how to clean the mirror?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by louie_vincent_chua, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. good day guys how do you clean the mirror of an slr?
  2. you don't. that is my best advice.
  3. Until you cant see to frame and focus, don`t. Then take it to a repairman.

    My Dslr limited experience tells me a hand blower would probably be safe. No liguids, no cloth, no touch.
  4. if i try to clean it with a micro fiber cloth will it hurt the mirror? is the mirror any thing special
    or its just glass? be cause i got impatient and cleaned it with a microfiber cloth
  5. SLR mirrors are First Surface mirrors, meaning the reflective coating is on top of the glass. They are very easy to scratch. I know from experience from using a microfiber cloth to remove a fingerprint on a telescope mirror. After using the cloth, I noticed very very fine scratches -like a haze if you looked carefully with a bright light at an angle. You probably will not notice anything, but I wouldn't do this again.
  6. The silvering on some mirrors is so delicate a blast of compressed air can damage the surface. Even with a Giottos Rocket Blower, which is easy to control, I'm very careful using it to dislodge dust.

    If dust specks really bother you and a puff of air won't remove 'em, get a "riggers" brush used by watercolor painters. It'll have long (1" or longer), very soft fibers, thin with only a few fibers. The synthetic types are less likely than natural fibers to contain any residual oils that might be transferred to the mirror. Use the tip of the brush to very carefully dislodge and pick out specks. I use mine only to dislodge stubborn specks, not routinely.
  7. LEX, thanks for the heads up on the "riggers" brush.
  8. Look for the "Silverwhite" brand synthetic brush. If not available at Wal-mart or local arts and crafts stores, try Cheap Joe's online.
  9. if the blower doesn't work, use Sensor Swabs and Eclipse fluid. The mirror is not as vulnerable as the sensor, but a good idea to clean them the same way.

    Every now and then, especially after a long shoot, I begin to see noticeable specks when I look in my viewfinder - that's almost always "goop" on the mirror of my 1D2 and 1D3's from internal lube (or something?)
  10. is that safe? is made from plastic right? will it scratch the mirror? and are the sensor swabs
    safe as well? i know i could clean the sensor just making sure
  11. The mirror is *far* more vulnerable to damage than the sensor! The sensor is not exposed - it's covered by a filter. Using Sensor Swabs on a mirror is a good way to rub the silvering right off. Test it first on an old SLR that's disposable if it causes damage.
  12. I don't know what they make mirrors of these days, but I have never damaged my OM-1 mirrors cleaning them. If possible I use a Q-tip dipped in a bit of rubbing alcohol. Maybe the old SLR mirrors are just made of tougher stuff then mirrors these days.

    I have in the past used the corner of a very soft cotton shirt (that was clean) and used my breath to fog the mirror and wipe it down with no damage. I however don't really do that anymore.

    I'd agree with everyone else though, unless it is something seriously wrong I wouldn't worry about cleaning it.
  13. Oh, same thing with my focus screens. I just pop them out and fog them up with my breath and rub them lightly with a soft cotton shirt or microfiber cloth. I don't ever touch the prism itself though. I might blow in there lightly, but that is it.
  14. The dirt that you see in the viewfinder and that tempted you to go ahead and scratch your
    mirror (microscopically at most, so I hope for your sake) was actually on your focusing
    screen. Duh!

    And it is still there. Why so? Because the camera/viewfinder is focused at a distance and
    every little bit of dust between the focusing screen and the object is rendered out of focus
    diffuse, so that you cannot even see it through the finder. Duh again!

    Think optically, LVC, you are a photographer anyway.
  15. Hands off, Louie.As you've been told above--don't. Many used SLRs show damage caused by OCD sufferers who scrubbed the bejezzus out of the mirrors. Those few dust specks--even the odd finger print--will have no effect on the view or your images.Same goes for front and rear lens elements where cleaning marks tell the tale of over-zealous scrubbing a la Lady Macbeth.
  16. I cleaned the mirror of my f-100 with a microfiber cloth last week. Did I damage the mirror?

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