This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

How to Use Binoculars – A Detailed Guide

There are few steps to follow if you want to learn how to use binoculars. First of all, you need to adjust the eyecups. The second step is to adjust the width of the binoculars using the center hinge. Now all you have to do is set the focus by using the focusing wheel. You can adjust the focus wheel until the sight is clear.

Let’s discuss the process in detail:

Step 1: Set the Eye Cups
Most binoculars have flexible eye cups on both eyepieces. You need to down the eyecups if you have wearing glasses. If you do not wear glasses, then they need to be up.

Step 2: Adjust the Width
Binoculars have two eyepieces joined by a middle hinge. The eyepieces can move in and out so you can adjust them accordingly. You need to set your eyepieces to coordinate with your eyes.
First, to do this spread the eyepieces; at that point, put the binoculars up to your eyes. Move the eyepieces together until you see the two circles in your view meet into one.

Step 3: Adjust the Focus
All binoculars have a focus wheel which is usually in the middle. This wheel is used to changes the focus of the two eyepieces. You can set your focus with the help of the focus wheel on binocular each time when you take a look at a bird.

Step 4: Adjusting the Diopter Ring
Most binoculars also have a diopter ring. This ring is a smaller wheel that changes the focus of a single eyepiece. Usually, the diopter is found on the right eyepiece. The diopter allows you to adjust the binoculars’ focus for your specific eyes, and you need to set it only once.

How to Adjust Diopter Ring?

These are the steps to adjust the Diopter Ring:

Step 1: Adjust Right Side
Move the diopter and the focus wheel anti-clockwise until they stop moving. Now, cover the right eyepiece so that you don’t see through it. Looking through the left eyepiece with your left eye, adjust the focus wheel until the sign comes into focus. Get it as sharp as possible.

Step 2: Adjust Left Side
Now you have to cover the left eyepiece and take a look at the sign using just the right eyepiece. The sign will likely be a little bit blurry. Now you have to adjust the diopter ring until it comes into focus.
Following these steps will adjust your binoculars.

How to Focus?

Adjust the distance between two barrels of binoculars, so that they become adjustable for your eyes.
Start by adjusting the distance between the two barrels of the binocular, so they are the right width for your eyes. If they are too far or too close, you will see the dark edges in your field of view. If you set the spacing accurately then, your view will be an ideal circle.

After that, Set your focus by adjusting the focus wheel on something like a dull tree limb against the blue sky, a road sign, or an overhead wire.
Focus while opening your both eyes.

To obtain the fine focus, close your right eye and, change the focus wheel by using just your left eye. Then, close your left eye and, using the diopter ring, bring your view into sharp focus with your right eye.

Now open your both eyes and see if your focus is completely clear. If the picture isn’t clear, you can repeat the above steps and make little changes using one focus wheel or the diopter ring.

How to Tell If Your Focus Is Right?

How can you tell if your focus is right? As a matter of first importance, the diopter ring needs to be adjusted first for a clear view through your binocular. When you look through your binoculars, it should be completely clear. Likewise, it should not be hard for your eyes to see through binoculars.

If you feel slight stress in your eyes, or if using your binoculars gives you a headache, there may be an issue with the optics of your binoculars.
They could be out of adjustment and focus.

Most binocular makers are glad to replace their optics. On the off chance that you think your binoculars have an issue, contact the producer for the adjustment of the optics.

Tips for the Field

Good binoculars consist of a couple of fundamental highlights for watching a bird. They have the main focus wheel and a diopter ring. The motivation behind the diopter is to form up the contrasts between your eyes because both eyes are not similar or have not a similar capacity to focus. To get a clear sight view through your binocular, the best way is to adjust the diopter focus and the focus wheel

Tips to Follow:

Always utilize your binocular’s necktie/strap. Carrying your optics in your hand is not a good idea. The strap around your neck protects the binoculars, and it is easy to reach out for your hands. A few birders like to utilize a binocular holder, which uses a strap over the shoulders and across the back to adjust the weight of the binoculars.
Always go for a binocular with a diopter ring. If your binocular doesn’t have a diopter ring, then these are bad optics for birding. Consider replacing them with a good quality binocular which comes with a diopter ring.

Finding the Bird

The one issue that birders have experiencing that pointing right at the bird utilizing the binoculars. This can be an issue in any event when the bird is sitting in a hidden spot.
Luckily, this issue can be effectively removed with practicing and training.

Here is how you can overcome this issue:

Looking with just your eyes, find a bright leaf in a tree or a certain spot on an inaccessible building, and lock your eyes on it. Now, without removing your eyes from that spot, bring your binoculars up to your eyes and into an arrangement with your view. This trick will work every time.

With training, you’ll find that locking your eyes is the only way to see through the binoculars. This will make it simpler for you to find birds with your binoculars, regardless of whether a bird is moving.

When locking your eyes onto an unreachable bird, focus on some other mark close to the bird’s area. This can be a spot in a tree’s outline, a brightly shaded leaf, or even a passing cloud. Note where the bird is comparable to this landmark, and it gives you another reference point to utilize when your binoculars swing into place.

Cleaning Your Binoculars

Regardless of if your binoculars cost $100 or $1,000, they should be cleaned routinely. What’s more, cleaning them the incorrect way can damage them. Whipping the focal point with your shirtsleeve seems the easiest way to clean. However, you may be putting lots of tiny scratches on the glass or focal point coatings.
After some time, these tiny scratches will reduce the clearness of the picture your binoculars can offer.

The ideal approach to clean valuable optics focal points is:
1. Utilize a delicate brush or compacted air to blow away particles.
2. When the particles are eliminated, wet a focal point fabric or focal point tissue for cleaning.
3. Gently wipe the focal points with the wet fabric.
4. Dry the focal points with a dry part of the fabric.
5. Hold the binoculars up in the light and search for dirt. Repeat the wet cleaning if you find any dirt left.

Binocular Magnification

You will find that binoculars are explained by a combination of two numbers: 8×50, 10×25. The principal number is the magnification of the item when looking through the binoculars.
The following number is the width in millimeters of the main focal point. Huge measurements let in more light, and you’ll have the option to see more detail.
For birding, a magnification of 7 or 8 is ideal. The focal point distance across needs to be somewhere in the range of 25 and 40.

What Else To Consider?

If you wear glasses, you may have to consider adjusting the eyecups to allow for some additional room for your spectacles.
It is a good idea to wear gloves in the winter. You have to make sure that you have checked that you can hold and change the binoculars while wearing them. Thick gloves that should be taken off can disrupt the general flow more than they help.


Learning how to utilize binoculars and adjust them isn’t a difficult task. When you practice using them a couple of times, it will get easier for you to adjust and focus on anything you want.
Key points to consider are:

  • Adjust the hinge until it coordinates with the distance between your eyes and you just see a single picture.
  • Adjust the focus wheel to get a clear image.
  • Adjust the diopter ring to get the sharpest image possible.
  • Always hang the binoculars on your neck while moving.
  • Do not wipe it with your shirt, and make sure to clean it after use.
  • Always store it in the case it comes with.

Leave a Comment