Powershot Achilles Heel (topic on lens cleaning) - Hotwire! Hardware Mods, Accessories and Insights - CHDK Forum

Powershot Achilles Heel (topic on lens cleaning)

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Powershot Achilles Heel (topic on lens cleaning)
« on: 05 / January / 2009, 23:01:44 »
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Just spent a vacation photographing in dusty caves.  A big problem with inexpensive powershots (mine is an A720is) is now clear: dust gets into the lens very easily.  It doesn't interfere with most shots, but shots into the sun are now impossible.

Anyone know how to disassemble the lens to clean out the dust?

« Last Edit: 17 / January / 2009, 12:52:06 by acseven »

Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #1 on: 06 / January / 2009, 23:17:45 »
Same problem with the Powershot TX-1. I haven't yet decided to pull apart the lens assembly.

Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #2 on: 07 / January / 2009, 06:37:58 »
Anyone know how to disassemble the lens to clean out the dust?

Do not do this !

You can either have a working camera with a dusty lens or a non-working camera.
The lens assembly is complex, it has tiny motors for zoom and focus, feedback opto-interrupter sensors to detect zoom and focus position and possibly another sensor to detect the zoom mechanism is moving.
The zoom barrel moves in a helical groove and the lens-protection shutter is operated by mechanical movement.
All the electronic signals connect to the main circuit board by a very delicate flat flexible cable (FFC) that is often bent-over on itself.
It may not be possible to remove the lens assembly without disconnecting the FFC from the connector on the circuit board.
These connectors either slide-back or lever-up to open.
They are extremely fragile and if they break your camera is 'bricked'.
Sometimes, the connector is of a type that you cannot open.
There is a capacitor for the flash that is charged to about 300V and it will retain its charge for a long time.
It must be discharged or it will give you a nasty shock.

If you have not done this before, your chance of success is zero.
If you have done it before, then maybe 30 %

Only do this if you are not bothered by the financial loss.

If you decide to do it, document it and post the results.

I would just clean the outside lens   ;)


David
« Last Edit: 07 / January / 2009, 06:40:34 by Microfunguy »

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databoy

Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #3 on: 07 / January / 2009, 09:47:12 »
Microfunguy, you are right in what you say. The topic of an owner servicing their camera gear appears regularly on various photographic forums. Even if a person succeeds in dismantling and reassembling a camera, they will not have the environment to guarantee a contamination free service. Servicing cameras is a specialist profession and requires a laboratory specification dust free environment and a specialist ultrasonic cleaner.

If your camera is a brick job, you have nothing to loose. Open the camera, photograph the internals and post the photos.

If you just want to clean the camera there are specialist non residual solvents manufactured for the electronics servicing industry. You will need to find a specialist electronics supplier. Try RS Components RS Components International or Farnel Farnell / Electronic Component Distributors / Suppliers / Electronics, Electrical Parts, Electrical Components and Wholesale Electronics.. Do not use CRC type automotive solvents. They are for automotive work and leave a protective residue.


Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #4 on: 07 / January / 2009, 11:34:59 »
After about 6 months, two of my TX-1s exhibited a dark, blurred area on images. Since I shoot stereo video, and they were in different places, it was really noticeable.

In trying to take pictures to show to the Canon repair folks, I actually got a shot of a curly hair that was inside the lens assembly!!

Since the cameras were under warranty, it only cost me the one-way shipping to have them repaired and returned. The included paperwork indicated that Canon had replaced the entire lens assembly, not that they had just cleaned it.

If even Canon won't mess with the lens, I'd second the emotion that you shouldn't either. :(

I'd think you could make a good case that letting dust into the lens assembly is a warrantable defect.
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Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #5 on: 07 / January / 2009, 16:35:58 »
cybercom, I'll try your idea.  I just sent the camera to Canon Repair.  Although it is under warranty I won't blame them for not covering lens dust.  I'll let everyone know what happens.


Jon

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Offline Pauls9

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Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #6 on: 08 / January / 2009, 04:43:01 »
... and maybe get an adapter and filter to keep the dust out next time? ;)

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Offline whim

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Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #7 on: 08 / January / 2009, 05:09:23 »
... or use a (relatively, ~ 50 euro) cheap plastic bag type underwater housing (e.g. Digital camera waterproof case !!DICAPAC!!)

wim
« Last Edit: 08 / January / 2009, 05:12:40 by whim »


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Offline reyalp

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Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #8 on: 08 / January / 2009, 18:26:14 »
... or use a (relatively, ~ 50 euro) cheap plastic bag type underwater housing (e.g. Digital camera waterproof case !!DICAPAC!!)
I've used one of these in a very dusty environment  and found it quite effective. Wouldn't trust it underwater, but for dust it's fine.

It does make it harder to use some of the controls, especially the mode dial. You also need to be careful with the lens housing: On the one I had, it could be in a position that would jam the lens when it tried to open, and if not exactly centered, caused vignetting. Finally, your camera can get quite hot in there.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

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Offline PhyrePhoX

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Re: Powershot Achilles Heel
« Reply #9 on: 08 / January / 2009, 18:31:59 »
i used one of these (dicapac slr, there was no smaller size big enough for my s3is) extensively last summer. in water. under water. quite fun shooting with (if you can stabilize the cam in this huge bulky thing somehow).
somewhere in this forum here someone mentioned the use of a condom as a protection.
btw if canon finds sand in the lens, they probably will not repair it, even when it is technically under warranty.
thing is, these grains of sand tend to wander around in your lens assembly for days, weeks and months. so when you finally get the e18 error (or dust/sand on the sensor or in the lens, visible), you cant even remember you were at the beach ;)

 

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