How do I clean my binoculars?

It’s important to remember that your binoculars are an everyday item which should be used and enjoyed, not locked away and wrapped up in cotton wool. So of course, at some point they’re going to get a little dirty.

The outer armour can be easily cleaned using a soft cloth with warm water and possibly a mild cleaner for the outer metal, rubber, or plastic, however you’re going to need to take alot more care when it comes to cleaning the lenses. This is because each lense is coated with a sensitive coating that can be easily damaged if you’re too enthusiastic when cleaning.

It’s perfectly ok to gently brush over the lenses with a soft cleaning brush if you’re trying to remove specks of dust for example, this can be done as and when necessary, however if there’s slightly heavier dirt on the lenses, then this isn’t the case, and you should remember that:

The golden rule when it comes to cleaning is to do it as seldom as possible.

The coatings on the lenses can be easily scratched or damage, so use a soft lint-free cloth (e.g. camera lens cloth) and lens cleaner or alcohol for the exterior glass and gently wipe the lenses in soft, circular movements. These gentle movements might not be enough to remove the dirt, and in that case you should seek professional cleaning.

Remember it’s always best to put the caps back on the lenses after you’ve used your binoculars.

How do I take my binoculars apart to clean them?

You don’t!!… In most cases you shouldn’t have to take your optics apart. Many are nitrogen-filled to keep the optics from fogging up. If you think the interior needs to be cleaned, contact the manufacturer or an authorized dealer for more information.

How do I use the diopter adjustment?

To set the diopter…

  • First set it to zero and then cover the front lens of the side that has the diopter adjustment.
  • Look through the binoculars and adjust the focus wheel until the image is as clear as possible.
  • Then uncover the objective lens and cover the opposite one.
  • Look through the binoculars and if the image is not clear, adjust the diopter until the image is clear for that eye.

What do the numbers mean (e.g. 8×42)?

The numbers stand for the magnification power and the objective size of the binoculars. The number before the “x” signifies the magnification power and informs you of how much closer or larger an image will appear compared to viewing with the naked eye. So in our example the magnification would be 8x.

The number after the “x” stands for the size (usually in millimeters) of the objective lenses and is useful in understanding the amount of light-gathering ability of the optics, and so using our example the 8×42 binoculars have an aperture of 42mm. All else being equal, bigger front objectives mean distant images will appear clearer and brighter.

Note: If the first number is actually two numbers separated by a hyphen or a slash (e.g 20-100×50) the binoculars are zooms or variable power.