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Photography Question 
Alex Cabrall

Canned Air: Is It Safe?

The canned air I recently bought says to NEVER use it on "camera mirrors". Does this mean:
1: Don't use it on cameras anywhere?
2: Just don't spray the reflex mirror and focusing screen?
3: Don't spray any glass whatsoever?
Just wanted to know, as the inside of my backup body started to get dusty. Thanks.

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12/26/2004 2:03:59 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  The warning is most likely to deter possible damage to delicate internal parts. (The pressure in those cans can be pretty intense.)
There's also the possibility of blasting tiny bits of debris further back into the camera where they could wreak havoc with your circuitry.
Personally, I won't use canned air on anything ... except for cleaning slides or negatives prior to scanning.
Dust on the mirror and/or focusing screen has no effect on the image. As long as your lens glass is clean, you are OK.

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12/26/2004 3:42:46 PM

Tiffany L. Cochran
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2004
  When I needed my CCD cleaned on my D100 by a Nikon-trained pro, he taught me how to clean the CCD myself. He asked me to bring a can of compressed air with me. The "pro-sumer" camera store where I purchased it and my other supplies (optical cleaning system liquid and swabs) said that the compressed air was the correct one I needed.

But, the Nikon-trained pro was alarmed that the store had given me the wrong product because the "compressed air" was actually a can of air with other chemicals in it (sorry -can't remember what). This is the same as what you purchase from stores such as CompUSA to dust your computer equipment. Don't use this for your camera gear as it will result in VERY expensive repairs.

If you are purchasing compressed air to clean your camera, it is very important to get PURE compressed air. This may be purchased from professional photographer camera supply stores, which are usually not found in chains. Used properly, this poses no risk to your sensitive (digital) camera equipment, including your CCD. But, to be on the safe side, it is best to have a pro show you how to do this first. You must be careful of not damaging components such as the mirror. Once you learn, you will save money and possibly weeks of time which may results from having to send your gear to the manufacturer for cleaning.

A lot of info, but I hope this helps.

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12/28/2004 9:21:01 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  I think that liquid in the can is the main reason for the warning. You don't want to spray it all over the inside. The pressure isn't that high, unless you're using a can of super air.

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12/28/2004 10:28:55 AM

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