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Re: [Rollei] dirty mirror??

At 10:28 PM 4/3/2003 -0800, Richard Knoppow wrote to Rose:


>   You can check the mirror by looking into the finder lens.
>It could be dirty. Cleaning is not difficult. Its also
>possible the ground glass is dirty on the inside, again not
>difficult to clean.
>   To clean either or both remove the finder hood. The hood
>is fastened with four small screws, one in each corner of
>the flange at the bottom. It pulls up when the screws are
>removed. The ground glass may come up with it or may stay on
>top of the finder. It can be picked up with sticky tape.
>   Clean the ground glass with dishwashing detergent in warm
>water. If its very dirty let it soak for a while. Scrub it
>with a sponge or soft toothbrush and rinse well.
>   The mirror can be cleaned by first blowing off any loose
>dust. Then clean it with some "streak free" type window
>cleaner on a Kimwipe or other lintless tissue. Wet the
>tissue and drag it over the surface of the mirror. I don't
>recommend alcohol because some early mirrors are silvered
>with a coating of lacquer over the silver to protect it.
>Alcohol can dissolve some types of lacquer.
>   Its possible the silver coating has become tarnished or
>has come off in flakes. That should be visible through the
>taking lens. The condition of the mirror seems to depend on
>the history of the camera. I have a 1936 Rolleiflex with a
>perfect mirror despite obvious signs of having led a hard
>life but have seen many other cameras where there isn't much
>silver left on the mirrors.
>   Dirty ground glass can lower the brightness of the finder
>image to a surprisingly great extend. Oily dirt will also
>make it look grainy.
>   While you have the hood and ground glass off clean the
>back of the finder lens. Kimwipes and streak-free cleaner
>will do it.
>   To reassemble the finder hood place the ground glass on
>top of the finder and place the hood over it. Then put the
>four screws back.
>   I suggest working in a box to avoid loosing parts.
>   Please note that Rolleicord finders are not very bright
>even when in perfect condition. Adding a Rolleigrid type
>fresnel lens will help a lot. These are plastic Fresnel
>lenses which just drop on top of the ground glass, no
>installation or finder adjustment necessary.
>   Unless you live in an unusually dusty area one cleaning
>should last for years.

Thanks for all the reminders.  Those of us who don't do much repair forget 
the value of sticky tape, rubber sheets, spanners, working in a tray (I use 
a cake pan), various cleaners, etc.  I finally decided to replace all my 
small screwdrivers with a professional set.  Cost a lot more than the usual 
$2.95 for 5 in a plastic tray, but they fit much better.  I recently bought 
a magnetizer for screwdrivers and haven't found any areas on a camera where 
that might cause a problem, but that's not a guarantee.

I also upgraded my tweezer set to include some with a little "bite" or 
roughness in the gripping area and some with a sliding grip holder (like 
they use to hold diamonds), but still have some very thin-pointed ones.

This is a controversial subject, that is lens cleaners.  I kept being told 
by a good friend that the "See Clear" wipes intended for cleaning 
eyeglasses were safe for camera lenses but i wasn't convinced.  Finally I 
started to try them on some lenses and filters, and they indeed work better 
than Kodak lens cleaner and lens tissue.  I may be in for a surprise in the 
future but right now I am convinced.  I understand they are now sold, 
perhaps under a different name, in camera stores.

Also, I thought the Lens Pen, sold under a variety of names, was a 
gimmick.  I think I like them and they do work and include a cleaner and a 
brush in one unit.  No blower though.

>Richard Knoppow
>Los Angeles, CA, USA

Don Williams
La Jolla, CA