*before i say anything, let it be known that i am not a professional photographer or camera expert. i had a problem with my Nikon D40 that despite my best efforts, i was unable to solve. i relented to the fact that it was time to bring in my camera to the local camera shop for a tune-up. this DIY shows how i fixed my camera using a few non-traditional maguyveresque techniques i came up with on the fly. that said, i know i could have totally busted my camera. but since i had already resigned myself to going to the camera shop ($$$), i figured why not give it one last try.
**this is risky and could cost you a bundle it you mess up, so proceed with this DIY at your own risk.
that said, viva la DIY! shall we?
ever since our trip to cape cod last summer, i noticed a black spot appearing on my photos.
come to think of it, i bet it happened while we were on cape cod. all that lens-changing...
and seriously - first day of first grade photos? schmutz spot. halloween? schmutz spot. the holidays? schmutz spot. yada yada yada? you guessed it... schmutz spot.
yes, i cleaned the lens. inside and out. took off the filter and cleaned that, too. cleaned, wiped, dusted in a dust-free environment, all of it. and still there it was, le schmutz spot.
but it was when a photographer friend suggested it might be a hot pixel and that i should send it back to nikon that i nearly passed out. be without my camera? albeit my enigmatic-schmutz-spot-embedded camera, but still. no no no. and then i was invited to post on habit during the month of May and they have rules about no-instagramming and such. that was when i decided to take it into the shop. and i was quite literally headed out the door and decided to try one last thing. it hit me - take the whole thing apart with the shutter open.
G A S P!
but seriously, why not? i was headed to the camera shop anyway. and remember, i already ruled out the spot being caused by anything on the lens or filter. i suspected something was wrong inside...
first i gathered my tools.
then i did my best to work in a clean, dust-free area. (think small room that you haven't recently cleaned so there isn't matter flying around in the air.) ready? ok.
here's a play-by-play of what went down, in a nutshell, as photographed on my iPhone.
2. set the shutter to the slowest possible speed.
3. switch to manual focus. (come to think of it, this isn't necessary. do what you like.)
4. set down the camera and press to shoot which will open the shutter.
6. hold your breath and carefully remove the lens. use a flashlight to look down inside - the shutter is open, revealing the inner workings of the camera. this is delicate territory, people. and there, on that blue-green screen, there lied a tiny fleck of schmutz. THE SCHMUTZ! so i carefully used the microfiber tip of the lenspen to extract the schmutz.
7. carefully replace the lens. now exhale.
8. manually turn the camera off because heaven knows when the shutter will close.
at this point i took a photo of a white piece of paper to see if the dreaded schmutz was still there, and here is what appeared on the screen -
there was considerable jumping up and down, and i celebrated by taking my camera along with me. everywhere. no more configuring my framing to later crop out the schmutz, what a relief. i am once again able to capture the entirety of what i see and feel and wish to express and savor.