Restoring The Black Anniversary


Black crackle hardware.

Camera # 341264

Due to the shortage of chrome in the years after WW II for other than essential use, the camera was finished in black cracle paint.

Anniversary models represented the climax of Speed Graphic workmanship, even when the later Pacemaker models showed new conveniences and refinements.

This is how the Speed Anniversary arrived, purchased from a website visitor, in the middle of a not yet finished restoring project.
The so called Zeiss bumbs were clearly vissible on the leather or what was left of it. The cause of these bumps on mostly all pre war cameras was the chemical reaction oxidation of the copper rivets  with the glue and the leather in a moisture environment.

The leather on the front was already removed but the glue was apparently very resistant and it took me some hours of thorough cleaning.


The back was finished with some leatherette, which I removed and then cleaned the back from the rest of old glue.

It is not too hard to make the new leather fitting to the back. Finishing touch is the piping on the leather. Now it's time to concentrate on the cosmetics of the inner of the camera. Thorough cleaning and using some drops of oil to give it it's factory new look back again.


This is the hardest part of the restoration. At least for me it is, as I'm not that handy in doing all these cutting work and the precise fitting of the leather near the corners. I learned that it would be better to make a model out of paper first,  rather than experimenting with the precious leather...



However it sure looks pretty enough now.


Every single part of the camera is removed now for thorough cleaning. On the right, the black crackle painting of the focal plane shutter cover.


Repainting the lens board by more than 5 times spraying with glossy black paint, brings back the neat finishing touch.



Although it is not my intention to hide or remove all the using marks, the camera sure looks good after this overall cleaning.

It kept its personality but it lost the dirt and dust that came together in  the more than 60 years heavy duty in the studio or in the street.

Renewing the Focal Plane Shutter
To get the camera in good working condition again
you might need to renew the Focal Plane Shutter


The Anniversary and the Flash

Who else than the creative founders, the former press photographers and later inventors of the Kalart Rangefinder, the Kalart Focuspot , was able to develop a synchronizing flash release device. To synchronise the Anniversary front shutter with the electric flash, Kalart designed the so called Synchrostrob.. By pushing the release button on the Synchrostrob, the flash would go off at the same moment as the shutter was opened. The installation looks quite simple. The adjustment to synchronize however, is quite difficult.
The Schwarz brothers better known as the Kalart compagny devellopped this



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