!!

    Is it truth that now the M9-P doesn't wear vulcanite anymore?

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    Re: Has anyone reskinned their camera w/ Aki Asahi

    Sweet M3, Frits!

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