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Thread: Cleaning the mirror

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular
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    Cleaning the mirror

    Hi all,

    Looking for suggestions on the best way to clean my mirror. I have two cameras (Canon EOS 1n and Mamiya 645 Pro TL) that have a little bit of crap on their mirrors. Nothing major, just stuff a mirror normally gets over time, not fungus.

    Before I put these in for a professional clean, is there anything I should try doing myself? I know it's a sensitive area, and I've tried using a blower but the mirrors have tiny smear marks on them so it won't solve that.

    Is it too tricky to try clean them myself, or should I go the safe route and put them in for a pro clean?

    Thanks!

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    Ausphotography Regular livio's Avatar
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    I have seen people use a butterfly brush, this is a small brush with long bristles which get statically charged by spinning through the air. The brush just strokes the mirrot and picks up dust. Personally I would let the professionals do the clean especially if there is a smear involved. I know you have to pay for it, but nothing beats peace of mind.

    Kind Regards
    Livio

  3. #3
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    You could always give it a go yourself.
    The real problem is more about the lack of space to work with the higher up the mirror you go.. not so much the fragility of the mirror's surface.

    I've cleaned the mirror on my ol D70s without any detrimental effect and also a very old film camera I have sitting here.
    The old film camera came to me completely filthy and basically unusable, but it's come up looking acceptable now.

    For air cleaning I used a can of air instead of a blower as the straw provides a more concentrated stream of air. Once the dust was gone, I then used a micro fibre cloth to clean off any smears and other undesirables.

    Due to the restricted accessibilty allowed, on the D70s I ended up using the copperhill spatula wrapped with a ped pad and then wrapped with a microfibre cloth to clean the mirror.
    On the old film camera the lens mount is too small to allow almost any entry at all so the top cover had to come off, which I had to do anyhow to clean out the viewfinder matte screen from black foam dust.
    That made it much easier to access the entire mirror.
    So each camera will have varying degrees of accessibility and difficulty.
    I'd say the Mamiya should be easyish with it's cavernous lens mount .. dunno about the Eos1n tho .. never seen one.

    If you have even a small amount of tinkerer in you, I'd say you're pretty safe to do it yourself. Just be sensible/precautionary and you're fine.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    Sir Rattus79 - The Proclaimant
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    a note re the use of cans of air:

    They use a Hydrocarbon propellant the same as most pressurised aerosoles.
    If the propellant is allowed to come out as a liquid, it can stain surfaces.
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
    Pentax K5
    Sigma 10-20 | Tamron 17-50 F:2.8 | Sigma 50 F:1.4 | Sigma 70-200 F:2.8 Plus a bunch of Ye Olde lenses


    Would you like to see more?
    http://flickr.com/photosbygreg

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    Don't worry so much, a dirty mirror has no effect on image quality. I you must clean the mirror just be gentle with a blower brush or a soft rag.
    Ray

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    .....

    They use a Hydrocarbon propellant the same as most pressurised aerosoles.
    If the propellant is allowed to come out as a liquid, it can stain surfaces.
    I agree with the comment that the propellant can come out as a liquid, and the precaution to ensure this doesn't happen is to NOT shake the can before use.
    if the can has been agitated 'a bit too much' immediately prior to use, the standard method of purging any propellant prior to use is to give the can a small squirt of air into thin air to allow any propellant to evacuate the injection system(nozzle and/or straw).

    But I can't agree with the comment that the propellant can stain surfaces .. well at least not a UV/protective filter anyhow.
    Not matter how hard I tried, it simply wiped off easily enough and with minimal effort, and the filter appears untouched.
    The propellant comes out as a milky murky white frosted spray and will cover the affected surface the same way.

    But in saying that I wouldn't want it on any of my camera sensors, and the precaution of not shaking the can before use is easy enough to follow.
    In the years that I've been using canned air the only time I've had the propellant contaminate any surface has been as a deliberate act of curiosity on my part.

    I've use many brands of canned air and I reckon the CRC branded cans are best. I'm currently using cheaper Helmar Dust Away cans but they lose pressure more quickly with use.

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    Thanks everyone. There is heaps of useful info here.

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