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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Dust visable in viewfinder...I have a spec of dust or dirt that is visable in my viewfinder. It doesn't show up in the ...
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Old 18-08-2009, 17:45   #1 (permalink)
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Dust visable in viewfinder

I have a spec of dust or dirt that is visable in my viewfinder. It doesn't show up in the pictures but it very distracting when framing a subject. Is there any way of removing it?
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Old 18-08-2009, 17:55   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

The dust will probably be on the mirror or the underside of the prism. Try using a blower (Rocket type) in the mirror box. The bottom of the pentaprism can be difficult to reach, but a very soft brush may do the trick if the blower doesn't.
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Old 18-08-2009, 18:57   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

I had the same a while back, purchased a rocket blower as Silkstone suggests and it sorted it no problems at all. I always use the rocket blower when changing lens over from now, just to make sure the inside remains particle free.
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Old 18-08-2009, 19:53   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

Thanks for the suggestions guys, I tried the rocket blower but no luck, as for the brush, Im not sure where to brush and I don't want to damage anything. The speck has been there a while and I should have taken care of it before now.
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Old 18-08-2009, 19:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

If the mirror appears to be clean, look at the top of the mirror box where there is the pentaprism and focusing screen. There could be something stuck to it.
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Old 18-08-2009, 20:19   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

Looks like there is some specks up there but I don't have a brush small enough to reach in there. Might just have to live with it.
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Old 18-08-2009, 21:13   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

If you buy a very soft (nylon or sable) artist's brush and bend the ferrule at right-angles, you should be able to reach it. Be very gentle though!
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Old 18-08-2009, 21:40   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

Thanks, I appreciate the help. I will pick up a brush next time I get in town. Thats why I love this site, always someone with knowledge willing to help!
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Old 19-08-2009, 00:03   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

wish my dust was just on the mirror and no matter how much i rocket blow it aint going no where........... cant afford to get it cleaned yet!
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Old 19-08-2009, 07:11   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

I had the same problem. Cleaning out the focusing screen as mentioned above fixed it brilliantly. You can always google the instructions for you make of camera to learn how to open the screen. I found a step by step photo tutorial to help as I was a bit paranoid about breaking it!
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Old 19-08-2009, 08:06   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

If a rocket blower doesn't move it I would say leave it alone or send it in for a clean.

I had the same and removed the focusing screen for a clean which only made things worse.
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Old 19-08-2009, 09:49   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

I recently took some shots at very small apertures (f20-f32). When I viewed the shots on the monitor I could see some out of focus marks on the shot which spoilt it but cound be removed by cloning out.It turned out to be particles on the sensor.
Any wider aperture than f8 does not show up the dirt. Can anyone explain this .
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Old 19-08-2009, 10:31   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

Quote:
Any wider aperture than f8 does not show up the dirt. Can anyone explain this .

(Very simplified explanation...)
Most sensors dont take "Exactly" what they see, part of the picture taking is "Best guess" at each pixel, especially when it is hard to decipher, so will look at what is around it for a best match, and if there is a stark contrast, say a couple of microscopic specks of blue on orange, the sensor and software will ignore them and use the info from the next pixel...this is sometimes why it is hard to get fine detail at distance.
Sensors are extremely difficult to manufacture, getting every single pixel working, so even in the best quality ones, you are going to get one or two duff pixels... the more expensive the camera, the more stringent the Quality Control, the more sensors rejected for having too many errors...
The software is built to ignore these duff pixels, when it can see them, and recognise them as such, but at high magnification, or low light, or in a very complicated noisy picture with many differing objects and colours, you may get "Ghosting", as the software is not sure what to do.
Same as dust on the sensor... very small particles may be ignored by the camera's sensor.
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Old 19-08-2009, 11:29   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

It is actually related to depth of field. The dust is not on the sensor itself, but on the antialiasing filter just in front of the sensor. At wide apertures the dust speck is fuzzy and may not be noticeable, but at small apertures it comes more into focus because the DoF is greater.

Putting it another way, if there are small particles on the filter a small distance in front of the sensor, when you stop down to f/22, you are illuminating the particles with a small point light source, and they will cast shadows with sharp, distinct edges on the sensor. At wide apertures, and you are illuminating each particle with a large, more diffused light source, which will cast fuzzier shadows with softer edges.

You can see an explanation of how aperture affects depth of field here...

Digital Camera Tutorial: Aperture & Depth of Field - TrustedReviews - TrustedReviews
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Old 19-08-2009, 21:54   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Dust visable in viewfinder

Many thanks for that Silky and your reply Siver Dragon.
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