Is there any reason that I shouldn't replace the rubber on a DSLR with leather? I only ask because I like the older SLRs look and I have a Nikon D5200 id like to mod in some way. What issues should I be aware of if I attempt this?

  • 4
    To definitely answer this question one would need to survey the owner of every single DSLR that has rubber on the external parts of the body. There have been millions upon millions of such cameras sold over the past 15 years. With such a large number of possibilities, I highly suspect the answer might well be "yes", but good luck finding that one in several million potential camera owners.
    – Michael C
    Jun 7 '18 at 3:15
  • Sounds like a fun project if you have the leatherworking skills. If you do it, you should buy a set of replacement grips to modify. The main grip piece is rubber bonded to hard plastic; if you can get the rubber layer off, that would be better than putting leather on top of it.
    – chulster
    Jun 7 '18 at 15:18

I think the main issue is going to revolve around how you're removing the existing rubber on your camera without damaging the camera.

The second issue is getting new cover pieces that will fit perfectly with appropriate cutouts (say, for the infrared sensor on the front of the grip), and then which adhesive you're going to use to attach them.

Most of the pre-made replacements I've seen have been for restoring vintage cameras where the adhesive and the leather/vinyl have disintegrated over time, or for mirrorless cameras. I don't think I've ever seen a ready-made kit for covering a dSLR, like the ones for mirrorless offered by Aki-Asahi.


I don't see why not. See this question for advice on repairing the rubber grip, and if you're just looking to replace that (and if you're comfortable with working with leather in general), I'd say go for it.

That said, for considerably less effort, you might consider a classic leather camera case, like this one (chosen randomly from Amazon; not a specific endorsement). That covers and protects the whole camera (and a mounted lens) and flips open for easy use.

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