Using Binoculars With Eyeglasses
More and More People Wear Glasses
According to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction. About 64% of them wear eyeglasses, and about 11% wear contact lenses. Over half of all women and about 42% of men wear glasses.
So if your vision is blurred or distorted every time you take your glasses or contacts off, you more than likely have one of the common refractive errors below:
Three types of refractive errors:
1. Myopia or Near Sightedness – Causes blurred distance vision
2. Hyperopia or Far Sightedness – Causes blurred near vision
3. Astigmatism – Causes all objects at all distances to appear blurred or distorted
Far-Sighted & Near-Sightedness
When using a binocular, near-sightedness and far-sightedness can be compensated for by the focusing and diopter mechanisms on most binoculars, provided that one’s eyes do not need heavy correction. Therefore, if someone needs to wear glasses to correct far or nearsightedness, they may not actually need to use eyeglasses when looking through their binoculars. This is because the focusing mechanism will allow for adjustment, thus correcting their vision.
Follow the steps in the video to set the diopter adjustment properly:
What to Do With Your Glasses
Now that you’ve discovered that you don’t have to wear your glasses while using the binocular, what are you supposed to do you with your glasses as you’re trying to observe? The obvious answer is to put them down or wear them around your neck with a safety cord. This sounds simple enough, but doing it all the time, over and over again can get really annoying. There is also the risk of forgetting or losing them somewhere. The other issue of course is, it takes time to remove your glasses and to put the binoculars up to your eyes. While it may not sound like a big issue, if you need your glasses to remain on as you move through the woods, there is always that chance that your prey may be missed while you’re swapping over.
I Have an Astigmatism, Now What?
Astigmatism is simply a common imperfection in the eyes’ ability to accurately focus light. Actually there are more people that have astigmatism than have near or farsightedness problems.
If you have an astigmatism, your eyes cannot be corrected by using the focus adjustments in a binocular. You must wear your eyeglasses in order to get a distortion-free sharp image. However, most do not find wearing glasses while observing very gratifying. Some have found it difficult to push their glasses up against the eyepiece. This invariably causes a loss of field because they push their eye back from the correct eye relief position. In addition, they are prone to ghost images, reflecting an image of their own eye back to them, and a substantial light loss from their uncoated lenses. Bi-focal, tri-focal, or vari-focal (progressive) designs are also very disconcerting to use when trying to view objects at long distances.
How to Use Binoculars Effectively with Glasses
A question we often get asked is: “How do I use binoculars with my glasses?” or, “If I wear eyeglasses, do I need to buy special binoculars?” The answer is not as clear cut as one might think. Let me explain.
Because eyeglasses must be worn at all times, binoculars with insufficient eye relief simply will not work. Eye relief is probably the most important factor when choosing the right binocular for you. Even though a binocular may claim to have bright, clear images, some people claim they couldn’t see the whole view through them. “I feel like I’m looking through a pair of tiny tubes,” one woman remarked, or like, “Someone has painted a black ring around the lens, so I can’t see the edge of the picture.” She was experiencing the limitations of the binocular’s short eye relief.
What is Eye Relief and Why is it Important?
Eye relief is the distance from the eyepiece to the point where one can see the entire view the binocular was designed to provide. People who wear glasses often have trouble using binoculars, because their glasses hold the binocular’s eyepiece too far away from their eyes. It’s a problem with many binoculars, but particularly with smaller ones.
It makes a difference how a person’s glasses fit. Eyeglasses that fit close to the eyes offer less interference than glasses that ride far out from the eyes. Glasses with small lenses can fit snugly under the brows, almost touching the eyelashes, and allow the binoculars to rest close to the eyes. That may be enough to put the binoculars at the proper distance for the person to see the whole picture.
When purchasing a binocular, ideally eye relief should be in the range of 16-20mm so that one will be able to see the full field of view (FOV) when wearing glasses.
Choosing the Right Binocular
As stated, choose a binocular with at least 16mm of eye relief, however, it would be better suited to choose a binocular with the greatest ER possible. It’s also very helpful to choose a binocular with an enhanced ocular lens that produces a wide field of view and large exit pupil like the TORIC 8x42.