What is Eye Relief on Binoculars?

What is Eye Relief on Binoculars?

If you wear glasses, then you may have difficulty using binoculars. Most models are designed with the assumption that the user doesn't wear glasses. That means you need to push your eyes right up into the eyecups to get the full image.

If you're looking at binoculars in a shop, you'll be able to test them for yourself. However, that's obviously not an option if you're shopping online. Thankfully, though, there is a way you can tell if binoculars will accommodate your glasses: eye relief.

Eye relief refers to the ideal distance between your eye and the binocular lens. This is usually somewhere between 10-20mm. If your eye is further away than this, then you won't see the full image. Too close, and there will be kidney-shaped shadows around the image that make it less clear.

Naturally, a higher eye relief is ideal if you wear glasses. It means you will lose less of the image, since your glasses will prevent you from getting the binoculars right up to your eyes. Ideally, you'll want the eye relief to be at least 16mm in order to use them effectively with glasses such as those from Viking Binoculars.

To allow you to change the eye relief, many binoculars come with adjustable eyecups. Everyone's face shape is different, so those without glasses will want to adjust the eyecups to whatever feels most comfortable. However, glasses-wearers will want to twist the eyecups all the way down, so they can get their eyes as close to the lens as possible.

What if I don't wear glasses?

If you don't wear glasses, then you may be wondering: do I need to worry about eye relief? The short answer is no. Since there's nothing getting in the way of your eye when using binoculars, you should find that you instinctively hold the binoculars at the right distance without even thinking about it.

If you have a low prescription for your glasses, then you may not need to wear them at all while using binoculars. Instead, you could find that simply adjusting the focus on the binoculars provides you with a good, clear image without your glasses. This is probably not that surprising to you- after all, binoculars and glasses both use lenses.

We list the eye relief of all the binoculars that we stock at liGo. And we also offer a 30-day returns period, so you have time to check that your new purchase is suitable.

Related: Top 10 Best Binoculars for Birdwatching

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