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Help!!! Are my eyes deceiving me?

KevinMW 14 14 Wales
28 Jun 2010 10:19PM
I am getting rather frustrated!!! Having been interested in Photography for many years and had Nikon Cameras (Film & Digital), I am struggling to get to grips with the deteriation in my eyesight, where I am not sure if it is having an affect om my images.
I have had glasses for approx. 4 ~ 5 years now and my eyes have steadily got worse (now in my mid 40s). I cannot use the glasses to look through the viewfinder. (I have set the dioptre setting on the viewfinder (D80) to match my eyesight as suggested in the manual).
However, when manually focusing (especially on Macro shots) I am finding that, even though the image appears sharp at the point of focus I am concentrating on (usually the eyes), when reviewing on the PC after uploading the shots, the images seem a little soft.
Is there anything I can do to confirm it is my eyes at fault? (and not the camera or any other reason that could be affecting the shots). Apologies for the excessive textSad

Thanks, Kevin

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cameracat 16 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
28 Jun 2010 10:37PM
If its any help Kevin, Our eyes can/will deteriorate anywhere between 40 and 50 years, However the amount of deterioration slows down after the initial, Oh Er! I needs glasses for reading or whatever happens, It should then level off.

So thats the good news, The not so good might be that your dioptre has run out of adjustment, There is a Nikon part that fits over the viewfinder, That adds some magnification, Basically gives you back the dioptre adjustment, The side effect is it also makes objects look a tad larger in the viewfinder......Smile

So thats the good news and might be worth trying, The part number is Nikon DK-21M, Last time I looked they where around 15 quid.......Grin

Even if you don't have an eyesight issue, They do make focusing ( especially Macro ) Just that little bit easier.....Wink
KevinMW 14 14 Wales
28 Jun 2010 10:46PM
Thanks Vince, I will certainly look into it. Grin

Cheers, Kevin
KathyW 16 1.8k 12 Norfolk Island
28 Jun 2010 10:46PM
I know the feeling - reading glasses (or rather, usually the lack of them) are the bane of my life. Sad

Does the camera and lens combination work well on AF? Is it the same if you use different lenses?

Have you tried using a rubber eyecup? This may enable you to wear your glasses and still look through the viewfinder.

Is there someone else with good eyesight who could test the camera and lens for you? I'd suggest testing it with camera on tripod and measured distances etc just as if you were testing the lens. I'd have thought that if the pics look sharp in the viewfinder they should look sharp on the PC, but there are various other things to consider like are you using a new software that has no preview sharpening when viewing the RAWs?

Do you need a slightly stronger dioptre on the viewfinder or this there still alittle more adjustment available?

Could it be that the specs you use for looking at the PC need upgrading? I find I need different glasses for reading and working at the PC.
cameracat 16 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
28 Jun 2010 10:52PM
Kathy has added some bits I missed, That made me remember something else......Smile

Monitor......Just how good is your monitor....? ? ?

Would not be the first time I have heard of a monitor that took the sharpness out of images.

So along with Kathys tests, Get some of your images on a stick and try viewing them on another screen.

Good luck, Hope you get sorted soon.

User_Removed 10 4.6k 1 Scotland
28 Jun 2010 10:59PM
I've worn glasses for the past 47 years since the age of 18. First for distance and latterly vari-focal.

I never remove them when using the viewfinder on my D300. And, although my glasses are now quite strong (it's true what was said above that deterioration tends to slow down with advancing years), the dioptre adjustment isn't an issue as my glasses are correcting my eyesight so I don't need the viewfinder to make any further adjustment.

One important point though - I really wish that modern digital SLRs would reinstate all the wonderful focussing aids that were standard in SLR viewfinders before the days of autofocus. It used to be so easy to achieve precise focus in the viewfinder (the Canon A1 I had for many years had a central portion that stopped "shimmering" when the part of the subject it covered was in focus).

As a matter of interest, why do you remove your glasses?
KevinMW 14 14 Wales
28 Jun 2010 10:59PM
Hi Kathy, Thanks for the post.

Lens/Camera combo appears to work well on normal distance subjects but I find the AF struggles on a lot of the macro shots I have been taking recently (plus all the advice is to use manual focus for macro).

My glasses are varifocal (to a degree) and the reading portion is at the lower edge of the glasses which makes it almost impossible to look through a viewfinder with them on.

I have used a tripod to ensure I am not getting Camera shake though I haven't "measured distances". Maybe I can try that. Software is Lightroom 2.1 & Photoshop CS3.. Guess theres a multitude of variables to consider.

Maybe perseverance is called for.

Thanks again.. Kevin
User_Removed 10 4.6k 1 Scotland
28 Jun 2010 11:08PM


My glasses are varifocal (to a degree) and the reading portion is at the lower edge of the glasses which makes it almost impossible to look through a viewfinder with them on.


As I mentioned a couple of posts above, I too wear varifocals and, after reading your post, I picked up my camera and looked through the viewfinder. The "natural" position for me is to be looking through the viewfinder via a point on my rh spectacle lens which is central horizontally and about one-third down from the top edge of the lens vertically. (i.e. well into the "distance" segment of the lens and nowhere near the "reading" or "computer monitor" areas.

Maybe you just need to practise looking through the upper part of your glasses when using the viewfinder. You certainly don't want to be looking through the reading section when using the viewfinder or, if focussing manually, everything will be horribly out of focus.
User_Removed 10 4.6k 1 Scotland
28 Jun 2010 11:15PM
...further to the above, I then tried using the camera with my glasses off. The dioptre adjustments doesn't come anywhere near correcting my eyesight, so trying to focus manually without my glasses on would be a non-starter.

I find the same when using binoculars. I have to keep my glasses on as the focussing adjustment cannot compensate sufficiently to correct my eyesight (plus it wouldn't correct the astigmatism anyway).

So the answer seems straightforward - focus with your glasses on and make sure that you are looking through the distance segment of your varifocal lens.

Good luck.


By the way, the lens I use for Macro is the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8VR and I agree that manual focussing is sometimes in order. For stationary subjects, single point AF sometimes gives satisfactory results.
MikeRC 15 3.6k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2010 11:50PM

Quote:The part number is Nikon DK-21M, Last time I looked they where around 15 quid

....looks interesting....thanks Vince.

cameracat 16 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
29 Jun 2010 1:00AM

Quote:looks interesting....thanks Vince.

No problem Mike.....Smile

Another side effect benefit is that it also steps the eyepiece off the camera by a small amount ( 5 to 6mm ) maybe a tad more with the rubber cushion fitted.

Anyhow it helps you prevent moving the focus points ( Pad control ) with your nose......LOL....Grin

All in all a very useful little add-on, That I see now are around 25 quid most places, Though Warehouse Express are doing them for 22......Smile

My how prices have gone up since I bought mine....Wink
Sooty_1 10 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2010 8:08AM
Doesn't your Nikon camera have focus confirmation, even with manual focussing of AF lenses? If the AF works fine at distance, it should also work close up.....

When you adjust the dioptre, are all the markings in the viewfinder pin-sharp? It only needs to be a fraction out at macro distances for it to make a difference to the point of focus....

Are the pictures sharp when printed?

Are the pictures soft all over, or can you see the plane of focus is in the wrong place? Is it possible the subject might have moved fractionally, even though you have the camera on a tripod?

Lots of variables to think of before spending money....
Jestertheclown 11 8.2k 253 England
29 Jun 2010 10:10AM

Quote:My glasses are varifocal (to a degree) and the reading portion is at the lower edge of the glasses

Are you sure you're wearing "varifocals" as opposed to "bifocals"?

There is a difference.

I wear varifocals, and have no real issues with using a camera, but my glasses have three "levels" or "panes" through which I view things. I read through the lower part, the middle section is for general use and the top is a little stronger. However, in use, I can't tell which I'm looking through as the combination of the three flows together and allows me to see things naturally and my eyes automatically use the section they need. I hope that makes sense!

Bifocals, on the other hand, usually have reading panes, at the bottom, which are much more sharply defined. The reading section is completely different to the rest, which in some cases is just plain glass, so your eyes have to seek out the bit they need to suit whatever you're doing. There's no, or at least less, natural flow between the sections of the lens.

As Eric says, you could be looking through your glasses in the wrong way (that sounds daft)!

If they're true varifocals, your eyes should naturally find the area you need. If they're bifocals, and it sounds as if they may be, you might need to adjust the way your eyes use them to suit.

crookymonsta Plus
12 842 10 England
29 Jun 2010 12:35PM
Recently had both a new camera and replacement varifocal glasses and spent a couple of very frustrating weeks getting home to find that virtually nothing was quite in focus. I went out and bought a very cheap pair of reading glasses and adjusted the dioptre wearing them, which seems to have solved the problem. Strangely I had no such problem with the previous pair of varifocals. I just put it down to one of the penalties of getting older!
Hope you find a solution out of the various suggestions offered.
KevinMW 14 14 Wales
29 Jun 2010 7:09PM
Thanks everyone.. Much appreciated. I will try out a number of the suggestions and let you know how it goes. Wink

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