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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 15 Feb 2017 (Wednesday) 18:09
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Cleaning the mirror on a 7D

 
happyduck
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Feb 15, 2017 18:09 |  #1

Ive always been told never to touch the mirror as it is very delicate, but now i have come across this guy, who says cleaning the mirror is easy who is right see link please thank you...Ray

http://davidcandlish.p​hotography …lr-mirror-focusing-screen (external link)


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Feb 15, 2017 20:51 |  #2

Well, I have always heard the same thing. And it is costly to just get it cleaned every time there is dust. So I have a 10D that needed cleaning. Used the hand blower. Still had spots. Used compressed air held way away from the body/mirror. Still had spots. Took the brush from my lens pen and went from one side to the other (yes, on the mirror), not back and forth. Got it off. Nice and clean. Have been doing it since then (couple years now). Plus they now have a kit that uses a liquid and a brush with a wipe on it for a "wet clean". Lots of videos on YouTube.


I know it is always best to let the pros do it. And I know there are going to be a ton of people saying not to do it yourself at any cost. but sometimes time, situations, and funding demands we try. As long as we are patient and easy handed, it can be done


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Feb 15, 2017 21:08 |  #3

You are correct that you should not touch the mirror, but I think that statement infers with your finger or any kind of a tool. However, I have been told by a Canon tech that the mirror can be cleaned with a soft brush. And in fact, at a free "clinic" he did exactly that to both my 60D and ancient but still used 35mm Elan IIe. But behind the mirror is where the care is needed. In the digital camera you will find the sensor with an anti-alias filter. That is the area where liquid cleaning is normally applied, although the cleaning liquid and tools will not generally harm the mirror if used properly. In the 35mm body you will most likely find some form of focal plane shutter.

So, for the mirror, reasonable care is needed and a simple soft brush will remove dust, etc. But the sensor or shutter requires care.




  
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Feb 15, 2017 23:19 |  #4

I too have cleaned many a mirror using a qtip wrapped a micro fiber cloth. I always use a blower to first remove large particles.


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happyduck
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Feb 16, 2017 00:35 |  #5

Thank you friend's your replys have put my mind at ease, im off out today to buy the appropriate brush, i already have a decent blower, ill give it a go later today and report back with the result cheers people i appreciate your reply's...Ray:-)


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Feb 16, 2017 06:12 |  #6

-? Just got back from the photography shop and was strongly advised to keep well away from the mirror, if i didnt heed the warning it was at my own peril :rolleyes: Dilemma, what now:-(, i think ill leave it for a while and see how things go:oops:


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Feb 16, 2017 06:57 |  #7

SLR camera mirrors are unlike most any other mirror that most people have ever seen. That's because most mirrors are silvered on the side of the glass opposite where you are. If you touch those mirrors, you are touching only glass.

However, SLR camera mirrors (and a lot of other fine optical mirrors) are FRONT SURFACED. That means that the silvered surface is what you are looking at and would touch if you tried to. It's quite easy to damage a front-surfaced mirror and cleaning one (beyond just blowing dust off it with a squeeze bulb blower, for example) takes some pretty sophisticated techniques. In addition, the mechanics that hold and operate the mirror in an SLR camera are rather fragile and can easily be damaged if not handled properly.

The best advice for the great majority of SLR camera owners is to never touch the mirror in any way.


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Feb 16, 2017 08:13 |  #8

I guess I have been cavalier in my treatment of mirrors. I have pushed them out of the way to look at the shutter curtains, messed with them to blow out behind them, and have used microfiber towels (better ones than even those I use on my show cars) to clean them. I figure if they can flip back and forth several frames a second for thousands of times, my activities are more mild than those. I have never damaged a mirror yet. I have been lucky, I guess. :)


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Feb 16, 2017 08:28 as a reply to  @ SkipD's post |  #9

“ The best advice for the great majority of SLR camera owners is to never touch the mirror in any way. “

I can only agree on that. The great majority of SLR (and DSLR) camera owners does not even know, what camera mirror is.


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Feb 16, 2017 10:19 |  #10

Mathmans wrote in post #18275355 (external link)
“ The best advice for the great majority of SLR camera owners is to never touch the mirror in any way. “

I can only agree on that. The great majority of SLR (and DSLR) camera owners does not even know, what camera mirror is.

The great majority of DSLR owners aren't on this forum, I would say the great majority of POTN members are a bit more informed on their camera make-up. This means we can have different advice here. Granted there are members over the years that thought the mirror was the sensor. :D

Sure the membership here is just a drop in the bucket with the global ownership of DSLR/SLRs, but that also means they are not seeing the advice given here.


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Feb 16, 2017 11:00 |  #11

happyduck wrote in post #18274880 (external link)
Ive always been told never to touch the mirror as it is very delicate, but now i have come across this guy, who says cleaning the mirror is easy who is right see link please thank you...Ray

http://davidcandlish.p​hotography …lr-mirror-focusing-screen (external link)

The guy in that link gives good advice. Think of it this way...


  1. The simple advice to a child is "Don't put things in your ear!"
  2. As adults we might put a Q-tip into our ears in an effort to clean the insides, and most of us know not to push too hard and too far.
  3. But even with that cautionary advice, sometimes we screw up and need to make an appointment with the doctor's office.
  4. And when we go into the doctor's office, he takes a look and then deems it appropriate to tell his nurse or medical assistant to irrigate our ears to remove the wax we pushed in, and then he leaves us.
    We do NOT need the doctor to irrigate our ears!


Cleaning a mirror is like the various stages of care and cleaning of ears. It is far simpler to avoid problems with the "DON'T do that!". But educated with appropriate techniques and equipment, even WE can clean our mirror surfaces without sending the camera 'to the doctor'.

The reflex mirror has a very thin vapor coating on its TOP surface, to reflect light UP to the viewfinder while also sending light THRU to the AF sensor. If we screw up the surface coating, we might not only degrade what we see in the viewfinder, but we also could affect the AF accuracy. It is far simpler to avoid problems with the "DON'T do that!" than to educate every consumer how to do it the correct way.

Since reflex mirrors never affect the IQ of the sensor, the best advice is to simply leave it alone! When the OCD is too severe to bear any longer, clean the mirror...but otherwise simply leave it alone. same advice works relative to the focus screen too... never affect the IQ of the sensor, so leave it alone. When the OCD is too severe to bear any longer, clean the focus screen...but NEVER touch the surface of the screen because you WILL visibly screw it up and make your OCD even worse, to the point of having to replace it. (yes, there is a way to clean even the focus screen, but that is off topic of this thread!)

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Feb 16, 2017 11:41 |  #12

Imperfections on the mirror, whether damage or dirt, could impact AF results depending on the model in question, thus indirectly affecting IQ.

I know many Canon models employ a second mirror behind the main to direct the image down to phase detect sensors, but am not sure if all models across all manufacturers do this?

In any case, if the smudge or damage is bad enough, the AF sensors will receive the scene projected through that imperfection and act accordingly. :(


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Feb 16, 2017 11:49 |  #13

SkipD wrote in post #18275311 (external link)
SLR camera mirrors are unlike most any other mirror that most people have ever seen. That's because most mirrors are silvered on the side of the glass opposite where you are. If you touch those mirrors, you are touching only glass.

However, SLR camera mirrors (and a lot of other fine optical mirrors) are FRONT SURFACED. That means that the silvered surface is what you are looking at and would touch if you tried to. It's quite easy to damage a front-surfaced mirror and cleaning one (beyond just blowing dust off it with a squeeze bulb blower, for example) takes some pretty sophisticated techniques. In addition, the mechanics that hold and operate the mirror in an SLR camera are rather fragile and can easily be damaged if not handled properly.

The best advice for the great majority of SLR camera owners is to never touch the mirror in any way.

Thank you this seems to be the most popular advice cheers skip:-)

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18275529 (external link)
Imperfections on the mirror, whether damage or dirt, could impact AF results depending on the model in question, thus indirectly affecting IQ. I know many Canon models employ a second mirror behind the main to direct the image down to phase detect sensors, but am not sure if all models do this.

Thank you:-)


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Feb 16, 2017 12:35 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #14

All you need is common sense, a little knowledge and your head to think with. I read lots of posts not to brush sensor with cosmetic brushes. Only use dedicated sensor brushes. Some folks just repeat what they read on VisibleDust or other sites. You can't go »more gentle« then with cosmetic brush. Buy the size you need; wash it with warm water and mild soap, rins it thoroughly and dry it in non-dust environment. Then use common sense and gently wipe dust from the sensor. I was using cosmetic brushes on my camera sensor before I discovered Eyelead gel stick.
You can use the same brush to take some dust of the mirror.
I was also using Pec-Pads and home made pad. Nowadays Pec-Pads are a big NO-NO and people say you must only use dedicated sensor cleaning pads (the most expensive ones I suppose) from well known manufacturers.
If in doubts find some easy-to-scratch surface to train. You can train for example on a blank DVD media. The surface is quite soft. Try to wipe it with a brush and examine the surface with light and manifying glass. You can also use cheap plastic protection googles – they are easy to scratch.
If still in doubts just risk $50 or so and take you camera to professionals.


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Feb 16, 2017 13:30 |  #15

Like TeamSpeed, I too am rather 'cavalier' (great word) about my camera cleaning habits. In the past I have used cleaning solution on a cotton tipped swab (paper or plastic ones, not the longer wood ones) to clean stubborn spots from both my focusing grid and reflex mirror without issues.

That said, I don't always preach what I do. For my students I take a more cautionary stance as I understand there are a lot of apprehensions regarding the inner workings of a camera. In those cases I favor the use of a good quality, long bristled brush like those found in an art store. Artists brushes are thinner than makeup brushes allowing finer control. The longer bristle length also avoids accidental scraping of the metal ferrule on sensitive mirrors. Just select a brush that has some resistance in the brush, not an overly soft one. I find that some cheaper 'lens cleaning' brushes have nylon bristles that are just too stiff. I also question the ends of the bristles. If they are not rounded (as opposed to square cut bristle tips) I would not use them. Micro scratches can't be removed.

For cleaning a camera's mirror box, I start off with a blower, camera upside down as in the video. I then inspect the interior and use the brush to 'lift' off any loose dust particles from the focus screen and mirror, wiping the brush on a clean cloth before returning to the camera. Any stubborn spots I'll 'push' the bristles of the brush into the spot to see if that will loosen it. Since the bristles are soft and have give to them I know I will not b applying any pressure to the camera system.

If all else fails, a plain cotton tipped swab is my last resort. First step is with a micro cloth wrapped on the tip. If THAT fails, then I moisten it with lens cleaning solution, toweled off to remove excess liquid on a cloth, before touching the glass elements. I then dry it and buff it with a dry micro cloth wrapped swab.

I've been doing this for as long as I can remember both on my film and digital SLR cameras with no issues. The key thing in all this is to use common sense, be gentle and use the right tools.


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