The other night I found myself on assignment in the pouring rain and my 1D Mark II N, as well as my cell phone and a 50mm f/1.4 lens, all came into contact with the buckets of cold water falling from the sky. After I got home, as a result of improper weather precautions, generally wet conditi0ns, and some forgetfulness regarding the acclimation of a cold camera body to a warmer, drier environment, I found myself resorting to dunking my lens, cell phone, and even my 1D II N into containers of rice. To recount: rice: 1, weather: 1. My cell phone came back alive, but my 50mm is on its way to Canon’s facility in Jamesburg, N.J. at this moment.
What I didn’t mention much in my previous posting was the sad state of my 1D II N’s viewfinder. It completely fogged up after coming home, and I immediately began to kick myself for not sealing it in a plastic bag before taking it inside, as the viewfinder had not been a problem–had not been fogged up–before bringing it in. Absolutely brain-dead stupid!!!
Anyone who knows me well knows that one of my greatest personality flaws is my impatience. When I want something to work, I want it to work right now. I also have a tendency to tinker with the electronics that I own; when they stop working and they’re within warranty, I’ll send them in for repairs. Why not? But when something is long-since out of warranty, I have the proper tools, and the fix looks like something anyone can do, why should I spend lots of money to FedEx the product to the manufacturer to have them do exactly what I could have done, and have them bill me for it?
Story continued after the jump!
The 1D II N is a weather-sealed (not water-proof, but very water-resistant) camera body, so I was surprised that as much moisture penetrated the viewfinder assembly as it did–the fogging was VERY intense–it was essentially opaque. I tried placing the body in a pillowcase and running a hair-dryer in it, but that did nothing to help the situation. So, I lad the back of the body on a bed of rice overnight, hoping that it clear up as did the cell phone and lens. However, this was not the case. I began to think that the simplest thing would be to pop the back plate off of the viewfinder so that dry air could penetrate inside and clear up the problem.
Enter the best toolkit ever:
A couple of years ago, Artie Morris recommended to me what he espoused was the best toolkit a photographer could have. Once I bought one, I realized he was right. The Wiha System 4 toolkit provides six slotted and four Philips screwdrivers as well as an anti-static screwdriver handle. It all comes in a compact case, which leaves plenty of room to pack it with some other essential items: a hex key for the Arca-Swiss-style quick release plates, the Torx keys for my Gitzo tripod and monopod, needle-point sharp forceps (for grabbing lint from the mirror box of my cameras), forceps designer to hold small screws, and a small tube of blue Loc-Tite thread-locker to hold screws so they won’t accidentally work themselves back out when I put back together the various products with which I am tinkering / repairing. Because you should always return something in better condition than the way that you found it.
I just needed the two smallest Philips screwdrivers to remove the six screws that held in place what is possibly the most weakly-sealed part on the 1D II N.
After 12 hours sitting in a Ziploc container full of rice, the rear viewfinder was finally de-fogged and good-as-new. Of course, I think the worst case scenario would have been calling Canon’s parts department and ordering a replacement. But I’m happy that it didn’t come to that!