I have a problem with blurry focussing dots in the optical viewfinder of my Canon EOS 1300D. I'm struggling to take sharp photographs when using the OVF in manual focus mode.

The circular dots in the optical viewfinder (OVF) are blurry. I can take sharp photographs when using autofocus or the digital viewfinder, so I don't think the issue is with the camera itself, but the OVF focus.

I'm talking about the "AF point activation indicator" dots here specifically. The AF point boxes around them appear sharp.

I have tried adjusting the diopter dial but the OVF spots inside the autofocus squaures remain blurry. When the diopter dial is turned clockwise then the OVF display goes further out-of-focus. I currently have the diopter dial turned fully anticlockwise, and it won't rotate any further.

I use the spots in the OVF to help focus using manual focus mode. When the red dots flash then I know I'm focussed on the targetted subject.

I wear glasses, if that makes a difference.

What could cause my OVF spots to be blurry?

Viewfinder information from the manual Canon camera diagram Optical viewfinder diopter adjustment manual

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have glasses? Do you watch the viewfinder w/o them? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12, 2023 at 8:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do wear glasses, and I use the OVF while wearing them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe Heffer
    Apr 12, 2023 at 9:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you try to use OVF w/o glasses, adjusting with diopter dial? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12, 2023 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Without glasses, everything is blurry at every setting! \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe Heffer
    Apr 13, 2023 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? What causes the focus confirmation lights to blur? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 13, 2023 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


If you don't wear glasses when using the camera, starting from the middle position(*):

  • Turn clockwise if you are far-sighted (natively or due to aging)
  • Turn counter-clock-wise if you are near sighted.

If you wear standard glasses and are under 50yo, the center position should be OK, otherwise, see above.

If you wear multi-focal/progressives glasses, things will depend a lot on the position of the eyepiece on your lenses (better use the upper portion, used for long distance).

I'm natively far-sighted and added presbyopia to this and can still use my camera without glasses (4 clicks from middle, so some room left).

If there is a setting where the LED indicators/numbers (aperture/speed/iso) in the viewfinder are sharp and the focusing dots aren't, then something is misaligned in you viewfinder.

(*) Count the clicks, 16 click total it seems, so middle is 8 clicks from either end.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you xenoid, I'll give this a try! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe Heffer
    Apr 13, 2023 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems to work! \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe Heffer
    Apr 13, 2023 at 15:35

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