Focusing and aiming binoculars correctly isn’t reserved for astronomy. These tips will be useful in any situation where you need to use binoculars.
1. Focusing binoculars
Binoculars have two knobs to help focus:
The main focus ring is in the centre of the binoculars. It focuses both eyepieces.
The eyepiece focus ring is on one eyepiece (almost always on the right eyepiece). It focuses that specific eyepiece.
So to focus binoculars, focus both eyepieces first to get the left focused, and then focus the right eyepiece independently. Here is the best way to do it:
- Looking through the binoculars, close your right eye.
- Adjust the main focus ring until the image on the left is in sharp focus.
- Close your left eye and open your right eye.
- Adjust the eyepiece focusing ring until the image on the right is in sharp focus.
Both eyepieces will now be in sharp focus, and a clear image should be visible.
(TIP: Keeping your elbows rested on something can help keep the binoculars steady while focusing.)
2. Aiming binoculars
The most intuitive way to aim binoculars is to hold them up to your face, and then start looking for what you want to see. Unfortunately, this is also the most inefficient way. Binoculars magnify objects, so when searching for something in the distance, you have to look over a larger area to find it. The magnified image is also unsteady.
Here is the right way to do it:
- Find the object with your naked eyes first.
- Keep your gaze locked on it, and lift your binoculars up to where your eyes are.
(TIP: Sometimes the image won’t be in the frame even after doing this. Try making a small movement upwards and you’ll probably find it.)
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