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10-03-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
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Black specks--how to clean mirror

I have two black specks that I can see through my viewfinder. They must be on the mirror because I can still see them with/without a lens on. How can I get them off without damaging the mirror?

10-03-2011, 01:40 PM   #2
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Hi, the specs might be either on the mirror or on the focusing screen. What I use to remove them is an earbud. It may not be the safest method but it works for me. Just don't press.
10-03-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
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It's actually more likely that they're on the focusing screen. Just remove the screen with tweezers, blow it off and replace it. If they turn out to be on the mirror, I would recommend pec-pads and their corresponding eclipse solution. 2filter.com has good prices on this stuff and "Digital Survival Kit #2" will prepare you to clean pretty much everything (including the sensor) for 21 bucks.
10-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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If you see it in the viewfinder it is on the focus screen as the mirror is out of focus. I just point a giottos rocket blower up towards the screen and give it a few blows. Keep the nozzle out of the camera. I only bother if it is a big distracting blob though because you will get more eventually. It won't affect the pictures so don't worry too much about it. I wouldn't bother taking out the screen as it may get more on it by fooling with it.(or worse) BTDT

10-03-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
If you see it in the viewfinder it is on the focus screen as the mirror is out of focus. I just point a giottos rocket blower up towards the screen and give it a few blows. I wouldn't bother taking out the screen as it may get more on it by fooling with it.(or worse) BTDT
As long as you only grasp it by the tab, you're not going to get more on it or damage it. I've cleaned mine numerous times this way. Pointing a rocket blower in to the camera is a sure way to dislodge and re-distribute all kinds of dust.
10-03-2011, 07:48 PM   #6
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Just use a microfiber lens cloth if on the mirror but if it is in the viewfinder itself then that would be harder to clean.
10-04-2011, 06:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AJones1023 Quote
I have two black specks that I can see through my viewfinder. They must be on the mirror because I can still see them with/without a lens on. How can I get them off without damaging the mirror?
If you can see it in the finder, it's on the focusing screen. Personally, I'd just leave it alone an the screen is pretty easily damaged and what you are seeing isn't hurting anything.
Or you can risk scratching your focus screen and then really have something to complain about.
10-04-2011, 07:52 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Mirror cleaning caution!!

Please remember that the mirror is "first surface," which means that, unlike ordinary mirrors, the thin metallic layer which reflects the light is exposed, and is very fragile! Ordinary mirrors have the metallic layer on the back, so paper towels and Windex aren't like to damage them. Such cleaning on a first surface mirror would perhaps remove the reflective layer.

Probably not a good idea to touch your SLR or dSLR mirror with ANYTHING! Dust or whatever on the mirror has NO effect on the image nor on viewing, unless the mirror is literally covered with dust.

Replacing an interchangeable screen isn't too expensive. I don't know what replacing a mirror would cost, but I'll bet plenty.

10-04-2011, 06:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
Please remember that the mirror is "first surface," which means that, unlike ordinary mirrors, the thin metallic layer which reflects the light is exposed, and is very fragile! Ordinary mirrors have the metallic layer on the back, so paper towels and Windex aren't like to damage them. Such cleaning on a first surface mirror would perhaps remove the reflective layer.

Probably not a good idea to touch your SLR or dSLR mirror with ANYTHING! Dust or whatever on the mirror has NO effect on the image nor on viewing, unless the mirror is literally covered with dust.

Replacing an interchangeable screen isn't too expensive. I don't know what replacing a mirror would cost, but I'll bet plenty.
Good advice, getting a thumbs up.
10-05-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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While I agree that messing with the mirror surface is to be avoided, leaving the dust there will only result in it migrating to worse places, like the sensor! As me how I know :-)
Pec pads used gently with no sharp objects should be ok. Blowing I also avoid now, having migrated some dust over time to the underside of my K100D info screen (on top of camera.)

My lesson: become much more conscious of how and where you change lenses.

Gerrit
10-05-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by humbr Quote
While I agree that messing with the mirror surface is to be avoided, leaving the dust there will only result in it migrating to worse places, like the sensor! As me how I know :-)
Pec pads used gently with no sharp objects should be ok. Blowing I also avoid now, having migrated some dust over time to the underside of my K100D info screen (on top of camera.)

My lesson: become much more conscious of how and where you change lenses.

Gerrit
The thing is, the sensor is designed to be cleaned and is a lot more robust than the front surface mirror that is held in by a relatively delicate and easily misaligned mechanism.
Unless you have tagged individual dust particles, you have absolutely no way of knowing if something that was on the mirror had migrated to the sensor, and quite frankly, even if a dust mote did, it hasn't hurt anything by being there.
When I was selling cameras, the single biggest cause of repairs was ham handed cleaning.
Clean the stuff that is designed to be cleaned if you want, but if all you are doing is a cosmetic cleaning, which cleaning the mirror or screen is, then it is best avoided.
Personally, I think this dust fetish that people have is kind of dumb. A little dust isn't going to damage your camera, the dust removal system works pretty well, and if you notice a bit of dust on the sensor, it's usually easily blown off with a bulb blower or (my tool of choice) canned gas (which, contrary to the moaning of the worry brigade, is quite safe to use provided a bit of common sense is also used).
10-05-2011, 05:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The thing is, the sensor is designed to be cleaned and is a lot more robust than the front surface mirror that is held in by a relatively delicate and easily misaligned mechanism.
Unless you have tagged individual dust particles, you have absolutely no way of knowing if something that was on the mirror had migrated to the sensor, and quite frankly, even if a dust mote did, it hasn't hurt anything by being there.
When I was selling cameras, the single biggest cause of repairs was ham handed cleaning.
Clean the stuff that is designed to be cleaned if you want, but if all you are doing is a cosmetic cleaning, which cleaning the mirror or screen is, then it is best avoided.
Personally, I think this dust fetish that people have is kind of dumb. A little dust isn't going to damage your camera, the dust removal system works pretty well, and if you notice a bit of dust on the sensor, it's usually easily blown off with a bulb blower or (my tool of choice) canned gas (which, contrary to the moaning of the worry brigade, is quite safe to use provided a bit of common sense is also used).
Words of wisdom, listen to Wheatfield where cameras are concerned.
10-05-2011, 07:25 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
Words of wisdom, listen to Wheatfield where cameras are concerned.
Especially when he happens to have the same opinion as you, huh? He is knowledgeable, but he ain't always right.
10-05-2011, 09:48 PM   #14
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If you think that blowing dust further into the recesses of a camera is good, then by all means blow away. It will come back to the wrong place at some point.
BTW, many cameras have no built in dust removal system, my K100D certainly does not.

As to dust on the sensor, it is real and it messes up photos. I am not a fan of Photoshop'ing those out of skies etc. I'm not concerned about the dust damaging the camera. I have no problem cleaning any internals of the camera, lots of experience cleaning disk heads in the 1970's.

Gerrit
10-06-2011, 04:33 AM   #15
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Well, first of all, your point is either a red herring or a straw man. One can just as easily, and with more logic, say that blowing some compressed gas into the camera will carry dust back out, since the gas has to evacuate the mirror box after entering it.
I had this discussion with Fred Picker a couple of decades ago regarding 4x5 film backs.
Dust is the bane of sheet film, and I used compressed air to clean my film holders. Fred thought it would just blow the dust around to be deposited elsewhere on the film back, thereby moving the problem rather than solving it.
I asked him how he cleaned them, he said a brush. I said so you are picking the dust up and redepositing it anyway, why not give compressed air a try.
He did, and amazingly enough, it worked for him.
Fred had an open mind about these things, something that appears to be missing these days.
My istD didn't have a built in dust removal system either, but canned gas did a great job of keeping the inside of my camera clean.
Some people have the skills to physically clean delicate equipment, some don't.
It only takes one minor slip with a tool inside a mirror box and you have a scratched screen or a bent mirror mechanism.
I suppose this might be preferable to having to clone out the occasional dust spot, I don't know.
What I do know is that dust isn't a problem in my world with the care I give cameras, which is very minimal. I don't worry about how I change lenses, I just change them. I don't worry about how spotless the inside of the mirror box is, I just clean it periodically before shoots from time to time, or when dust starts to show up at smaller apertures.
If I don't see it on my pictures, it isn't there, and I don't need to concern myself.
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