How Do You Set Up A Binocular Diopter?

If you are new to owning a set of binoculars, then you might not have that much experience with binocular diopters. The diopter is an adjustment control knob on your binoculars that is used to alter the picture that you see when you look through the lenses.

Essentially, the diopter on your binoculars works in the same way that a magnifying glass would. So, if you want to zoom in or zoom out with your binoculars, you would use the diopter adjustment knob to do this.  

But as well as impacting the zoom, your binocular diopter also affects the focus of the lenses. This is because the diopter shifts the focus distance, so you will be able to get clearer macro shots with your regular lens, without having to switch it out for a macro lens.

So, if you have binoculars which have good diopter settings, then they can make your experience using your binoculars a lot better. A good diopter alone will allow you to get really close up images of small creatures and objects without needing to switch out lenses or adjusting anything else on the binocular settings. 

Setting up your binocular diopter can be done in just 3 simple steps. It can take you a while to get used to fully operating a diopter, but setting it up doesn’t have to be difficult. To make setting up your binocular diopter simple, follow these next steps:

1. Locate your diopter. In most binoculars, this adjustment knob will be located on the right barrel of your binoculars, so this is the best place to look when trying to find it. The location of your diopter will impact which lens you should use when adjusting the diopter, so it is very important to locate this before you do anything else. 

If your diopter is on the right-hand barrel as we expect, then you should take a hold of this knob in your hand, and look through the left barrel of the binoculars. Keep your right eye closed at all times. You should then begin rotating the knob until you have focused the lens to the crispest image possible. 

2. Once you have finished the left-hand barrel, you can then move onto the right one. Continue to hold the knob in your right hand, but switch your eyes. By this, we mean close your left eye, and keep your right eye open, looking through the barrel. You can then begin adjusting the diopter again until the image in your right barrel is very crisp, too. 

After you are content with the image through both barrels, you can then lock your diopter in place. Remember to only work on one eye at a time to get the best results. 

3. Finally, once you have locked the diopter in place, you can then try out your binoculars. Open both of your eyes and look through both the left and right-hand barrels simultaneously. You can then put your right hand on the central focus knob and fine tune the image that you see through the lens until it is perfectly crisp. 

After you have done this, your binoculars are good to go. You can then use this method to adjust your diopter settings as and when necessary depending on the situation in which you are using your binoculars. 

Do all Binoculars have Diopter Adjustment?

No, not all binoculars will have diopter adjustment. However, the majority of binoculars will. But, you will often find that whether your binoculars will have diopter adjustment or not will be influenced by the price that you are willing to pay for the binoculars.

The only binoculars that will not have a diopter adjustment knob will be the designs that are very cheap. This is generally because manufacturers assume that those who do not want to pay a lot for binoculars will not need this function. So, they don’t bother to include it in the design. 

But, most of the pricier binoculars will include a diopter adjustment. The majority of binoculars are not cheap, especially the binoculars that you would invest in if you are a keen explorer, bird watcher, stargazer, etc.

So, the chances are that your binoculars will have a diopter adjustment knob. However, if price alone isn’t enough to help you tell if your binoculars have a diopter adjustment knob, here’s some other things to look out for. 

Cheaper binoculars will usually only have one knob. These types of binoculars aren’t that good unless you are a beginner to using binoculars, or you are very young. Cheaper binoculars are okay for children, and they are okay for those who want to begin mastering this tool.

But, once you start to gain experience with them, you will quickly outgrow them. Most inexpensive binoculars will have a single focus knob on them, which will adjust both lenses at the same time. So, you will be unable to get an incredibly sharp image with these binoculars. 

Whereas, more expensive binoculars will come with multiple knobs. They will have a center focus knob, dual adjustment, and a diopter adjustment knob that can be used to alter the view through both lenses independently of one another.

When you invest in an expensive set of binoculars, then this is essentially what you are paying for, as you would never be able to get this crisp image if you didn’t have all these adjustment options available. 

So, no, not all binoculars will come with a diopter adjustment knob. Whether this feature is included or not will be affected by a variety of factors, but primarily the price that you pay for the binoculars.

As we have said, cheap binoculars will not come with all of these features, so you will not get a diopter adjustment knob. But, if you are willing to pay a little more, then the majority of makes and models will include a diopter adjustment knob in the design of their binoculars. 

What is Diopter Setting?

We’ve briefly covered what a diopter adjustment knob is, but we haven’t really spoken much about the different settings that the diopter offers. At most, we’ve said that this knob impacts the focus of your binocular’s lenses, but there are lots of different things that the diopter knob will impact when you twist it. So, let’s take a look at the different diopter settings in most sets of binoculars. 

The main reason why a diopter setting is included in binoculars is to compensate for the eyes of the individual using the binoculars. Very few people in the world have perfect vision, and even fewer have two eyes that operate at the same ability as one another.

In most cases, people will have one eye which is weaker than the other in terms of eyesight, and the design of binoculars recognizes this. In fact, this is why diopter settings are included. 

Diopter settings allow you to adjust each barrel independently of the other. This is why it is so important that you adjust for one eye at a time, keeping the opposite eye closed as you adjust the diopter knob.

If your right eye is weaker, then the diopter knob allows you to sharpen the image on this lens, without sharpening the image on your left lens. This ensures that you have a perfect view when you look through both lenses simultaneously. 

If you are one of the lucky few people who have perfect eyesight, then you do not necessarily have to use the diopter setting. Of course, you can if you want to, but alternatively you could just use the center focus knob.

This knob is located in the middle of the binoculars and adjusts both lenses together. But, as we have said, most people have one eye that is weaker than the other, which is why diopter settings are so popular among avid binocular-users. 

The great thing about a binocular diopter is that you can continue to adjust the settings to fit your eyesight. This means that you can make the image sharper as your eyesight deteriorates, and vice versa.

It also means that multiple people can use the binoculars, adjusting the diopter knob to settings that work for their eyes. So, while it can be off-putting to invest in an expensive set of binoculars, it is totally worth it once you see just how good the diopter settings are. And what a great impact they have on your enjoyment when using the binoculars.