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1 October 2020

Focusing your binoculars

To see the best possible image, it’s essential to focus your binoculars properly. So we'll show you how to do this in five simple steps.
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WhichEditorial team

Five steps to focusing your binoculars

Most binoculars have a central focusing wheel and a dioptre adjustment for focusing images. The dioptre adjustment is an important feature, as it compensates for the differences between the strength of your eyes. The dioptre adjustment can often go unnoticed by novice users who aren't sure what it does. 

Follow our five easy steps and you'll get the best image possible:

1. Move central hinge

Look through your binoculars at a plain scene, such as grass or sky, and move the central hinge until you see a single bright circle.

2. Cover right barrel

Cover the barrel that has the dioptre adjustment on its eyepiece; this is usually on the right-hand side.

3. Use central focusing wheel

Look at a fixed object in the distance and use the central focusing wheel to focus the binoculars until the image appears clear and sharp.

4. Cover left barrel

While looking at the same image, cover the left barrel.

5. Use dioptre adjustment

Use the dioptre adjustment on the right eyepiece to make the image appear clear and sharp.

Your binoculars are now set and ready to go. Unless someone else uses your binoculars (changing the dioptre adjustment), you only need to use the central focusing wheel to refocus whenever you’re using them.