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07-29-2011, 11:30 PM   #1
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Hazy viewfinder, no service :(

First of all, Pentax is almost non-existent here in Ahmedabad, India. But I do have a Pentax K-x alongwith:
18-55m kit lens
Sigma 50-200mm OS HSM f/4-5.6
SMC M 50mm f/1.7 - Manual lens
SMC M 75-150mm f/4 - Manual lens.

The problem now is that some moisture has entered the viewfinder, and all I can see is a hazy picture in the viewfinder, and since I have these two manual lenses, I am just unable to focus.
Anybody knows a viable solution. I don't think a repair will include any dealings with circuitry. Only viewfinder moisture removal. But there are no authorized service centers in the country


BTW, I am looking forward to shifting systems and buying a Nikon D5100. So, if anybody wants to buy any the above lenses or the body, feel free

07-30-2011, 12:32 AM   #2
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You can try to put it into a container with rice to absorb the moisture(for a day or 2), but make sure that rice didn't get in side the camera.
07-30-2011, 08:29 AM   #3
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Rice or crackers might work, be even more careful with crackers, both will absorb moisture but are you sure this is moisture? As far as I know, India is not a humid climate, and is much more likely to be dry and have plenty sand. Yes, I'm aware that India probably has some areas that are not desert, same as Texas.

Anyway, you might be looking at the same problem I have. My viewfinder started looking hazy a while back and nothing I did would clean it up, I finally found out the viewfinder is made of plastic, and scratches very easily when I clean it. I use the camera in a lot of very dry, dusty environments, that dust caused tiny scratches on the viewfinder that I could see with a magnifying glass, and nothing would polish it out. Until I found out about newspaper. A small peice of newspaper rolled into a tube can be used to polish it out, it works fairly well. Unfortunately I tried a felt polishing wheel on a dremel, which was working very nicely until the screw that holds it in place bumped the viewfinder. Instant cracks. So as soon as I can afford it I need to send it in for replacement, but that won't be any time soon, no work around here lately at all.

Check it with a magnifying glass, I used a 10x loupe. If it's scratched, try polishing it with newspaper. It works well, a friend uses it to polish scratches out of his reading glasses too. Does a great job, I've used it on my viewfinder and can at least see, but I have to work around the blurry spot caused by the cracks. Do not use a dremel...
07-30-2011, 08:42 AM   #4
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I guess we have to learn our lessons the hard way sometimes. I have but I won't share them, too embarrassing ..

To the OP, don't overlook other things in the optical path being fogged somehow. The mirror and the focus screen are also part of what you are looking at.



07-30-2011, 09:05 AM   #5
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As Jeffjs said, take a look at the focus screen and mirror also! Taking out the focus screen is a simple operation that you can easily do yourself. If it's truly moisture in your viewfinder, then you can try to put your camera in the oven on the lowest heat (no more then 50-60 dgr C) for 30min-1hour. I know camera techs use this technique to save drowned cameras. Be careful though, and check it often too see if there is any progress and that the temperature is not too high. I dried my cellphone this way, but I keep the oven door slightly ajar to avoid over heating.

I would make absolutely sure what the cause of the problem is before I did anything though! Might be scratches or dirt on either viewfinder, focus screen, mirror or lens!
07-30-2011, 09:27 AM   #6
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Good call Jeff, I agree completely.
07-30-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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How do you suggest I remove the focusing screen? Meanwhile, newspaper-polishing in progress, let's see...

I am confused now, if it were moisture, it should have dried up. It's been 2-3 weeks since the viewfinder has stayed this way.
07-30-2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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It's the same on all of the Pentax DSLRs


If it's moisture, and In the camera, it's still pretty much sealed (though perhaps not Weather Sealed such as the 10/20/7/5/200 cameras). If there is no air getting to it, it won't evaporate as fast. I've had lens surfaces fog going from cool to hot quickly and it can take hours for it to clear up, If I wait.



07-31-2011, 06:47 AM   #9
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Ok, I did remove the focusing screen, and it didn't help, no change. In fact, I somehow managed to hazy it up even more now. I can see absolutely nothing now. As if I'm driving in fog.
And add to that, I just held a new Canon EOS 7D in my hand with a sparkling CLEAN viewfinder. What the hell!
07-31-2011, 07:57 AM   #10
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The obvious questions are...

1. Did removing the screen reveal a surface that was fogged/haze and could be cleaned?

2. Did you put the focus screen Back? (You won't see anything in the viewfinder other than the viewfinder info without it).

07-31-2011, 01:09 PM   #11
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1. Nope, removing the focus screen did not reveal any haze in there, but I did notice a few light scratches in one of the upper pentamirror. I blowed some air from my blower, but no difference. As I said, more haze now...
2. Yes, I did. In fact, the lock, I don't know how, got off it's hinges. So it took me an hour to put it back and then the focusing screen.

Tomorrow, I'm gonna go see a Nikon service-center guy here who sometimes looks into other cameras too. Let's see and keep fingers crossed!
08-01-2011, 05:33 AM   #12
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Ok, I visited the Nikon guy here. He said that the presence of scratches on the screens in the viewfinder is what is causing this problem. He advised to send to an 'authorized service center'(which I don't find any in this country) to replace the glass.
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