Monocular and binoculars

For low-vision people, monoculars and binoculars can be a truly life altering piece of technology. Anything from the everyday tasks of getting around and reading signs and whiteboards at a distance, to the exciting experiences of a live concert or theatre production, these distance viewing aids will help to improve your quality of life.

How They Work

The magnification level of monoculars and binoculars are specified by two numbers (E.g. 8 x 20). The first number indicates that the telescope has 8x magnification and the second number indicates a 20mm diameter front lens.

As the magnification of the distance viewing aid increases the area seen through the device (the field of view) decreases. Because of the reduced field of view, pinpointing the object you are looking for will take practice.

Monoculars

Monoculars are for use with one eye. They are more portable than binoculars because they are lighter and smaller. They are particularly suitable if you have useful vision in only one eye. They can be mounted in spectacle frames for hands free use. Close focus monoculars can be used to see objects and reading materials at both longer ranges, such as for street signs, and closer distances, such as books.

Using a monocular

  1. If you use glasses, put them on (unless otherwise instructed).
  2. Position yourself to face the object you want to view. Use landmarks (eg tree in the foreground) to help pinpoint the object.
  3. Hold the monocular with the rubber end as close as possible to your better eye, but without actually touching it. If you are wearing glasses, the rubber end of the monocular should be folded down and rest the monocular lightly against the glasses
  4. Steady the monocular with your other hand.
  5. Focus the monocular by using your steadying hand to turn the ridged barrel until the object becomes clear. If the object remains blurry, continue to turn the barrel back in the other direction.
  6. Practice focusing on objects at different distances until you become more proficient.

Binoculars

Binoculars are for use with both eyes. They may be preferable if both eyes have useful vision. However, they are heavier and can be more difficult to use and keep steady in your hands.

Using Binoculars

  1. If you use distance glasses, put them on (unless otherwise instructed).
  2. Position yourself to face the object you want to view. Use landmarks (eg tree in the foreground) to help pinpoint the object.
  3. Remove the covers from the eye piece and place the binoculars with the rubber sections as close as possible to your eyes. If you are wearing glasses, rest lightly against the glasses.
  4. You may need to adjust the lenses so you can see with both eyes at the same time.
  5. Focus the binoculars by turning the ridged dial at the centre of the nosepiece. If the object becomes blurred you are turning the dial in the wrong direction or may have turned the dial too far. If the object is becoming clearer, keep turning the dial until clear.
  6. Practice focusing on objects at different distances until you become more proficient.

Connect with us

You can find a range of monoculars and binoculars on our online store, or if you are looking for more support and information you can connect with us by calling 1300 84 74 66 or emailing info@visionaustralia.org .