Welcome to the first of two guides to using and enjoying your new binoculars. We’ll show how to set them up to your personal requirements and provide some handy tips. And because many of our binocular owners also own a Canon camera, we’ll offer ideas of how to use them together too.
In fact, we’d love to see the photos you take whilst out and about with your binoculars.
It is important to set your binoculars up exactly for you. There are 4 simple things to check before you begin:
• Adjusting the eye-cups
• Adjusting the binoculars to suit the distance between your eyes
• Dioptre adjustment
• Using the Image Stabilizer
Adjusting the eye-cups
If you wear glasses, set the eye-cups to the fully retracted/folded position so your glasses physically touch the rear of the binoculars when held up to the viewing position like this:
If you don’t need glasses set the eye-cups to the fully extended position.
Adjusting the binoculars for the distance between your eyes
Look through the binoculars (preferably at something in the far distance) and adjust the eyepieces by pushing and rotating them until the left and right images converge into a circle as shown above. Doing this minimises eye fatigue during viewing and gives you a more comfortable experience.
The dioptre adjusts the optics in the eyepiece to compensate for less than perfect eyesight. If the sight through one of your eyes is slightly different to the other for example, by using this set-up procedure the binoculars can compensate so you get a sharp image.
Look only through your left eye and use the focussing wheel to get the image pin-sharp.
Then look only through the right eye and correct the dioptre adjuster on the right eye-piece to make that focussed, too.
Now both eyes should be correct to see perfectly.
Using the Image Stabilizer
For increased clarity and a more relaxed viewing experience it’s important to remember to use the Image Stabilizer function of the binoculars to steady your view. The Image Stabilizer operates as long as you hold down the Image Stabilizer button on the top of the binoculars and it’ll compensate for the vibration caused by hand-shake but also will compensate for the slower movements experienced by being on a moving platform such as a boat or car. When you first take your binoculars out of the box install the batteries and check that the lamp next to the button illuminates to signify that the Image Stabilizer is active.
‘I have been amazed at the improvement the Image Stabilizer makes to what I see, it has transformed how I use binoculars when seeking out endangered animals to photograph.’
Canon Explorer: Tom Svensson
It is better to have a look around first with your bare eyes, then when you have located something of interest, hold your head straight towards the target and raise the binoculars to your eyes to look at it in more detail. With high magnification binoculars sometimes it’s good to take note of the objects near and around to your subject so when you look through the binoculars it’s easier to locate where your subject is in relation to other objects around it.
‘The binoculars have been a great help while I was shooting in Cabarceno Wildlife Park that holds the largest reserve of brown bears in Europe.’
‘I especially like to take pictures of the bear cubs, when they start to come out of hiding at about 3-4 months old. The bears are virtually the same colour as the landscape and it's not very easy to identify them initially. This is when the binoculars become very useful. When you look through the viewfinder you can’t believe the quality, the Image Stabilization delivers impeccable vision.’
Canon Explorer: Marina Cano
Binoculars are a great accompaniment to a camera, and can help you take better shots. First, when planning to take a shot of some wildlife, your binoculars can help you understand what the wildlife are doing while you are some distance away and find the most interesting subject within a scene before you get your camera equipment out and focus in on the action. Also, binoculars are great for scouting the best location to shoot from and to work out your route to get there.
‘For many types of birds the best time to shoot them is at the end of the day, when the light is fading. That’s when these binoculars and the quality of Canon’s optics come into their own. It’s amazing how clearly I can pick out the subjects to shoot, even when it looks completely dark. The Image Stabilizer is incredible, I was worried that it would create a noise that would disturb the birds, but it is almost silent.’
Canon Explorer: Danny Green