How to Adjust Binoculars

How to Adjust Binoculars

If you are getting a pair of binoculars, it is important to learn how to adjust them properly. Read on to learn about making adjustments and caring for them.

If you are looking to get your first pair of quality binoculars, or you are considering upgrading from a pair that you have, you must know how to use them properly. While many people believe that it’s a simple matter of playing with the dials until everything is in focus, you should learn how to adjust your binoculars, and care for them, properly.

When you learn how to use your binoculars properly, you will find that you can get focused on your subject much faster. This is helpful whether you are hunting, birding, or just enjoying the view. We will be looking at the proper way to adjust your binoculars to get the best images through them with proper adjustment. We have also included some information about four great pairs of binoculars that could be nice options for your next purchase.

Adjusting the Binoculars

If you have trouble looking through your binoculars and getting a good image, you aren’t alone. Many people find that they have problems getting the binoculars to focus properly, or that they see black borders around the image. If you have the best binoculars in the world, they aren’t going to do you much good if you do not know how to adjust the binoculars properly. Even those who have had their binoculars for years might not be adjusting them correctly. Below are some tips that you will want to follow to ensure that you are getting the best performance from your binoculars. These are easy adjustments to make, and once you learn how, it will become second nature to you.

The Space Between the Eyepieces

Binoculars have two eyepieces. When you look through both of them, your eyes create the single image that you are looking at. However, if the eyepieces are not the correct width apart for your eyes, you will not be able to see properly through the binoculars.

The distance between the pupils will vary from one person to the next. The average interpupillary distance is 66 mm. However, it can range from around 55 mm up to 75 mm or more depending on the person. This means that binoculars are not set up for everyone by default. You will need to adjust.

Fortunately, the adjustments are quite easy to make.

You will start by holding the binoculars in the normal position that you would look through them. While you have the binoculars in place, you can slowly move the barrels closer together or further apart depending on your interpupillary distance. Adjust the barrels in this manner until the images you see provide you with a circular field of view.

Some binoculars provide an IPD scale. If yours has this scale, take note of your setting, so you can adjust the binoculars in the future if someone else has used them, for example. Keep in mind that you may need to make these adjustments when you are viewing objects at different distances.

In the beginning, it can seem like a pain to be making these adjustments are you are looking at objects through the binoculars at different distances. However, it will quickly become a part of your routine. This can make a big difference in the quality of the images you see.

Adjusting the Eyecups

Most of the modern binoculars you will find today have adjustable eyecups. This provides the user with several benefits. The eyecups will help to ensure that there is no extra light coming in from the sides, and it will ensure that you have the proper amount of eye relief from the lenses. This helps to ensure that you will have a full field of view and a good image.

You will find that there are several different types of eyecups available. Some of them will twist up, others will roll up or pop up. If you don’t wear glasses, you are generally going to want to make sure that they are in the up position. However, if you do wear glasses, you will want to have them in the down position.

Always make sure that you check the eyecups to see that they are properly adjusted before you look through the binoculars. You may want to play around with the eyecups for a bit to see which position is most comfortable for you and provides you with the best picture when you are peering through the binoculars.

Time to Focus

Of course, one of the biggest reasons that people are not getting a clear image through their binoculars is because they are not focusing them properly. Knowing how to focus is a big part of learning how to adjust binoculars.

Different types of binoculars will have different focusing systems. Some of the systems have a center focus with a diopter adjustment. Others will have individual focus, so you can focus each of the eyepieces on their own. The third are fixed focus binoculars that will have their focus fixed for a predetermined distance.

The most common of these options is the center focus system. The focus knob can be turned in different directions to help you dial in your focus. These systems will also often have a diopter wheel. This can be used to help compensate in case the vision in each of your eyes is different.

Learning to use the diopter is essential if you have worse vision in one eye and want to get the best possible image from the binoculars. Even slight discrepancies between your eyes can be noticeable through the binoculars and can make the image appear less sharp. Making adjustments to the diopter once you have the focus dialed in as fine as possible.

Here are the steps you will want to take.

  • Place a lens cover over the objective lens on the side of the binocular with the diopter setting, so you can’t see through it.
  • Use the center focus wheel to focus the side without the diopter setting. Choose an object in the distance to look at that has fine details when you do this. Adjust until you can get it as close to being in focus as possible.
  • Keep the settings of the center wheel, remove the lens cover from the diopter side and put it on the binocular’s other objective lens
  • Now, look through the diopter side and make adjustments to sharpen the fine details.
  • Repeat until you can get a clear image when you are looking through the binoculars with both of your eyes.

Again, it can take some time to get accustomed to doing this. However, after you have done it a few times, you will be able to do it in the field quickly if needed.

Four Pairs of Quality Binoculars to Consider

Now that you have a good understanding of how to adjust binoculars quickly and easily, you might be looking to get a new pair of binoculars. We’ve gathered some of the best options below that might be a nice choice for you. Check them out and see what you think. All are easy to use and can provide great results.

Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars

Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars

Without a doubt, Vortex Optics is one of the most popular brands when it comes to optics today, and the Crossfire HD binoculars are proof of the quality they can offer. First, you will find that the Crossfire HD is available in a range of options. You could opt for 10×42, 10×50, 12×50, or 8×42 depending on the magnification and lens diameter you prefer.

The binoculars feature fully multi-coated lenses, which help to increase light transmission and to help cut down on reflections. The adjustable eyecups can twist up and down to accommodate different users.

The center focus wheel will adjust the focus of both of the barrels at the same time. The diopter is located on the right eyepiece to help adjust for the difference in your eyes.

The binoculars are also durable, which makes them a good option for just about anything you might have in store. They have rubber armor that will provide a secure grip, as well as protection to the lightweight aluminum body. The O-ring seals and the nitrogen purging ensure waterproofing and fog-proofing.

You can easily rotate the barrels of the binoculars to ensure you have the proper distance between your pupils when you are peering through them. The Crossfire HD binoculars also include a GlassPak binocular harness that is useful for storing and protecting your binoculars.

Bushnell Trophy Binoculars

Bushnell Trophy Binoculars

Another option to consider when looking for high-quality binoculars is the Bushnell Trophy model. The binoculars are 10×42 and feature a fast focus center wheel. They feature twist-up eyecups and BAK-4 prism glass, so you can be sure they can provide you with the quality and clarity you need.

The binoculars include lens covers, a carrying case, neck strap, and harness. As with the Vortex Optics option above, the binoculars are O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to ensure waterproofing and fog-proofing.

The optics are fully multi-coated, which ensures sharp and bright images. They are also rubber coated, which provides them with added protection from bumps that they might experience when in the field with you. The central focus wheel will focus on the left side, while the diopter will focus the right to ensure you have the best possible image if you have different corrections in your eyes.

Bushnell PowerView 10x50 Porro Prism Instafocus Binoculars

Bushnell PowerView 10x50 Porro Prism Instafocus Binoculars

Bushnell is on the list again with the PowerView. The binoculars can provide HD clarity when they are adjusted correctly. The binoculars have 10x magnification along with a 50 mm objective lens, which can provide excellent light transmission for a clear image. The multi-coated optics help with this, as well.

The focus wheel and diopter are easy to use, and you can easily move the barrels to ensure you have the proper viewing setup based on the distance between your pupils. These are durable binoculars that have a rubber housing like the other options on the list.

The binoculars include lens covers, a manual, a lens cleaning cloth, and a carrying case. You will also notice that these binoculars feature Realtree AP camo as their coating. This can be a nice option for hunters who want to have even their binoculars camouflaged.

SkyGenius 10x50 Binoculars

SkyGenius 10x50 Binoculars

The 10×50 binoculars from SkyGenius provide have a smooth center focus wheel that will make them fast and easy to adjust on the fly. The diopter system is available and easy to use to ensure that you can correct for an imbalance in vision.

The binoculars have adjustable eyecups that can be twisted up and down as needed to accommodate those who have glasses. The binoculars also have rubber armor that provides an anti-slip grip and that can provide some shock resistance.

The lenses are multi-coated, which help to improve the quality and clarity of the image, along with contrast. These binoculars can be used for a range of purposes including hunting, watching birds, enjoying the wildlife and the scenery, at concerts, sporting events, and even astronomical viewing. Keep in mind that their will still need to be some light for these to be useful at night. The binoculars also come with a bag, strap, lens caps, and a cleaning cloth.

Conclusion: More Enjoyment from Your Binoculars

When you learn how to adjust binoculars with the simple tips that were included above, you will be able to enjoy your time with the binoculars more. Take some time to practice making these adjustments so you can do them quickly. Before long, your binocular blues will be a thing of the past.

If you are looking for a new pair of binoculars, the options that were provided above can be a fantastic place to start looking. They are high-quality binoculars that are easy to use, and that should provide you with countless hours of enjoyment whether you are hunting, birding, or just enjoying the scenery on a nice hike.


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