Why Is My Viewfinder Blurry?

I was once heading off to take portrait photos of some of my close friends. While I was setting up my camera gear to get ready for the shoot, I looked through the viewfinder and noticed that it was very blurry.

At first, I thought that my camera got damaged on the way there but that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, I was able to easily fix it.

Join me as I take a look at why your camera’s viewfinder might be blurry and how you can fix it.

Let’s get started.

Why Is My Viewfinder Blurry?

Your camera’s viewfinder might be blurry because the diopter needs to be adjusted. The diopter is used to measure the optical power of the lens, and if it is not adjusted properly, the viewfinder can appear to be blurry. In some cases, the viewfinder might simply be dirty and just needs to be cleaned.

Reasons Why Your Viewfinder Might Be Blurry (And How To Fix It)

Let’s have a look at why your camera’s viewfinder might be dirty in more detail.

1.) The diopter needs to be adjusted

A diopter is a small lens in your camera’s viewfinder and it is used to measure the optical power of the lens. If it is not properly adjusted then the viewfinder might appear to be blurry.


To adjust the diopter, simply look for a small dial right next to the viewfinder. You will see that it has a plus sign on one end, and minus sign on the other. Simply turn it left or right until you can see a sharper image through the viewfinder.

2.) The viewfinder is dirty

This happens to me a lot. I would be prepping my gear before a shoot and I would notice that I can barely see through the viewfinder because it is dirty.

To clean the viewfinder, simply remove the rubber eye guard and wipe the viewfinder clean with a glass cleaning cloth. I recommend that you don’t use any cleaning liquid because it can leave a residue behind.

3.) Problem with your eyes

If you’ve adjusted the diopter and cleaned the viewfinder, and it still appears to be blurry, then there might be a problem with your eyes.

I recommend that you have your eyes checked out first, but common issues include cataracts and astigmatism. You might also just need stronger glasses if you already glasses. As I mentioned, it is best to have your eyes checked first.

4.) Your camera is faulty

If you’ve exhausted all the options mentioned above, and the viewfinder is still blurry, then there might be a problem with your camera.

It is best to take it in to be checked out by a professional, and I don’t recommend that you try to fix it yourself. There are many delicate parts inside a camera, and you risk the chance of breaking your camera if you try to fix it yourself.

Does A Blurry Viewfinder Affect My Photos?

No, a blurry viewfinder does not affect your photos and they will not appear to be blurry. With that said, a blurry viewfinder will affect your ability to take proper photos, so it is best to adjust the diopter or clean the viewfinder.

Is A Viewfinder Important On A Camera?

Yes, a viewfinder on a camera is very important because it allows you to look through the lens to compose and frame a scene. Newer SLR cameras have an LCD screen at the back that allows you to compose and frame a scene as well. While this is a great feature, it drains your camera’s battery quickly.

If you need to preserve your camera’s battery life, I suggest that you use the viewfinder instead. It is therefore important to always keep your viewfinder clean and the diopter properly adjusted so that you can see through it properly.

If you’re wearing glasses though, then using a viewfinder will prove to be less convenient. With that said, a human eye can resolve more detail than a camera’s LCD screen, and you will get a sharper view of the scene through the viewfinder.


By now you should have a clear understanding as to why your viewfinder might be blurry. By using a process of elimination, I suggest that you start by adjusting the diopter and then moving on to cleaning the viewfinder if that doesn’t help.

If all else fails, then your camera might have an internal problem. I would then recommend that you take it in to get checked out by a professional camera technician.