Fantastic Repainted Cameras


by Bellamy /

3 min read

Fantastic Repainted Cameras
I have seen some superb repainted cameras recently, but a couple if them really caught my own and I decided to share them with you.

As some of you might know, I work with Kanto Camera to re-paint cameras. I have had my own one done, and several for other people.
One of my most recent projects was a lonely Canon P camera. It was old and tired and ready for the cupboard. But it was lucky enough to be chosen to be reborn. And this was a very special re-birth.
I was a bit unsure at the start when the customer told me the colour scheme that he wanted, as I wasn’t sure that it would work. I had never seen a camera with red leather, or white paint for that matter. But the customer has a keen eye and excellent taste in cameras and he knew what he wanted.

Introducing the Canon P white Imperial Edition.
This camera was completely stripped, overhauled, re-painted and engraved. Every single detail has been carefully chosen, including parts to be repainted, or left unpainted.

The Imperial Edition engraving and the Imperial seal (菊紋 Kikumon) were made to the customers request and had to be cleared by lawyers to make sure they did not infringe on any copyright or usage laws. The customer also had his Kanji name engraved on the top plate of the camera.

This camera is like nothing I have ever seen before. At first I was not sure about the colour scheme, but when I actually saw the camera I realised that it really works. This thing is beautiful.

I know it is going to a great home and this camera is not going to be a shelf piece or a coffee table talking point, this camera is going to get used by a man who is passionate about Canon screw mount cameras.

The next camera that I got just a few days later was one that I had really been looking forward to seeing. A black paint Nikon F. Now there is nothing special about a black paint Nikon F, as Nikon made them. But not like this one. The gloss of the paint, the tiny detailing on the lettering and the release button.

This is another complete job. The camera has been completely overhauled and re-built, stripped and repainted. The camera was painted with several layers of paint to give it a really deep rich black.

As soon as I got this camera in my hands I wanted to keep it. It was just too nice. But it has to go to its new home. The new owner is going to be very happy shooting this camera.

I really enjoy working on these projects with people. I have seen some incredible cameras come from doing this. And it has inspired me to do a couple more of my own. I am not sure yet, but they will be very interesting.
If you would like to get a camera like this made for you then contact me and we can make it happen.
Please comment too. What camera would you do and how would you do it?


25 comments on “Fantastic Repainted Cameras”

    Zebrio November 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm / Reply

    WOW! Those look incredible. Both of them just pop! The guy who designed that Imperial Edition did a bang up job on everything. Silver and red would have been enough but white, also cool. And that F, looks better than brand new. I might have so send some people your way and I might have to get one done now myself. Hmmm.

    stuart goodman November 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm / Reply

    don’t like this at all! i USE a canon vi-t and that’s what it is… a camera. they’re used to take photos.

    if you want jewellery go to a jewellers.

      Bellamy November 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm /

      I can assure you these people will use these cameras.

      Joe July 4, 2014 at 8:53 am /

      Get over it. People are allowed to like cameras the same way people appreciate a good wrist watch. Watches just tell the time so who cares what it looks like right? I’ve never understood this attitude some photographers have, where they somehow feel above those that enjoy the aesthetics of the cameras they use.

    Roberto November 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm / Reply

    Really nice ones. What if the Nikn has the simple viewfinder…. Cheers

    Roudy F November 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm / Reply

    These cameras are beyond beautiful…got me thinking maybe i need to overhaul my OM as well…After all theres nothing wrong with “shooting in style” :D

    ZDP-189 November 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm / Reply

    I was skeptical about the Imperial Canon P when I heard about it in the planning stage. It’s not the sort of thing that I would expect Canon would do – a budget camera model would not have been authorised by the Imperial household.

    Seeing it above however, changes my mind. It is beautiful enough to stand on its own merits. I helped the owner out by commissioning a white half-shell that I am not sure dies the camera justice. I shall demand that he brings the camera to Hong Kong so I can fondle it lovingly.

    Colin Templeton November 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm / Reply

    The Nikon F is simply gorgeous. I wish that we could have modern digital cameras which were built to that kind of standard.

    And speaking as someone whose camera (Leica M2) was repainted and serviced by Kanto, via you, Bellamy, I’d just like to say that I’m still loving the camera. The paintwork is smooth and reflective like a mirror. Shooting with something that special is a treat, one that’s quite hard to put into words.

    Keep up the good work!

    Antoine November 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm / Reply

    Fantastic stuff.

    @Bellamy, I’ve been meaning to ask this for a long time: could you share some tips on how you take pictures of cameras ?
    Every time you post an article like this it is always a treat, the stories are fascinating but the gear porn is just stunning, not even the camera manufacturers have such beautiful images of cameras. I would love to have similar pictures of my gear.

    Paul-Henri S November 12, 2013 at 6:46 am / Reply

    I’ve have an Olympus PEN-F repainted in black through JCH since a few months now and I’ve been using it no later than today. It’s been perfectly done, the guys from Kanto took the camera totally apart and de-chromed the parts before repainting them.. Not only does it look nice but it’s also very durable, this PEN-F is now the camera I use the most; it’s my “snapshot” camera :)

    Brett Patching November 12, 2013 at 3:02 pm / Reply

    Wow. Fantastic to see such high quality craftsmanship.

    R.M.Detoyato November 13, 2013 at 7:50 am / Reply

    I know it sounds kind of dumb…but I would like either my M4 or F3 to be gold plated!

    Gordon Coale November 13, 2013 at 11:12 am / Reply

    Beautiful! It doesn’t help that I have a Canon P and a Nikon F. The white on the P is wonderful. It would work with a number of different leather colors. The black on that F is something else. Maybe someday…

    serhan oksay November 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm / Reply

    Great craftsmanship, my choice would be a Canon Flex (first ever SLR made by Canon) complete with light meter attached to front. Vulcanite leather would make it more handsome, with my Kanji name engraved on it..

    Thomas November 14, 2013 at 4:36 am / Reply

    Have been dreaming of having Kanto repaint an M in white, seeing this just makes me want to do it more!

    Donny November 18, 2013 at 11:00 pm / Reply

    wow..!!! i want my leica m6 like new..!!! can You..?

    FEDERICO E. BELTRÁN November 21, 2013 at 8:44 am / Reply


    geke @ splendor December 2, 2013 at 11:47 am / Reply

    hi! please take a look at my refurbished rangefinders :)

    Mathias Ertnaes December 25, 2013 at 10:28 pm / Reply

    The Canon turned out so nice!
    A Nikon F2 (with a waist level finder) in Black with beige leather would be sweet, or a Bronica Ertsi in all gray.

    Bom Folio July 1, 2014 at 10:15 pm / Reply

    Fantastic Work, indeed!

    Young Lee July 17, 2014 at 10:37 pm / Reply

    That Canon P Imperial edition must be one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, the kanji on the top plate adds to the imperial-ness.. Another incredibly beautiful camera was Mijonju’s Black Pen F with wooden skin.. I wonder who owns it now!

    Chris W August 29, 2014 at 8:41 am / Reply

    Stunning!!! No other words needed. What a beautiful expression of art and engineering! Would love to see one of my Yashicaflex’s re-imagined.

    MIKE HINKLEMAN November 5, 2016 at 3:49 pm / Reply

    I have a Canon ivsb that was repainted in black also in Japan but I don’t know what year.

    Peter Boorman March 12, 2017 at 7:29 pm / Reply

    I love the depth and richness of the black on that Nikon F. Many years back I had one of my (several) Pentax LX bodies recovered, as the leather was in poor condition. Finding that an ‘interesting’ leather didn’t cost much more than standard stuff, almost on a whim I had it covered in pink paradise snake skin – and I loved the result. For some time “Pinky” was, as far as I knew, the only pink Pentax in captivity, but since then I’ve seen ‘her’ copied and of course now Pentax will make some of their dSLRs in almost any colour combination you want (I got my wife an all pink K70 with matching lens which she loves.)

    Anyway, “Pinky” looks fabulous and is actually a great tool when it comes to getting portrait subjects to relax and engage. But now, looking at that F I’m thinking how my Pentax would look even better it the black was re-done with that level of richness (especially with the small FA-2 finder.) I have a set of matched leather in blue for a body and winder that I’ve been keeping to apply ‘one day’ – maybe I’ll get Kanto to ‘blacken’ an LX and winder at the same time.

    This is getting other ideas whirling in my head now. A titanium body rainbow anodised, maybe… (Google “Ken Onion rainbow chive” to see the sort of effect I’m imagining.) Definitely not subtle, but sometimes it can be good to stand out!

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