Written by Mark Taylor

Binoculars are a fascinating tool; they can extend the limits of your sight and allow you to see beyond your horizon. Using a pair of binoculars seems simple enough, I mean all you have to do is bring them up to your eyes and your good to go, right?

Well, that’s not how it works; there are specific rules that you need to know and follow if you are an optic enthusiast. Therefore, in today’s post, I am going to share eight essential practices that you need to comply with if you want your binoculars to work efficiently and last for a long time.


Rule #1: Don’t neglect the neck-straps

Many novice bird watchers and hunters carry their binoculars in their hands, which is ultimately the wrong move. Taking expensive binoculars in your hands can be problematic, you may end up damaging the lens. Furthermore, binoculars are sometimes tricky to get into focus, especially for novice enthusiasts. By carrying the binoculars in your hand, you are likely to mess up the lens’s calibration accidentally. Therefore, it is essential to use the neck strap, which will allow your binoculars to rest safely around your neck and against your chest. Furthermore, they will always be within your reach. However, if you use binoculars with large scopes and lenses, you might find it challenging to use a neck strap. For heavy optics, the strap can dig into your neck and cause pain. Therefore, instead of neck-straps, they can use a binocular harness, which secures the optic by distributing weight among your shoulders.

If you are looking for the right harness for your large whale watching or bird watching binoculars, you can get more info at OpticVilla.

Rule #2: get the right kind of binoculars for your specific requirements

To use your binocular effectively, you must get the right kind. If you want something that will allow you to be mobile, you should go for a lightweight, compact pair of binoculars. For instance, if you’re going to do some sightseeing on a hike, a compact part of binoculars will do the job, whereas if you are planning to go bird watching, you may need a more substantial pair with high magnification. However, if you want something that fits the “jack of all trades” category, you should go for a subcompact pair of binoculars. These optics fall in the middle of large and compact, and they do a decent job for almost any application.


Rule #3: Clean your binoculars regularly

It doesn’t matter whether your binoculars cost you R1000 or more, they need to be cleaned regularly. However, cleaning a pair of binoculars is not as simple as you may think. If you do it wrong, you can end up damaging the optic. Many people wipe the lens with their sleeve and say that the lens is clean, however, if you do the same, you might end up getting a lot of scratches on the lens, or the lens coating. These micro scratches might not be visible at first, but over time, they can accumulate and damage the lens’s focusing ability. Therefore, get some microfibre cloth to clean your lens.

Rule #4: Focus your binoculars

Focusing your binoculars in an effective range, or on a certain animal can be annoying at some times no matter how experienced you are. Here is how you can quickly adjust your binoculars: Start by adjusting the distance between the barrels of the binoculars. Too wide, or too close binoculars can damage your field of view. Now, find something to focus on, for instance, a bright leaf in the distance or something else prominent. Focus with both your eyes at first and then fine-tune the binoculars by closing one eye at a time. Keep repeating these steps until you get a crystal-clear image.

Young child holding binoculars

Rule #5: Practice how to locate an item with your binoculars

You may be seeing a bird or a deer clearly at the horizon, and as soon as you get your binoculars up to get a better view, the object is nowhere to be found. It can be very difficult to find objects with your binoculars in the beginning, however, as you get used to them, you will be able to get even a tiny bird into your field of view instantly.

Rule #6: Don’t invade someone else’s privacy

Not everyone uses binoculars to look at birds and other animals; some people may also spy on their neighbours or stalk people using binoculars, which is, of course, very unethical. Therefore, if you do have a pair of binoculars, be considerate of the people around you and don’t invade their privacy.

Rule #7: Learn the lingo

Well, now that you have decided to buy yourself a pair of binoculars, you should know a thing or two about the lingo. There are two main parameters that you need to know to identify any pair of binoculars. You may have noticed that many binoculars have numbers like 6×20, 8×50 written on them, what do they mean? The fist numbers represent the magnification power of the binoculars, while the second one shows the size of the objective lens. For instance, a pair of binoculars with specification marked as 8×30 will have eight times optical zoom, and a 30 mm objective lens.

Rule #8: Use the carry case to travel with your binoculars

Binoculars can be delicate, especially the ones with large lenses and prisms. Even though some of them have shockproof bodies, they can get uncalibrated and lose focus when they are handled carelessly. With almost every decent pair of binoculars, you will get a travelling case. These cases are designed to absorb even large shock and keep your optic safe from any damage. Therefore, whenever you are travelling with your binoculars, make sure to use your travelling case.

So, here were some rules that can help your binoculars last for a long time. I hope that you found this post helpful and informative.