How To Use Binoculars to Their Full Potential - Our Guide!

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Updated on: 

February 8, 2021

How best to use binoculars in order to get the most out of them?

To make the most out of your binoculars you must make sure that you have chosen the right pair for your specific needs. Then you have to make sure that you know how to change the viewing settings to tailor to your eyesight.

Being the number one tool for outdoor explorers and wildlife observers, it is important to understand how exactly to use such an important tool in the proper way.

Being able to do so will not only allow you to get the most out of your outdoor hobbies but will also allow you to be more successful at spotting and identifying wildlife.

Once you have figured out how to correctly use your binoculars then you will be able to use them to their full potential.

Understanding your binoculars

Just like with any other tool, you need to know how binoculars work in order to unlock their full use.

Most people would have seen a pair of binoculars either being used by others when walking or while hiking but many do not know the various functions hidden on the binoculars.

Two separate viewing barrels are joint together by a hinged connection that allows the user to adjust the viewing ports to their eye distance. This makes for a more comfortable experience for you as you are able to alter the barrels to your eyes rather than the barrels being a set distance apart.

As for the barrels themselves, they differ slightly on each side. Even though some brands may differ in their design, usually on the right-side barrel you will find the diopter dial.

It is this dial that you will use to alter the finer focus of your binoculars in order to match your individual sight.

Don't lose focus!

The biggest mistake that many first time binocular buyers make is not adjusting the focus to properly meet their individual eye type. A lack of focus can lead to the user missing rare natural sites or may mean that you misidentify a species.

Not correctly identifying a species can cause havoc for officials trying to keep track of certain endangered species or other nature observers tasked with looking after wildlife.

In order to avoid confusion, you must focus your binoculars if you wish to use them correctly.

You will know that your binoculars are not focused right if your eyes feel strained or if what you are seeing through the lenses feels flat.

The whole point of using binoculars is to get a clear image from a distance so what you are seeing should not appear flat but rather very clear.

How to focus your binoculars

First. you need to make sure that you are looking through your lenses properly. You have a clear circular view without any black edges.

If you do see any black edges that that means that your binoculars are not the right distance apart.

To correct this, places your hands on the two barrels and move them either further apart or close together until you achieve the perfect circular view.

Now you can focus on focusing.

Start by choosing an unmoving object a fair distance away that has an obvious different coloured background.

For example, a red signpost against a blue sky background. This will make it easier to figure out if your focus is the best it can be.

keep both of your eyes open and locked onto that object and alter the main focusing wheel on your binoculars until the object becomes sharper.

This may mean that the background of your view is more blurred which is fine as long as your focused object is more defined.

In some cases just altering the focus wheel will be enough to focus on your chosen object of interest. However, in order to properly use your binoculars, we advise that you adjust the finer focus.

To do this, keep your right eye closed and your left open. Adjust the focus wheel once more until you have a sharp image again.

Then close your left eye and close your right to alter the diopter adjustment to bring your object into focus.

Once you open both your eyes again, you should find that your focus is significantly more clear than when you first adjusted your focus wheel.

Keep in mind that you will need to re-focus your finer focus adjustments as you move your attention from object to object.

While this may seem like a pain in the neck, you will get used to altering the focus as you move making the process whole lot quicker and allowing you to properly use your binoculars to focus on the wonders you want to see up close.

Using binoculars to find your subject

One advantage of using binoculars is that, once they are correctly focused and you have a clear vision, you are able to see things that may not be possible to the naked human eye.

Not only is this great for wildlife enthusiasts who wish to see smaller bugs and such or want to catch sight of a rare bird without scaring it away.

It also means that photographers are able to find the perfect subject for their photos that they may not have considered before.

Photographers do not necessarily need to be carrying around a top of the range pair of binoculars in order to get the most out of them.

However, by investing in a pair of budget binoculars, you will be able to find subjects that others in your field may not be able to spot making for the perfect photograph.

What you need to do is act like the lenses in your binoculars are the lens of your camera. This way you will get into the practice of lining up the right shot and figuring out the composition of your image before you have taken it and saving you work as you take the actual photo.

Why use binoculars for stargazing

You will find may beginner and even some professional astronomists reaching for a pair of binoculars on a clear night to find their favourite constellations.

While there is no doubt that telescopes are the best tool for stargazing, they are often very bulky and costly meaning that if you just wish to go camping and look at the stars, you probably do not want to be carrying an expensive telescope around with you.

Binoculars are for the most part considerably cheaper than telescopes and are easier to carry around with you wherever you go.

Not only that but they are also able to enhance both the shape and colours of the stars and planets in a way that even some telescopes are unable to as they are not designed to do so.

Even though you may not be an avid stargazer, that does not mean that you can not make the most out of your binoculars by taking them out when the sky is clear.

They aren't just for land use!

Most of the ways listed here to help you get the most of you binoculars are land-based activities where most of the subjects are fairly still.

That is why the focusing and finer focusing function works so well with binoculars that are used for land-based activities as you do not have to worry so much about moving while trying to focus on your subject.

However, there are instances like on a cruise ship or if you are a marine worker, that will require a pair of binoculars that you can use while not on land.

Ideally called 'marine binoculars' are usually bulkier than other types to keep your view more stable while moving on the water.

They are also fitted with functions especially for being moved constantly by the water. This is so that you can still get the most out of your binoculars without having a blurry view like you would have if you used a basic pair of binoculars.

All in all, if you want to use your pair of binoculars to their full potential, you need to make sure that you have the right pair for the activity. Not only that, but you have to make sure that you know how to alter the focus as and when you need to so that you do not miss the magnificent sights that nature has to offer.

Acacia works as a freelance content writer alongside getting their film degree. They enjoy writing about health, food and technology and keeps up to date with what is current and popular today.

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Acacia works as a freelance content writer alongside getting their film degree. They enjoy writing about health, food and technology and keeps up to date with what is current and popular today.

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