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What Is Eye Relief in Binoculars: Complete Review

When discussing the topic of eye relief in binoculars, it is vital to first understand what eye relief is and why it is essential. Eye relief is the distance from the outer surface of the eyepiece lens to where the exit pupil is formed, that is, to the eyepiece point. If you look through the binoculars from the eyepiece point, you can get the entire field of view without vignetting.

The importance of eye relief becomes apparent when using binoculars for activities such as bird watching or hunting. In these situations, it is often necessary to scan large areas of land or sky to find the desired target.

If the binoculars do not have sufficient eye relief, the user will be forced to move their head around to see the entire field of view, which can be both tiring and frustrating.

What Does Eye Relief Mean in Binoculars?

Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the eyepiece lens of the binoculars. The length is measured from your pupil’s center to the exit pupil’s center. Having the right amount of eye relief is essential because if the exit pupil is too close to your eye, you will not be able to see the entire field of view.

If the exit pupil is too far from your eye, the binoculars will be uncomfortable because you must hold them away from your face.

In addition, those who wear glasses will need to consider eye relief when choosing a pair of binoculars. If the eye relief is too short, the glasses will prevent the user from seeing the entire field of view.

On the other hand, if the eye relief is too long, the binoculars will be challenging to hold in position due to the added weight of the glasses.

In this article, we will tell you what eye relief means and whether you can adjust the eye relief power in binoculars.

How Important Is Eye Relief in Binoculars?

Binocular eye relief is important for two reasons. First, it determines how far away from the eyepiece you can hold your binoculars and still see the entire field of view. If the eye relief is too short, you will have to hold your binoculars up to your eyes, which can be uncomfortable.

Second, eye relief determines how much of the binoculars’ field of view you can see when you wear glasses. If the eye relief is too short, you will see a “tunnel vision” effect; if it is too long, you will see a dark circle around the edge of the field of view.

What is the difference between 16mm and 20mm eye relief binoculars? The main difference is that 20mm eye relief binoculars will provide a slightly wider field of view than binoculars with 16mm eye relief.

What Is Good Eye Relief?

Most eyeglass wearers require binoculars with an eye relief of at least 16mm to see clearly. However, the amount of eye relief required may vary depending on the size of your glasses and how close they are to your eyes.

If your glasses are small and not too close to your eyes, binoculars with an eye relief of only 15mm may suit you. However, most people who wear glasses need binoculars with a large glass spacing to see clearly.

Should You Wear Glasses With Binoculars?

Whether you wear glasses or not, you may have wondered if you need them when using binoculars. The short answer is that it depends on your vision and the type of binoculars you use.

If you have perfect vision, you will not need glasses when using binoculars. However, if you have any visual impairment, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you will probably need glasses to see clearly.

The type of binoculars you use can also impact whether or not you need glasses. If you use binoculars with a large objective lens, you may be able to see clearly without glasses. However, if you use binoculars with a small objective lens, you will likely need glasses to see clearly.

In general, it is best to avoid caution and wear glasses when using binoculars. This will help you see clearly and avoid any potential eye strain.

Eye Relief Feature in Binoculars

Binoculars eye relief is designed for glasses wearers and allows the binoculars to be adjusted so that the glasses wearer can see comfortably through them. Any quality binocular has an eye relief feature that will not affect those who do not wear glasses, but it can provide a more comfortable fit for the eyecup.

There are two types of eye relief features in binoculars: short eye relief and long eye relief.

Short eye relief

Anything less than 13 mm is considered short sight distance and is not suitable for those who wear glasses. This is because even the thinnest glasses will cause you to need an eye relief of more than 13mm. Ultimately, you will miss part of your field of view when using binoculars with short lenses.

Long eye relief binoculars

For binoculars, long eye relief is critical for those who wear glasses. This is because binoculars with long eye relief will adapt to accommodate glasses of all thicknesses. This means that birdwatchers who wear glasses can see the entire field of view rather than miss out on its parts.

Long eye relief is typically anything over 20mm, so look for binoculars with this feature if you wear glasses.

What Is a Good Eye Relief for Glasses Wearers?/for Non-glasses Wearers?

For glasses wearers

It is essential for glasses wearers to choose binoculars with suitable eye relief, as otherwise, they may not be able to see the entire field of view. The minimum eye relief for glasses wearers is 16mm, but choosing a binocular with an eye relief of 18-19mm is often recommended.

Best binoculars for eyeglass wearers of 20mm+ are often more expensive, but they may be necessary for those with thicker glasses. Those with thinner glasses may get away with lower eye relief. It is also possible to increase eye relief by flipping back the padding or retracting the eye cups.

For non-glasses wearers

Good eye relief for people who don’t wear glasses is comfortable to look through and doesn’t require the user to adjust their position too much. Most binoculars have a reasonably standard eye relief of between 15 and 20mm, which should be fine for most people.

However, if you regularly struggle to see the entire field of view through your binoculars, it might be worth considering a more extended eye relief model. Longer eye relief binoculars are usually more expensive, but they can be worth the investment if you find that you can’t get a clear view with shorter eye relief models.

What Magnification Binoculars Better for Eye Relief?

When buying binoculars, you will notice that there are binoculars available with different magnifications. So what is the best magnification for eye relief?

Generally, binoculars with lower magnification provide more eye relief than binoculars with higher magnification. This is because the size of the exit pupil changes with magnification. Binoculars with 10x magnification provide a larger exit pupil size than binoculars with 12x magnification.

A larger exit pupil size allows for greater eye relief distance. Therefore, choose the smaller magnification if you are looking for binoculars that give you the greatest eye relief.

Can I Adjust the Eye Relief Power in Binoculars?

There are a few ways to adjust the eye relief on binoculars. Some models have a fixed eye relief, which means that the distance between the eye and the lens cannot be changed. Other models have an adjustable eyepiece, allowing the user to adjust the eye relief to their needs.

If you wear glasses, you must ensure that your binoculars have enough eye relief to accommodate them. Most binoculars have a minimum eye relief of 10mm, but some models have as much as 20mm.

If you are using binoculars for astronomical purposes, it is essential to have a large amount of eye relief. This is because you will be looking through the binoculars for long periods and don’t want your eyes to become fatigued.

binoculars on the table

There are a few ways to increase the amount of eye relief on binoculars.

One way is to use a Barlow lens. This lens is placed between the eyepiece and the objective lens. It increases the effective focal length of the eyepiece, increasing the amount of eye relief.

Another way to increase eye relief is to use a teleconverter. This is a lens that is placed between the camera and the eyepiece. It increases the system’s focal length, giving you more distance between your eye and the eyepiece lens.

Finally, you can use a combination of a Barlow lens and a teleconverter. This will give you the most distance between your eye and the eyepiece lens and the most amount of eye relief.

How to Determine Eye Relief?

There are a few different ways to вetermine the eye relief of a pair of binoculars.

First, hold the binoculars up to your eyes and look through them at a distant object. The eye relief is sufficient if you can see the entire field without moving your head.

Another way to test eye relief is to place the binoculars on a table in front of you. Look through them and see how much of the surrounding area you can see. If you can still see a significant portion of the area around the binoculars, then the eye relief is likely sufficient.

Finally, you can try holding the binoculars up to your eyes and slowly moving your head from side to side. If the image remains focused and you can still see the entire field of view, then the eye relief is sufficient.

If you keep these factors in mind, you should be able to find a pair of binoculars with the perfect amount of eye relief for your needs.

FAQ

black binoculars

Is Long eye relief better?

It depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you wear glasses, you will need a telescope or binoculars with long eye relief to see the entire field of view. If you do not wear glasses, you may find that shorter eye relief or long eye relief compact binoculars are more comfortable.

How to set eye relief on binoculars?

To set eye relief on your binoculars, first, make sure that the eyepieces are in the correct position for your eyes. Next, focus the binoculars on an object. Then, look through the binoculars with your right eye and rotate the diopter adjustment ring until you see a sharp image.

Finally, look through the binoculars with your left eye and repeat the process.

What is a good eye relief for binoculars?

Eye relief of between 10 and 20 mm is considered good for binoculars. This means that your eyes will be able to comfortably view the entire field without strain. If you wear glasses, you may need a slightly higher eye relief to see the full field of view.

Bottom Line

When choosing binoculars, many people overlook the importance of eye relief. Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the eyepiece lens of the binoculars. It is important to have enough eye relief to see the entire field of view. If you do not have enough eye relief, you will see a black circle around the edge of the field of view.

If you still have questions about eye relief in binoculars, leave them below in the comments.

About Valery Johnson

Hi, I am Valery and I love nature, the universe and the starry sky. Together with my friend Michael we share our practical knowledge in the field of astronomy and nature observation. We also test different optical instruments to see the strengths and weaknesses of different models. Very often we travel around our country, so we have the opportunity to test optics in different conditions and different seasons. Welcome to Michael's and my blog and we hope you find useful and practical information for yourself.

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