self repair of 5D reflex mirror

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by mike dixon, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. A couple of weeks ago, the reflex mirror in my Canon 5D became 'unstuck' from the mechanism that lifts it up
    during exposure. Fortunately, the mirror didn't fall out and break. I took my camera to the Canon service
    center here in Busan, Korea, to have them repair the problem. Their only option for repair was to replace the
    entire mirror box mechanism for approximately US$500.

    Given that I would need to pay $500 to replace the entire mechanism anyway, I figured nothing would be lost by
    trying to repair the problem myself. So, I bought some cyanoacrylate ("SuperGlue"), put a few small drops on the
    mounting points for the mirror, carefully put the mirror back in place, and waited a few hours for it to dry.
    The result: the camera is back to functioning as well as it was before the problem. Focusing accuracy doesn't
    appear to have suffered. Cost of repair: less than $3, and about ten minutes of effort.
  2. This is an excellent post, Mike!
    It really made me wonder as to what extend we have been brainwashed, in recent years, with regards to the actual delicacy of our digital equipment.
    No doubt, all DSLRs are indeed complex mechanisms, in some ways, not unlike a portable computer. However, it appears that they might just be a lot more robust than we have been led to believe.
    One question... With the dislodging of the mirror, was there any sign of tiny particles that might have dropped down into the sensor area, or rather, did you find a need to do a sensor clean after your self repair?
  3. I bet they told you that because they cannot get reimbursed from Canon for the "labor" of gluing your mirror back in. Hope it holds. Good for you!
  4. Well, if the box and the anchor points weren't damaged the glue is NOT the only thing that holds it in place. If
    it were, I don't think it wouldn't last long.

    The reason a manufacturer charges more than a DIYer is to cover their repair warranties, pay salaries, equipmetn
    costs, insurances, etc... If you are in a hospital (in the US) and they bring you a simple little Aspirin you
    will be charged at least $20.00 per pill!
  5. Grrr...the PC auto correction can be annoying. That should read " I don't think it WOULD last long.."
  6. I needed to clean the sensor before the mirror problem, though I haven't seen any increase in 'spots' since the repair. The area behind the mirror isn't sealed anyway (though the shutter covers the sensor), so stuff can easily get back there even with the mirror in place.
    I only made the repair a few days ago, but so far, so good. I bought the camera in December, 2005, and it has about 60,000 exposures on it. If the repair last even half that long, I'll be doing well. And I still have the rest of the glue . . .
    Well, if the box and the anchor points weren't damaged the glue is NOT the only thing that holds it in place. If it were, I don't think it wouldn't last long.
    The box and anchor points aren't held by glue; I suspect they are bolted to the chassis. The mirror is held by glue onto the mechanism that raises it during exposures. If there was anything else holding the mirror, I saw no evidence of it.
  7. How old is the camera? This should be covered under warranty. I actually walked into the camera store I bought mine at and got a free new camera.
  8. My 5D is almost three years old (bought in early December 2005), and has seen a lot of heavy use. The warranty was long expired when the problem occurred. The repair is still holding up after a few weeks of use.
  9. At the time, three years ago, when my 5D mirror fell out the first time I removed the body cap, I thought that was a unique fault with only my canon 5D. The mirror capture mechanism was missing the tabs that hold the bottom of the mirror in place. I sent the camera back to canon for no cost repair.
  10. Thank you so much...I'll start gluing right now!
  11. Mike,
    Does it still working after this time? Any problems due to this solution?
    Yesterday the mirror of my 5D fell off. The canon service told me they fix it for free, but in 15-20 days, and I can't stay so much time without the camera. In fact, I need it tomorrow, so I guess my only option is to try with the glue as a provisional fix...
  12. The repair is still holding after 8 months of fairly heavy use (including a few international plane flights and some travels on very bumpy dirty roads through Cambodia).
  13. Well, it's done! Just few seconds to put a small glue drop on every of the 4 monting points. I've take a look through the viewfinder and everything seems fine.
    Tomorrow I have a heavy portrait season, I expect more than 2000 pictures, I hope it holds in place!
    Many thanks!
  14. Hi,
    I just got a camera from Adorama, I bought it used in 9+ condition and guess what, when it arrived the mirror was dislodged!? So I started searching the net and bumped in to this thread, I wonder if I should give it a go as it would take a while for me to send it to the US and to find a way to get it back to Europe... What exact glue did you guys use? The back of the mirror has four points and the glue that is still on the back is a bit rubbery!? What glue could that be? Thank you for any input.
  15. I did use super glue gel. I had an opened tube overthere, and as they said is more resistant to vibration etc, I thought it would be ok. Anyway I think any standard cyanocrylate, as the original post said, should work.
    Now is 3 months and more than 20.000 shots from my reparation and the mirror still hold in place. :)
  16. My 5D is still working fine almost a year after I repaired it myself. It has travelled many thousands of miles and taken tens of thousands of photos in that time.
  17. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing you've made repairs which actually work.
  18. This happened to me, and so, inspired by this post, I super-glued the mirror back in place myself. Nerve-wracking, but it worked. Still holding several thousand shots on. Thanks!
  19. It's still working...
  20. Thanks Mike and everyone else here! you guys just saved me $165 in repairs. I will try this myself. I just can not believe that the mirror came off! I am lucky though that it's not broken or anything. Happy Holidays!
  21. would you please tell me though "exactly" what kinda crazy glue you used? I don't want to experiment! :)
  22. Hi, yes it was 'Loctite Super Glue', which is a fast acting cyanoacrylate based glue (other brands are available). I used the standard - fairly runny - glue, not the 'gel' variety, just four very small spots. Regards Roland
  23. I think that the super glue I used was a Japanese brand that I picked up in a dollar store. Repair was still working when I got rid of the camera in early 2010 .
  24. thanks Mike :) you saved me $150! I did it myself too even though I was a bit scared... but I did it and worked beautifully. thanks again! my other camera (canon 20d) is out of commission too due to the shutter needing to be replaced so I was really desperate being left with no cameras. Happy New Year and happy holidays.
  25. Thanks Mike.
    Same thing happened to me this afternoon! Could I ask you - did you put the glue in the four corners of the mirror or on the little black circles? Or did you put the glue on the camera itself? And did you use tweezers?
    many thanks
  26. When i did this it was during a paid food shoot. I didn't bring my 7D for backup. I literally drove to a gas station and bought the first super glue i could find. i applied the glue along what appeared to be little rails on each side of the mirror bracket, where the mirror rests. It seemed like the biggest area of contact. I wasn't able to salvage the little sheet of plasticky stuff that was under the mirror, but it hasn't effected function or performance.
    Less is always more with super glue. I applied a tiny bit with a tooth pick and replaced the mirror. Give it 15 minutes to dry, (which is overkill), to prevent any excess glue from flying around inside the camera body. It has been holding up ever since.
  27. many thanks Keith. I stuck it on the four points on the back of the mirror that seemed to have little protrusions and - so far so good!
  28. Canon USA is fixing mine for free, and I have had mine for 5 years and they were super to deal with. Sure made me feel like I had done the right thing by sticking with Canon.
  29. Ken,
    Glad you had a pleasant time with Canon. I only went to them once and they told me my 5D needed "basically the whole inside" replaced because it was old.
    The clerk at the desk shoved his finger inside the mirror box...
    Then they somehow managed to get my camera to freeze up. I had to remove the battery and put it back in to get it to work.
    The reason the clerk supposedly knew i needed to have "basically the whole inside" replaced was because the shutter release button had a "soft feel". If he knew anything about my camera he would know that the 5D doesn't have a true tactile response like the rebel series does.
    He then took it back to a tech who couldn't figure out that you could remove the battery to make the camera work again.
    When i asked if they would just fix the scratched Uv glass over the filter (which they quoted $80 for over the phone) they told me it was going to be $500, AND they refused to fix it unless i agreed to have all of the other quoted work done as well. The total cost was going to be $1200, which is $100 more than i paid for the body.
    He then tried to sell me a platinum canon membership which i promptly told him to shove up his ***
    I sent my camera in to and they fixed the glass. they also remounted my mirror because they could tell i super glued it. On top of that the camera came back so clean i almost didn't believe it was mine. They don't charge you until the job is done and they are holding a working camera. When they called to let me know it was a success, i asked them to hook it up and see how many actuations were on the body. Im holding my breath waiting to hear "90,000". It turns out the body had around ~4,000. I even heard the tech in the background make a comment on how new the camera internals looked. He told me the camera was "basically new".
    Long story short i will never go to Canon for anything again. When "new body" time comes again i will highly consider just selling it all and switching to Nikon, or making the jump to medium format.
  30. Wow Keith, sounds like they ruined your day, for sure. I just got mine back this week and all is well. They had a long list of stuff they put in there, plus even emailed me a shipping label so I didn't have to pay shipping. The thing came back super clean and ready to go and it cost me $2 worth of bubble wrap to send it in (the kids pop every piece I get).

Share This Page