The Wrong Way to Adjust the Diopter on Your Camera’s Viewfinder


Most high-end cameras come with diopters that allow photographers to calibrate the viewfinder to match their eyesight. Adjusting the diopter is easy: simply stare through the camera while turning the little dial or knob found next to your viewfinder (the one with the +/-). Once the scene is sharp (assuming the lens is focused), you’re done!

Apparently one of the dangers of diopter adjustment—for some camera owners at least—is accidentally stabbing your eyeball with your finger.

San Francisco-based event photographer Ezra Ekman of Shot in the Act was flipping through his Nikon D800 owner’s manual recently when he came across the gem of a warning seen above. Ekman writes,

Nikon warning to D800 owners, buried in the owners manual: incorrect diopter adjustment could cause eye damage! Be careful, kids! It saddens me that this kind of warning becomes necessary. I wonder who sued who?

In case you’ve never used it before, here’s what the diopter adjustment control looks like on the Nikon D800:


Other photographers are chiming in with their own “Nikon protips” over in the Reddit thread started by Ekman. redditorium warns, “When holding the camera, be careful not to smash it into your face repeatedly.”

NoDogNo says, “WARNING: Do not place viewfinder under eyelids. Do not use viewfinder to clean eyes. Placing viewfinder inside eye may lead to injury.” Phrosty12 suggests, “Choking Hazard! Do not place lens in mouth.”

Feel free to leave a comment below with your own “Nikon owner’s manual warning” for the amusement benefit of other photographers. We’ll feature the most hilarious helpful ones.

Image credit: Nikon D800 owners manual photo by Ezra Ekman