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01-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
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Mark on mirror

Hi,

This is the first DSLR camera I have ever owned and I attempted to remove a bit of dust from the mirror with a cotton wool bud (I now know this is not the best method and have purchased an air blower rocket). The mark is a strange red'ish smear? possibly as if some of my skin oil(?) made contact with the bud and then the mirror. The mark is on the lower right and is only about 1-2mm in size. The AutoFocus seems to work fine and I know this wont effect the pictures.. I am just wondering what is this mark and is there any long term damage etc?

Thank you.

01-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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Whatever it is, just leave it alone. It won't hurt anything, but clumsy cleaning can hurt a lot.
01-09-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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I agree leave it alone, there a more threads he about people wrecking their cameras by cleaning what does not impact image quality. The mirror alignment is critical for AF performance so don't play with it.
01-10-2012, 02:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses guys. I am definitely not going to be playing around with it any more.. I think the AF is working correctly (is there any good way to check? or is it a matter of just try to take different shots), I am more concerned about how the camera will function now (it seems to be okay though).

01-10-2012, 04:16 AM   #5
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People have developed a dust fetish since DSLRs came on the market. Dust doesn't actually hurt anything, though it can be a bit inconvenient on the sensor.
01-10-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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I understand that and I can believe it too but the main concern for me is whether the reddish mark on the mirror will cause future issues or if it can be cleaned etc etc.

Cheers.
01-11-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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Would anyone know?
01-11-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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Without knowing exactly what it is, it's impossible to say.
OTOH, the front surface of the mirror is polished aluminium, which is pretty robust, so it isn't likely to damage the mirror.
What is fairly easily damaged is the mirror mechanism, in that it can be knocked out of alignment.

01-11-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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If it's noticeable in the viewfinder, then it's a minor annoyance, but that's the worst it's going to do. It shouldn't affect AF, metering, or anything important. I'd leave it alone. If not cleaned just right, you'll probably make it worse trying to fix it yourself.
01-12-2012, 02:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies guys. It is not noticeable at all in the viewfinder (even when trying to find issues). I will definitely leave it alone from now on. I have purchased a rocket air blower to just blow just out (only when excessive on the sensor).

Thanks a lot guys - really appreciate it.
01-12-2012, 05:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Callist Quote
Hi,

This is the first DSLR camera I have ever owned and I attempted to remove a bit of dust from the mirror with a cotton wool bud (I now know this is not the best method and have purchased an air blower rocket). The mark is a strange red'ish smear? possibly as if some of my skin oil(?) made contact with the bud and then the mirror. The mark is on the lower right and is only about 1-2mm in size. The AutoFocus seems to work fine and I know this wont effect the pictures.. I am just wondering what is this mark and is there any long term damage etc?

Thank you.
Just get a sensor cleaning swab(with fluid) and wipe it clean.

I clean the mirror's on my bodies on an average of about twice a year along with the sensors. Then I get them professionally cleaned(through Pentax) every two years or so. I used to do it every year, but found that it wasn't always justifiable.

Hope this helps.

PS. There's no way to stop dust and grime from accumulating in your mirror box. It's all just a part of the game.
01-12-2012, 02:59 PM   #12
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How easy is it to clean with the swab and fluid? Is there any particular fluid/swab I should get? I don't want to buy something from eBay and find out if damages my camera.

Great advice, thanks.
01-12-2012, 03:54 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Callist Quote
How easy is it to clean with the swab and fluid? Is there any particular fluid/swab I should get? I don't want to buy something from eBay and find out if damages my camera.

Great advice, thanks.
I just use Visible Dust Sensor Clean Solution with sensor cleaning swabs. And use the same approach used to clean the sensor.



1. Apply the sensor cleaning solution on both sides of cleaning swab and swipe in one direction only.

2. Since the swab is normally smaller than the mirror, I flip it over and swipe the remainder of the mirror with the other side.

On a side note, I'd add that I never reuse cleaning swabs or swipe the surface more than once in one direction(even though the swabs can be pricey).
This helps avoid dragging contaminants across the surface or spreading dirt and grime in the process.

I'd also add that it's important not to to apply to much pressure onto the mirror during the wipe. The sensor swabs usually have flexible handle that I find helps to determine how much pressure is enough. But most of all, I watch for signs of movement to avoid putting any type of stress on the mechanism.

Hope this helps.
JohnB

PS. I buy my cleaner and swabs separately. The cleaner lasts forever, but the swabs can go quickly and so I found some pretty descent sources for 12 and 24 packs on eBay.
01-13-2012, 03:15 AM   #14
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Thanks a lot! Your info was very insightful and I very much appreciate it

I think I may have a go at cleaning the mirror from that mark. I will take great care in pressure as not to agitate any of the mechanisms.

Again, thank you.
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