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I was prescribed progressive eyeglasses that should see well at three different viewing ranges; at a distance, mid-range, and up-close. Unfortunately I have issues with using the eyeglasses with my Nikon D90.

Because I can't use the viewfinder, I have resorted to the use of Live View feature of my camera which I do not prefer. The issues I am having with Live View include lack of sharpness, focusing, and issues composing the scene.

What options do I have to use my choice of eye-wear with either the standard viewfinder or Live View more effectively?

  • To get accurate focus, I always use the focus magnifier. My camera will then magnify the image in a selected part 13 times allowing me to check the focus. I mostly use manual focus, I can then adjust the focus precisely while in focus magnification mode. – Count Iblis Sep 2 '15 at 2:28
  • @CountIblis: Could you write up an answer with that? – jrista Sep 2 '15 at 19:19
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Depending on your prescription, you have a couple of options using the viewfinder. One is to shoot while wearing your glasses. The other is too shoot without your glasses. In either case you are probably going to need to adjust your viewfinder's diopter setting.

Here's a picture of the diopter adjust wheel for your D90.

D90 diopter wheel

The trick is to find a comfortable position behind the viewfinder that you can consistently repeat. If you can do that with your glasses and see everything you need to see, great! Adjust the diopter setting according to the answers to How do I calibrate the diopter correction on my DSLR's viewfinder? You may have to shoot with it a few times to get comfortable.

If you find after several attempts that the glasses and viewfinder just don't work together, try shooting without them. If your prescription is within the range of -2 to +1 diopters, you should be able to adjust the viewfinder to correct for it. In effect, the viewfinder adjustment is taking the place of your prescription.

In either case, if you need a wider range of adjustment than that provided by the stock viewfinder, Nikon makes the DK-20C Correction Eyepiece for Rectangular-Style Viewfinder in ranges from -5 to +3 diopters. The stock viewfinder is centered at -1.0 diopters, so that is why there is no -1.0 diopter version of the DK-20C. The number on the adapters is the cumulative result of the stock viewfinder plus the adapter. So adding a -3.0 diopter adapter will center the viewfinder+adapter at -3.0 diopters, with an adjustable range of -4 to -1 diopters. Likewise, adding a +2 adapter will center the viewfinder+adapter at +2 diopters, with an adjustable range of +1 to +4 diopters.

  • @ Michael Clark- Thanks you for this information. I really appreciate it. I will take note of any responses coming in and consider my options. Thx for taking the time to reply to my conundrum. The progressive glasses give me a hard time WITHOUT DOING PHOTOGRAPHY. I personally would not recommend them for someone with vision issues. They say you get use to them but after 2 yrs I am still not happy with them. I FEEL ANYONE WHO IS A PHOTOGRAPHER,SHOULD KNOW THIS. Forewarned is forearmed. – Star Sep 3 '15 at 4:57
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If you would prefer to use your viewfinder and want to stick with your progressive glasses you really have one key element I would try. I would adjust the viewfinder diopter:

Viewfinder Diopter on a Canon 6D

Here is some more information on how to adjust the viewfinder diopter: How do I calibrate the diopter correction on my DSLR's viewfinder?

In your particular case, it is quite likely that the "distance" viewing range will be most compatible with the range of your viewfinder diopter, but results may vary so try the various distances available to you. The "trick" is going to be getting used to using the same area of your lenses each time you pickup your camera, but I think you will get used to it.

As for using Live View, this is the process I follow to get accurate focus:

  • Tripod mount the camera
  • Switch lens to manual focus
  • Enter Live View
  • Live View zoom to maximum level(8-10x)
  • Manually focus the best I can
  • Capture image, etc.

Make sure you are using live view digital zoom and manually focusing. You can actually focus better in Live View vs using the viewfinder as is proven here.

  • @dpollitt- I understand you edited the content of my inquiry because of the ridiculous amount of babble/rambling. I think my inquiry included very deep seated frustration on my part. This would largely be because I already have a hearing handicap and now with this new vision change, the joy of photography has gone out the window. It is enough to deal with a hearing deficit, but now I struggle to enjoy shooting.( I was also trying to make it very clear in my own complaints, to those who may be reading, that progressive eye glasses are not the miracle answer to certain vision issues) – Star Sep 3 '15 at 4:50
  • Also,I want to thank you very much for your well thought out advice. I just felt compelled to let you know that most people don't always see what is going on behind the text a person writes. Only those very attuned to readind between the lines would sense there is more going on aside from the query. Thanks again. Star – Star Sep 3 '15 at 4:52

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