Skip to main content

Easy How-To--Focusing A Binocular

Easy How-To--Focusing A Binocular
Focus your binocular for a sharp image up close, even in open country. You have more focus time for long looks.

To get the most from your hunting glass, make sure it's adjusted for your eyes!

by Wayne van Zwoll

All binoculars worth using must be focused. If you encounter a binocular with "permanent" or "automatic" focus, shun it as you would a bouquet of poison oak. Such a glass is not only of inferior quality; it will strain your eyes.

"I-F" or individual-focus binoculars have a focusing dial on each barrel. When adjusting for a new distance, you must re-focus each separately. Here's how: With both eyes fixed on the distant object, cup your left palm over that objective lens, and focus the right-hand barrel for your right eye. Reverse, and repeat the process for your left eye. Be sure you're looking at the same object!

"C-F" or center-focus binoculars are more popular. They feature a center focusing wheel, plus a dial on one (typically the right-hand) barrel. The dial may also be mounted on the hinge with the center wheel. To focus, hold your right palm over the right-hand objective lens, then turn the center wheel until your chosen target appears tack-sharp to your left eye (remember: keep both eyes open!). Now cover the left-hand lens and use the dial to focus the right-hand barrel for your right eye. When you want to glass at a different distance, you need only turn the wheel, as it moves both optical systems in tandem. You've already compensated for disparities in vision, right and left. C-F binoculars are not optically superior to I-F glasses; but they are faster to use.

Tip: Keep your binocular focused as close as you might see game. There's usually time to focus for a long look, but you'll want instantly sharp images of animals that must be shot quickly.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Scott Rupp gets a chance to talk to Aaron Oelger about a few new products from Hodgdon and why reloading store shelves are empty.

Hodgdon Reloading

Beth Shimanski of Savage introduces their all new straight-pull rifle. With an Accu-Fit stock and left hand adjustable bolt, this rifle is a perfect choice for anyone!

Savage Impulse

RifleShooter Magazine editor Scott Rupp breaks down all the features of the Mossberg Patriot Predator rifle chambered in 6.5 PRC.

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

Introduced in 1965 with the .444 Marlin cartridge, the Model 444 was the most powerful lever action of its day.

Marlin Model 1895 in .444 Marlin

J. Scott Rupp takes a first look at the Springfield M1A Loaded rifle chambered in the popular 6.5 Creedmoor.

Review: Springfield Armory M1A Loaded Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor

If looking to acquire an automated powder-charge dispensing unit to speed up precision reloading, don't judge the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite powder scale and dispenser by its name; the Little Green machine packs a heavy-weight punch with speed and accuracy.

RCBS ChargeMaster Lite Review: Not 'Lite' on Ability

The new Sako Finnlight II sports an innovative stock and Cerakote metal paired with the terrific 85 action.

RS Sako Finnlight II

The Remington Model Seven is ready, willing and able to handle just about any task.

Remington Model Seven SS HS Bolt-Action Rifle Review

RifleShooter Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the RifleShooter App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Rifle Shooter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All RifleShooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now