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  1. #1

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    To clean, or not to clean, the pentaprism?

    Hallo,

    Maintenance Question:

    I have a speck of something which is visible inside, on the pentaprism when the lens is off. Invariably, it appears in the viewfinder window when taking pictures.

    I have tried to remove with air or a light brush but it refuses to budge.
    Someone told me that it was inadvisable to interfere with a pentaprism as they are very sensitive. Better to send it away to be cleaned.

    Can I do this myself? The camera in question is a minolta dynax 5.

    Many thanks for any help,

    M.
    Last edited by melmoth; 10-16-2005 at 01:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by melmoth
    Hallo,

    Maintenance Question:

    I have a speck of something which is visible inside the camera on the pentaprism. Invariably, it appears on any pictures.

    I have tried to remove with air or a light brush but it refuses to budge.
    Someone told me that it was inadvisable to interfere with a pentaprism as they are very sensitive. Better to send it away to be cleaned.

    Can I do this myself? The camera in question is a minolta dynax 5.

    Many thanks for any help,

    M.
    Everything that goes into a saltmine, eventually becomes salt.

  3. #3
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melmoth
    I have a speck of something which is visible inside the camera on the pentaprism. Invariably, it appears on any pictures.
    If you are certain it is appearing on the negative, it is not in the pentaprism. If the speck appears focused or sharp, check in the area of the film plane. If it truely is in the pentaprism, leave it alone.
    —Eric

  4. #4
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    If it was in the prism, it would not show up on the negative, if you have spots on the negs, they something is behind the mirror in the light path to the film.

    Dave

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys.

    I amended the entry.

  6. #6
    wildbill's Avatar
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    The guy i bought my Pentax 67II from must have cleaned the hell out of the mirror on numerous occasions because it's scratched all to hell. Leave it.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  7. #7

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    I would not touch pentaprism by myself. Mirror too.

    Melmoth, light goes through lens directly on film. In moment of exposing mirror is up, freeing path for light to hit film, and close path to pentaprism. So, no dirt on pentaprism or mirror will be produced on film. Dirt on mirror and pentaprism can make problems with autofocusing or light mettering, but will not be shown on film. Dirt on film can be produced by dirt on lens (but as I know lens dirt or scratches make photograph to be soft or can produce flare, I think it is rare that lens dirt will be clear sharp shown on negative) or by dirt inside of camera, for example hair. Check light path from lens to film. And check if pressure plate of camera is clean.

    Of course negative can be dirt by itself (manufacturing errors, wrongly storage or handling, dirt can fall on film during develping (processing) or driyng of film in dirty enviroment, etc...).

  8. #8

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    Thanks for that.

    Nicely explained.
    The consenus would suggest that if the mark does not appear on the negative film then leave the pentaprism alone or risk damage to it by cleaning.
    I will leave it.
    However, out of interest, supposing one did get a speck of dirt on the underside of the pentaprism and it affected the view, to the point where it became a hinderence. On one's own, how could you remove this - presuming it did not respond to air or a light brush? Not that I will try, but someone must have been forced to attempt this before - no?
    Most curious. M.

  9. #9
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Melmoth,

    Many of the Minolta cameras over the years have removable viewing screens, I don't know on the 5, but I know on my 8000i, 7XI and my 9XI's as well as my Maxxum 9 if I get dirt in the prism, I can remove the screen and lightly, and I mean very lightly use canned air with light bursts of air, and normally dislodge the dirt, if you do this, take in mind, that you need to be very careful, do not invert the can of air, as you will end up with propellent being discharge with the air, which can damage mirrors and prisms.

    If the 5 does not have a removable screen you would have to send it to the repair shop to have them clean it, but in the many years I have shot, I have never seen so much dirt in a prism to actually cause metering and AF problems.

    Dave

  10. #10

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    Food for thought. Thanks, Dave.

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