Most analog cameras have a black foam type material to isolate the light of the enclosure which houses the reel. This prevents light from leaking and to ensure the reels’ integrity. Since this material degrades over time, here I explain a simple trick to replace this item with another alternative.
One of my hobbies is collecting old cameras. But I do not buy them to put them on a shelf to make beautiful, no. What I really like is to get them out into the street and give them a second (and subsequent) spin.
One of the main problems of this type of camera is that the foam seal is degraded over the years and most likely does not function properly in isolating the light rays inside the chamber.
Searching the Internet can find this material in different weights and sizes, to replace the old and rundown ones of your old camera. There is even a website that provides highly specialized pieces of insulation (adhesive or not) for the most popular models of cameras of yore.
But as we like to do things on the cheap and recycling everything possible (DIY), here I explain how I rescued many cameras in my collection.
If you have this common problem try these simple steps
1. First withdraw and carefully remove all remaining foam and adhesive from the lid and the chamber. You can help with cotton swabs, alcohol or the like, but always careful not to destroy the camera.
2. We’ll do with a sparkling black material type. I kept the box of my Macbook Pro and I’m doing well for this example.
3. Cut with the help of a cutter and a ruler thin strips of foam to make parts that will replace the degraded ones. If your foam is too fat, you can make a second cut from each strip having the dimensions just right.
4. Place the foam strips in areas where light can enter. Test to be sure that light will not come in the spool compartment and at the same time, try not to force closing the camera.
5. Finally, with a soft adhesive, affix the insulating material and place our reel.
I hope you like giving new life to your old cameras!