How to Adjust Binoculars: 5 Essential Adjustments to Master

Upon buying your best pair of binoculars, you will need to make some adjustments and modifications to make it more effective.

Look, every binocular should give clear images. Not knowing how to use your binoculars can be stressful. You may be in the field with your newly bought hunting binoculars, to realize you can’t figure out anything.

Misaligned optics can frustrate you. About 90% of binocular users have problems adjusting their binoculars.

In this write-up, I’ll analyze the core adjustments you can make on your binoculars.

Read on.

Why You Need to Adjust your Quality Binoculars

Notice that binoculars do not come with clear cut directions on how to use. More often, you will find yourself on a trial and error route.

For the first time uses, it can be quite hectic. In fact, this is the reason why some binocular brands have bad reputations. It is not a nice idea to put your birding, stargazing, or hunting binoculars into use without testing.

Adjustments are essential because:

  • Saves time
  • If your eyes have different visual acuity, adjusting your pair of binoculars makes it possible to see images.
  • Makes it comfortable for both eyes, i.e., reduces eye fatigue
  • Properly adjusting binoculars gives sharp, crisp images.

You can make use of best binocular reviews to understand better befits of proper adjustments. Nonetheless, let’s look at features that need adjusting in your binoculars.

What You Need to Adjust Binoculars and How to Do It

A binocular has five components that need adjusting for it to work flawlessly.

Binoculars Eyecups

Eyecups are an essential component that guarantees your eye relief. If you set them well, they can work for you whether or not you wear spectacles.

There are different types of eyecups. However, common ones include:

  • Fold up or down
  • Twist-up or down
  • Wrap-around

Before telling on any of them, ensures it suits your style. By now, you should know that modern-day binoculars have all-plastic eyecups. Just a few have metal eyecups.

Besides, the eyecups have a rubber covering. The rubber cover makes the cups comfortable and increases their durability too.

Adjusting the Eyecups

Fold up/down Eyecups

This is an old model, though still in use.

  • Glass wearers: fold down the binoculars eyecups to a fully retracted position
  • Non-glass wearers: set the binoculars eyecups to a fully extended position. This allows you to view the entire field of view.
Twist-up/down Eyecups

Most of the time, these best budget binoculars come already adjusted. Adjusting them only requires rotating counterclockwise. This puts it’s out and away from the ocular lens.

They come in two versions:

  • Multi-position twist eyecups: they make a sound at specific points to signal stop.
  • Fully adjustable models: don’t make a sound; so you can stop anywhere
Wrap-style Eyecups

They are also called the horn or winged eyecups.

For glass, wearers steer clear of wrap around eyecup because they have a contoured design, which tends to hug the eye sockets. As a result, it makes them impractical for spectacle wearers.

Otherwise, it suitable for non-glass wearers as it shelters eyes from rain, wind, and light. Besides, it eliminates distractions, thus improving image focus.

Adjusting the Hinges

Hinges allow you to manipulate your binoculars in various ways. The hinges come in two styles, i.e., Single and Double.  They determine the binocular’s design. Besides, they give binoculars the compact size as well as adjust the Interpupillary Distance (IPD).

  • Single hinge binoculars have a single hinge in the middle of the binocular bridge.
  • Double hinge binoculars come with hinges on either side of the barrel.

Interpupillary distance simply means the gap between your eyes and the eyepiece. This distance varies from one individual to another. So setting it depends entirely on your needs.

Here is how to adjust the Interpupillary Distance/ Eyepiece Distance:

  • Expand the two binoculars barrel full – usually 76-80 mm
  • Slowly contract the barrels until your eye sockets align with the barrels. Two circles are visible through the binocular.
  • Further, contract the barrels until the two circles merge into one.

Alternatively, you can begin by focusing on a distant object. But ensure that the binoculars are steady. Move the tubes up and down until you get both the right and left fields are correctly aligned.

Adjusting Diopter

If you do not set the diopter well, you may get eye fatigue. Remember, most people have a dominant eye, which is the cause of eye fatigue while using a Binoculars.

To deal with that, you need to adjust your binoculars to fit the difference in sight between each eye. That way, you get a crisp and sharp image.

Here’s how:

Begin with the left eye before proceeding to the right one. For the left eye, use the focus knob, but use the diopter for the right eye.

You’ll need to focus on an object while adjusting the sight.

Adjusting the Focus

Adjusting focus simply means trying to get a clear image. First, you begin with unmoving objects at a 30-40 feet distance.

If the image is blurry, adjust your binoculars. Continue to adjust to get a clear and finally a sharper image.

Again here begin with the left eye and proceed to the right one.

Cover the right binocular lens with your palm. Using the focusing ring, adjust until image seen by the left eye is crisp.

Now place your palms on the left lens. If the image is blurry, begin adjusting but now use the diopter. The diopter is on the right eyepiece.

When done, look through the binocular with both eyes. It should give a clear image.

Pivot Style

There are two common pivot styles, i.e., single and twofold pivot.

Single pivot has one pivot within the binocular extension. The pivot allows the two barrels to move in and out freely. On the other hand, the two-fold pivot has two pivots on each side of the barrel that associate the scaffold.

The pivot allows the binocular to overlap the barrels as well as to alter the Initial public offering.


Video Credit: Peter Kotsa

Final Thoughts

Whether it is the best budget binoculars or your favorite hunting binocular, you need to get the most out of them. These 5 fundamental adjustments can make you have sharp and crisp images and reduce eye fatigue.

About the Author:

Hi, my name is Scott Jones. I’m a biologist from Maryland. I have an MSc in Systematic Biology and Ecology. I love to spend time in nature, watching birds and their habitats, and traveling to different continents to study wildlife. From my childhood, I would love to play with different optical scopes. I had a good collection of magnifying glasses and a cool pair of Russian made binoculars when I was in the 5th grade. With time I started to gradually build up more interest in binoculars. Then I collected several pairs of binoculars to quest my deep interest in optical scopes. Over time I learned how to determine the best binoculars pair. Then I decided to share what I knew with the world. Ever since I have borrowed a number of pairs and made some of the best reviews. I have developed blogs to share my knowledge and that’s how I got here. I am occasionally asked by binoculars suppliers to review their models. If you are willing to have reviews of your products under certain conditions please feel free to contact me at scotjones23 @

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