Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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Is there any chance of eye infection from using a viewfinder? If so how can we get rid of that? How can we clean a viewfinder?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Well, the viewfinder itself is not going to cause infections, but some of the germs that cause conjunctivitis are highly contagious. If you're passing your camera to people with red eye, ask them to wash their hands and to use the LCD screen instead.

In general, though, these germs are not particularly long-lived away from a human host. Just letting the camera sit for a while will basically do it. I'm sure there's a chance of some more rare disease, and you could carefully clean the viewfinder area with lens cleaner, which is generally alcohol-based and will serve as a disinfectant.

Are you passing your camera to potentially-unhealthy strangers very frequently? In general, people usually trust others to not walk around when they're really sick, and trust in their own immune systems to deal with the rest.

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How about simply alcohol? I apply it with a Q-tip and never had an issue and I get hundreds of cameras which do the rounds among the press. –  Itai Nov 6 '12 at 14:18
    
@Itai Sure. In either case, make sure to not use so much that it gets in the camera. –  mattdm Nov 6 '12 at 14:58
    
A wipe with a lightly dampened cloth using 0.1% of less Benzyl Alconium Chloride (BAC) should be ad effective as alcohol, more persistent as a germicidal and probably has a lower risk of damaging plastics. BAC, also known as "Quaternary ammonium salts, and a range of similar names , is the active ingredient in the majority of off the shelf disinfectants in supermatkets plus also used as carpet cleaners, moss and mould remover, hand sanitiser and more. 0.1% solution is quite benign (gargling maybe OK) and it is certified for use in hand sanitisers and has some advantages over alcohol. –  Russell McMahon Nov 6 '12 at 15:02
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Isopropyl, though, is also a great glass cleaner, so you kill two birds with one stone. –  user2719 Nov 6 '12 at 19:13

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