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02-18-2013, 09:15 AM   #1
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ME Super. Cleaning rear of viewfinder

I changed the light seals, and the mirror pad recently on a Pentax ME Super 35mm SLR. Although I did work on the mirror pad with the camera facing down, clumsy noob me, I've somehow fouled the focusing screen under the pentaprism - facing the mirror.

Can anyone please tell me how I can clean this? I've tried cleaning it with dry cotton buds but to no avail. Can I use any cleaning fluids, or soapy water, with the cotton buds on the focusing screen without causing any further damage?

Thank you for any replies.

02-23-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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Depends on what you fouled it with, if it's adhesive residue I would live with it. If it's water soluble you can try water, glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol (in this order) apply a little bit of cleaning fluid (slightly damp) on a lint free cloth (PEC pads would be ideal), wrapped around a sensor cleaning wand and gently scrub the mess off. The focus screen is made of plastic and it's easy to scratch but as long as the cloth is ultra soft and lint free, chances of damaging the screen should be kept to a minimum. Alcohol might be effective against some adhesives as well. Something like Citrus cleaner works well against adhesive residue and I think it's safe for most plastic.
02-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
Depends on what you fouled it with
Sounds like it was fouled with rotten foam goo. That stuff is VERY hard to remove. Touch it and it smears into the grooves of the Fresnel lens surface. A few years ago I had this happen and truly made a mess of trying to get it clean. The difficult thing is that the screen is made of a clear (acrylic?) plastic material and may be attacked by solvents. I tried Windex (glass cleaner), but that just spread the mess. The camera took a trip to the service shop and $40 USD later the mirror, screen, prism, and ocular were in like-new condition. I asked the tech what he used and he winked and said "secret formula".

This last spring, I got some crumbs on the focus screen of an old Spotty and was able to gently "lift" them off using a fiber "applicator stick" (like a Q-Tip cotton bud, but much more tightly wound and with a wooden stick). I bought a good supply of these from Micro Tools for cleaning hard-to-reach places.

Good luck.


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