The point of binoculars is to be able to see objects that are far away, to bring distant objects closer. However, if you don’t know how to focus binoculars correctly what good are they? You can have the best pair of binoculars known to man but if you are unable to focus them properly they won’t be worth very much to you.
If you don’t know very much about binoculars you might think that focusing them requires nothing more than turning the little dial until the image becomes clear but there is more to it than that and we are going to go over the proper way to focus your binoculars so you are able to see the clearest images possible.
There are three types of binoculars that you’re likely to come across. Center focus binoculars have a focusing mechanism in the center. Individual eyepiece focus binoculars do not have a focus wheel in the center but each eyepiece can be turned individually to be focused for each eye. The third type of binoculars is often referred to as self focusing binoculars. This is a bit of a misnomer because these binoculars are not really focusing themselves but they do allow users to see clear images at varying distances.
Self focusing binoculars
“Self focusing binoculars” work because they are designed with a wide but fixed depth of field. In the factory, self focusing binoculars are set to focus on a distant object and this allows the viewer’s own eyes to focus on the object. With this type of binoculars you can adjust the diopter of each eyepiece to suit your own vision and no further adjustments are required.
Center focus binoculars
Center focus binoculars are the most common. There is a knob in the center of the binoculars used to bring an image into focus and there is also a diopter which is located either on the right barrel or on the focusing wheel in the center of the binoculars.
To focus these binoculars properly you should first set the diopter to its zero point. Next, choose a fixed object in the distance and look through your binoculars with both eyes open but cover the right lens with your hand or the lens cap. You’ll want to have both eyes opened rather than just closing one eye and squinting because squinting can actually change the shape of your eyeball slightly which will also change the way your eye focuses on an object.
With both eyes opened and the right lens covered, adjust the center focusing dial until the image you are viewing appears sharp and clear. Next, cover the other lens but this time use the diopter to bring the image into focus. You may need to repeat these steps a few times to do a little fine tuning for the clearest image but once you are finished doing this you will not need to adjust the diopter again. If your diopter has a locking mechanism this would be the time to use it.
Individual eyepiece focus binoculars
On this type of binocular there is no focus wheel but each eyepiece can be turned and focused for each eye individually. Cover one lens while looking through the other and look at a distant object. Turn the eyepiece until the image is sharp and clear then repeat the process with the other eye. Your binoculars will remain in perfect focus until you decide to look at something that is either closer to you or further away. When you decide to look at something at a different distance you may need to do a little fine tuning.
Learning how to focus binoculars is not difficult but it is very important if you want to get the most out of them. Follow these tips and you will enjoy getting up close to the action and seeing everything in sharp, clear detail.