Cleaning an AE-1 Mirror ? : LUSENET : Canon FD : One Thread

I've got an older AE-1. And the felt has left a residue on the mirror does anyone know of a good way to clean these mirrors without damaging them?

-- Ken (TEXAS) (, July 14, 1999


Well, I'm no expert, but just tonight I cleaned the mirror and focussing screen on my FT-QL for the first time with no problem. Mind you, I didn't have much to lose, the camera was a garage sale acquisition, ($40 with a 50mm 1.8 FL and a 3x extender). The foam pad that stops the mirror is kinda crumbly and gummy from age and had left some gunge on the mirror and screen.

I first tried wiping with lens tissue, but that just smeared the stuff around and into the fresnel grooves on the screen. Then I put some Kodak lens cleaning solution on a cotton swab and lightly wiped the mirror and screen with that. With a little persistence and a few more swabs I got all of the gunk off. To get it out of the fresnel screen you have to rub in the direction of the grooves.

I blew the stray lint from the swabs out with "canned air" that my wife uses to keep her sewing machine clean. A light going-over with lens tissue after that left it looking good.

Now, both the mirror and the screen are pretty thin, so use a light touch. It would be a real pain if you broke one.

Also, the mirror may well be a first-surface mirror, and too much rubbing might rub the silvering off. That, too, would be a pain.

Remember, I'm no camera technician. This technique worked for me. If I had a more expensive camera, I'd be more reluctant to screw around inside of it. If you try it and you screw up your camera, don't blame me.

I guess I'll have to get that foam replaced before too long. Now I know why my mirror got stuck in the up position once last week. Hmm. Maybe I'll try it myself. This mouse pad looks like about the same kind of foam. Maybe I'll learn something in the process. After all, it was only $40.

-- John Hall (, July 14, 1999.

The mirror IS a front surface mirror and you can do serious damage very easily. Make sure you REALLY need to clean it. The focus screen is very soft plastic, again be very careful.

WRT the mirror foam check out Micro Tools (I don't have the URL handy) but they sell the proper foam in various thicknesses with a sticky backing. Look under Light Baffles. A $5 kit will get you plenty of foam for several cameras

-- Terry Carraway (, July 15, 1999.

The URL for Micro Tools is:

They seem to have everything!


-- Roger Clark (, October 27, 2000.

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