How to Calibrate, Focus & Use Binoculars

A binocular is a vital piece of outdoors gear and no outdoorsman will argue against this. Binoculars enable users to see objects or targets that seem too far away for the ordinary eyes. For people who enjoy viewing the great outdoors, binoculars are valuable tools. Besides, they are very handy to people like birders, hunters, and hikers who want to keep out an eye for wildlife.

While it is not difficult to use a pair of binoculars, using them requires a bit of learning on how to adjust them to fit your needs. Most high-quality binoculars come with some features such as a diopter ring and adjustable eyepieces, and with some basic knowledge, users can set their binoculars up to be right for their vision and face shape.

Anatomy of Binoculars


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How to Focus Binoculars

To focus a pair of binoculars, all you need to do is follow some steps and you will be good to go afterwards. There are three steps involved in focusing a binocular and below are the steps.

Step 1: Adjusting interpupillary distance

Everyone has their distinct interpupillary distance and it is compulsory that you adjust your binoculars for your particular distance. To adjust your binocular’s interpupillary distance, hold it with both hands, then use it to view an object that is far away and simultaneously move the tubes of the binoculars upward or downward until right and left fields are aligned correctly, forming a faultless circle. If you have not properly adjusted the interpupillary distance, the image will not be comfortable to view and might be distorted.

Step 2: Calibrate the diopter

A lot of people don’t have identical eyes. They might be farsighted in one of their eyes and be nearsighted in the other eye. If so, users have to make adjustments on their eye lenses according to their eyes. The rings for diopter adjustment are situated behind the eyecups. One ring should be adjusted at a time, and you should close one of your eyes and fine tune the diopter ring before the opened eye. Look for an object through the lens and afterwards turn and rotate the diopter ring till that object is in focus.

Step 3: Using the focusing ring

After you must have made other adjustments, now hold the binocs up to both of your eyes and pick an object far away to view. Use one of your hands to reach the focus ring and slowly turn it so as to adjust the zooming range of the binocular. Keep turning the focus ring till the object being viewed appears perfect and not distorted or fuzzy. After the setting up of the binoculars, the only thing majority of people use ever after that is the focus ring. The other adjustments must remain as they are unless someone else wants to use the binoculars.

How to Use Binoculars with Glasses

If you are an eyeglass wearer and at the same time an avid outdoorsman, don’t be scared that your outdoors experience may get compromised by your glasses.

Adjusting Eye Cups

Commonly seen on the majority of modern binoculars, adjustable eyecups serve two different purposes; excluding superfluous sidelight and putting the right distance between the eye pupils and the eyepieces so that the whole field of view of the instrument can be seen. The types of eyecups that are commonly used include twist-up, pop-up, or roll-down. For eyeglass wearers, the eyecups are usually placed in the bottom while it is always positioned at the top for non-eyeglass wearers.

Cleaning Your Binoculars

Whether you are an avid hunter, birder or backpacker, your binoculars are probably used on a frequent basis, which makes them require regular care and cleaning to ensure that the lenses remain in utmost condition so as to deliver crisp and clear images for many years to come.

  • Get rid of all the dust from the lenses of the binocular by brushing it with the brush at the other end of a cleaning pen. The brush is usually very soft and will not damage the coatings or glass of the lenses. Also, you can blow the lenses with an air can as you are strongly advised against using your breath. Breath contains little drops of liquid that may damage your lens.
  • Use a lens cleaning solution to get rid of any residual dust on the lenses. And if you have a waterproof binocular, you can run it directly under a tap. However, we advise you against using fluid made for cleaning windows or eyeglasses because it may harm the coatings.
  • Now that you have gotten rid of the dust, you can use a microfiber lens cloth, lens tissue, or a soft cloth to wipe the lenses. Don’t use a facial tissue or paper towels as they are not smooth. They usually include wood fiber which will scrape the lenses or its coatings.


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