Viewfinder lost its accuracy.. please help.

Started Oct 28, 2013 | Discussions
Bhupesh New Member • Posts: 2
Viewfinder lost its accuracy.. please help.

My D5100 is more than a year old and today I noticed that the viewfinder alignment is quite a bit off. When I click a photo using the viewfinder the resulting image is shifted about 20% to the up and left. In other words I lose 20% of picture from the right and lower margin and gain 20% on the top and left. It does not happen when using the live view to shoot photos. I cant seem to get around this problem. Any input is appreciated.

Thanks

Bhupesh

Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,642
alignment

Bhupesh wrote:

My D5100 is more than a year old and today I noticed that the viewfinder alignment is quite a bit off. When I click a photo using the viewfinder the resulting image is shifted about 20% to the up and left. In other words I lose 20% of picture from the right and lower margin and gain 20% on the top and left. It does not happen when using the live view to shoot photos. I cant seem to get around this problem. Any input is appreciated.

Sounds like the viewfinder pentamirror is out of alignment. Only fix I can think of is a trip to Nikon service. You could try opening it up but that gets problematic. Good luck and please let us know the final resolution.

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KCK14 Senior Member • Posts: 1,129
Re: alignment

This is not an easy repair and should go to Nikon or Nikon authorized shop.

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lock Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
Why not the mirror?

It needs quite something to get a pentaprism going off that much. That is why I think the mirror is more likely the problem.

Lock

Kevin J Fulton New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Why not the mirror?

lock wrote:

It needs quite something to get a pentaprism going off that much. That is why I think the mirror is more likely the problem.

Lock

The D5100 has a pentamirror viewfinder, not pentaprism.

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lock Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
Aah..my mistake.

That makes my remark obsolete.

Lock

OP Bhupesh New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Viewfinder lost its accuracy.. please help.

I took my D5100 to authorized nikon repair shop in Atlanta. When I told him that I had manipulated my mirror recently to release a stuck mirror, he said he knows exactly where the problem is. I might have manipulated the mirror enough to cause it to lose its alignment.

He said it should be a quick fix and no parts need to be ordered. We will see. He kept my camera and will call me with a quote tomorrow.

Lesson Learned - never play with the delicate interiors of a DSLR.

What should be a reasonable estimate for this kind of a job? I don't want to pay 200-300 dollars for this.

mbaxter
mbaxter Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: Viewfinder lost its accuracy.. please help.

Bhupesh wrote:

I took my D5100 to authorized nikon repair shop in Atlanta. When I told him that I had manipulated my mirror recently to release a stuck mirror, he said he knows exactly where the problem is. I might have manipulated the mirror enough to cause it to lose its alignment.

He said it should be a quick fix and no parts need to be ordered. We will see. He kept my camera and will call me with a quote tomorrow.

Lesson Learned - never play with the delicate interiors of a DSLR.

What should be a reasonable estimate for this kind of a job? I don't want to pay 200-300 dollars for this.

probably more than 1/2 the cost of a new dSLR, if you're lucky.

J C Brown Senior Member • Posts: 1,620
Re: Aah..my mistake.

lock wrote:

That makes my remark obsolete.

Lock

Hi Lock

I feel sure that you were correct in diagnosing misalignment of the mirror.

FYI A pentaprism is manufactured from a solid block of glass. A pentamirror is a hollow box of the same shape in which the front face and both sides of the roof are made from front surfaced mirrors.

After I bought my first 35 mm film SLR, a used Praktica FX-2, in 1963 I discovered that the cost of a matching pentaprism was more than I'd paid for the camera. As an undergraduate engineering student I couldn't afford the additional cost so I designed and made a pentamirror using cover glasses for 35 mm colour slides. A friend who worked in a vacuum physics department aluminised the front surfaces of the three mirrors for me. Fifty years later both the camera and the pentamirror are still fully functional.

Jimmy

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J C Brown

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lock Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
True Jimmy.

But I somehow misread the response from Mako, and interpreted it as the prism was not oke. Which takes some effort to cause that btw.. Since Mako already referred to the mirror my response was obsolete.

Interesting to read about your solid fix using these mirrors. Do you still use the camera?

Lock

J C Brown Senior Member • Posts: 1,620
Re: True Jimmy.

lock wrote:

But I somehow misread the response from Mako, and interpreted it as the prism was not oke. Which takes some effort to cause that btw.. Since Mako already referred to the mirror my response was obsolete.

Interesting to read about your solid fix using these mirrors. Do you still use the camera?

Lock

As there are three internal reflections involved and the reflectivity of the aluminised surfaces of a pentamirror is considerably lower than that of a solid pentaprism the image is considerably brighter when viewed through a pentaprism. However a pentamirror has the advantage of being considerably lighter and probably cheaper to manufacture.

It would be very interesting to know if my 1963 DIY pentamirror predates the first commercially available camera to be fitted with a pentamirror.

As the Tessar lens on my FX-2 had to be stopped down manually prior to taking a shot it was difficult to see the image in the viewfinder at apertures smaller than its 2.8 maximum. It was also all too easy to forget to stop down before taking a shot.

Prior to switching to digital with an 3MP Olympus Camedia in 2001 almost all of my photography was done with 50 and 100 ISO colour slide film. Consequently apart from its occasional use with B&W film I haven't used my FX-2 since I bought a Minolta X-700 in the 1980's.

Having concluded that with its 6000 x 4000 pixel sensor it should be able to match the 55 lp/mm resolution of my Minolta X-700 with 100 ISO colour slide film I bought a D7100 body and a 16-85 lens in July. Thankfully my calculations have been confirmed by tests with a Fujicolor resolution test chart.

Jimmy

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J C Brown

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