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  1. #1

    Default Using binoculars when wearing glasses

    I have noticed that bird watchers and Bill Oddie use binoculars with their glasses on. Do you actually 'touch' the lens on you're spec's when doing this ?

    I have tried doing this without success and take my glasses off with the usual downsides that ensue.

    I would welcome any views on the subject.


  2. #2
    ToMo's Avatar
    ToMo is offline
    Location : Just outside Budapest or In the Med (Corfu)
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Default Re: Using binoculars when wearing glasses

    I'm afraid if I took my glassss off I'd never find the binoculars, let alone look through them!
    When I first started using them (a long time ago now!) I did what you do, but as my sight worsened over the years I gradually got used to using them with my glasses on...yes I do touch the lense with them.


    Wanted to be intelligent but retired before I managed it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Default Re: Using binoculars when wearing glasses

    I also touch the lens with my glasses, the pair I keep o the boat is a Russian pair I bought in Moscow a few years ago - very cheap, the original rubber eyecups have perished, but with them folded back they provide a little cushioning.
    By the way where can I buy new rubber eyecups for them in UK? You still need them if you don't wear glasses. I have seen the same bins advertised in the UK at I believe 75(I paid $20) but can't remember where.

    I'd rather be sailing... :-) [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Default Re: Why?

    Wear glasses when using bins?

    Don't you focus the light onto the retina when using binoculars? Surely the glasses are just another lens to alter the focus so the bins need different adjustment?

    And any eye differances can be compensated for by the adjustment on one of the eyepieces?

    Feel free to correct me if I am wrong!!

    Please insert your smart ass pretentious tag line here...

    Dave S
    No pompose tag line required.

    Dave S

  5. #5
    claymore's Avatar
    claymore is offline Registered User
    Location : In the far North
    Join Date
    Jun 2001

    Default Point of clarification

    Bird Watchers and Bill Oddie - do we detect a certain nuance here?
    I use glasses for reading but take them off when using the binoculars -
    hope this helps!


  6. #6
    vyv_cox's Avatar
    vyv_cox is offline Registered User
    Location : North Wales, sailing Aegean Sea or Menai Strait
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Default Re: Why?

    Because it's yet another thing to put somewhere if you take them off. My opinion, as a wearer of either prescription specs or contact lenses, is that I would never take out my lenses to use binoculars, so why take off glasses? Looking through the specs as well is no problem at all, no refocusing necessary. Only difference is the rubber cups, folded back for specs and not for contact lenses.

    Answers to some technical queries at

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Default Re: Using binoculars when wearing glasses

    If we're discussing proper porro prism marine binoculars like Steiner, Tasco, SeaRanger, Century, etc. then fold the eye-cups back and use them with your glasses if you prefer. Certainly the lenses make contact. About roof prism binoculars like Bill Oddie's Leicas I have no knowledge.

    I find that using them without my glasses on is better, but I'm always left wondering what to do with the glasses and find my hands full as well as changing over to check headings and such, so for quick convenience I use them with. Using them with glasses also has the added advantage that you set the dioptre adjustment to "0", so anyone else wearing glasses can use the binos without an adjustment. Sharing binoculars can be a pain unless you can remember your settings and your binoculars have the scale printed clearly - some don't. Steiners are optically accurate, so remembering your settings also helps when you pick up a strange pair, you can go straight to viewing without having to focus.

    Whilst on the subject, it's also worth considering that us chaps over 45 cannot make use of the low light characteristics of 7x50's anyway, so if you'd like a lighter pair 6x30 or 8x30 take up much less room and will not deprive you of performance. Which brings me to the plug, Steiner Navigator 8x30's have been discontinued but I've got 4 pairs to go so I'm putting them on disposal at what I guess to have been cost, (I've had them about three years).


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Default Try wide angle

    I have always used 7x50s with spectacles off because they narrow the field so greatly. A few months ago I was given a pair of wide angle binoculars. Cost about 60 duty-free I believe. Lens power comparable with my old 7x50s but I don't know exactly. With spectacles on, the view through these binns is about the same as the 7x50s with spectacles off. A wonderful improvement. And they're lighter and sharper, though probably less water-resistant.

    Believe in getting into hot water -- it keeps you clean.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002

    Default Re: Using binoculars when wearing glasses

    I work at sea and wear glasses for work, I wear them when looking through the bino's.
    You do not have to touch the lens but it does narrow the field of vision slightly, but the advantage of not having to remove my glasses or adjust the bino's, far outweighs this.
    Also means someone with 10/10 vision doesn't have to adjust them after you have put them down.
    I hold the bino's with 2 hands, and using the first finger of each hand resting on my forehead can hold the bino's firmly, no shake and no need to take glasses off. Has advantage that spectacles are shielded from spray by fingers.
    Hope this helps.

    PS Have you tried contact lenses ? the only answer on a cold wet night, (don't steam up !!)


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Default Re: Using binoculars when wearing glasses

    No choice in my case. The binoculars do not have enough range to allow for my defective vision without glasses! As already mentioned, this also allows binocular sharing much more easily. However, my previous Russian bins had more focus range and without my glasses gave a slightly better image - but I would only have been able to tell the difference on shore and probably not under normal marine conditions (movement, spray, etc). I roll the rubber cups back, and as I understand it, this puts the eyepiece lens at about the right position, and close to where it would be if not wearing glasses and with the rubber cups unrolled.

    My biggest problem is coping with rain and spray on ordinary glasses!


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