My attempt to clean the focusing screen in my XSi: bad idea!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Phrasikleia, May 19, 2009.

  1. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #1
    For what it's worth to those of you considering such a procedure: don't!

    I had a very annoying black speck on my focusing screen and attempted to dislodge it with a bulb blower. That didn't work. It made matters worse, adding some big dust spots to the black speck. So then I had the brilliant idea of using the blower's brush to remove the dust. REALLY bad idea. That made the focusing screen look like it fell in a pile of dirt. So then what did I do? Yup, I decided to put on an even bigger dunce hat. I then attempted to get that stuff off with some lint-free lens cleaning paper. That process just moved the dust around and caused me to smudge my mirror. I think I may have even scuffed the focusing screen and the mirror. :mad:

    And in my great wisdom, I decided to carry out this series of procedures about 10 days before I fly to Europe for the summer, so I have no time to get it professionally cleaned before I depart. Yay me! :(
     
  2. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Man, that is tough luck! I'm not even going to go down the negative comment path because I've made some dumb mistakes before and then compounded them by going a step further!

    Hopefully you can get something figured out before your trip.
     
  3. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #3
    I'll have to get it cleaned over there, probably. At least it's only the focusing screen. I can still use the camera until I give it to the repair shop, but I'll be looking through a very dirty screen.
     
  4. gerlan macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Oh dear! Not to worry too much- we've just started the rainy season so focusing might be the least of your problems. Stock up on good quality port wine and Louis Roederer champagne whilst your here- guaranteed to keep you smiling.
     
  5. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #5
    Actually, it will be more along the lines of Refošk, Sangiovese, and Malagousia. Probably some Malvazija and Vranac too. Oh yeah, and some ouzo. ;)
     
  6. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #6
    Does the focus screen unclip and come out? I know my 5D one does (cos I had an annoying dead insect in there). If it comes out it should easy to clean.
     
  7. gerlan macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I had hoped you would be enjoying your stay over here, but it sounds like you're going to be polishing the family silver! Some of that stuff I've never heard of- do you buy it in the pharmacy/is it legal? :)
     
  8. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Wow a dead insect! The screen in the XSi is not made to be user-replaceable, unlike the models further up the ladder. Nonetheless, one can buy third-party screens, and those come with directions on how to get the screen out and install the new one. So it can be done, ideally with special tweezers made for the purpose.

    However, I have no idea how to clean the darn thing, even if I could get it out. I've heard that improper cleaning might cause one or more focus points to fail or might throw off the metering. Any ideas? (The very fact that I'm even entertaining the idea of performing this invasive procedure should explain how I got myself into this predicament in the first place.) ;)


    I take it you don't spend much time in central and southern Europe! Some of those are reason enough to go, especially the Refošk. Maybe not the ouzo. :p
     
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #9
    hey, I have the exact same problem, a black dot on the focusing screen, me too tried blowing it out but failed, thankfully mind didn't turn out like yours. Thanks for giving us a heads up :)

    I guess what some people say is true, don't get paranoid trying to clean your camera like how some people can't have a speck of dust on the lens cause the tendency of ruining the camera is much higher instead.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    If it's just dust and not gritty, I'd go at the screen with a new microfiber cloth or two. However, you really shouldn't attempt any cleaning if you can't not touch the mirror, as you can seriously damage it quite easily.
     
  11. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #11
    It is just dust, but there is no way to avoid touching the mirror. The space in there is quite small, even for my little fingers. Perhaps if I wore rubber gloves??
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    Use a tool- something like a sensor swab, coffee stirrer, pencil or whatever, but make sure that you can't touch anything without the covering over the object- rubber-band it in place or use a big enough piece of cloth to ensure it's going to be covered (you don't want to scratch anything or add any dust.)
     
  13. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #13
    (while shaking pointer finger....)

    Don't know you consumers are not supposed to be tinkering with their dSLR's like that???

    :D

    (LOL...)
     
  14. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Sounds like the perfect time/excuse to get a kats eye
     
  15. tompon1923 macrumors 6502

    tompon1923

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    #15
    Use rubber gloves for touching the focus screen.
    I always clean my stuff with it and it's just a great simple precaution.
     
  16. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #16
    Yay!!!

    Ever the fool, I decided to have another go at it, only this time I followed your advice...sort of. I wrapped some lint-free paper around the end of a plastic spoon, taped it in place, and--here's the really audacious part--I then soaked the paper with water. I rubbed that wet paper all over the focusing screen, then rubbed it again with some dry paper to soak up the remaining moisture.

    The result: the dust is almost completely gone! However, that darned black speck that started it all hasn't budged and must be on the back side of the screen. It's big, black, and in very sharp focus when I look through the viewfinder. I'm not sure if I have the guts to take the screen out and mop the other side of it, but that speck is awfully annoying...
     
  17. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #17
    well as a sudden surge of neutrons in my brain says, if you can't fix it, don't cause you might end up making it worse :rolleyes:
     
  18. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #18
    Indeed, here it is......
    [​IMG]

    (It's a SD card). It would come and go, sometimes disappear but eventually it annoyed me. Still kept the little fella, it's selotaped to my computer stand :)
     
  19. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #19
    :eek: It's incredible that something so large could get in there! The little bugger was determined to go out in style!

    I can't wait to get rid of this black speck on my screen. It looks like a piece of light seal foam or something. Very annoying.
     
  20. gerlan macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I take it you don't spend much time in central and southern Europe! Some of those are reason enough to go, especially the Refošk. Maybe not the ouzo. :p[/QUOTE]

    Fraid so, but I guess even if I started out, I would never get passed the Champagne region- I'm sure I would eventually be found lying in a gutter penniless after trying to find something to better Louis R.! I,ll meet your :p and raise you two ;)
     

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