Question about Nikon N65 35mm SLR Camera

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When I looking through camera you see almost a prism affect. Ideas?

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If you're looking at it through the front then you will as there is a pentaprism inside feeding the lens view through to the viewfinder so that it displays the right way up and right way around. Almost all SLR's have them which is why they have a hump on top.

As long as the image in the viewfinder is correct then there's no problem. If the prism effect is visible, then the prism has become dislodged and on an N65/F65 it's not really worth repairing. The camera is very definitely a consumer grade model which was never intended to be dismantled for major repair and as there are millions of perfectly good free ones available (late, consumer grade, 35mm AF bodies from most manufacturers are seen as worthless liabilities) there's really little point in attempting a repair except to gain knowledge of how your camera comes apart. If you manage to dismantle, repair and reassemble without breaking anything or finding other broken and unobtainable parts inside then it's a bonus.

If you want to find a free SLR then check out FreeCycle: you may need to check often and be patient but they do come up. Be flexible: you may have to accept any make or model but if they come with lenses then it's no problem. Most of the freebies are Nikon or Canon anyway so if you need to stay with Nikon then it's not a major problem. I recently got a boxed and barely used F75 kit with a 28-100 lens and all it needed was new batteries and film.

Posted on Sep 02, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

Clean prism


Depends where the dirt is, often it is trapped between the focusing screen and the prism. You can drop out the focusing screen using the tang on screen holding frame, remove the screen and blow the exposed face of the prism with an air puffer, or better still, use a camera vacuum to do this. More often than not, this will clean any large particles. If the dirt is anywhere else (unlikely) then you are looking at a prism removal. Not easy!

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1 Answer

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It depends where the dirt is. Following the light path, look at the rear surface of the lens. A dirty rear lens surface will have the most affect on picture quality or what you see in the viewfinder of any position in the light path. Like all optical cleaning procedures, hold the lens with the rear lens surface facing the ground so gravity will work with you. Start by blowing clean air on it using canned air or a blower such as a Rocket blower or ear syringe. If that is sufficient, do not continue the sequence. This holds true at the conclusion of each step because the more aggressive your cleaning becomes, the more risk there is of damage. If it is still dirty, gently brush it with a sable or camel hair brush. If that is not sufficient, gently wipe it with a dry lens photograph lens tissue (do not use coated tissues) or a microfiber cloth. Finally, as a last resort, dampen a corner of a lens tissue or microfiber cloth (do not put the wet solution directly on the lens) and gently wipe with a circular motion. Finish by wiping with a dry section of the tissue or cloth. Although the front surface of the lens is not as important, repeat the process for the front surface.
If you still see the dirt in the viewfinder, are two possible remaining locations; the bottom surface of the prism located above the mirror or the mirror.
Clean the prism first and avoid cleaning the mirror if possible, or any contact with the mirror. The prism can be cleaned following the sequence outlined above. If that doesn't work, the problem is the mirror.
CAUTION! The mirror is front surfaced and is very susceptible to scratches and other damage unlike a conventional mirror which is rear surfaced with the glass protecting the coating. Aggressive cleaning should be avoided.
Carefully follow step 1 of the lens cleaning procedure (air) and step 2 (brushing) if necessary. As far as the third and fourth steps, I would not use them myself because of the risk of mirror coating damage. It would be better to take your camera to a qualified repairman.


remove the lens and look above the mirror at the bottom of the viewfinder prism. If it is dirty, clean it as you would clean a lens surface. The next place to look is the mirror.
CAUTION! The mirror, unlike the mirror over your bathroom sink, is front surfaced and there is no glass between you and the delicate and easily damaged coating. Hold the camera with the mirror facing down so that gravity will work in your favor. If that does not work, I would stop and take it to a camera repairman because you do not want to risk scratching the surface by using lens tissue or cleaner.

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1 Answer

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Never touch lens elements or eyepiece with your fingers. If the lens becomes dirty, clean it gently with a lens brush. Only if necessary, moisten a sheet of lens tissue with one drop of lens-cleaning fluid. Then, starting at the center and using a circular motion, lightly wipe the glass surface.
Never lift the mirror or touch its surface, as this may impair its alignment. Dust specks on the mirror's surface will not affect meter readings or picture quality; if they are annoying, have the camera cleaned with soft cotton buds or cloth.

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1 Answer

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it may not be the prism but rather a polarizer glass plate. take the cover off and inspect the optics parts to see which one may be heat affected and damaged.

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Hola Carlos!
Look at Sony Part Catalog. Enter A1539606A at the top of the page and click Search.

Saudades de Israel,
Pelu.

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The prism is a major repair. If the prism is damage the the camera is trash. If the focusing screen in fornt of the prism is scratched then you can replace it if you can find another one. Because the camera is so old you will not be able to get them from Canon. Because of the age you may be better off buying another used AE-1

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1 Answer

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I suggest a good camera repairman, unless you want to embark a new career. Fortuantely Canon made so many AE-1s, that every repairman has some for parts and the prism seldom breaks ( I have 7). It could just be a broken viewing window / lens (about half inch by three quarter inch window you look into), but that still requires taking off the cover (with speacialized tools), to replace. 

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