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Is this fungus?

XLR8R

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Just got a Minolta XE-5 off Ebay today. When I removed the lens, this is what I saw on the mirror. I'm new to collecting and shooting vintage cameras so this is new to me. Is this just water damage? Is this fungus? What's the worse case scenario? I want to try and clean it but I'm afraid I would make it worse. But if left unchecked, is this going to be a problem?

I'm trying to shoot a roll right now and get it developed to see if it effects the photos. But I'm more concerned about what it will do in the future if left unchecked. Thank you guys.
IMG_3336.jpg
 

MikeB

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Looks like fungus. You should be able to remove the mirror and clean. You should also look at the base of the pentaprism and check the focusing screen for fungus.
 

BrianS

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The mirror has a silver coating on the front of the glass. I doubt that it can be cleaned effectively- the silver is damaged. Removing and putting the mirror back is not trivial- of it is is not aligned within a small fraction of a millimeter, the focus will be off.
 

Ozzie_Traveller

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G'day mate

Whatever happens -DO NOT TOUCH THE SURFACE OF THE MIRROR-

Your SLR mirror is Front-Coated silver (not like a household rear-coated mirror) and cannot be cleaned by touch / rubbing / wiping with anything. All you can do with it is blower-brush it clean

Q- was the camera advertised on Ebay as "excellent condition" or "faulty condition"? - as this is faulty / damaged

You will find that it is uneconomic to repair - either decide to live with it, or return to seller

The state of the mirror should not affect the images - that comes back to lens & shutter performance
Hope this helps
Phil
 

MikeB

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Regardless of whether you clean the mirror or not (it has no effect on the image captured) the fungus may continue to proliferate. Since the mirror gets flipped out of the way for picture taking, fungus will likely get onto other parts of the mirror box, including the focusing screen. The mirror can be cleaned, it will never be like new. More importantly the fungus must be killed. Your best bet is to send the camera to a certified film camera repair shop and have it thoroughly cleaned.

Fungus spore gets everywhere. However, it usually requires high humidity to attach and grow. Once it starts growing, it becomes difficult to remove it. You definitely do not want the fungus on your lenses.
 

BrianS

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Sending the camera to a repair shop will be expensive- well over $100, more like $200 at a shop like KEH.

If you can return the camera: Do it.

Otherwise, get another camera. Use or sell this one for parts.
 
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