How You Can Get Sharper Photos With This Simple Tip

Do you need to wear spectacles or have you got to the age when they are becoming a necessity? Shooting whilst wearing spectacles can prove tricky but there are a number of solutions for those photographers with short or long-sight.

Most SLR cameras feature a built-in dioptric adjustment system that allows photographers with less than 20:20 vision to get viewfinder clarity despite their eyesight defects. Ideally it should be the first adjustment that you make when setting up a new camera.

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The small adjustment dial is normally marked -/+, and just to the left or right viewfinder.

Dioptric adjustment allows for fine-tuning of the viewfinder focus to suit an individual’s eyes. The process is essential to ensure that both the image on the focusing screen and the viewfinder display information are in perfect focus.

Normally tucked in behind the rubber eyecup, close to the viewfinder, the small dioptric adjustment dial is easily overlooked.

To access the adjustment dial, you may find it easier to remove the rubber eyecup. This is best done by squeezing both sides together firmly between finger and thumb and then pulling carefully upwards. The eyecup is held in place by two small latches. If it does not come free easily, it may need a little more pressure, lower down, on either side of the eyecup, before pulling upwards. Sometimes pushing upwards on the base of the eyecup with an index finger may help to bring it away from the viewfinder.

Once the eyecup is out of the way, the adjustment dial is clearly visible. Closer inspection reveals that the dial has a centre point marker that aligns with a line on the camera body. At this point, the adjustment is set to the default -1 dioptres. Above and below are indicators of + and – and the adjustment range is from +1 to -3 dioptres.

Adjusting the setting

dioptre 2We recommend that dioptric adjustments are made using your normal spectacles. Some may prefer to use their camera without them, however the process is the same.

Remove the lens and point the camera at a bright, but diffused light source such as a window. Removing the lens ensures that you concentrate on getting the focus screen in perfect focus. This is the surface where the camera mirror projects the image that you are capturing. If your view of the focus screen is not correctly adjusted, the image may appear unsharp, even if the camera is focusing it correctly.

Move the dioptric adjustment dial backwards and forwards until the focus point and other markings on the screen appear sharpest. Check that the viewfinder information displays are also sharp and also in perfect focus. The eye has an impressive compensatory ability for subjects that are not quite in perfect focus so it may be worth repeating the process a couple of times to ensure that results are consistent.

You are finished with on-camera dioptric adjustment. Replace the lens and ensure that when you focus your camera that the image now appears clear and crisp.

This is a little like adjust the seats for your driving position in your car.   If you share you camera, it may be necessary to repeat the above process with every user.




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