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General photography questions and answers: Discuss focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!...When I'm having trouble with manual focus, the shots don't seem sharp and I've been told about taking test shots ...
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Old 08-10-2007, 19:41   #1 (permalink)
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focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

When I'm having trouble with manual focus, the shots don't seem sharp and I've been told about taking test shots of newsprint then adjusting the viewfinder.
But what do you do if you wear glasses only for reading and not for distance? Obviously that means that I wear them to view my pics on computer, but surely I don't wear them to look thru the viewfinder? Or, do I wear them say for macro/close-ups but not for distance shots? I feel really ignorant asking this but just don't know what to do!!

TIA, Ruth
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Old 08-10-2007, 20:29   #2 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

If you wear glasses for distance, you should use them to look through the viewfinder...

... unless your camera has dioptre adjustment on the viewfinder, and the range of adjustment is OK for your eyes. In that case you can leave your glasses off when taking pics.

One way to set up the adjustment, with or without specs, is to point the camera at something light - a wall or a grey sky - and move the dioptre adjustment until the focus marks appear at their sharpest.
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Old 08-10-2007, 20:32   #3 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

Maybe you have not got the eyepiece diopter set up properly.

If you are not sure how to do this, Rob Barron wrote a tutorial here.
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Old 08-10-2007, 21:30   #4 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

There's one thing in Rob's tutorial which I don't think is quite right....

Quote:
You can ignore any astigmatism as this relates to the alignment of both eyes. You don't use both eyes for focusing so that doesn't come into it.
The most common form of astigmatism is when the cornea is not spherical and the sagittal and transverse rays focus at different distances. In other words, vertical lines may be more in focus than horizontal lines. That has to be corrected by a barrel component of the lens at the correct axis to restore a single focal point. Unfortunately all dioptre correction devices on cameras are spherical lenses, so if you have astigmatism they won't work properly and you've no option but to wear your specs.
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Old 08-10-2007, 21:58   #5 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

You could be, and probably are right.

If I don't wear my glasses, I cant even see where the camera is! Well, probably not that bad, but I do wear my varifocals all of the time, except when I go to bed. Even then, if I don't put them on when I have a dream, I wake up with a headache!!!
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Old 08-10-2007, 22:03   #6 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

I don't have much astigmatism but my specs are 8 dioptres for one eye and 7 for the other. So no chance of correcting that on the camera!

My wife is much less shortsighted (except when she married me ) but has quite severe astigmatism, so without the barrel lens correction lines are in focus at certain angles and out of focus at others. Weird but true.
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Old 09-10-2007, 00:35   #7 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

In the past viewfinders on SLRs were designed so your eye was focusing at a distance of one metre. So, if you have sharp vision at this distance with your usual viewing eye then you may not need dioptre correction.

Basically, relax (don't try to focus your eye) as you look thru the viewfinder and if the display is not sharp you need to adjust the dioptre lens at the back until the display is sharp.
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:28   #8 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

Manay thanks I'll give it a whirl.

Anyoine know what does +2.5 for reading mean on a dioptre? Not sure how the figures match up.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:21   #9 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

I'm really shortsighted and wear my glasses or contact lenses all the time, so don't use the dioptre on the camera. I do find the contact lenses better for photography for me, as I can get right up to the viewfinder, it's never caused a focus problem.
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Old 09-10-2007, 21:10   #10 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

Thanks all will fiddle with it and see how we get on
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Old 09-10-2007, 23:41   #11 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

If you use a SLR or DSLR, you will normally be viewing a virtual image. So although the subject may be miles away, the virtual image in the viewfinder will normally be 1 metre away as the eye muscles are usually most relaxed for this distance. So using your distance glasses will be the wrong solution. I found a fairly comprehensive article on the topic which may help.

http://doug.kerr.home.att.net/pumpki...Correction.pdf

I use varifocal glasses which are totally unsuited to photography. I find that taking them off and having previously set the dioptre adjustment using the method by Rob or similar is fine for me but my sight is not that bad to start with.
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Old 13-10-2007, 14:11   #12 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

it's quite funny, but the best photographer i know, balmore, is practically blind. He gets concession passes for transport, can't see more than a foot or so before everything is a blur. He is Scotlands best rollerblading photographer.
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Old 22-10-2007, 17:57   #13 (permalink)
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Re: focusing/adjusting for glasses/or not/help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiebabe View Post
Anyoine know what does +2.5 for reading mean on a dioptre? Not sure how the figures match up.
It's the additional power required for close work (e.g. computer screen) or reading. As the optometrist said to me earlier this month when he prescribed +1.25 for reading: it's not that your eyes are deteriorating, just that your arms are getting shorter!

For a prescription:
Sphere: is amount of long sightedness (+ve) or short sightedness (-ve).
Cyl: or cylinder is the amount of astigmatism
Axis: is the orientation of the astigmatism, so determines the amount of rotation of the lens in the frame (so when the optometrist sets the lens in the test frame or dials up on the machine, and you have the sensation that the lens is being rotated, this is the axis being set for the astigmatism).
Prism, a correction to make both eyes work together
and Base, the direction of the prism correction.
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