Black spot looking thru my Hasseblad 500 C/M

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by john_pluta, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. I'm a new Blad user. When I look thru viewfinder I see a small black spot. I gently took it apart and cleaned any surface that I thought responsible but no luck. it appeared that without the magnifier, I did not see any spot but when I added the magnifier I did. It hasn't affected any photos but it bothers me. I thought i cleaned the magnifier but no?

    Any suggestions besides telling me I'm overly concerned?
  2. It could be as simple as finding a piece of detriorated foam on the bottom of the ground glass or aserious as a nick in one of the elements of the lens. If its not a flaw in the lens and only viewable through the finder, then, as you probably know, its not going to affect photos.
    john_pluta likes this.
  3. A small black spot can only be on the ground glass. A spot on the mirror or lens will be invisible through the viewfinder.

    Acute-Matte screens have two layers, so particulate can get between the layers. This is unlikely, since there is a metal rim around the assembly.
    john_pluta likes this.
  4. If you SEE a black spot in the viewfinder, it's not likely a lens problem and will not show on your images. A flaw in the lens isn't going to show up as a dot because no surface of the lens is in focus on the ground glass. The most common problem is the underside of the ground glass. This COULD still be a flaw in the ground glass but with a camera of this vintage, I would just be out shooting!
    john_pluta and William Kahn like this.
  5. The real test is to check the negative for any shot taken with the black spot visible in the view finder. It the spot is not on negative, then it's not a real problem (other than the annoyance). It probably wouldn't hurt to have the camera cleaned by a pro.
    john_pluta likes this.
  6. Does the spot have legs?
    Not joking. When I shot a lot of film, I occasionally got a tiny mite taking a stroll across the viewing screen. They seemed to like stopping in the most obtrusive position on the screen for days on end sometimes.

    Apparently, after a bit of research, I discovered that these little blighters were quite common in cameras. Opinion varied as to what attracted them and what they lived off. Some thought it was the film gelatine, and others the lubricating grease in the camera. Whatever, they were bad news because they could also be caught taking a stroll across the film during an exposure. It then took a thorough blasting of the camera with a rocket-blower to dislodge them.... until the next time they appeared.

    I believe the little devils are some species of acari, but I might be wrong.
    john_pluta likes this.
  7. Possibly a stupid and obvious question, but you're not by chance seeing the crosshairs in the middle of the screen, are you?
    john_pluta likes this.
  8. No Ben it is a black looking spot off the center. I'm glad that you guys reassured me. I love shooting film and all kinds of subjects.
    Ed, Yes I'm dying to get out. I've been confined to my house by my wife because I'm in the high risk group. I also love fishing and target shooting. Haven't done much of either because with the density of NJ as soon as fishing opened they all crowded all the spots with no social distancing. King Murphy isn't too fond of anything that goes bang so the ranges just started opening up after 3-4 months. At least with photography you usually have more room.

    I did have a funny experience in Naples, FL on their public fishing pier that projects out into the Gulf for about 100-200 yards. All the tourists were elbowing each other at the end of the pier to get a sunset picture. I told a 20 something guy to just stay here on the beach where there's more space, after all it's over 93 million miles away and 100 yards or so isn't going to get you any closer. :)

    One last thing about cleaning. What do you guys do? My old SLR's in 35 mm didn't have much depth and a cheap blower did the job with a lens cloth or eyeglass cloth. I'm smart enough to stay away from the Zeiss lens. But what about the mirror, viewscreen or magnifier?
  9. Have you pulled the screen and looked at the underside?

    On anything other than a 500c or 500el, you should see two levers/tabs at the edges of the screen when you remove the viewfinder. Push these into the camera body carefully, and when you dump the camera upside down the screen should fall out.

    There MIGHT be something that can easily be blown/brushed off. Be extremely careful with Acute Matte screens, but the old style glass/condensor lens screens are reasonably durable.
  10. Thank you, Ben.
  11. Silent Street

    Silent Street Silent Street Photography AUS

    Two years ago a colleague reported he was seeing a black spot right in the centre of his viewfinder. He gave the camera to me, and I saw nothing, nothing at all out of the ordinary. But he would always see a black spot.

    Diagnosis? Camera clear: photographer: Macular degeneration.
    Ron_Sawl likes this.
  12. This got dark.

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