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07-20-2019, 09:08 AM   #1
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Crack or mark visible through viewfinder

Hi guys, I would like to ask for your opinion on my damaged camera and potential repair options. I purchased my K-70 late last year and have been having an amazing time learning with it. Recently I returned from holiday and noticed that I can see a mark (drop of water? Crack?) right in the middle of the viewfinder. If I adjust the diopter the mark goes in and out of focus. I can't see it when I use live view and I can still see it with no lens attached.

I suspect my camera might have been knocked in my carry on luggage suitcase. I had placed my camera into its own case before putting in my suitcase thinking this would be enough protection and I can't remember the case falling or being hit hard.

The question really is whether anyone can figure out or can identify what has happened to my camera and whether a repair would be pricey. I have reached out to Ricoh who have not yet gotten back to me.

I have attached some pics taken with my phone. Apologies if the pics are not clear enough and thanks for any input.

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07-20-2019, 11:01 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Is there any external damage?

It looks to me like de-silvering or a chip on the "roof" of the pentaprism. De-silvering would be a warranty issue. A chip would have been caused by something striking the mirror. If it was something outside the camera there should be external damage visible too. If there is something loose inside the camera like a screw that might be a warranty issue too.

Is there anything rattling loose in the camera when you turn it bottom up?
07-20-2019, 11:24 AM   #3
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No external damage whatsoever. I've checked the lens it was attached to whilst travelling and it also has no visible damage. I've just turned it over and checked for rattling but can't hear anything besides the mirror mechanism swinging slightly. Thanks for having a look, this whole thing is just really puzzling.
07-20-2019, 11:41 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Because of the position, near-symmetry of shape, and the fact that it's not in the same plane of focus as the focusing screen, I tend to agree that it looks like either damage to, or something on, the prism. It's almost as if a retaining clip holding the prism in place has dug into the prism. But I'm really just guessing.

In any case, since the camera seems to be working fine and there's no obvious external damage, I wouldn't have thought a repair would be especially expensive. No more so than, say, replacing a faulty circuit board...

07-20-2019, 12:23 PM   #5
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The mirror itself is clear?
07-20-2019, 01:38 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Yeah, I originally thought it was moisture on the mirror but that is completely clean. I'll send it to Ricoh and share what the cause / issue was.
07-20-2019, 01:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ehrwien Quote
The mirror itself is clear?
QuoteOriginally posted by Matty Quote
Yeah, I originally thought it was moisture on the mirror but that is completely clean. I'll send it to Ricoh and share what the cause / issue was.
Just an FYI, the diopter adjustment shouldn't be enough to bring anything on the mirror into well-defined focus. This is why we don't clearly see dust and/or marks on our SLR / DSLR mirrors

Good luck, Matty... I'll be interested to hear what Ricoh's findings are, and it will be useful information for the rest of our members should the same problem affect them at some point...
07-20-2019, 04:01 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I'll definitely report back.

07-20-2019, 04:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matty Quote
I'll definitely report back.
Thanks, mate
07-20-2019, 05:22 PM   #10
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Have you checked the focusing screen or tried to blow it off?
07-20-2019, 05:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
Have you checked the focusing screen or tried to blow it off?
It's not on the focusing screen, IMHO, since it's not in perfect focus when the guide-lines on the screen are in focus... so that suggests whatever the mark is, it isn't in the same plane of focus as the screen...
07-20-2019, 07:01 PM - 1 Like   #12
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That looks like a conchoidal fracture. I'm not sure about current glass manufacturing methods these days but in entry level cameras Pentaprisms are seldom made in once piece. Sometimes it is cheaper to make glass with complex geometries in two halves, then cementing them together. This process lessened the amount of waste and time needed to grind a thick glass blank down to the required shape. I suspect this fracture has occurred at the precise point of interface between the two pieces*, there is only one fracture** but it is being reflected by the other, unmarred, half of the prism.

The simplest ( but expensive) way to repair this would be to simply replace the prism entirely, it may be possible to de-cement the halves and fill the space made my the fracture with optical cement and rejoin the halves - which would be time consuming process, but perhaps a more cost effective way of affecting repairs.

* this is confirmed by the central alignment of the fracture.
**as of how it happened is difficult to explain, however these sorts of fracture invariably involve glass striking something with equal or greater hardness than itself. I have seen these kind of fractures in pentaprisms before, but they are quite rare.

Last edited by Digitalis; 07-20-2019 at 07:09 PM.
07-21-2019, 12:32 AM   #13
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It probably isn't on the focusing screen, but blowing off the screen doesn't cost anything and is easy.
07-21-2019, 12:39 AM   #14
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Tried that aswell. I had some help shining a light into the focus screen to try and spot any damage and use a blower to gently remove any particles but nothing was there.

I think digitalis's assessment sounds logical that it might be a prism fracture. How it happened. I really don't now. Took a couple of shots at the airport, the mark wasn't there. I got back home and that same evening I went to retrieve my SD card and store my lens and that's when I noticed it.
07-21-2019, 03:30 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matty Quote
How it happened. I really don't now. Took a couple of shots at the airport, the mark wasn't there. I got back home and that same evening I went to retrieve my SD card and store my lens and that's when I noticed it.
Thermal shock can cause fractures like this: If the glass isn't annealed properly where it is shaped there can be built up stresses that develop within the glass. These instabilities can be provoked by sudden temperature changes which can result in fractures like this.
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