Bummer. Last week I unvoluntarily scratched the top LCD screen of my D300s.Scratches and Vikuiti-1It happened like this: I have a Crumpler Jimmy Bo 500 holster bag for my camera. It’s an easy-access bag which is quite small, providing space for just the camera and some smaller items (battery, memory card, cloth). Because of these spacial restrictions I took off the Solmeta geotagger (see last post) from the hotshoe and stored the camera in the bag with the N2 dangling around. Somewhere in this process the N2’s hot show connector must have scratched over the LCD screen.

My first thought was to use polishing paste, which is also available for cell phone displays. Researching this in my favorite DSLR forum, I learned that I was not the only person with the same problem and idea. The answers to the polishing paste idea are quite diverse. People who tried this method gave answers from “display is now good as new” to “I ruined everything – display blurred”. Which left me unsure and to be on the safe side I decided, that using polishing paste is not an option.

Somebody in the forum also mentioned a protective foil, which can also “heal” minor scratches with a maximum depth of 12 µm (the adhesive on the foil is supposed to fill the scratches and even them out). The stuff is called “Vikuiti” and is produced by 3M. There are many variants of the Vikuiti foils, and the one which is interesting for this application is the CV8 type. It is an ultra-clear and scratch resistant foil which is available for a variety of camera displays. They claim that you can peel it off, wash it with water, dry and then re-apply it to the screen.

Well, the scratches are on the display, I will definitely not replace the glass of the display (too expensive), so why not protecting it and perhaps getting rid of the scratches with this wonder foil ? I bought a set on eBay (5,95 € including shipping) and as the letter arrived it turned out to be two complete sets of foils: two for the top LCD display, two for the camera screen. In the picture you can only see one set, because the first set had already been applied when the picture was taken.

Scratches and Vikuiti-3Applying the foil is (in theory) easy. Clean the display, peel off the back paper of the foil, align the foil to the screen rim (this is the tricky part…), press the foil onto the screen and use a credit card to apply evenly distributed pressure, then peel back the paper and follow with the credit card. You can see an instructional movie here.

I started the procedure and, of course, the first application went wrong. I misaligned the foil for the top LCD cover. It is quite tricky to align the foil correctly and then apply it smoothly, so that the foil is brought into contact with the screen by the credit card. But the second try was ok and now I think I have a good protection for my screens. Unfortunately the scratches in the LCD screen proved to be of more depth than 12 µm, because they are still visible.

Scratches and Vikuiti-4Oh well, the scratches are not that deep, they do not impede the view on the display and at least the screens are now protected for the future. In the DSLR forum somebody suggested to consider the scratches as “patina” on the camera, a normal sign of use.