Why Can’t I See Through My Binoculars?

Binoculars are a complex and wonderful invention that can be used to provide enlarged images of distant objects. However, unlike telescopes, binoculars require you to use both eyes when using them, which can be more comfortable and provide depth perception. 

Because binoculars are such a versatile tool, they are often utilized in a wide variety of different settings. People around the world use binoculars for hiking, camping, animal-watching, hunting, stargazing, golf, theatre and large sporting events. 

Why Can’t I See Through My Binoculars?

Binoculars can be an extremely useful device, and purchasing a new pair can be a very expensive undertaking. So it can be particularly disheartening when your new binoculars arrive and you are unable to see through them. But why can’t you see through your binoculars, and what can you do to remedy the problem? 

There can be many reasons why you can’t see through your binoculars, and the various reasons often have very little to do with your influence. Down below we have outlined some of the reasons why your binoculars may not be working and the various methods you can approach to make them usable once again. 

Unadjusted Settings

We understand how stressful it can be to buy a new pair of binoculars, especially when you discover that you can see nothing through them.

Sometimes when looking through a new set of binoculars, you may find yourself staring into only a blur of different colors, or even just an endless abyss of darkness. But there is a reason why your new binoculars are like this! 

Binoculars are made to include a variety of different dials and settings that need to be adjusted to your eyes before you can use them. When you purchase a new set of binoculars, they will often come unadjusted or adjusted to settings that do not meet the requirements of your eyes.

It is always important to adjust the settings of your new binoculars so that your eyes are comfortable when you look through them. 

Considering how expensive brand new binoculars can be, many brands do not come with instructions in their case. This means you could spend hours fiddling with the various dials and buttons and still find yourself with binoculars that are completely unusable.

That is why we have decided to help by outlining the various adjusters and how you can set them to your requirements down below. 

How To Adjust Your Binoculars

Step One: Eye Cups

All binoculars are made featuring eyecups, which are traditionally located on the eyes piece that you look through. The eyecups contain the ocular lenses, which are used by the binoculars to optimize magnification and block out any peripheral light.

How you wish to adjust the eyecups falls to your preferences, however, the setting will vary depending on if you wear glasses or not. If you do wear glasses then you should retract the eyecups to compensate for your sight. If you do not wear glasses, then you will want the eyecups to be closer to your eyes. 

Step Two: Correct The Width

Your next step is to adjust the barrels of the binoculars so that they match the distance between your eyes. You can do this by looking through the binoculars and focusing on a faraway object.

Then adjust the barrels until you feel they are in the right position for your eyes. If the barrels are not in the right position then the sight will go dark. 

Step Three: Dioptric Adjustment

All binoculars feature a diopter adjustment, which can be adjusted to set the sharpness of the image your binoculars produce. Diopters are usually numbered from +2 to -2, to adjust the diopter you need to put it on 0.

Focus your binoculars on an object and cover the barrel with the diopter (this is usually the right eyepiece). Once you have focused the left eyepiece, then you can use the diopter to focus the other one.

Adjust the diopter until the image is in its sharpest focus and then note the number of the diopter adjustment, as you may need this for future reference. 

Misty  Lenses

Like telescopes, binoculars are very sensitive to great changes in temperatures and weather conditions. This includes taking your binoculars from the cold outdoors and into your warm house or exposing them to wet environments such as rainy days or dewy grass.

Because binoculars are rarely waterproof, this sudden change in temperature or environment can make the lenses misty, which can obscure your vision. 

Allowing condensation to build up inside your binoculars is a bad thing and is the first sign of binocular negligence. When your lenses have misted over, it can be very difficult to remove the initial moisture.

And if left untreated this condensation can further build up and damage your binoculars by allowing mold to grow inside the barrels. 

However, there are methods you can use to remove this condensation from the inside of your binoculars. Down below we have created a step-by-step guide for a simple practice that can be utilized to save your misty binoculars. 

How To Get Rid Of Condensation

Step One: Find A Dry Place

If you have a pair of misty binoculars on your hands, then you first need to leave your binoculars in a warm and dry place. Most models of binoculars are made to be airtight, which means the moisture should be able to evaporate when left in a hot environment. 

Step Two: Get A Bag

When experiencing condensation in your binoculars, you can also take the binoculars and place them inside a sealable plastic bag along with some commercial desiccant or dry rice.

By surrounding the binoculars with a dry substance, the desiccant should be able to absorb any unwanted moisture. This will eliminate the source of the condensation and clear up your lenses. 

Step Three: Keep Them Dry

The simplest method to ensuring your binoculars remain clear is by ensuring they remain dry during every use. If you need to use them during cold or wet conditions, then they should be covered at all times to protect them.

Some companies do produce waterproof binocular cases, which can be particularly effective if you live in a country prone to wind and rain.