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M3 back panel chip

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Hi all,


I received a very good shape M3 the other weekend. When I went hiking with it, the cold temperatures I think cracked off a small corner of the faux leather back of the film panel door. Do you have any suggestions for how to prevent more from chipping off? And does this hurt the resale value of the camera significantly? How costly would it be to replace? Thanks very much.

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This is very common on M3 vintage now, as the rubber has hardened and the bond to the metal has weakened due to differences in shrinkage/expansion, etc. Some technicians will patch small areas with various pastes, texturing manually to match the vulcanite. Hard-core collectors may worry about these things and discount the value. However, if you use the camera instead of keep it in a cabinet it is likely to get progressively worse. Rather than worry about the value, you can get re-covering kits that are a close match and are very easy to apply. Aki-asahi has nice kits for the M3, including a $7 US kit just for the back door. I recovered a Ic with their kit and was very pleased.

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The material is Vulcanite. It becomes brittle with age and can crack/fall off as you have experienced.


You can buy stick on imitation products to replace it with. If it's a small section I'd use some black rubber sealant (the sort that they use for windows/bathrooms) and mould it to look as good as possible whilst it's still wet. Search the forum for more ideas/remedies.


Value wise it's not going to make a lot of difference unless you have a very special example. Collectors want mint/boxed gear, or cameras with 'history'.

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