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Old 15th November 2013, 02:40 PM
ndodgson ndodgson is offline
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Default Canon ae-1 program viewfinder problem

I bought a canon ae-1 program for a friend. My problem is that there is something on the viewfinder glass and I'm not sure how I can get rid of it.

I bought some methylated spirit and have tried cleaning it with that using cotton wool buds.I think it has helped a bit but the viewfinder is still dirty.

I wondered if anyone could give me some advice on how to sort it out.

I have attached some pictures to show you what I mean.

thanks Nikki x
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Old 17th November 2013, 11:13 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Do you know if the focusing screen (pic 2) is removable? It looks like it might be, and that would possibly allow you to clean it more effectively. I don't have much experience with Canon products, but the instruction manual would help. If you don't have one, I am sure a copy will be available online. In pic 2, it looks like the foam mirror-damper may have deteriorated. This is a very common problem on cameras from the 70s and 80s. When the foam breaks down it can leave sticky blobs on parts inside the camera. This may be the cause of the 'dirt' you are seeing. It is possible to replace the foam, and there are kits available online. They are normally referred to as light-seal replacements, and are sometimes advertised on ebay. Be careful to avoid contact with the mirror as it is very easily damaged. Also be careful if the focusing screen is plastic, as some solvents may damage it. Dirt in the viewing parts of the camera doesn't normally affect the pictures, and it may be worth trying a film in it to see how it works. I hope you manage to fix the problem. Alex.
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Old 17th November 2013, 11:31 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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I have no experience or knowledge of Canons but it is good advice from Alex. Unless you have a detailed instruction manual and/or are a good camera handyman then I'd be wary about "diving straight in" and attempting a repair by the seat of your pants.

If a new focusing screen can be obtained and is easily fitted then this might be cheaper than a full clean and service of the existing screen from a professional repair company

I hope that it can be fixed and at a reasonable cost.


Mike
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Old 18th November 2013, 12:03 AM
paulc paulc is offline
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The AE-1 PROGRAM has a removable screen - If you look carefully into the mirror box, you should see a couple of spring clips retaining the screen. Page 70 of the manual gives the briefest of instructions on removing the screen.
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Old 18th November 2013, 09:23 AM
marty marty is offline
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Hi there.
I concur will all the above. The sticky black specks come from the mirror damper, I had the same problem some time ago with an AV-1. The screen is delicate and I would avoid using alcohol or spirits or worst petrol derivatives which might ruin it. I advice lens cleaning fluid or something like a window glass cleaner. The screen, as said before, is removable and is worth taking it out to facilitate the cleaning and remove particles that might have found their way on the upper side. In any case the eventual residues won't affect pictures. It would be worth to replace the foam to remove the source of the problem, I got mine (the foam, not the problem) from "microtools-europe" (they have also a US site, if you are on that side of the pond). It might be worth to check out the foam around the film door as that also might have been deteriorated causing light leaks. Any of the operations mentioned need any screws to be removed or particulary complicated disassembling but, still, even if tough work instruments these cameras are also delicate so caution and steady hands are required.
I hope you get all sorted in the best way.

Cheers, M.
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Old 24th November 2013, 11:40 AM
ndodgson ndodgson is offline
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Thank everyone. I have looked into removing/replacing the focusing screen, but I don't think I will be able to as, you need a special tool to remove it and they seem to be very hard to come across. I will keep researching and hopefully find a way to fix it! =]
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