The leathering ceremony

Long-time readers of my blog know that if I truly, truly enjoy using a film camera, and that camera’s vulcanite coating is old and ratty, I’ll take some time and re-leather the camera, making it look all swank and new. That’s why I once owned a bright blue Nikkormat FTn and a bright green Leica M3. Both cameras were re-leathered and they looked swank. They’re now in the hands of new users, as my time with them was more than enough, and they should be shared with others.

With that in mind, I still own my red-leathered Kodak Medalist II (“Kodak Red”), and it’s gone from being a shelf-lodger to a decent medium-format workhorse, with recent photos like Pride of the Palace and We Serve Wayward Strangers to its credit.

I’ve recently felt a comfortableness with my new-to-me 35mm Nikon F2S. It’s proven itself as a truly stunning shooter, and I’ve already gifted it with a sweet vintage patterned camera strap.

Now, if it’s going to be part of my arsenal, then it needs a new leather skin.

Yep. It’s getting re-leathered.

Now if I were to be true to the Nikon color, I would have purchased a black leatherette skin for the F2S.

No. This is my camera, and I can choose whatever color I want for this camera.

So I contacted my camera skin dealer Morgan at, and let him know that I had a Nikon F2S that needed some of his fancy skins. Morgan has various leather and leatherette skins available, he even offers some exotic animal skins like snakeskin.

But I honestly don’t need a snakeskin Nikon. Plus, there are some countries that prohibit the use of certain exotic leathers on importation.

No, if I want this camera to be mine, it needs a nice, subdued shade.

You know … a nice, subdued shade of screaming pink.

Yeah, I said pink. The kind of pink that completely stands out in a crowd. THAT kind of pink. The kind that Stuart Semple would appreciate and Anish Kapoor would envy. As they say in the art community, this pink is not for use by Bean Boy. 😀

So rather than try to re-leather this beauty myself, I dropped the camera off at CameraWorks in Waterford, where my camera tech Allan Wade gave this shooter a tune-up and a new outfit.

Here’s what my Nikon F2S looked like when I provided it and the skins to CameraWorks.

I should let you know that Allan at CameraWorks is my camera tech of choice. He’s taken care of all my film and digital gear, no matter what vintage or complexity. Whether it involves replacing the internal shutter mechanism in my Nikon Df, replacing a viewfinder in my Kodak Medalist II, or simply giving this Nikon F2S a cleaning and lubrication and attention, Allan’s work is top-notch. His hours of operation are only Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9a to 5p, but he also does mail-order repairs if you want to ship your camera to him.

Phone call. It’s Allan. “Chucky boy, your camera is ready.”

All right. Let’s see what Allan did.

What do you think of this bad boy now, kids?

That’s right. I’ve got a pink Nikon. This Nikon’s so pink, it could have had a cameo in Reservoir Dogs. John Mellencamp could have built a house for it. This camera’s so pink, Susan G. Komen might try to claim a portion of its profits.

Say hello to Nikon Athena. In Greek mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, and with that, I hope that our nation grows some wisdom.

Yeah. A pink camera, with pink representing female wisdom.

We need this right now.

Welcome to Chuck Miller’s shooting arsenal, Nikon Athena.