Nikon D3200 viewfinder not working – Causes and how to fix

The Nikon D3200 is one of the best Nikon cameras to have ever gracd the market since its announcement in 2012. However, the camera has also had its fair share of issues. Have you ever looked through your D3200 and all you see is a blurry image despite focusing?

A lot of users have taken to online forums to express their frustrations when it comes to the viewfinder stating that it isn’t working anymore. The viewfinder is a part that we can’t ignore when talking about photography and cameras as it plays an important role when composing and focusing on a subject, or viewing an image’s entire frame. A viewfinder can be an LCD screen or glass depending on the camera type. Having a spoilt viewfinder as you can see is very detrimental as it serves as a photographer’s center for capturing properly composed and exposed photos.


There are two main causes for a viewfinder not working – the diopter or dirt in the viewfinder area. A diopter that’s not properly set for your eyes causes a blurry image. Another likely cause of a spoilt viewfinder is dirt in the viewfinder as from time to time, it accumulates dirt.

What is a diopter?

A diopter is simply a lens found in your D3200’s viewfinder and is small in size and measures the lens’ optical power allowing you to match your eye’s focus to the viewfinder. To help you understand it, it’s like putting a set of glasses on the camera to improve the image quality when you look through the lens. If you have good eyesight and see a blurry image, then your diopter is not correctly set and needs to be adjusted.

How to adjust the diopter

To adjust the diopter you need to locate it. Check your viewfinder and next to it look for a small dial with both the + and – signs next to it. To properly adjust the diopter to a level fit for your eyes, keep adjusting it by turning the dial towards the + or – sign while looking through the lens until when you see the image come into focus. If you are using someone else’s camera, don’t worry that you are having issues with the viewfinder as the camera’s diopter has been adjusted to the person’s fitting. If the viewfinder is still not working, then move on to the next solution.

How to clean the viewfinder

The first thing to do is to use an air blower to remove any large pieces of dust from the glass. When cleaning the viewfinder area, some people use their fingers which leave behind smudge making the area dirty. The most recommended method to use to clean the viewfinder is by using a cleaning cloth like the one used for cleaning eyeglasses and then wiping the area with it. TO help reach the place, remove the rubber eye guard. If this solution doesn’t work, then consider the following:

There might be a problem with your eyes and you may need to see an optician or optometrist to seek further help. This can help solve the issue if it has nothing to do with the camera per se. If your eyes are OK, then there could be an internal problem to the camera. If the camera is still under warranty, then you can send it back to the manufacturer and have the problem looked at.


Experiencing blurred images when composing and focusing on a subject can be really frustrating as it can deny you that perfect shot. The Nikon D3200 though, can be fixed and get you those images without having to buy a whole new camera.


Can I use a liquid to clean the viewfinder area?

You can use a liquid to clean the area but also are prone to the same issue as using a finger since it can end up leaving behind a residue and causing the same issue in future. The most ideal way of cleaning is by using a glass cleaning cloth.

Can I unblur a photo?

Yes, if you have already taken photos with a spoilt viewfinder and want to remove the blurriness, then yes it’s possible. There are various apps that you can install and make use of.

Philip Taylor believes in helping people achieve their dreams and has, therefore, gone to the lengths to make the subject of photography and cameras more digestible to individuals who are passionate about this line of career. He believes with the right mentorship and experience, novice photographers can turn into professional photographers, the excerpts on beginner cameras at Photo MD are, therefore, the perfect guide for individuals who are into photography, want to get their first cameras but have no idea what to look for. Philip is a father to two lovely boys, and when not working he loves to research and will, therefore, be found in the library.

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