Murder at Battery Place – or, is that a science experiment in my camera?

Battery failure leads to a slow but sure death – insidious fumes attacking sensitive circuits destroying everything in its path! Proud cameras reduced to rubble – Nikon, Canon, Yashica – no brand is immune!


Hydrogen gas is released as the battery ages and discharges. The acid will eat through anything in its path. In my experience, once a battery compartment reaches this state, the circuits are fried. I’ve only been able to bring one camera back to life that was this far gone. Viniger, alcohol, toothpaste and a brush or any number of other tricks seldom work.










Strangely beautiful – all of the colors of the rainbow inside your gear. It doesn’t need to be decades of neglect, sometimes a battery goes ballistic in as little as a year. Most of these batteries were found inside cameras from the 1970s, 1980s, and a few in the 1990s.

Sometimes the corrosion will eat into surrounding metal parts to attack areas outside of the battery box. I’ve seen cardboard boxes with holes.

These are cameras that I acquired during my recent travels to appraise camera collections. In extreme cases, the battery compartments won’t even open to show the offending battery within. I’ve had to throw away Yashica movie cameras, an Argus movie camera, a Yashica Partner, a Polaroid 360, and countless slide viewers.

So, go to your favorite closet and dig out your gear right now! Remove any and all batteries – even button cell batteries. Cheap batteries or wildly expensive batteries – name brands or store-branded ones – they all do it. SAVE YOUR GEAR!

Thanks for stopping by!


2 thoughts on “Murder at Battery Place – or, is that a science experiment in my camera?

  1. It is so annoying to pick up a super camera and find the battery compartment damaged like that. Went it could have been avoided so easily. Your photos of it are nice though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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