Recommendations for professional camera cleaning?


TPF Noob!
Sep 29, 2020
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Hi. I have a Canon Canonet QL17 Giii camera that I would like to have professionally cleaned. There is some dust inside the lens, and in the viewfinder. Not many places I've contacted can/will do it, and the couple that did say they could charge between $140-$330 to do it. I'm a little nervous about sending it off, but there aren't any local camera repair shops near me. Do you guys have any recommendations for a good cleaning from a professional shop? I don't want it returned in worse shape than I send it in. I know turnaround time can take longer than expected, but it's my only camera right now, so the quicker they can have it back, the better.

Cleaning the sensor of a camera can be done by most professional camera shops for not much in cost. Dust there on the sensor (well the screen infront of the sensor) is likely to affect your photos and cause "dust bunnies". Small dark marks that you will typically see only when shooting at a small aperture (bigger f number) and when focusing on clear scenes (like a white sheet of paper).

Dust in the lens is far less likely to ever be noticeable unless it is very significant or on the rear element. Typically this is more involved because to do effective cleaning they need a clean-room with no dust entering it so that they can strip the lens down; clean and reassemble and then recalibrate the lens to ensure it remains in focus. This creates a much more labour and resource intensive process and is thus typically not done unless you have too and then it would typically be the manufacturer that you'd send it back to for cleaning.
I was wondering if it would be worth it with the prices I was quoted. It's honestly very few dust particles, maybe 5-8 total, I just wanted the lens to be pristine. Since it's my only camera, I should probably wait until I have another camera before I send the Canon off. The only places that told me they could do it are Photo Darkroom in Escondido CA, and KEH Camera in Smyrna GA. I have no experience with either of these companies. They both have mostly good google reviews with a bad one here and there, but that's not much to go on. Thanks for your help.
There is some dust inside the lens, and in the viewfinder.

Dust inside the lens may degrade the contrast, but since it will never be in focus, you'll never see the dust specks in your photographs.

Dust in the viewfinder is even less of a problem. It never affects the image in any way.

My recommendation is to send your camera to a Canon authorized service center. They can check it over, clean whatever needs cleaning, and make any needed repairs.

Yes, you'll be without it for a few weeks, but when you get it back, it will be in good condition.

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