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07-31-2013, 04:56 PM   #1
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Scratch/smudge on the glass thing above mirror.

I just got a K-5 about a week ago and there are two smudges on the glass thing above the mirror (not the mirror or the sensor) and I have a couple questions.

1) What is this thing called?
2) Is there any way to clean it?
3) Will it affect ANYTHING except what I look at picture wise? There is nothing wrong with the sensor but I mean focus wise?
4) Does Pentax charge a flat fee or is it based on what they are working on?
5) Do they service non-warranty cameras?

07-31-2013, 05:00 PM   #2
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Focusing screen, and no, it doesn't affect your images. It's pretty easy to clean or even replace, though I won't elaborate on it.

Any camera repair shop will be able to help you clean or change your focusing screen, though yes, Pentax will be able to service it even if it's outside of warranty coverage.

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07-31-2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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It sounds like you're referring to the viewfinder focusing screen - it's the "ceiling" to the mirror box. And it's plastic, not glass. A few smudges won't affect anything at all, other than the view you see through the viewfinder. No impact on photographs whatsoever.

It's easy to remove and clean, and if it has scratches that can't be cleaned, it can be replaced.

The best removal/reinstallation instructions I have seen are here:

--Pentax K5/K7/K10D/K20D/K30/ISTD Focusing Screen Installation Instruction--

To clean it, I'd suggest standard drugstore 70% isopropyl alcohol on a soft, lint-free cloth. I have done this before, and it gets most stuff (fingerprints, etc.) off pretty easily. But because it IS plastic -- be very careful to avoid scratching it.
07-31-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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A Couple Answers

Hello agrzesaik, Welcome to the Forum!
The part you're talking about is called a focusing screen. It is one of the very few user-replaceable parts on the camera.
There are OEM screens and 3rd party screens available, ranging from $20 eBay specials, $40-$50 Pentax screens to $100 split-prism beauties, especially good for manual-focus lenses. Katzeye and modified Canon screens are the main higher-priced brands.
Don't know about cleaning the one you have, guess that depends on what the smudges are.
Pentax does work on out-of-warranty cameras.
I have no idea what the charge would be.
Good Luck!
Ron

07-31-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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The part can be referred to as a focusing screen or ground glass. Ground glass is an obsolete term as it is made from plastics these days.

If it is scratched replacement is probably the only option. These can be easily be replaced by yourself. The replacement screen often comes with a tool to help you disengage the retaining clip and grab hold of the screen by the tabs on it.
07-31-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
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Thanks guys! This was really reassuring.
07-31-2013, 05:37 PM   #7
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I would like to spend at little as possible so if it ends up needing to be replaced what is one that won't make what I'm looking at crap. I don't need one that is special for manual focusing or anything like that, just a plain ol focusing screen.
07-31-2013, 05:45 PM   #8
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Are you sure it is not just the ridges on the screen you are seeing?
Some folks new to Pentax complain their focus screen has fingerprints, but it is just the concentric ridges of the fresnel that are visible.
If that is it you will quickly become accustomed to it and it won't be an issue.

07-31-2013, 05:49 PM   #9
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No actually I did see those and I actually thought they were fingerprints so thanks for clearing that up but no they are smudges. They are not straight lines and are so odd as to not be put there on purpose.
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