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12-19-2008, 01:46 PM   #1
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Best way to clean the mirror?

So from being out and shooting with many lenses my mirror and ccd got a bit smudgy and it was causing some focus problem as well as leaving lines and marks on the photos. The sensor is quite easy to clean with the mirror up, just needed some canned air.

The mirror is tricky. It is quite different from the Zenit and Nikkor SLRs I am used to, it does not come forward and I am not sure what solution to use and if I want to stick anything inside the camera. The mirror up position obviously makes it uncleanable but it exposes the sensor as well.

Anyone got a great tip on cleaning it.

If you look at the sky in the photo you can see some spots that I am talking about.

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12-19-2008, 01:49 PM   #2
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for the mirror i just use a q-tip and some windex :ugh:
12-19-2008, 01:55 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by chlen Quote
So from being out and shooting with many lenses my mirror and ccd got a bit smudgy and it was causing some focus problem as well as leaving lines and marks on the photos. The sensor is quite easy to clean with the mirror up, just needed some canned air.

The mirror is tricky. It is quite different from the Zenit and Nikkor SLRs I am used to, it does not come forward and I am not sure what solution to use and if I want to stick anything inside the camera.
The mirror, as you probably already know, should not affect the image directly - since it is out of the optical path when a shot is taken.

The general advice is not to touch the mirror in any way
as it is surface coated and easily damaged.

To access the mirror merely take the lens off, and one can see it -
use only clean dry (compressed) air to blow off any debris.
12-19-2008, 01:56 PM   #4
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The spots you refer to cannot be on the mirror.
Not.
Because the mirror is locked up when the picture is made. Else we would not see anthing but the (underexposed) back of that mirror.

Looks like specs on your sensor instead.

12-19-2008, 02:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Syb Quote
The spots you refer to cannot be on the mirror.
Not.
Because the mirror is locked up when the picture is made. Else we would not see anthing but the (underexposed) back of that mirror.

Looks like specs on your sensor instead.
Those spots are not from the mirror. They are from the sensor...I worte above that I cleaned the sensor and now they are gone....

Now I am wondering to clean the mirror, cause all the gunk is on the viewfinder now...just wondering what is safe in case it gets on the sensor.

What is safe on a Pentax sensor?
12-19-2008, 02:15 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
The mirror, as you probably already know, should not affect the image directly - since it is out of the optical path when a shot is taken.

The general advice is not to touch the mirror in any way
as it is surface coated and easily damaged.

To access the mirror merely take the lens off, and one can see it -
use only clean dry (compressed) air to blow off any debris.
I can see it in the viewfinder it is annoying, the spots on the photo is what I cleaned off.
12-19-2008, 02:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chlen Quote
I can see it in the viewfinder it is annoying, the spots on the photo is what I cleaned off.
If you can see it in the viewfinder, then you have dust on the focusing screen. If you have spots on your pictures, you have dust on the sensor.
Dust on the mirror will have absolutely no affect on what you see in the finder or what you see in the picture, although I suppose in theory, dust could transfer from the mirror to the screen or sensor.

As a rule, I don't ever touch the mirror, as it is quite easy to knock them out of alignment.
12-19-2008, 06:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by chlen Quote
Those spots are not from the mirror. They are from the sensor...I worte above that I cleaned the sensor and now they are gone....

Now I am wondering to clean the mirror, cause all the gunk is on the viewfinder now...just wondering what is safe in case it gets on the sensor.

What is safe on a Pentax sensor?
I'm not technician, but I would guess that the propellants in that canned air can't be too good for it. I use the Pentax cleaning kit on mine. Does a wonderful job and takes all of about two whole minutes.

12-19-2008, 06:40 PM   #9
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I totally agree with Mike Cash on the canned air. Never, ever use canned air on the camera to clean anything, especially the sensor or anywhere inside the camera. canned air will drive dust and airborne particles inside the camera at a high rate of speed that could easily hit the sensor like a bullet and damage it or more likely glue dirt directly to the sensor making it even harder to clean.

Get a proper cleaning kit if you need to but I have never had to swab a sensor yet with hundreds of lens changes on 4 bodies in some fairly crappy conditions. I just use a rocket blower and that has always worked.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 12-21-2008 at 10:31 PM.
12-19-2008, 07:01 PM   #10
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I have a novel solution for dirt and debris in the mirror box that may fall onto the sensor. It involves a popsicle stick, some double sided tape, and a piece of low tack tape (I use Tamiya masking tape). Basically cut a piece of double sided tape (about 1 cm or 1/2 inch long), and tape it down to the popsicle stick. Cover the double sided tape with the masking tape, so that the sticky side of the masking tape is exposed. Gently, and I do stress, gently press it to the sides and bottom of the mirror box. The low tack tape will pick up the debris, and won't damage the finish in the box. It works especially well on the fuzz that's on the bottom of the mirror box (it's purpose is to trap debris anyways. Keep this device AWAY from the mirror, the focusing screen, and anything else that looks like it could be damaged.

This little thing works quite well, and it has cut down on the dust that's showing up on my sensor, and thus, cutting down on the cleaning I need to do on my sensor.
12-19-2008, 07:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If you can see it in the viewfinder, then you have dust on the focusing screen. If you have spots on your pictures, you have dust on the sensor.
Dust on the mirror will have absolutely no affect on what you see in the finder or what you see in the picture, although I suppose in theory, dust could transfer from the mirror to the screen or sensor.

As a rule, I don't ever touch the mirror, as it is quite easy to knock them out of alignment.
After reading all the focus allignment threads and learning that the mirror doesn't affect focus, how can you tell if it's off?
12-19-2008, 10:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by allill Quote
After reading all the focus allignment threads and learning that the mirror doesn't affect focus, how can you tell if it's off?
Wow, who told you that the mirror doesn't affect focus?
The light used by the AF is reflected to the sensor by a sub-mirror attached to the main one, so if the main mirror is out of whack, it will be carrying the sub mirror out along with it, and also will be affecting manual focus, since the light path to the viewfinder is no longer calibrated to the light path to the sensor.

I suspect that a lot of focus issues with cameras are caused by mirror misalignment.

If the plane of focus appears to be different on one side of the screen (or top and bottom, corner to corner, etc) with more than one lens the mirror may be the culprit. I suspect that some BF/FF problems are mirror misalignment as well.
12-19-2008, 10:26 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Wow, who told you that the mirror doesn't affect focus?
The light used by the AF is reflected to the sensor by a sub-mirror attached to the main one, so if the main mirror is out of whack, it will be carrying the sub mirror out along with it, and also will be affecting manual focus, since the light path to the viewfinder is no longer calibrated to the light path to the sensor.

I suspect that a lot of focus issues with cameras are caused by mirror misalignment.

If the plane of focus appears to be different on one side of the screen (or top and bottom, corner to corner, etc) with more than one lens the mirror may be the culprit. I suspect that some BF/FF problems are mirror misalignment as well.
Makes sense to me. Is there a calibration for the mirror(s)?
12-19-2008, 10:43 PM   #14
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Not something we can do. This is service shop work if you need it done. The guy I use has a fairly intricate piece of equipment that he mounts the camera in. Using a laser (I think, I was a distance from the test bench and couldn't see everything he was doing) he can measure the mirror variances and then it will tell him how to adjust the mirror box. He can test shutter speed accuracy and other functions as well. I watched him do this once for my PZ-1p and it's way beyond the DYI skill level IMHO.
12-20-2008, 12:17 PM   #15
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Is very carefully the right answer?
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