How to Focus Binoculars

How to Focus Binoculars

Do you know how to focus binoculars correctly? If you aren’t getting the best image from the binoculars, it could be a focusing problem. Read on to learn how.

If you are just getting your first pair of binoculars, or if it’s the first pair you’ve owned in a while, you might find that you have some trouble getting everything to focus properly. While the process is relatively simple, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. When you learn how to focus your binoculars properly, you can be sure you are getting the best possible view from them.

Below, we will go over some tips on how to focus the binoculars along with some other information on how to use the binoculars correctly and keep them in great shape. Also, we’ve included information on two quality pairs of binoculars that are available if you are still looking for a great pair, as well as a handy accessory. You can check out their features to see if one of them might be right for your needs whether you are birding, hunting, or just enjoying the scenery.

Proper Focus is Essential

Regardless of the purpose for which someone is going to use binoculars, whether hunting, birding, or some other activity, they ultimately want the same thing. They buy binoculars because they want to get an up-close look at things that are happening at a distance.

However, many people find that they are having trouble seeing properly through the binoculars and getting a clear image. Sometimes, they blame the binoculars and leave bad reviews online. Yet, it’s often not the fault of the binoculars at all but is user error instead.

Properly focusing and getting a clear picture is about far more than just fiddling with the focus wheel. If you have the best binoculars in the world, you still won’t have a good time using them if you don’t know how to use them properly.

If you want to have proper focus and a great image through your binoculars, it will help to learn more about these pieces of equipment and all of the different adjustments you can make to ensure the best possible focus.

Focusing Your Binoculars

As we said, focusing and getting a good, clear image through the binoculars is about more than just the center focus wheel. You need to take some simple steps to make sure that the binoculars are properly set up for your eyes. Here are some simple steps that you will want to take.

The Binocular Width

The first thing you will want to do is check the current width of your binoculars to ensure that you have the proper distance between the eyepieces to match up with your pupils. The distance between your pupils is known as the interpupillary distance, and it is different for each person. It will typically range from around 55 mm to 75 mm.

Binoculars are generally made so they will bend slightly in the middle to adjust for the pupils. Hold the binoculars to your eyes, as you normally would when using them, and then make the adjustments. You can hold the barrels in your hands and then move your hands either closer together or further apart to ensure that you have the proper spacing to match your pupils.

This should be done before you move on to the rest of the steps for focusing the binoculars. It will ensure that you have the correct position.

Check the Eyecups

Binoculars today all have eyecups, and most of them can be adjusted. The eyecups might be twist-up cups, roll-down cups, or pop-up cups. Regardless of the type, they serve the same purposes. They will help to keep light from entering from the side of the binoculars, which will help to reduce glare. Also, they are used to create different viewing positions.

When they are down, they will work well for those who wear eyeglasses and who are using the binoculars. When they are up, they will work for those who do not wear glasses. Whether or not you have glasses, you can use them in whichever position you prefer and is more comfortable for you.

Why is this important when focusing the binoculars? Because all of the different features of the binoculars are going to play a part in the quality of your viewing experience.

Focusing and Using the Diopter

You also need to focus your lenses, of course. There are several different types of focusing systems available today including fixed focus, individual focus, and center focus.

Fixed focus lenses will be permanently focused for viewing at a certain distance. You will not be able to make adjustments to the focus on these binoculars. The individual focus will allow you to adjust each of the eyepieces independently of one another. Center focus systems, which are the most common, have a diopter, which is used to compensate for variances in vision between each of a person’s eyes.

Most of the time, you will find the diopter located on the right eyepiece, as this is the most common configuration. However, some models have the diopter on the left side or in the middle on the flywheel instead. They are generally easy to recognize, so you will not have any trouble finding them. They will typically have an arrow or a 0 with a + and a – sign next to it.

When you are focusing a center focus system pair of binoculars, you will want to follow several simple steps to make sure they have the best focus possible for your eyes.

  • Look for an object that is around 30 feet or so from you without looking through the binoculars.
  • Bring the binoculars up to your eyes in the normal viewing position but cover the objective lens on the side that has the diopter. If you have a standard pair of binoculars with the diopter on the right side, you will cover the right objective lens. You can do this with the lens cover.
  • Use the central focus flywheel to bring the object into focus for your left eye (in the case of binoculars with a right diopter).
  • You will then remove the lens cover from the diopter side and place it on the other objective lens.
  • Now, you will use the diopter to get the object into focus for your other eye.
  • Remove the cover on the lens and look through the binocular with both eyes. You should now have a clear focus.

Once you have set the diopter and the focus, it should stay in place, so you won’t have to keep fiddling with it. However, it could get moved accidentally or someone else might use the binoculars. If that happens, just go back through the steps above. Some binoculars will even give you the ability to lock the diopter setting in place, so it won’t move.

Something else to note is that if the diopter is located on the center of the binoculars rather than on one of the lenses, it will be considered a right-side diopter. Keep this in mind when you are focusing the binoculars.

As you can see, it’s relatively easy to focus your binoculars to get a great, clear view. Follow these steps and you should not have any trouble with your binoculars.

Quality Items to Consider

Below, we will be looking at some binoculars, as well as a carrying case. The binoculars could make a great next pair for your needs, and the case can help to keep them safe.

Eschenbach Trophy F 10x25 Binoculars

Eschenbach Trophy F 10x25 Binoculars

The high-power ED glass binoculars from Eschenbach could be a wonderful option for you to consider if you are looking for high-quality optics. The binoculars are available in a range of sizes including 8×25, 8×42, 8×56, 10×25, 10×32, and 10×42. They use BAK-4 phase-corrected prisms and dielectric mirror coatings.

The lightweight binoculars work very well for bird watching and have a wide field of view. They are foldable, have adjustable eyecups, and can be used whether you are wearing glasses or not. The binoculars are also durable, making them a good choice for using in the field in any weather.

One of the other nice features of the binoculars is the 10-year warranty they include.

DURAGADGET Portable Carrying Case

DURAGADGET Portable Carrying Case

When you have a nice pair of binoculars, you will want to make sure that you keep them safe. One of the best ways to do that is with a carrying case, such as this option from DURAGADGET. The case features a padded interior and will work well with a range of binoculars including Eschenbach Sektor D 8×42 Compact Plus, Trophy D ED 8×32 B, and Trophy F 8×25 binoculars.

The gray and black nylon case has a water-resistant lining, a nylon exterior, and a detachable fully adjustable shoulder strap. There are also dual belt loops on the rear of the case. The internal hook and loop divider is removable, and there is a netted zippered compartment that can hold other small accessories you might want to carry with you.

Celestron Outland X 10x42 Binoculars

Celestron Outland X 10x42 Binoculars

Another option for binoculars you might want to consider is the Celestron Outland. These affordable binoculars are available in different sizes including 10×25, 10×42, 10×50, 8×25, and 8×42. There is also an option to include a smartphone adapter.

The binoculars have multi-coated optics and BAK-4 prisms. They are waterproof and fog-proof, ensuring that they can stand up to the weather no matter where you might be using them. The binoculars also have a protective rubber coating, so you should feel comfortable using them in the field.

They feature twist-up eyecups, and they come with a carrying case, microfiber cloth, strap, and lens caps. The binoculars also have a limited lifetime warranty included.

Tips for Keeping Your Binoculars Safe and in Good Shape

In addition to knowing how to focus binoculars properly, you will also want to make sure that you keep in mind several tips and precautions to ensure they remain safe. After all, you want to be sure your binoculars last a long time.

  • Use the Lens Caps – Always make sure you have lens caps on the binoculars when you are not using them. This helps to keep them safe from dust and scratches
  • Use a Quality Carrying Case – A good carrying case made to fit your binoculars will keep them safe when you are carrying them in the field. Make sure that you get a quality padded case for added protection.
  • Store and Transport the Binoculars Safely – When you are transporting your binoculars, don’t just sit them on your passenger seat. Keep them in the case and stored in a location where they can’t be damaged during transport and when they are at home. Always be cognizant of how you are treating the binoculars.

What If the View Still Looks Blurry?

If you have gone through all of the focusing tips above, and you find that you still can’t get a good and clear picture through your binoculars, it might not have anything to do with your focus. You might simply have some dirty lenses. In that case, you will want to dust and clean your lenses thoroughly using tools and techniques that will keep the lenses safe from scratches.

Conclusion: Have Fun with Your Binoculars

Now that you have the information you need to understand how to focus your binoculars to get the best and clearest view from them, you will be ready to start enjoying your outdoor experiences even more. Whether you are birding, hunting, watching sports from the stands, enjoying a concert, or simply checking out the scenery from your campsite, a great pair of binoculars can’t be beaten.

Take the time to find a pair of binoculars that will be right for the activities you have planned and that will meet your needs. The options we’ve mentioned above are a couple of great choices to help you get started.


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