Binoculars and one bad eye...


April 14, 2009, 02:05 AM
I'm looking to buy a 10x binocular to spot hits at the range or maybe even for hunting. But my right eye is worse than my left and when I focus the binos, it's blurry on the left because I'm right eye dominant.

Does anyone else have this issue? Do you just keep your glasses on when viewing through binos? Thank you.

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April 14, 2009, 02:16 AM
Many binoculars I have played with allowed to adjust the focus on 1 eye. The idea being that you get the non adjustable eye in focus, then adjust the focus on the eyepiece for your other eye.

April 14, 2009, 04:26 AM
allowed to adjust the focus on 1 eye

That's a diopter.

If the difference between your eyes is really bad, to where you still can't get a good focus with a diopter, consider a good monocular. As with any optics, price is usually a good indication of quality.

April 14, 2009, 09:14 AM
If you have corrective glasses then you should be able to use binoculars normally.

April 14, 2009, 10:02 AM
As noted, most binoculars of decent quality allow a range of independent adjustment. (Usually you focus the left eye using the common focus, then adjust the right eye, but it could be backward.) On any particular model, the range may or may not be large enough to accommodate your eyes, so try before you buy.

If your eyes are very different and you are very fussy, you may not like the independent focusing since the separate images are a slightly different size. My eyes are about 20/100 and 20/500, and it doesn't bother me.

As also noted, many (not all) binoculars are designed so that you can use them with your glasses on. I find this unsatisfactory, myself, since it feels unnatural and my binoculars leave smudges on the glasses. It may work for you, though.

I have a pair of $100 10x binoculars from West Marine which are OK, but nothing special. Two things you get when you pay more are 1) depth of field and 2) light transmission. I have a pair of 6x Steiners which can be adjusted for sharp focus from about 50 yards to infinity. This is really great for, e.g., boating since it's hard to focus on what you can't quite see. For targets, maybe not so important. As for light transmission, a first quality optic may transmit twice the light on the same size objective lens as a cheap one. This is important in low light, but not at noon. It might be more important for a hunter than a target shooter.

April 14, 2009, 01:09 PM
Thanks fellas. I didn't know that some binos had a diopter. I guess it's much like the diopter on my camera form what I gather.

My right eye is worse than my left but I don't remember my prescription. It's not tremendously bad but annoying nevertheless.

I know you get what you pay for but are there any brands that I should NOT consider?

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 01:21 PM
Visit a eye surgeon, have that doctor examine you with dialation for cataracts.

In my specific case my right eye failed to a cataract and it was surgically removed and the doctor replaced the material with a artificial lens restoring that eye back to where it was when I was a child prior to glasses.

If you cannot get focus with that eye under any condition, cataract is my call. My clues were two.

The first was book reading. I normally read a book about a foot from the eye that was bad two years ago. Last month I had that book 1.5 inches from eye and was still losing the letters. It was progressively worse very quickly over two years time.

My shooting was affected as well. Im left eye dominant, that will not change.

When the doctor issues a new prescription and lifts my no recoil, no work order I will have to relearn everything all over again on the range. Except that this time I can see the rear of the weapon with the right eye and use the left to fire on.

But not too shabby eh? Blind and one eyed and still put 18 of 20 at 7 yards rapid fire within a foot of center mass off the left eye using a weaver to get the pistol way over to that side.

Not to be off topic too far, there is a pair of binos in the home where you can adjust the focus at the eye peice end in addition to the large focus for both eye peices.

April 14, 2009, 01:38 PM
I didn't know that some binos had a diopter.I don't know of any that don't.

I have a pair of Leupold 10x roof-prism's that I really like. I can spot .22 holes at 100 yards on a good day.

The main problem with 10x or higher binoculars is holding them still.

For all-around hunting use, you are probably better off with 8x, as 10x gets a little shaky unless you can brace them against something.

For strictly target spotting, you are better off with a 20x spotting scope.


April 14, 2009, 02:27 PM
I know you get what you pay for but are there any brands that I should NOT consider?

I think most of the cheap gear is sold under store labels (like my West Marine). Some, like Tasco and maybe Bushnell, sell a range of quality. Tasco, in particular, makes (or has made in the past) the cheapest gear for children as well as some milspec optics. In the boating world, which I know better than shooting, the top names are Fujinon and Steiner.

I agree with everything that rcmodel said, and would emphasize his comment that at 10X and above, you will be looking for some kind of stand or brace.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 14, 2009, 02:53 PM
(a) Just use them with your glasses on.

(b) If you use them with your glasses off, you can still get a fairly good picture, for most corrections/ eye issues-You can adjust the individual diopter focus on the left eye on most types of binos after first closing the left eye and using the main focus to focus just for your right eye.

(c) Even if you do look with your glasses on, you still need to do a bit of diopter adjusting on the left eye to get them ideally suited.

April 16, 2009, 07:07 AM
If you are planning to wear your glasses, try before you buy and shop around; some binos have adequate eye relief for eyeglass and some do not. Most good ones have fold down rubber eyecups or the screw/slide in/out type etc.


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