Cloudy/Muddy/Foggy Rangefinder finder

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by afrank, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Hi all!
    I just got myself a canonet QL17 and was using it and read somewhere that almost all rangefinders need their finders cleaned.
    How do you recognize and see the difference between a Cloudy/Muddy/Foggy finder and a "clean" one? How does it hurt the image taking process?

    Thanks in advance for your input!
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Because when you look through it, it looks Cloudy/Muddy/Foggy. It is not the taking lens which maybe ok, but hinders clarity of vision and your decision as to if/when you press the shutter.
     
  3. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    It pretty easy to remove the top cover of the Canon QL17. Then a cotton swab and a dab of alcohol will clean it right up.
    -When clean, the QL-17 has one of the brightest viewfinders of the compact-fixed-lens-rangefinder class.
     
  4. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    just don't try to clean the 45° mirror in the viewfinder from the back side - it is a surface mirror and you will damage the silver coating thus rendering the rangefinder useless or at least hard-to-use.
     
  5. afrank

    afrank Member

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    ty all for the info and Specially Lukas for that word of warning! I heard eople put a blue plastic to increase contrast. Any comments on that? and if I were to do it, does it go on the main window or the above lens one?
     
  6. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Right -- the mirror that sits at a 45-degree angle has a semi-reflective coating. That coating often is delicate and should be touched as little as possible.

    What are usually dirty are the front and rear glass elements, whether they be lens elements or simply pieces of flat glass.
     
  7. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    the blue plastic should be placed in the main window in front of the semi-reflective mirror so that the direct optical path will be coloured blue and the rangefinder image (which is usually yellow) will be more contrasty against that. however I've never tried that.

    sometimes black marker pen can do little magic when you precisely make a small mark/patch on the main window plastic cover (from the front side of the camera) - it helps to tame the direct image so the rangefinder image is better visible. it's especially useful in cases you have a camera that has been inadequately serviced - like someone cleaned the semitransparent mirror before :smile:
     
  8. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Tried the marker, and it does help in contrast, by making the rf image more visible, but also makes the direct image blurry as hell.
    Blue, red or black film what should I use now hmmm.
     
  9. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    OK, I have done this several times. And it is easier than you think. First remove the top: remove screws and turn the round nut on the film advance lever normally (ie, counterclockwise to loosen). After the top is off you CAREFULLY wipe all the glass surfaces with a soft, clean tissue impregnated with water with a bit of dish liquid. Contrary to caveats (elekm) about not wiping the sliver coated mirror, you can wipe it with this solution. Do not use alcohol on that mirror, however. The solution for this cleaning has to have enough dish liquid to create a non static environment but not so much that it leaves a residue.

    Of course, you are having to get into tiny crevices here. Take your time. What I do is cut small pieces of tissue beforehand and fold a few times. Then grasp into a tweezer and carefully wipe the surfaces. Immediately thereafter, before fully dried, I use a new tissue, again in tweezers, to fully dry what I have just washed. CAREFUL is the byword here. It really is as easy as I just described. - David Lyga
     
  10. afrank

    afrank Member

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    How do i know if I screwed the 45degree mirror?
     
  11. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    The superimposed rangefinder image will be very dim or gone at all.
     
  12. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    AFRANK: It is rigid if you mean you might move it.

    That is why I said to use care. Take your time. You will not screw up anything if you are gentle and take your time. Again, the mirror is rigid and fits into a slot. As far as removing the reflective silver surface: mere water with a tiny bit of soap will not ruin the silver surface of the mirror. Alcohol or, perhaps, lighter fluid, will.

    Lukas_87 is correct in that removal of the silver would remove the shadow image which confirms focus. - David Lyga
     
  13. afrank

    afrank Member

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    I used a non alcohol liquid used to clean the digital sensors of cameras. I wasn't sure if it had alcohol and all it says is that us made of bio materials :/. The cleaning went well and its more clear now, but was worried I had damaged something I wasn't able to detect. The only issue i have is with the viewfinder frame. It seems to be tipped on one side. instead of looking like this:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mnmleung/7320083890/

    it seems like crooked frame on a wall, tipped to one side. It was like that before but I could not fix it :/
     
  14. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    isn't that a vented lens hood?