5DmkII - home improved, If Canon can't we can :)

Started Dec 8, 2009 | Discussions
elgeorgio Forum Member • Posts: 59
5DmkII - home improved, If Canon can't we can :)

Hi all

In the past 9 months my 5DmkII has given me about 20000 pictures. Great fun but one issue that I reported as soon as I got the camera has been bugging me all along.

As reported in this thread http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1032&message=30984031 a very cheap and cheerful plastic on the back side of the mirror is degrading image quality and giving strange flares under certain conditions. If you don’t want to scan 8 pages of postings, the sum of my findings are here : http://www.terajunk.com/5d2

Canon’s official response was silence and an unofficial comment that “this is not an expensive camera, so don’t complain too much or go for the 1 series”.

If it was just a Christmas lights thing I would just forget about it, but since it is with me every time I click, doing things like this to my images

I decided to … paint it black.

Here’s before and after pics. I am more than pleased and although the problem is not completely gone the improvement is remarkable.

I used a black flat acrylic paint and a small modified brush. Didn’t go too close to the curtain so a small portion of the mirror’s back is still unpainted.

I do not suggest in any way you do the same unless you don’t mind destroying your camera. Even the long term effects may be catastrophic (Put too much paint and with vibration starts flaking and getting into curtain mechanism). Time permitting I will post some pics of the operation.

I hope Canon will do the decent thing recalling old and improving new cameras. The benefits of such a cheap improvement can be seen in almost any picture regardless of size, lens used, shooting parameters etc.
Cheers
George.

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missbrand Regular Member • Posts: 178
Yes, we can:)

Hallo,

This is the best news in a long time. I would like very much some comments on the paint or sort of black colour that are usefull in the long run.

I will make some obs. on the issue.

Thanks a lot.

Michael

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Paullubbock Regular Member • Posts: 405
Re: 5DmkII - home improved, If Canon can't we can :)

ugh, I went to your link but I still can't tell what part exactly is causing this reflection?

Either way, spray painting anything inside your camera sounds like a very bad idea.

Why don't you just find the dimensions of this "back" and cover it with some 3mil non reflective black vinyl. done right it should not come off, be just as thick as any paint coating, won't fleck off or be any heavier than a layer of paint so as not to throw off any balanced mechanisms.

Andre Affleck Senior Member • Posts: 2,362
Re: 5DmkII - home improved, If Canon can't we can :)

elgeorgio wrote:

If it was just a Christmas lights thing I would just forget about it, but since it is with me every time I click, doing things like this to my images

Was this before and after the mod or just turning the camera upside down while it still had the issue? Are you sure it wasn't an asymmetrical lens issue?

J DT Regular Member • Posts: 153
Lens hood?

Did you use a lens hood in your "before" tests? Did it make any difference?

Ferrari_Alex Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: Lens hood?

Folks,
This is incredible on one side and scary on the other!

If there is any real issues with the Camera, Canon should fix it. But.....I know, I have no clue what I am talking about.....just a common sense.

94
94 Senior Member • Posts: 1,074
Re: 5DmkII - home improved, If Canon can't we can :)

George,

I have a new 5DMKII due to arrive next week and will look very carefully for any improvement that may have quietly been made to later models, using mine. I'm presuming, of course, that it will actually be a late run version and not some old stock that Dell.com had since model release.

I've looked through your previous reporting and have a pretty good idea of what to look for, but if it's possible for you to make an image showing exactly what and where you 'painted' it couldn't hurt.

I will say that I think that the problem is one you'd almost have to force the camera to recreate since a time exposure night shot made of a scene with very bright and overblown points just outside the frame would not be usual thing, and the problem flares can be eliminated by the simple expedient of including those troublemaking points within the framing of the shot.

Have you not been able to notice anything within the viewfinder or on your screen as you view before exposing that would give an idea that there might be that flare in the resulting image?

I can understand Canon not issuing a recall over this. That would bring them a large expense to repair a problem that the majority of users find out about for the first time by receiving their recall notice. But, if they agree that a flaw exists, I could see them adjusting their design to eliminate the problem in future products from the assembly line.

After all, unless the situation shown in your examples arises the problem doesn't exist. It's sort of like asking for a repair of a car rearview mirror because one night a truck's light struck the mirror at exactly the angle needed to shine light into the car driver's eye. Most drivers move their head for a moment or adjust their mirror a little to alleviate their transient issue.

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Jay Bean Veteran Member • Posts: 3,661
Not a lens hood issue

Before this thread turns into another long thread speculating on what may or may not be causing the flare, the cause was settled and was acknowledged by Canon long ago. It's reflections from the back side of the mirror hitting the sensor, including reflections from within the scene itself hence a lens hood doesn't do any good to make it go away. That's why the OP was able to solve the issue with black paint.

Search back in the forum and also in other forums. This is a hot topic shortly after the 5D2 came out.

J DT wrote:

Did you use a lens hood in your "before" tests? Did it make any difference?

Ferrari_Alex Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: Not a lens hood issue

But I understand that if the problem is found, Canon will repair, right?

Jay Bean wrote:

Before this thread turns into another long thread speculating on what may or may not be causing the flare, the cause was settled and was acknowledged by Canon long ago. It's reflections from the back side of the mirror hitting the sensor, including reflections from within the scene itself hence a lens hood doesn't do any good to make it go away. That's why the OP was able to solve the issue with black paint.

Search back in the forum and also in other forums. This is a hot topic shortly after the 5D2 came out.

J DT wrote:

Did you use a lens hood in your "before" tests? Did it make any difference?

Steven Noyes Forum Pro • Posts: 12,372
Cool.... What type of paint and exactly how?

Did you paint it with a brush or remove it and paint?

Steven

upsetter Junior Member • Posts: 41
What I don't understand...

...is, how did you manage to paint it black (second double image), then remove it and re-apply in a few seconds?
In the 2nd double image the cloud formations are moments apart.
All the same lights are on in the in the same buidings in the 3rd double image.

erikstefan Contributing Member • Posts: 821
Some paints (suggestion)

C C Nut Junior Member • Posts: 26
I could not foresee this thing happening to you

People at Canon have to turn their heads until my darkness comes

If I look hard enough into the settin' sun
My lovely camera will laugh with me before the mornin' comes

Hmm, hmm, hmm,...

I wanna see it painted, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black
Yeah!

OP elgeorgio Forum Member • Posts: 59
Painted.

Here's a quick picture of the mirror flap.

Although not very visible in this pic, note the brightness difference from the unpainted areas.

Also, I saw some nice posts that I'll reply to as soon as I find a bit of time.

Cheers !

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Its RKM Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Re: Yes, we can:)

missbrand wrote:

Hallo,

This is the best news in a long time. I would like very much some comments on the paint or sort of black colour that are usefull in the long run.

The paint I would recommend for this is Nextel Velvet Matt. It used to be manufactured by 3M, but they discontinued it years ago. Apparently it is now supplied by Mankiewicz:
http://www.mankiewicz.de/kontakt/default.asp?lng=eng

as Nextel Suede Dark Black
http://www.nextel-coating.com/nextel/default.asp?lng=eng

I have used this a lot, but I haven't tried any from the new source to verify it is as good as the original 3M paint. This is the stuff that was used inside professional astronomical telescopes and military low light cameras, where stray reflections would have been disastrous.

It's key properties in this instance are the very low reflectivity, even at grazing incidence, adhesion and damage resistance - I would consider the latter two critical to the application, with the former necessary to get best results. Peak reflectivity is less than 10% at 3deg grazing angle when applied well - measured data, not from the manufacturer. By 10deg grazing angle the reflectivity is negligible.

One potential problem is that Nextel applies as quite a thick coat, although on the back of the mirror this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Following 3M's discontinuation of this paint, some people have been using Krylon Flat Matte Black with reasonable results - nowhere near as good as original Nextel though. You can see by eye that it isn't as good, but I don't have any measurements for Krylon.

Having said all that, while it might be better than the Canon finish, even Nextel isn't good enough to completely eliminate this problem.

Nice work Elgeorgio!
--
Its RKM

Victor Engel Forum Pro • Posts: 17,777
Re: What I don't understand...

upsetter wrote:

...is, how did you manage to paint it black (second double image), then remove it and re-apply in a few seconds?
In the 2nd double image the cloud formations are moments apart.
All the same lights are on in the in the same buidings in the 3rd double image.

Probably people have similar work schedules. People are creatures of habit. That being said, the clouds are vastly different, so much so that lights on the horizon are visible in one picture and not in another.

I'm guessing maybe you're not looking at the pictures properly. The second double image are two views of the before image. The third double image is two views of the after image. Each double image is not meant to be a before and after pair. Is that what you were thinking?
--

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Victor Engel Forum Pro • Posts: 17,777
How about some of this stuff?
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OP elgeorgio Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: 5DmkII - home improved, If Canon can't we can :)

Hi 94 !
A very sensible post that I mostly agree.

94 wrote:

George,

I have a new 5DMKII due to arrive next week and will look very carefully for any improvement that may have quietly been made to later models, using mine. I'm presuming, of course, that it will actually be a late run version and not some old stock that Dell.com had since model release.

I've looked through your previous reporting and have a pretty good idea of what to look for, but if it's possible for you to make an image showing exactly what and where you 'painted' it couldn't hurt.

This is an excellent idea. I think that Canon will silently improve the mirror assembly. It would be very kind of you to check it. See the picture I've posted for the painted area.

Even better, tilting the camera in live view with a night scene and street lights will show the vertical reflections live.

I will say that I think that the problem is one you'd almost have to force the camera to recreate since a time exposure night shot made of a scene with very bright and overblown points just outside the frame would not be usual thing, and the problem flares can be eliminated by the simple expedient of including those troublemaking points within the framing of the shot.

Have you not been able to notice anything within the viewfinder or on your screen as you view before exposing that would give an idea that there might be that flare in the resulting image?

No, you can only see it before you take the picture, in live view. The mirror must be up covering the viewfinder path to create the reflection.

I can understand Canon not issuing a recall over this. That would bring them a large expense to repair a problem that the majority of users find out about for the first time by receiving their recall notice. But, if they agree that a flaw exists, I could see them adjusting their design to eliminate the problem in future products from the assembly line.

After all, unless the situation shown in your examples arises the problem doesn't exist. It's sort of like asking for a repair of a car rearview mirror because one night a truck's light struck the mirror at exactly the angle needed to shine light into the car driver's eye. Most drivers move their head for a moment or adjust their mirror a little to alleviate their transient issue.

Also true. It's one of those things that "it would be nicer if..".
The camera produces amazing quality most of the time.

On the other hand sometimes it's like the blown pixel on my LCD screen; Out of the 2.3 million it's the first one I see !

Cheers
--

OP elgeorgio Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Some paints (suggestion)

So, Erik, you are into large format !
Wanted to ask you, are the electric or gass stoves better ?

Cheers

erikstefan wrote:

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OP elgeorgio Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Yes, we can:)

Its RKM wrote:

missbrand wrote:

Hallo,

This is the best news in a long time. I would like very much some comments on the paint or sort of black colour that are usefull in the long run.

The paint I would recommend for this is Nextel Velvet Matt. It used to be manufactured by 3M, but they discontinued it years ago. Apparently it is now supplied by Mankiewicz:
http://www.mankiewicz.de/kontakt/default.asp?lng=eng

as Nextel Suede Dark Black
http://www.nextel-coating.com/nextel/default.asp?lng=eng

I have used this a lot, but I haven't tried any from the new source to verify it is as good as the original 3M paint. This is the stuff that was used inside professional astronomical telescopes and military low light cameras, where stray reflections would have been disastrous.

It's key properties in this instance are the very low reflectivity, even at grazing incidence, adhesion and damage resistance - I would consider the latter two critical to the application, with the former necessary to get best results. Peak reflectivity is less than 10% at 3deg grazing angle when applied well - measured data, not from the manufacturer. By 10deg grazing angle the reflectivity is negligible.

One potential problem is that Nextel applies as quite a thick coat, although on the back of the mirror this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Following 3M's discontinuation of this paint, some people have been using Krylon Flat Matte Black with reasonable results - nowhere near as good as original Nextel though. You can see by eye that it isn't as good, but I don't have any measurements for Krylon.

Having said all that, while it might be better than the Canon finish, even Nextel isn't good enough to completely eliminate this problem.

Nice work Elgeorgio!
--
Its RKM

Hi RKM !

Very nice info.

Let me add that Mankiewicz also do the Nextel Velvet-Coating 811-21. They give an absorption of 98% independent of the angle of incidence. The recommended thickness is 45 to 55 um. It's also directly applicable to plastics. Looks like the business. If anyone in Athens, Greece knows a place that sells it let me know.

Another (as I understood) top grade black paint is "Martin Black" from Martin-Marietta. But I think it would be very difficult to find locally or over the net.

Any more info would be appreciated.

George.
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