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Author Topic: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder  (Read 6337 times)

melanpan

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Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« on: September 23, 2013, 05:52:29 PM »
Hi! Long time reader, first time poster!

So I visited Toronto last month and soon after I switched lenses I realized I could see black dots through my viewfinder. I'm using a 60D btw. The sensor is fine, but each time I look through the viewfinder there are black specks, and one of them is fairly big, so it bugs me. These specks are in clear focus, so from what I understand they are not on the mirror, nor on the focusing glass, but rather between the focusing glass and where I look into the viewfinder. From further inspection (and from what I can tell) they are immediately on the other side of the glass of the eyepiece of the viewfinder. I'm assuming I'd need to send my camera in to Canon to get it cleaned, since I refuse to open my camera up (I don't think I have warranty on my camera as I bought it used last year from a Canon employee in Mississauga and he never gave me a receipt or anything).

Living in Canada, I visited Henry's today, and after explaining my situation the guy working asked if he could take a look at my camera. I handed it over to him, he took a microfiber cloth, and then started rubbing on the mirror and the focus screen above it. I see a white-ish scar now when I look through the viewfinder, from what I'm assuming is damage done to the focus screen. Should I go back to Henry's and complain?

Anyway, some feedback would be nice! Oh, and can anybody tell me how much it'd be to send in a camera for cleaning? I've heard estimates from $60 to $200, and another problem is whether they'd be able to get it back to me on time, since I'm in need of it three weeks from now.

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Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« on: September 23, 2013, 05:52:29 PM »

BozillaNZ

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 07:24:08 PM »
That guy in Henry's, is an idiot.

He has destroyed your focusing screen, now you need a new one. Good luck trying to talk them to buying a new focusing screen for your camera!

You never supposed to 'rub' the focus screen. There are two ways to clean it: air blower, or carefully water wash it with detergent and air dry. The focusing screen is laser itched, a slight physical touch will scratch it badly.



Also behind the focusing screen (5) there is a convex lens called the condenser lens (6). There is an air gap between the condenser lens and the pentaprism (7). So dust can either be sandwiched between focusing screen and condenser lens, or between condenser lens and pentaprism. The former is easier to clean, the later requires major disassembly of the camera.

In the end I'd say don't bother, camera is destined to have dust in it, now you tried to clean it and made it worse.

It's like most lens coating damages are done by the person cleaning it, not by using it in real life!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 07:28:25 PM by BozillaNZ »
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TexPhoto

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 07:40:44 PM »
Bummer.  If it it messed up and they won't fix it, consider getting a new one: Canon EOS 60D Tutorial - Interchangeable Focus Screens 14/14

melanpan

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 08:28:22 PM »
Hmm, I'll try going back in to Henry's tomorrow morning, and letting them know what happened. What all does a focus screen do anyway? Would the focus (exposure?) be affected dramatically by this? Should I expect a negative impact on future photos by not getting this fixed?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 08:29:48 PM »
Only what you see in the viewfinder is affected, not your images. 
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Don Haines

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 08:35:19 PM »
Hi! Long time reader, first time poster!

So I visited Toronto last month and soon after I switched lenses I realized I could see black dots through my viewfinder. I'm using a 60D btw. The sensor is fine, but each time I look through the viewfinder there are black specks, and one of them is fairly big, so it bugs me. These specks are in clear focus, so from what I understand they are not on the mirror, nor on the focusing glass, but rather between the focusing glass and where I look into the viewfinder. From further inspection (and from what I can tell) they are immediately on the other side of the glass of the eyepiece of the viewfinder. I'm assuming I'd need to send my camera in to Canon to get it cleaned, since I refuse to open my camera up (I don't think I have warranty on my camera as I bought it used last year from a Canon employee in Mississauga and he never gave me a receipt or anything).

Living in Canada, I visited Henry's today, and after explaining my situation the guy working asked if he could take a look at my camera. I handed it over to him, he took a microfiber cloth, and then started rubbing on the mirror and the focus screen above it. I see a white-ish scar now when I look through the viewfinder, from what I'm assuming is damage done to the focus screen. Should I go back to Henry's and complain?

Anyway, some feedback would be nice! Oh, and can anybody tell me how much it'd be to send in a camera for cleaning? I've heard estimates from $60 to $200, and another problem is whether they'd be able to get it back to me on time, since I'm in need of it three weeks from now.

He probably wrecked the focus screen :(

Do you see the same spots with different lenses?

If the spots go away with changing the lens, it is probably a spot on the lens. If you look through the viewfinder, press the lens release button, and rotate the lens a bit as if you were taking it off, if the spots move they are on the lens... if they stay still it's on the camera.

I've shot about 70,000 pictures on my 60D and have only cleaned the focus screen a few times... the cleaning has been with an air blower with soft bristles GENTLY touching the screen.... just a very light touch... the air blowing is what really does the cleaning of things like a tiny strand of ultra-fine hair like material. For a spot, odds are that blowing will not clean it..... that's when you go to a reputable camera repair shop, they REMOVE the focus screen, clean it outside the camera, dry it, and re-install it.

My focusing screen has a few spots on it... fortunately small and not bothersome. For me, it's not worth the trouble to get it cleaned. It's an old camera.... I expect things like that.


My experiences with Henrys have not been good. Many of the people behind the counter are not very knowledgeable.... In Ottawa, there are a half dozen locations and only the downtown one is worth going to if you have a serious question. If there is a Visitek near you, you might want pay them a visit.. I find that they are more knowledgeable.... you could probably find out about replacement focus screens from them... it will probably cost about $75 and if you tell them the Henrys tale of woe they might replace it for you as you wait....
(it will probably be a special order, it is doubtful they have one in stock)
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 08:41:17 PM by Don Haines »
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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 08:38:38 PM »
Hmm, I'll try going back in to Henry's tomorrow morning, and letting them know what happened. What all does a focus screen do anyway? Would the focus (exposure?) be affected dramatically by this? Should I expect a negative impact on future photos by not getting this fixed?

When you take a picture, the mirror is flipped up out of the way and any spots/scratches/hairs/stains on the mirror/focus screen/prism/viewfinder will not matter.

The only effect it could have on pictures is if it is so bad that you can not focus, but that is highly doubtful and should be easy to test.
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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 08:38:38 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 09:03:16 PM »
Hmm, I'll try going back in to Henry's tomorrow morning, and letting them know what happened. What all does a focus screen do anyway? Would the focus (exposure?) be affected dramatically by this? Should I expect a negative impact on future photos by not getting this fixed?

When you take a picture, the mirror is flipped up out of the way and any spots/scratches/hairs/stains on the mirror/focus screen/prism/viewfinder will not matter.

The only effect it could have on pictures is if it is so bad that you can not focus, but that is highly doubtful and should be easy to test.

Metering is carried out in the pentaprism/pentamirror, in a very bad case of focus screen damage exposure can be affected.

melanpan

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 09:31:38 PM »
Metering is carried out in the pentaprism/pentamirror, in a very bad case of focus screen damage exposure can be affected.

Thanks, this is what I was wondering.

If there is a Visitek near you, you might want pay them a visit..

The nearest Visitek is an hour away... I'll skip on that. Thanks for the heads up though!

I guess I've learned my lesson. Don't just hand over your camera next time someone asks for it, even if they are supposed to be trained staff. Even I knew you shouldn't touch the focus screen, but he just sat there rubbing it with that cloth when I asked him if what he was doing was okay.... ::)

When you take a picture, the mirror is flipped up out of the way and any spots/scratches/hairs/stains on the mirror/focus screen/prism/viewfinder will not matter.

The only effect it could have on pictures is if it is so bad that you can not focus, but that is highly doubtful and should be easy to test.

I'll test it out. So far the focusing has been fine so I don't think it's been affected (too much). Thankfully the scratches are away from the middle of the focus screen, so they don't get in the way of the autofocus points. The black specks are what annoy me, but I guess I'll learn to live with them :/ Thankfully the sensor is fine. I did notice a couple specks the other week on a few pictures, but those seem to come and go and were very minimal. I still don't understand how I got so much dust in there on my Toronto trip... I only switched lenses twice, and when I did I was very quick about it. Who knew Toronto was such a dirty place! ;D

Don Haines

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 10:23:23 PM »
Metering is carried out in the pentaprism/pentamirror, in a very bad case of focus screen damage exposure can be affected.

You can test your metering against a light meter or another camera.

For what it's worth, the metering on my 60D has been off by about a half stop since the day I bought it. I have compared it to a 5D2, a 7D, and a pair of light meters..... all of which read close to the same. I just leave the exposure compensation at 2/3 of a stop as my default position.
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melanpan

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 09:59:00 PM »
UPDATE!

So I went back in today, and ran into the same guy. He remembered me. I showed him the damage he'd caused (he looked through and clearly admitted he could see something). He said "it looks as if it's scratched" and I said "yeah, since you were rubbing on it like crazy yesterday". He started telling me how he does it to all his customers that come in and how this has never happened before, and then he asked his two co-workers if they do the same. One of them said that he has a fine brush that he uses to clean his focus screens with. The other didn't really say anything. Anyway, in the end he handed my camera back and said he didn't do it. ??? Well then, I don't know what the heck could have caused a scratched focus screen when he's the only one that's ever touched it.

I asked him to look up 60D focus screens in their inventory, but after 5 minutes of searching through their system he couldn't find whether they had any or not. He couldn't tell me the cost of one either. He told me to go home and search on ebay or amazon for one.

I've loved Henry's, and have shopped there a lot in the past. I had bought three 600EX-RTs off them a few months back. Sadly they've lost me though. And I'll be telling everyone I know to stay away from there. Horrible, horrible customer service, and they are very overpriced too. I was fine with paying a little extra thinking I'd be getting good service, but this is BS. :-\

FYI the location I'm talking about is Henry's on King & Northfield, in Waterloo, ON.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 10:04:28 PM by melanpan »

Jim Saunders

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 10:13:15 PM »
Sounds like they owe you a focusing screen, and that I wouldn't care to shop there any further.

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Don Haines

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2013, 07:30:21 PM »
I'd give them one last chance.....

Write up what happened and mail it into their head office.

Henry's Camera
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 Toronto, Ontario
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 Canada

Let them choose between doing the right thing for a customer who had problems at a store or becoming known as the place that destroys cameras....
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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2013, 07:30:21 PM »

monkeyhand

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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2013, 09:35:11 PM »
Midwest Camera Repair (in Michigan I think) quoted me $65 for a sensor, mirror, and view box clean.  I've never used them but the camera store I worked at used them for all their repairs without issues.  Shipping might cost you a bit though!?!
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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2013, 12:02:27 AM »
probably best for you to just have the Focus Screen replaced by Canon.

I had one of my 1Dx focus screens replaced recently, it's not a Warranty item by the way, took Canon Singapore 10 minutes & $60.

Reason for the replacement was self inflicted, I left the 1Dx on a 400f/2.8 II pointed towards the Sun while I went off and had a 2 Hour lunch, the focus screen melted around the edges where it had contact with the Metal Clamps that hold it, lesson learnt.

Now I always slip the Lens Coat Lens Cover on when not in use.
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Re: Dust/Dirt seen through viewfinder
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2013, 12:02:27 AM »