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  1. #1

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    Question About Cleaning Mirror on Nikon F3P

    My F3P's mirror was getting a tad dirty, and so I cleaned it using my mini-vac and its attachment hose. I have done this before with other cameras. This time, though, the mirror flipped forward from the suction of the vacuum. I quickly removed the vacuum attachment, and the mirror went back to its normal position. The mirror looked fine, and, in a couple of tests shots, I did not notice any odd noises or operational issues. Should I be concerned, or should all be okay?

  2. #2
    CGW
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    Sounds like this week's prize-winning OCD cautionary tale.

  3. #3
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    "mirror flipped forward", From the top? Meaning it's lose? Glue it, good luck.
    If it just went up, you're fine.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmOnly View Post
    My F3P's mirror was getting a tad dirty, and so I cleaned it using my mini-vac and its attachment hose. I have done this before with other cameras. This time, though, the mirror flipped forward from the suction of the vacuum. I quickly removed the vacuum attachment, and the mirror went back to its normal position. The mirror looked fine, and, in a couple of tests shots, I did not notice any odd noises or operational issues. Should I be concerned, or should all be okay?
    Why is the mirror getting dirty? Are you leaving it around with the lens or body cap off? I've had some cameras for 20 or so years without having to clean the mirror. Cleaning the mirror usually does more harm than good.

  5. #5

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    The mirror was not really "dirty." I noticed it had a small hair stuck to it. I do not know how it got in there, as I am careful with my camera bodies. I gather that every time one removes the lens (and I do so often) things can get in there.

  6. #6

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    The mirrors in SLR's are first surface mirrors. Such mirrors are incredably delicate. They cannot be touched let alone cleaned with anything besides air. Since they are not in the light path when you are taking a photo why worry.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmOnly View Post
    The mirror was not really "dirty." I noticed it had a small hair stuck to it. I do not know how it got in there, as I am careful with my camera bodies. I gather that every time one removes the lens (and I do so often) things can get in there.
    Blow it out with a hand blower. Vacuum? Good Lord.

  8. #8

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    I just performed a MLU, and the mirror seemed go upward and lock in the normal manner.

  9. #9

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    Indeed, the Lord is good. I have used a hand blower for this before, and all it does is swirl around dust inside the camera.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmOnly View Post
    Indeed, the Lord is good. I have used a hand blower for this before, and all it does is swirl around dust inside the camera.
    Here's the skinny. A first surface mirror is delicate, as has been pointed out. Since the mirror is not in the path of picture-forming light, it doesn't matter if it has a speck or three. As I pointed out, it is possible to go years without the mirror getting dirty, if you excersise any care at all. An old Leica brochure points out that "it is better to keep your lens clean, than to keep cleaning your lens" - that goes 100-fold for the mirror. Cleaning the mirror with enough suction to actually move the mirror is abusing the camera.

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