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How to Clean the Viewfinder on Canon Cameras

How to Clean the Viewfinder on Canon Cameras

Everyone knows that a picture’s worth a thousand words. However, it can be difficult to capture that once-in-a-lifetime shot if your Canon camera’s viewfinder is dirty. Cleaning your viewfinder is an extremely delicate process, as even the smallest mishandling could damage it.

Continue reading to learn more about cleaning the viewfinder on your Canon camera. It requires a level of precision and skill that may require the help of an expert, depending on the nature of your issue.

Use a Damp Cotton Ball

Earlier, we mentioned that you could use a damp cotton ball to clean your viewfinder. When we say “damp,” you should not be able to squeeze any water out of it. You do not want to get water behind the viewfinder’s lens, as this could cause permanent damage.

Note: Canon says that you should not apply any “organic solvents” to your cotton balls, either. This means that you should avoid putting substances like acetone and alcohol onto the cotton ball. This could wrap the glass and plastic around the viewfinder.

Once the cotton is damp, carefully use it to wipe the viewfinder down using circular motions.

Use Compressed Air

You might have dirt, dust, or other particles trapped under the viewfinder’s lens. Using a cotton ball, as you can imagine, would not remedy this problem. Instead, you should use compressed air, like Falcon Dust-Off Compressed Gas.

According to Canon, you can use compressed air to clean the viewfinder, camera lens, reflex mirror, and focusing screen. However, here are some things to keep in mind while using this method:

  • Do not shake the can before using it. This will use liquid to spray from the nozzle instead of air, causing further damage.
  • Do not spray the air directly onto any glass components or directly onto the screen. You should direct the nozzle at an angle.

Canon also says that this technique is not for amateur photographers. Make sure that you understand how the components in your camera work before applying this substance to them.

Remove the Viewfinder for a Thorough Clean

This method is not for the faint of heart. However, if you trust your mechanical abilities, you could try removing the viewfinder from your camera. How to do this will depend on what type of camera you have.

When taking apart your camera, make sure that:

  • You do not mishandle or misplace even the smallest piece.
  • You do not touch any of the internal sensors, lenses, or mirrors.
  • You only focus on the area that has the viewfinder.
  • You place the pieces you have removed on a towel or soft surface.

You should also take your camera apart in a well-lit area. You might even want to use a magnifying glass so that you can get a closer look as to what is smudging your viewfinder.

Once you’ve removed the viewfinder, you can use any of the previously mentioned cleaning methods to thoroughly clean the component.

Take Your Camera to a Canon Service Center

If all else fails, you can take your camera to a Canon service center near you. Here, you can have a factory-trained technician remove the debris from your viewfinder. Not only can they clean your device, but they can also:

  • Check all of the moving camera’s internal parts
  • Check the processor for software errors
  • Check the image quality

They can also check the camera’s external body for any dings, scratches, or other blemishes. Depending on what needs to be done, you could have your camera examined for about $49.

You can see if there is a Canon Service Center near you by clicking here.

Final Considerations for Canon Camera Viewfinders

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you prepare to clean your Canon’s viewfinder:

  • By properly storing your camera, you can avoid having to clean it. One of the best ways to get the most out of your Canon camera is to keep it in a carrying case when it is not in use. The CADeN Camera Backpack is perfect for just that reason.
  • Your Canon camera is made up of very delicate parts. Even if you touch the digital sensor too hard, it could completely stop functioning. No matter how you choose to clean your Canon camera’s viewfinder, make sure you do it delicately.
  • If there is anything on your viewfinder, this will not affect how your photos come out. A viewfinder is simply a tool that lets you stabilize the camera, zoom in on objects, and get a “sneak peek” of what a picture will look like before you take it.
  • If you are taking pictures and see that something is obstructing the image, this is not a problem with your viewfinder. Instead, it could be an issue with your complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS). You can read your camera’s user manual to learn more, as your camera might not come with this component.

In Summary

In short, to clear your viewfinder on your Canon camera, you can use compressed air to blow away any debris on the viewfinder or its surrounding components. If the smudge is outside the lens, you can use a moist cotton ball and move it in a gentle, circular motion until the viewfinder is clean. 

Remember, the viewfinder is delicate, so be very gentle while cleaning this component to avoid any damage.