by Craig Blake
Thanks to the zooming power of binoculars, you can gain access to sights that would otherwise be inaccessible. Binoculars are perfect for bird watching, taking on a hike and a plethora of other uses. However, spotting sights are only as good as the maintenance that goes into them. A broken or dirty pair of binoculars isn't going to do the job correctly. Whether you have a pair of bird watching binoculars, night vision binoculars, a monocular or any other variety of binoculars, they'll only work correctly if you give them the proper care. Make sure you keep the window to nature open by keeping your binoculars in good working condition. Here are some tips to make sure your binoculars have a long shelf life.
Protect from bumps and scratches: To protect your binoculars, always use the neck strap or a tripod to prevent dropping. When you are not using your binoculars, store them in their case. Many binoculars will come with a non-abrasive cloth for wiping the lenses, similar to one used for eyeglasses. Binoculars should last you many years with just a little protection.
A word on collimation: As your binoculars age, they may not be able to focus using the knobs, and they may need to be collimated. Collimation is the alignment of optics. If your binoculars have prism tilt screws, you can collimate your binoculars with a small screwdriver. Very carefully and gently tighten the prism tilt screws until the exit pupils are both perfectly round. Collimation is a very precise thing, so you may want to contact a local hobby shop to find a professional in your area to collimate your binoculars for you.
Use the eyecups: Binoculars come with eyecups for a reason, so use them. There is nothing more obnoxious than a pair of scratched lenses on binoculars. If the lenses get permanently damaged, your binoculars aren't going to do you a lot of good.
Cleanoculars are the bestoculars: Be careful not to scrub dirt into the binoculars lenses. Use a proper solution as recommended by the manufacturer and a soft cloth to clean off the lenses. However, if you are using the lens cups and a case for the binoculars, you shouldn't have to do too much cleaning.