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Wear eyeglasses?

Try a camera's eyepiece correction lens instead


If you wear eyeglasses to correct for far-sightedness, some 35 mm SLR (single lens reflex) cameras have built-in, adjustable diopters that will allow you to use the viewfinder with your naked eye. The Nikon F5 (with its Multi-Meter Finder DP-30 attached) or the Nikon D2X digital SLR are examples of such cameras. There are many others that are equipped with diopters.

The Nikon D2Hs has a diopter that allows the photographer to focus sharply without the need to wear eyeglasses.
The Nikon D2Hs has a diopter that allows the photographer to focus sharply without the need to wear eyeglasses.

Many camera manufacturers make separate eyepiece correction lenses available as an optional accessory. They can generally be easily fitted to your camera’s eyepiece. Check your camera’s manual for availability and talk to your camera dealer about obtaining the one you need.

You can usually purchase a small correction lens for your camera's eyepiece so you won't need glasses to use the viewfinder.
You can usually purchase a small correction lens for your camera's eyepiece so you won't need glasses to use the viewfinder.

How do you know what strength (diopter) of eyepiece correction lens to order?

Your eye doctor (optometrist or opthalmologist) can tell you which diopter will do the job for you.

If you have no plans to visit your eye doctor in the near future, you can get a good idea from binoculars that are equipped with an adjustable eyepiece. While wearing your eyeglasses and using the eye you normally use to look through your camera’s viewfinder:

  • Look through the binocular eyepiece that has the +/- control feature.
  • Be sure the +/- control is set in the middle.
  • Focus on an object as close as the binocular’s lenses permit.
  • Then take off your eyeglasses and adjust the eyepiece’s +/- control until the object comes back into focus for your naked eye.
  • Now look at the +/- dial, which will give you an adjustment reading of + 1 to +3 or -1 to -3.
  • This plus or minus number is the strength of eyepiece corrective lens (the diopter) you should order for your camera.
  • What if you want to wear your eyeglasses when you're taking pictures?

    That's all right, although you may not be able to see edge-to-edge in the viewfinder too well and light may stray in from the sides affecting visibility and possibly even your camera’s exposure reading.

    A good idea if you wear eyeglasses while taking pictures is to attach a rubber eyecup accessory to your camera’s eyepiece. It will help to keep out stray light and allow you to use your camera without fear of scratching your glasses when you keep it clean - free of grit and dust.

    A rubber eyecup accessory attached to your camera’s eyepiece helps to keep out stray light.
    A rubber eyecup accessory attached to your camera’s eyepiece helps to keep out stray light.