A Little Plastic Surgery

We had to do a little plastic surgery today, literally!  We had to replace the cracked plastic cover for the LCD screen on the back of Dawn’s main camera.  There was a little bit of nerves, some nervous hand wringing and a bit of pacing.  But it was a very minor procedure and it was over before she even knew it.  It took longer to get out the supplies and put them back away than it did to actually perform the procedure.

Muncy Photography's Canon 5D mk2 repair, before image.

Our primary camera has stood up to some pretty serious use. This crack in the protective lens needs to be repaired.

The plastic lens that protects the LCD screen on the back of the camera developed a crack in it.  We don’t know for sure what caused it.  It looks like a pressure point or a strike where it banged up against something.  The good news is that it did its job and protected the LCD screen from damage.  The bad news is that it obviously goes all the way through the plastic and will allow both air and water to get into the casing, so it had to be replaced.  We called around to see what it would cost to have a professional fix it and the lowest quote was around $200.  Dawn found the part and had it shipped to us for less than $30.  Normally I always recommend sending the camera in for repairs, but this was mostly a cosmetic job, no moving parts.

Muncy Photography's Canon 5D mk2 repair, a selection of tools.

Some tools that might be used in the repair.

With computers getting smaller, and Macs getting some creatively engineered designs, I have collected quite a variety of little tools to perform the needed repairs.  For this I really only needed a hair dryer, a suction cup, a small tool to pry up the plastic, and something to get the lint off the LCD before putting the new one in place.

Muncy Photography's Canon 5D mk2 repair, heating the glue

Heating the glue to separate the plastic lens from the body.

As I was heating the glue so that I could remove the plastic cover I tried to use a suction cup to help pull the lens off the body of the camera.  But the crack definitely went all the way through the plastic letting air through and rendering the suction cup useless.  I used a small flat screwdriver to get it started, the plastic is set down in body cover so that they are flush at the top, then I used the plastic pry bars to keep from causing any damage to the body.

Muncy Photography's Canon 5D mk2 repair, closeup of the damage

Closeup of the cracked piece. It looks like an impact or pressure fracture. Good thing it performed it’s job well and protected the LCD underneath!

After removing the lens it is a little more obvious how scratched up and dull it had become.  It made the now one even nicer to look at.

Muncy Photography's Canon 5D mk2 repair almost finished

Removing the plastic sheet, the last step.


Muncy Photography's Canon 5D mk2 camera after image.

After the screen protector was replaced.

All shiny and new.  Well, except for the two little dots in the lower center area of the lens.  Those are two little air bubbles in the plastic that must have happened during the manufacturing process.  Good thing they are on the inside so they won’t collect dust.  I guess for spending only about 10% of the cost of having it shipped off to the professionals I can live with a couple tiny little blemishes.

Overall it only took about 15 minutes for the whole repair, and that included putting the tools away.  Sometimes doing things yourself can save you some time.  This way we didn’t have to ship the camera off and wait for it to come back.  We do send the cameras and lenses in for routine cleaning and maintenance, though, and that is a big part of the reason why our gear typically lasts so long.

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