How to Use and Adjust Binoculars – A Detailed Guide


Binoculars have made the lives of astronomical enthusiasts significantly easier. All we have to do is calibrate binoculars, and we can explore the enigma of cosmology in close proximity. 

how to use binoculars

Getting your first binoculars is the very first step in developing an interest in cosmology. It even contributes to developing career prospects in the field of astronomy.

Moreover, the instrument's versatility allows you to employ the device in various other areas such as birdwatching, observing the wildlife, etc. Apart from this, it makes up for a perfect piece of equipment for the entire family's use and fancy.

However, using and calibrating the binoculars can be a little tricky. This is especially apt for people who are not accustomed to using binoculars. First-timers may not be able to reap the full benefits of binoculars due to inadequate knowledge.

Components of Binoculars

Let's first take a glance at various significant components of binoculars that will contribute to your viewing experience.

  • Eyepiece Lens
  • Objective lens
  • Eyecup
  • Focuser or focusing ring
  • Body or tube
  • Performance indicator
  • Diopter

These are some of the components you should be aware of even to understand the binoculars' instruction manual. The above-listed parts are all that make up for binoculars in the broad sense. Using binoculars is enormously easy as long as you know what you are doing.

How to Use Binoculars

Before using binoculars, you would need to make some preparations. This includes making necessary adjustments in various components of the unit and calibrating it corresponding to your needs. For different distances of viewing, the unit needs to be calibrated differently.

Nevertheless, the foundational calibration remains more or less the same. I have broken down the process of calibration and the optimum usage into three simple steps. 

As long as these are followed meticulously, you should have no problem bringing out the best of your binoculars. Also, we have listed few best binoculars under 100$, do check it out and get one based on your interest.

Step 1: Adjust the Eyepiece

  • The eyepiece is the lens that is linked to the binoculars, and it is essentially this component through which you see. 
  • As the name suggests, it is the part that is closest to your eye while using the binoculars, and the calibration of the eyepiece is of foremost importance. 
  • Prior to this, the eyecups need to be adjusted. The clockwise or counterclockwise movement of the eyecups will allow you to adjust the eyecups so that your eyes fit into them completely.
  • The eyecups are necessary to adjust because well-adjusted cups wouldn’t let you see anything other than the intended image. 
  • In broad daylight, the tightened eyecups will block the unnecessary light and focus on what you see through the lens.
  • The extension and retraction of the eyecups will influence your field of vision. 
  • If the eyecups are extended, you would have a narrow and magnified field of view.
  • Whereas, if the eyecups are retracted, the field of view will widen, and you will have much more to see through the lens.

Step 2: Holding the Binoculars

  • Your binoculars consist of two tubes inter-connected; these are called the barrels of binoculars. 
  • These are essentially the most vital part of the structure, and to view your distant surrounding, you would have to grip these tubes tightly as you look through the lenses and bring them closer by bending it.
  • Keep bending the instrument until your eyes conveniently fit into the eyecups. The resulting view should be a single picture and not a dual image.
  • If the image is divided or you see two images, you need to readjust the tubes until you see one integrated image. 
  • This adjustment needs to be done because the distance between the lenses is the same for everybody. Meanwhile, the distance between the eyes varies from person to person.
  • If the tubes are not calibrated, you would see two images and not one whole image. This makes the entire viewing experience futile. 

Step 3: Focusing the Binoculars

The next thing on the agenda is to adjust the focuser of the binoculars. The focuser shall only be adjusted if the view through the lens is out of focus.

This means that the image is distorted and blurry. To begin adjusting the focus, look at any object that is 35 feet away from your position. Note what you see. Is the image blurry? If so, you need to adjust the focus of the instrument. 

To achieve a sharp image and optimum focus, the following things need to be done.

  • Cover the right lens of your binoculars with the lens protector that is attached with the rubber cups, and note if the image you see through the left lens is blurry or not. Suppose the image you see is blurry; fiddle the focuser until the image is in focus. The focuser, or as it is widely known as the “focusing ring”, is situated in the middle of the two tubes.
  • Once you have adjusted the left lens with the focuser, the diopter will adjust the right lens. It makes up for the difference of focus between the left lens and the right lens.
  • Now, cover the left lens and note if the image is blurry when you see through the right lens. If the image is out of focus, the diopter needs to be adjusted.

Your Binoculars are now calibrated and ready to use! Look through the lens and make sure everything is in place. The image should be in focus, and your eyes should feel comfortable. You should see one integrated image, and all the peripheral light should be blocked out.


You have now learned about the structure and components of the binocular, usage, and method of calibrating each vital component. Knowing how to calibrate and use the binocs enhances the viewing experience by a mile.

After 6 or 7 times of calibrating and using the binocs, you will get accustomed to the whole procedure, and it wouldn’t seem like work after a while.

Needless to say, if you have a more advanced model with more specifications than average binocs, you might have to look at the user manual to understand the intricacies of its functionality which might be absent from common binocs.

However, the above-listed steps shall be enough for using regular binoculars. I hope you found this article helpful. Happy viewing!

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About the Author


I am Tim, a weather enthusiast who loves to watch hurricanes and all other harsh weather conditions. I studied B.Sc(Meteorology) at the University of Miami. With excellent knowledge of Weather Forecasting, Meteorology, and Environmental Science, I am currently working in San Francisco as a Meteorologist. Also, I am a member of The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. In this blog, I will write a detailed review of Weather instruments that you need for survival and other activities.