Mirror damage...

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Silence, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Silence

    Silence Member

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    First of all, let me say that right now I feel like an idiot because I should have seen this coming...

    I just bought a Weltaflex and since it was pretty dusty, I decided to do a basic overall cleaning. All went well until I saw that the mirror was very dusty and had the brilliant idea of cleaning it with a wet cloth...

    Let's just say that after wiping it I was left with a piece of transparent glass stuck to my "new" camera, and a bunch of rotten silver on my cloth.

    So now I obviously get no image on the finder :sad:

    Is there any way to "resilver" the mirror? Or fix it in any way... Or do I really have to buy a new mirror and cut it into the shape of the old one?

    Any suggestions/advice will be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I'm thinking replacement. I just replaced a small front surface mirror about 30X85mm the cost with shipping was about $15.00 US. That included cutting to the size I needed.
     
  3. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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  4. Silence

    Silence Member

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    Thank you John and Dan.

    I'll have to measure the mirror when I get home... It would be great if those Yashica mirrors would fit, at least they're not very expensive...
     
  5. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    If it makes you feel any better, I once broke the mirror of a Rolleiflex while trying to clean it.
     
  6. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    here's a thought - might be crazy.

    Have you ever taken apart an old flat screen monitor? If you do try it, you end up with several layers of interesting material - clear, frosted, thick, thin, and (in the one I did anyway) a layer of perfectly front surfaced mirror on a thinnish plastic substrate. You could easily cut and stick it to the bad mirror. Could you get it flat enough - I don't know. Would it be permanent or just a temporary fix until you could find the correct part, again I don't know. just a thought - dead monitors are all over the place...........
     
  7. R gould

    R gould Member

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    I once broke a mirror in an old tlr,Not a weltaflex although I have one and like it a lot, but my awnser was a ladies small make up mirror, cost me around 2 GBP, cut to size and fix in place it works a treat,Richard
     
  8. Silence

    Silence Member

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    Richard, the problem with that option is that regular mirrors will induce focusing errors, because of the layer of glass above the reflecting surface... I would need a front surface mirror, like the original one, which is a bit harder to find...

    Btw, and since you mention you also have a Weltaflex... do you find the ground glass image really dark? Unless I have huge amounts of light I can't get a visible image (from the little experience I had before "cleaning" the mirror).
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Replacing mirror with not-exact-replacement mirror will cause the same problem.... When you have your mirror down and focus, you are focusing your lens from your optics, bouncing off mirror, onto ground-glass. This distance from optics to GG via mirror surface is critical. If it's little off, say, varying thickness of the base glass that silver is sticking to, then focus will need to be readjusted. Otherwise, focus to GG and focus to film won't be identical.

    By the way, I really don't think you caused the damage by wiping the mirror. The damage was already there. If silver came off THAT easily, it would have flaked off sooner than later.
     
  10. Silence

    Silence Member

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    Thank you for making me feel less guilty, tkamiya... hehe... The mirror was already somewhat damaged, but I still could see an image, now I can't see sh*t...

    I was informed that it's actually a special coating of aluminum, and not actual silver... more fragile, I guess...

    I'm doing my best to find an identical front surface mirror, with the same dimensions, including thickness... It's proving to be hard :sad:

    I heard of a gentleman around here who services/repairs cameras... I'm gonna see if he can do something about this... otherwise I'll look for places online who do custom work...
     
  11. JPD

    JPD Member

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    I saw this auction today: http://cgi.ebay.de/NEU-Reflexspiegel-Weltaflex-Kameraspiegel-100-NEU-/320543055904

    Expensive though.

    I had the mirror in my 4x4 Rolleiflex and one from a Rolleicord resilvered (plus a protective SiO2 coating) maybe ten years ago. The small Rolleiflex had a special thin mirror, so I wanted to use the original. Maybe there are companies that resilver telescope mirrors in Portugal or Spain? They should be able to do it.

    Here's an american optical coating company: http://www.clausing.com
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    seethroughmirrors has various thickness on glass as well as plastic. I believe they're all aluminum coatings now.
     
  13. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Edmund Optics sells these

    Edmund Optics, a catalog company specializing in optical stuff, has all kinds of front-surface mirrors available. they'll do custom sizes, and offer a variety of coatings including aluminum, silver, gold and other materials, also 'protected' versions of some of those (which have a microscopic coating on them to prevent damage). Prices seem reasonable. I'd highly recommend starting there. I am sure they could come up with something that would be an exact replacement.

    -Ed
     
  14. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Silence,The weltaflex is a bit darker than my Rolleiflex automat, but no darker than other standard ground glass screens, I can focus indoors under normal room light without any problems,Maybe the mirror in yours caused the screen to look darker than normal, as regards the mirror, it was an old Voightlander that I rfeplaced, and I have yet to have an out of focus shot yet with the lens stopped down,it would work as an emergency mesure,at least,Richard
     
  15. Silence

    Silence Member

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    JPD, the mirror in that auction is more expensive than the camera was... But I have to say that if the image on the ground glass is supposed to appear like the one in the auction, than I'm really way off, even before the ruined mirror...
    Also, it would be easier if I had any idea how "resilvering" is said in portuguese or spanish... lol...

    John, I had already checked out that website, but the thinner they go in glass trapezoid mirrors is 1/8'' and that is still too thick... I contacted them anyway to see if they do custom work.

    Ed, I'm checking out their catalogue right now...

    Thanks for the help, everyone :smile:
     
  16. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    Second on that. I have used the various Edmund stock materials for a number of reconditioning and/or restoration projects. You will need a decent micrometer to determine the EXACT thickness of the original material.