For begginers with stupid ideas


TPF Noob!
May 1, 2006
Reaction score
Hi, i`m looking for an expert opinion about s`thing you might find strange, frightning or funny. I got my first D-SLR(rebel xt) and imeadiatly(i`m i maniac when it comes to dirt) i wannted to clean it. I didn`t have any tools so.. (here it comes!) i blew with my mouth inside teh mirror chamber quite a few times, whiped the mirror with a common moistened glasses tissue, then whiped with my clean T-shirt the marks lesft by the tissue, then finished it all off with some cotton tips(the common type). The only thing taht i may find normal is that i did all that verry carefully.

Now, i am pretty sure i will never do that again(i read some stuff since then), but i would like to know your oppinion about how my obvious lack of thinking has damaged or otherwise changed my camera. Also if you have any thoughts on how to reverse the damege, that would be great.

Thx, Alex :(
Welcome to the forum.

Wow...Don't do that again. You have hopefully read this by now, but cleaning the mirror is not recommended. The mirror flips up out of the way, so does not affect the image at all. So even if it was dirty, the photos will still be OK.

As long as the mirror still flips up when you fire the shutter, then it's probably OK.

The one delicate thing that will need cleaning is the sensor but it shouldn't need to be done very often. I've had my DSLR for about a year and have only given mine one minor cleaning. Make sure to do lots of research before you try to clean your sensor.
Take some pictures and check them carefully, if they look OK then you got away with it and if they don't, well post them and we'll probably be able to guess what happened.
Well you probalby really didn't damage it if you were carefull. They are not so flimsy they will break at the lighest touch.

Basically you want to use lint free and or anti-static cleaning items. And avoid moisture inside your camera as much as possible (your breath is full of it).

Give the camera a good couple test shots and move on. Just fight the urge next time. :) Over cleaning can be as bad as lack of cleaning. ;)
I don't think there's much to worry about if images in the view-finder looks clear and doesn't look like there's dirt on your lens. The mirror's simply to redirect the image comeing through the lens to the view finder and flip out of the way when you're ready to take the picture.

Haven said that, The mirror has to fast enough for the whole scene to be registered on the CCDs. Which is why the last thing you need inside the camera body is lint floating about. This could collect around the mirror's mechanism or collect on you ccd, thus slowing it down and you end up with partially exposed image.

My advice is, if you're a cleaning freak, do yourself a favour by investing in a Camera Cleaning Kit. Could pick a decent one for $15-$25. Comes with lens cleaning fluid, blower with soft brush and the appropriate tissues and cloth.

Lastly, I hope you still have your camera body cover, just keep the camera covered at all times. You should be fine.
Damn, that sounds scary. I am not experienced with DSLRs, but a friend told me about how it is best to let the pros clean the CCD.

BTW blowing into the camera will only bring more moisture in. When the vapor condenses on the surfaces inside, it acts as glue to stick more dust, therefore creates the opposite effect.

The camera is new, so there is no need to clean it. I don't suppose you use multiple lens. Even for me, who interchange between 4 lens constantly, don't need to clean my camera.
Jeeez!! Canon cameras are so fragile! My Nikon manual recommends whacking the camera body firmly with a framing hammer to dislodge interior dust!! ;)
OK... I will give you the quick and dirty of checking the sensor for any scratches.
1: Set the Len's aperture to f22 or smaller.
2: Pop up the flash
3: take a picture of a white wall from about 3 feet. (1 meter).
4: Review the picture with the image on zoom, and pan across the entire image. If any dark spots appear, then that will probably be dust. If any bizarre shapes appear that are dark, check the sensor again for dust, smudges, streaks and scratches.

Most reactions