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How to Use Binoculars With Glasses (5 Helpful Tips)

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woman using binoculars with glasses

Few things are more enjoyable than discovering everything that the world has to offer through a pair of binoculars. Whether you’re staring at the stars or the mountains, binoculars can open up a whole new world to observe.

But when you’re wearing glasses, it can be more than a little frustrating trying to get everything into focus without straining your eyes. The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to help you see everything with crystal clear clarity, even while you’re wearing your glasses.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through four of the most beneficial tips to help you get your target in focus and get you back to enjoying your binoculars!

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Decide if You Want to/Can Skip the Glasses

If you didn’t know, you can often skip your eyeglasses entirely if you’re using binoculars, but you can’t always, and many people prefer to wear their glasses while using binoculars.

To decide whether you can use your binoculars without your need to answer a few questions. For starters, if you’re wearing glasses solely to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness, you’re in luck. However, if you’re wearing them to correct astigmatism or some other condition, you’ll still need to wear your glasses.

From there, you’ll need to determine if the binoculars you’re using allow you to adjust each eye individually. Most people that wear glasses don’t have the same prescription in each eye, which means that you’ll never be able to get a perfect focus with binoculars if the eyepieces adjust together.

couple using binoculars
Image Credit: Pixabay

But even if you have the perfect binoculars and your prescription allows you to use them, that doesn’t mean you want to. Many people prefer to use their binoculars while wearing their glasses.

This keeps you from taking them on and off every time you take your binoculars down and helps you find a fast-moving target. Furthermore, since you’ll have to adjust each eyepiece individually, this makes narrowing in on a target take even longer.

We recommend that you invest in a high-quality pair of binoculars that will work with your glasses to help ease your frustration. Once you’ve found the right pair and gotten used to wearing them, you won’t even care if you’re wearing your glasses!

Get Binoculars with Plenty of Eye Relief

When you’re trying to use binoculars with eyeglasses, it’s crucial to get a high-quality pair that offers plenty of eye relief. Eye relief refers to the distance between eyepieces and your eyes to get a clear view.

When you wear eyeglasses, you need a little extra eye relief because you’re not going to be able to get your eyes as close to the eyepieces without hitting your glasses. While many binoculars offer an eye relief between 14 and 15 mm, if you wear eyeglasses, you should always opt for 16 mm or more of eye relief.

This extra eye relief will allow you to easily look through your binoculars without straining your eyes – when you wear eyeglasses, the more eye relief, the better.

Always Use the Eyecups

Most decent binoculars will come with eyecups, and when you’re shopping for binoculars that you can use with your glasses, you need to find a pair that has them. Eyecups can fold up and down, but when you’re wearing glasses, you need to keep them up.

Eyecups help by blocking out any peripheral light. If you’re not wearing glasses, it’s not something you need to worry about since you’re placing the glasses right up against your face.

But when you’re wearing glasses, you can’t get a flush fitment, which means that extra light can work its way in and obstruct your view. Eyecups keep this from happening and give you a top-notch view even when you’re wearing glasses.

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Get the Right Glasses

When it comes to using binoculars, not all glasses are created equal. While you can usually get any pair to work, some will work far better than others.

If you’re looking for the perfect pair of glasses to wear with your binoculars, try to find a flat frame with round lenses. While the rectangular lenses have grown in popularity, it’s harder to get a flush fitment with them while you’re wearing binoculars.

Of course, the flatter the lens, the better, but this often depends on your particular prescription and is out of your control. But if you can pay to thin them down a bit, it’s worth it to get a better fitment.

man using binoculars with glasses
Image Credit: Pixabay

Practice Before You Head Out

Once you’ve got your setup ready, give it some practice before you head out and start using them for real. Practice often gets overlooked, but it’s one of the biggest difference makers. You’ll discover problem areas before you need your binoculars for real.

Once you’ve found the problem areas, you can find a way to work around them in an environment where you don’t need them to work right away. Not only will this save you a ton of frustration, but it will help ensure that you never miss a sight because of equipment difficulties.

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While it can be frustrating using binoculars with glasses if you don’t know what you’re doing, once you’ve pieced everything together, it’s much easier than you think. Be sure to take the time to invest in the right equipment, and remember that a little bit of practice goes a long way.

Hopefully, this guide walked you through everything you need to know about using your binoculars with eyeglasses, that way, you can get out spotting with one less thing to worry about!

Looking to pick up some binoculars? Check out our picks for the 5 Best Binoculars of the Year. Or if you’re looking for more binocular info, try How Far You Can See With Binoculars? or How to Use Binoculars (6 Helpful Tips in the Field)

Featured Image Credit: aabeele, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.