Fixing a Fuzzy Viewfinder on a Panasonic LX100

As I posted the other day, I've got a new camera to use while cycling, a Panasonic LX100. I used it on yesterday's 140km mountain ride, but couldn't use the viewfinder because the viewfinder focus (the diopter control) stopped working, and the view via the viewfinder was completely fuzzy (including the information displays that should be sharp and clear even if the image through the lens is not yet focused).

A search on the web quickly showed that this was a common problem sometimes fixed by fiddling with the diopter dial, but usually resulting in a return or a replacement of the product.

Not wanting the hassle of a return, I looked into fixing it myself, and was able to do so easily.

The bottom side of the viewfinder housing has a single small screw, which I removed:

Nikon D4 + Venus 60mm Super Macro f/2.8 — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
LX100 From Below
with the small housing screw removed

Removing the screw allows the cowling to be removed, leaving some of the innards exposed...

Nikon D4 + Venus 60mm Super Macro f/2.8 — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
With Viewfinder Cowling Removed

Nikon D4 + Venus 60mm Super Macro f/2.8 — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Close Up
of the diopter-adjustment wheel
along with its inside related something-or-other

The little bit of plastic highlighted in the photo above seemed to be close to the wheel, though I couldn't really see what it was for or even weather it moved, but I gently poked at it with the screwdriver. (In retrospect, I should have used a toothpick.)

That gentle poking in its general area, along with more movement of the wheel, seems to have done the trick... I could now focus the viewfinder so that I could see the display sharply.

I don't know exactly what I did or why whatever it is worked, but it was easy enough, so I thought I'd mention it in case anyone else has the same problem.

All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

I couldn’t really find the bit of plastic, but taking the cowl off makes it much easier to move the diopter wheel rapidly up and down a few times – which fixed it. Brilliant
From London UK

— comment by Brian Collins on July 1st, 2015 at 5:14pm JST (8 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Hi jeffrey, good day. i got an LX100 online 2 weeks ago, and when it arrived i noticed that the EVF would’nt be in sharp focus. i thought it was only because i wear glasses. soon, i checked the diopter, it works, but even though the center of the EVF is in sharp focus i notice the peripheral areas of the EVF to be blurry. it only clears up if i move the position of my eye to the EVF a few times, but i never achieve 100% clarity/sharpness across the whole frame all the time

what do you suggest? i make do with it and try your method of fixing it? or just return it?

Thanks Jeffrey,

Chomin Aberasturi
Bacolod city, Philippines

I don’t know, sorry. It seems strange that only the center is in focus. —Jeffrey

— comment by Chomin Aberasturi on December 29th, 2016 at 3:36pm JST (7 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks very much Jeffery,

My Lx100 is a 2/3 years old and acquired this problem, I do let i t knock around in my bag so am a little rough with it. After getting quotes for examining it I found your blog. Your instructions are vague but I tried all the same. With a bit of cleaning with fine brush, air-jet and then prodding and moving the wheel I could see an optic now moving (looking from top of viewfinder) in a small slit (to the left out of shot on second photo). There must be some connection, maybe by friction!

Anyway, up and running again – thanks again. It is a great camera for for all my photos either in cities or out in the landscapes.


— comment by Denis on October 22nd, 2017 at 2:08am JST (6 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Brilliant. Just had a LX100 delivered from a refurb place and the EVF was all out of focus and the diopter wheel had no effect. A quick google and found this page. Unscrewed one screw as instructed and moved wheel gently back and forward until a small click heard. Works perfect now ! Pleased !

I suspect there may be some play between the wheel and the connection to the moving viewfinder bit and if banged about in transit this is the result. It could also be spinning the wheel too far may pull the connection of out place.

many thanks

— comment by Rob on March 10th, 2018 at 4:10am JST (6 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Worked for me too. Thanks.

— comment by Matthew on August 2nd, 2018 at 5:15pm JST (5 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Very good and worked fine for my too.

— comment by Dag Samuelsson on October 1st, 2019 at 4:52am JST (4 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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