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Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment

Several weeks ago, I posted a PhotoTip regarding the need to at least start thinking about digital. Well, in a moment of weakness, I broke down and bought a D100. For those who haven't guessed already, it's a great camera. Like any new camera, however, it does take a bit of getting used to.

For the most part, reading the manual can be helpful. In describing the viewfinder diopter adjustment though, the manual that comes with the D100 has this and only this to say:

When operating the diopter control with your eye to the viewfinder, care should be taken to avoid accidentally putting your fingers or fingernails in your eye.

Diopter adjustments on the F100 (top) and D100 (bottom)Pretty helpful, huh? In checking the manual for my F100, it isn't much better. So just how do you adjust this control? Having good eyesight, I had never given it much thought until now.

If you're like me, you've probably assumed that if your eyesight is good, you can safely set this control to its mid-point and ignore it. This turns out to be a bad idea. On the D100, the diopter control adjusts from -2 to +1 DP; on the F100 it can be set from -3 to +1 DP. Since zero is not the midpoint on either, blindly (pardon the pun) setting the control to its midpoint is not advisable for most people.

When you try to adjust the diopter control with a lens on, your eye automatically looks to see if the image itself is sharp. Since this is primarily controlled by focusing, checking the diopter adjustment this way can be quite challenging. The first step in adjusting it then is to take off the lens. Facing the camera towards a well lit wall without a lens, all there is to look at is the etching on the focusing screen. Adjust the diopter control until the markings are as sharp as possible and you are done. Much easier this way.

And now everything about the diopter adjustment control is just a bit clearer, isn't it?

Date posted: November 17, 2002


Copyright © 2002 Bob Johnson, Earthbound Light - all rights reserved.
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