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The Binocular Advisor

Diopter locking mechanisms

Some binoculars (especially high quality, expensive ones) have locking mechanisms to prevent the diopter setting from getting turned accidentally. The locking mechanisms are varied and often ingenious.

On the Minox HG binocular, you unlock the diopter adjustment mechanism by lifting the silver ring on the right eyepiece (revealing the scale) and turning the ring. When you have it right, you push the ring down again, and the diopter setting is locked until such time as you need it again.

Minox diopter 1 Minox diopter 2 Minox diopter 3


Leica Diopter downLeica Diopter upThe Leica Ultravid roof prism binocular has an especially elegant diopter solution. There are two knobs on the central column.

Normally, when you're using the binocular, both knobs turn as one, so it's like one big, easy-to-find knob. It looks like the picture above left.

To change the diopter adjustment, you lift the upper knob. The right-hand picture above shows the knob in the up position, revealing a stripe of red. In this position, the upper knob turns independently of the lower focusing knob, fine-tuning the focus of the right eye only. As the knob turns, you can see the adjustment on the face of the scale.

Leica Diopter 3 top view

If you’re not clear about where the diopter setting is on your binocular, consult the manual that came with it.

Armed with this understanding of the diopter adjustment, you can allow your binocular to do its best for you.

Copyright 2006 Michael and Diane Porter

This article is part of Binocular Tuneup - The Diopter Adjustment

Other optics articles of interest:

Setting the Diopter Adjustment

Birding Optics

10 Myths of Birding Optics

Birding Binoculars and How They Work

The Binocular Advisor

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