Broken Gear? Fix it with the 'Play-Doh' of Camera Repair

Imagine a colorful self-setting rubber that you can keep in your camera bag and bust out at any time to repair on-the-job cracks, breaks and tears. Sugru is such a product, a moldable Play-Doh-like synthetic that can also be shaped into custom camera grips, monopod and tripod mounts and can add color and texture to existing buttons on your DSLR.

When you open a packet of Sugru, you form it and shape it by rolling it in the palm of your hand and fingers. You then apply it and form it to your satisfaction, as it will remain pliable for 30 minutes before the 24-hour period it requires to set. Sugru is waterproof and electrically insulating. Unopened packets last for six months at room temperature but will keep three times as long if stored in a refrigerator.

From now on, I keep a small packet of Sugru in my bag whenever on location. Here are three uses for the product that worked for me recently.

1. Cable Release repair. My Nikon cable release finally quit working with consistency due to a break in the rubber near the piece that attaches to the camera. The wires were exposed and in danger of fraying with standard wear so a packet of red Sugru fixed the gap in the rubber.


Photo courtesy of Jeremy Allen /

2. iPhone charger cable. My iPhone charger split where it attaches to the actual charger that plugs into the wall but Sugru proved a worthy solution.


Photo courtesy of Jeremy Allen /

3. Sealing a large format lens into a lens board. Older lenses and shutters often will not fit into large format lens boards as sizing can vary according to manufacturer. The lens board for my 4x5 was slight large for my 150mm lens but a small noodle of Sugru ensured a light-tight fit.

To see what other photographers have done with Sugru, visit the Photography section of their site. Please post any cool photographic uses for Sugru in the comments section.

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How about heat shrink? cheap, massively available and works.

heat shrink should work in a number of these cases, but Sugru is more flexible (in terms of how it can be applied) and works without a heat gun. I have tried it before (not on camera gear yet though), and it is pretty cool.
There are people who customised their camera grip for example.

Think about it; you would have to cut the wires to slip on the heatshrink, because in these examples there are large ports on either side of the wire.

It's good you have it all the time in your bag, you can also top up you condom with Sugru when needed.

Mark Pearson's picture

...and then wait 24 hours for it to set???

Hm... it isn't going to work...

I am completely blown away at their approach to demonstrate community uses for the product. My favorite so far is someone who re-gripped their Canon 60D by blending black & white packs to create marbling effect. I'll definitely be picking some of this up in the near future!

Joseph Gamble's picture

Not that Surgru is prohibitively expensive but an anonymous reader has shared a way to create the same material using materials from your local hardware store. I am not endorsing this technique but felt obliged to share it: