Nikon D80 diopter adjustment

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Roadsign, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Roadsign

    Roadsign Guest

    New to the group and have a quick question about the Nikon D80. The Quick
    Start guide and the manual both say to adjust the viewfinder (diopter).
    There is a small wheel to make this adjustment near the viewfinder. Turning
    the wheel doesn't seem to make much (if any) change on the way the brackets
    look in the viewfinder and the knob is difficult at best to turn.

    Do I have a problem or is the change so subtle I am just not seeing it?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Roadsign, Dec 28, 2006
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  2. Sounds like a problem. Is the camera on when you try this? (it should

    Dr Hfuhruhurr, Dec 28, 2006
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  3. Roadsign

    bmoag Guest

    For practical purposes the diopter adjustment is not useful for most people.
    The range of adjustment is quite limited anyway.
    If you have a significant refraction error without corrective lenses the
    diopter adjustment will not make up for this. You are better off using
    glasses even if you cannot see the entire focusing screen at one glance.
    Even if the diopter adjustment can compensate for your eye when you look
    away from the camera you will have to put your glasses back on. This is a
    guaranteed way to induce eye strain or worse.
    The only exception for this would be for critical manual focusing with the
    camera on a tripod. Alas the viewing screen of the D80, while tremendously
    bigger and brighter than the D70, is virtually useless for critical manual
    focusing--that will require bracketing exposures around what you think is
    correct focus. At least I have found no other way to achieve critical manual
    focus of stationary objects.
    bmoag, Dec 28, 2006
  4. Roadsign

    HEMI-Powered Guest

    Today, Roadsign made these interesting comments ...
    RS, the diopter adjustment wheel alters the focus of what you see
    in the view finder, not what markings the camera shows on the
    "ground glass". The main purpose of this control is to adjust for
    individual vision, e.g., near-sighted, far-sighted, glasses, etc.

    In the case of my Rebel XT, I need to set mine to near one
    extreme if I am shooting without my reading glasses on and near
    the other extreme when I have them on. One of the problems with
    getting old is that I cannot see to read without my glasses, thus
    I cannot read the text in the viewfinder nor on any of the
    camera's many controls, hence I wear my glasses most of the time.

    Can't speak to the difficulty in turning the little wheel. Mine
    is somewhat stiff, possibly because of its small diameter giving
    it little mechanical advantage. Incidently, as a hint to see if
    you do or don't need to adjust it, try running the wheel quickly
    from one extreme to another and note whether you see a
    difference, rather than trying to make very minute adjustments.

    One other comment, that some might disagree with: if you can read
    all the controls on the camera and can trust its auto-focus
    system, then it doesn't much matter if the image in the view
    finder is crystal clear or not, but if you're trying to focus
    manual, having the diopter set correctly can be crucial to being
    able to judge when you are or are not in-focus.
    HEMI-Powered, Dec 28, 2006
  5. Roadsign

    Roadsign Guest

    Hi Doc,

    Yes, the camera is on. I even remembered to remove the lens cap! <g> Using
    some of the other suggestions offered I now can see a difference. The small
    wheel is still difficult to turn but with a little practice it comes

    Thanks for the response,

    Roadsign, Dec 28, 2006
  6. Roadsign

    Roadsign Guest

    I agree. Thanks! I think due to the groups suggestions I am on the right

    Roadsign, Dec 28, 2006
  7. Roadsign

    Roadsign Guest

    Hi Jerry,

    Thought I would find you in here! I think you nailed it with that
    description. I can see a very small difference in the small brackets when
    rapidly turning the wheel. Sort of like when the eye doc asks you if 8 is
    better than 9 about 6 times! The wheel is stiff to turn but I think I have
    it now.

    Thanks for the assist!

    RS, aka Tony
    Roadsign, Dec 28, 2006
  8. Roadsign

    Alan Browne Guest


    Both my eyes have stabilized at about -1.75 so most cameras with diopter
    adjustments are fine. Astigmatism in my right eye seems to get a little
    worse every year. Left (dominant and shooting eye) seems astig. free.
    Knock on wood.

    She noted that my close up focusing ability was better than she expected
    for my age (I can read quite well at about 7" from my eyes) and I
    attribute that to always reading w/o my glasses... the 'glasses on/
    glases off' DOES NOT induce eye strain. It is better to exercise the
    muscles in the eye in order to conserve their range for the long term.

    I recently had a full eye exam as it seemed to me that while reading
    that there was a spot in front of my right eye. The opthalmologist
    attributed this to the 'dead spot' or 'floaters' in the eyeball jelly.
    I drove home with my pupils chemically dilated. It was bright and
    sunny. Ouch! talk about RAW...

    Alan Browne, Dec 28, 2006
  9. Roadsign

    HEMI-Powered Guest

    Today, Roadsign made these interesting comments ...
    No problemo, Tony! I monitor a large number of NGs but seldom
    post these days for reasons we've talked about on the phone. But,
    since you're an old-time photographer like I am, you can also see
    the "wisdom" in making large-scale changes to a subtle control
    like diopter, else you fool your own eyes and can actually set it
    to a non-optimal setting.

    Minor tip: you should generally only have to go thorugh this
    process once unless somthing changes, e.g., you get new glasses,
    so just pick some typical "subjects" to aim the finder at whilst
    you're twiddling the diopter control and "see" (pun intended!) if
    there is or isn't a difference. Sometimes, lighting can be a
    factor, but so is experience. Of all the things you've got to
    learn el quicko with your new toy, I wouldn't be all that worried
    about having the diopter 20% off from "right".
    HEMI-Powered, Dec 28, 2006
  10. Roadsign

    C J Campbell Guest

    The D80 and the D200 have pretty much the same diopter adjustment. You adjust
    for the center bracket, which is projected onto the ground glass. If the
    bracket looks clear and sharp, then the diopter adjustment is right -- for
    you. If the diopter adjustment is not right, the center autofocus bracket
    will look fuzzy or slightly doubled. You will have a tendency to want to hold
    the camera slightly away from your eye so that you can see the viewfinder

    The wheel is deliberately stiff so that you do not have to constantly reset
    it. I find the diopter adjustment to be critical at my age.
    C J Campbell, Dec 29, 2006
  11. Roadsign

    Roadsign Guest

    Thank you C J,

    Due to the help of the group I have found that what you say is exactly
    right. I too have the age thing making the adjustment critical. After
    rotating the wheel back and forth I see exactly what you describe and
    now I understand it is a correction for MY eye, not the camera.

    Happy New Year to you and thanks for the response,

    Roadsign, Dec 29, 2006
  12. Roadsign

    gpaleo Guest

    [Sigh...] Yup, I know exactly what you're talking about...
    gpaleo, Dec 29, 2006
  13. I'm not sure how this works on your camera, but with the F100,
    it is necessary to lift the wheel outward before turning it, then
    press it in when properly adjusted for sharpest view. I find it
    easiest to do this by using a wide angle lens on a mid-far subject
    with lots of details and letting the AF find the focus - after which
    I adjust the diopter for best sharpness.

    Possibly. "Older" eyes have greater problems adjusting to inexact
    focus compensations and if you are young, your eyes may just
    compensate over a wide range of errors...
    You may find this useful -- - it describes
    a four-distance glasses arrangement that I devised that does
    not result in "mono-vision", but does smoothly provide sharp
    vision over a very wide range of distances and ideal
    compensations for camera use without the negatives of "lineless
    bifocals" or "progressive lenses". It is not ideal for long-term
    reading (I use specialized glasses for this), but for general
    seeing, it provides sharp vision from under 2' to infinity without
    the focus breaks that bifocals (or, ugh!, even trifocals) have.
    Yes - but it is always nice to see the DOF and focus the best you
    can. I fault recent cameras for having unsharp viewfinders (even
    the Nikon N90 and N70 were inferior in this respect, especially to
    the N8008 and F3, and later ones were TERRIBLE!). A good,
    sharp VF is fundamental to a good SLR - otherwise one of the
    main reasons for using an SLR is lost.
    David Ruether, Dec 29, 2006
  14. Roadsign

    Roadsign Guest

    Tremendous info David. Thank you! I'll check the websites you offered.
    It certainly is great to have a group of people offer opinions and
    suggestions to a guy with a new camera.

    Happy New Year,

    Roadsign, Dec 29, 2006
  15. Roadsign

    G.T. Guest

    Wow, I thought it was negligence on my opthamologist's part the one time
    I had this happen. It was a bright day and I couldn't see a thing but I
    was young and ignorant. My two other opthamologists since then have
    provided throw away sunglasses which I turned down because I had brought
    my own skiing sunglasses for those two visits.

    G.T., Dec 31, 2006
  16. Roadsign

    Jimmy Guest

    If you still experience some degree of problem with the eye piece, here is
    some information from Nikonusa, and this appears to be applicable for the
    D80 and other models.

    Nikon eyepiece correction system
    Nikon correction lens+3+2+10-1-2-3-4-5

    Note: Cameras without eyepiece correction sytems built in such as the FM3a
    have a -1 diopter setting as standard. In these cameras the viewfinder
    eyepiece supplied has no value and is plain glass and should not be confused
    with a correction lens. Use the above table to calculate the correct Nikon
    eyepiece for your prescription.
    The rubber viewfinder eyepiece of some cameras may need to be removed when
    using diopter adjustment lenses. These accessories can be ordered through a
    Nikon Professional Dealer.
    Part # 2948 NCP correction -5
    Part # 2947 NCP correction -4
    Part # 2946 NCP correction -3
    Part # 2945 NCP correction -2
    Part # 2944 NCP correction +3
    Part # 2943 NCP correction +2
    Part # 2942 NCP correction +1
    Part # 2941 NCP correction +.5
    Jimmy, Jan 1, 2007
  17. Roadsign

    Roadsign Guest

    Good stuff Jimmy. Thank you. I think I've got it now, but will keep this
    info in my Nikon folder.

    Happy New Year,

    Roadsign, Jan 1, 2007
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