Unexpected marks of time

jk4u59

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Guys, have a look to what the simple passing of time (years) made to my Tamron 500mm t/8 case:

inside it looks almost like new:
500mm - open.JPG
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But outside it looks horrible:

500 mm - closed.JPG
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The case surface (covered by leatherette) is now deformed, cracked and withered: it looks like very aged cardboard!

So, what I did to reduce it to this state? Did I stored it in a corrosive atmosphere? Frankly, nothing: the case remained at almost all times closed in a wardrobe: 500mm is an extreme lens, scarcely used, and mine made no exception. The lens itself, in fact, is still perfect, just like when I bought it in the early '80s. On the contrary, those luxury Olympus cylindrical lens cases, dating from the same years, still look perfect...
So, what damned material did Tamron use for their expensive lenses' cases?

I was planning to try an homemade restoration of the case, perhaps using a thin leather cloth glued over the spoiled surfaces, but I think I'll give up: even the box faces aren't plane anymore...
 
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There's some fancy goo craft workers use.
I've seen it on book covers, boxes etc.
I'd investigate and I'm sure you could give it a makeover that has some useful life extending qualities.
Thin pig skin glued to it would be one option but you couldn't return it inside box otherwise lid wouldn't fit.
 

Bushboy

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Take it to the repair shop.
 
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I had a Tamron 300/2.8. The lens was just okay — nothing spectacular — and was less than half the price of the amazing Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm ƒ/2.8 I replaced it with, but the Olympus came with a metal-clad hard case, while the Tamron came in a cardboard case, similar to Ivan's, although mine did not deteriorate quite so thoroughly.

I guess they saved all the money on the case.
 

jimr.pdx

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That case is definitely doing the job. I love the oval 'passed' sticker still in place, always a badge of honor.
And thanks for not including any personal skin closeups; mine is appalling enough at a distance, after a similar simple passing of time! :eek:
 

jk4u59

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That case is definitely doing the job. I love the oval 'passed' sticker still in place, always a badge of honor.
And thanks for not including any personal skin closeups; mine is appalling enough at a distance, after a similar simple passing of time! :eek:
Ah, those stickers! I never removed any of them: I remember that there were rumors that, if missing, one could have problems when passing custom checks, so I didn't even dare touch any of them. Maybe the rumors were fakes, but I didn't want any problem.

Anyway, they aren't anymore in use, right? Nothing of that kind id present on new stuff, at least in Europe.
 
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There was probably a factory back in the day that did nothing but churn out those stickers
BOSS: Congratulations! You've been promoted to "lens inspector!"
WORKER: But I don't know anything about inspecting lenses!
BOSS: It's easy. Just put these stickers on each one.
 
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I was planning to try an homemade restoration of the case
Just start over, with plywood, this time!

Since you have the old case to copy, you don't need to design anything. Just cut, glue, and screw plywood together. Then give it a nice coat of paint.

HINT: make a proper-sized cube first, then cut it in two where you want the opening. Then add hinges and a closure — much easier than trying to build top and bottom separately and have everything line up. Then put the internal mounts in, and pad them with bits of closed-cell polyurethane foam (not styrofoam!), salvaged from consumer electronics packaging.

Seriously, I cannot understand how Tamron can get away with putting a nice lens in a cardboard box. It just screams, "This lens isn't worth enough to properly protect it."
 

jk4u59

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Good ideas, thank you. The only thing that worries me a bit is how to detach the internal padding, that's still in almost pefect conditions. It looks glued to the internal faces of the spolied box (for sure the red velvet, perhaps also the tissue-covered foam parts, and of course I wouldn't damage also the interior.
Let me think a bit....
 
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If you're making new box and want to line it, I'd use pigskin.
Cut cardboard, 1.5 mm thick or thereabouts, stiff not floppy stuff, and add padding (wool quilters batting) glued to cardboard then wrap whole in the leather, turning edges and glueing to back of cardboard. Mitre corners so not bulky.
Don't glue leather to inside face that would look daggy
Then glue that padded piece into the box.
Allow thickness of leather when cutting cardboard so it fits neatly.
If you're creative you could make in one piece and fit as a whole.
Otherwise make pieces for each inside face.
You could make the cradle for the lens separately using high density foam, again covering with leather.
Could use suede cloth but I prefer pigskin. It is so nice to work with.
I've lined many boxes this way.
Not saying it's only way though
 
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cjoliprsf

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I also have one like that...
I recently locally bought a OM 50mm/3.5 macro. When I saw the case however, I wasn't sure I wanted to buy the lens anymore...

210401_0903.jpg
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But inside the lens was immaculate! I guess it is the fate of a case like that to wear off and to protect what is inside!

210401_0904.jpg
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the internal padding… looks glued to the internal faces of the spolied box
You might try an industrial heat gun, or even an ordinary hair dryer. That may loosen it enough to pry it completely off.

Otherwise, it's either water soluble, or it will require a solvent to dislodge. If there's a bit of it that you can somehow soak for a while, you can do a test. Or if you're bold, just put the whole thing in the tub. :)

If heat doesn't loosen it and water doesn't dissolve it, you'll need a solvent. You can get toluene or xylene at a paint supply store. Those are the most potent ones. Do it outside, or in a well-ventilated area!

But what I'd probably do is just copy it in plywood, and pad it with closed-cell polyurethane foam. Since you're padding it, you don't need to be super accurate. A scroll saw will do.

You can go to a fabric store and buy bolt-end scraps of velvet in various colours fairly cheaply, unless you're really in love with the fabric inside the existing box!
 

jk4u59

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Plenty of good and useful advices... I feel that eventually I'd really do something with that box!
 

Macroramphosis

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I wish it were that easy to repair the case that holds my body and soul...

"I have this cold feeling where my hair used to be?" - easy, we'll just glue some pigskin in place, Roddy.

"...and my dodgy left knee?" - no problem, we'll stuff some polystyrene in there and add some pigskin on top there, as well.

"and my brain? It's sometimes forgetful nowadays?" - that's a doddle, Roddy. We'll open it up and throw some cold porridge in there. You should at least see a minor improvement, and we'll do it before we glue the pigskin on top. At least you'll be able to tell people you're full of oats, eh?

"Sounds good, what colours does the pigskin come in?
 

jk4u59

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Ivan Dalmonte
Plenty of good and useful advices... I feel that eventually I'd really do something with that box!
Hi,
following some of your hints, I tried to detach the internal foam paddings: yes, they were glued to the internal sides, but perhaps some 40 years ago, and this time the long period turned in my favour. The glue, fully fried, didn't resist that much, so this is the current situation:

internal partts detached.JPG
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My plan is now to search some big do-it-yourself store: I did notice one of them with a bench full of wooden boxes of any size, ready to be painted or covered with découpage paper. I'd try to see if I can find one with matching the case's internal sizes (base 17 x 10 cm, 10 cm high). If I'm lucky I'll have to decide how to cover the internal faces (velvet?) and how to finish the external (glued leather, paint or simply polishing the wooden surface, then oiling it?). Also covering with the same velvet those ugly foam pads wouldn't be such a bad idea...
 

jeffery163

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Take it to the repair shop
 

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