As you would probably know, binocular is an essential gear to have if you are serious in hunting. Since, there are tons of value that you will get using a binocular, it’s crucial to take good care of your binocular so that it’s functioning at the optimum level.
This is especially true if you are using high-end binoculars (rangefinder binoculars), since they are pretty expensive. Maintaining them well will mean prolonging their shelf life as well as improving their performance.
In this ultimate guide, you will learn 4 main tips to protect, care and clean your binocular. If you follow the steps, I am sure your binocular will always be in good condition.
#1 How To Store your binocular
More often than not, people will try their best to protect and care for their binoculars when they are using it in the wilderness. Well, of course it’s important to do so. However, most of them neglected the fact that a binocular needs to be stored properly, in a favorable condition.
You see, fogs form on the inner side of the binocular when water vapor condenses on the glass surfaces. Therefore, it’s important to store your binocular in dry area (ideally the humidity should be low). Also, it’s important that particular area is free from fluctuation in temperature (the main cause of fog).
While most of the good binoculars (especially those recommended here on Epic Wilderness) are fog proof and waterproof as the inner side of the binoculars are purged with anti-fog gasses, there is still possibilities that fogs might form on the glass surfaces if the binocular is stored in areas with high fluctuation in temperature over a prolonged period.
If you are really serious about reducing the moisture surrounding the binocular to fully eliminate the formation of fogs in all condition, I would suggest you to make use of silica gel. Put a few packets around the binoculars and they will absorb most of the moisture there. These silica gels can be easily found in Amazon.
Just a reminder, always keep your binocular in it’s casing, don’t leave it just like that in the storeroom (or wherever you choose to keep it). It’s not too bad to keep it in a pouch, however, actual casing is much better and safer.
#2 How to protect your binocular during outings
When you are out there hunting or just scouting around, your binocular is highly vulnerable to damage. It might collide with just anything resulting scratches on the body of the binocular. If unlucky, scratches on the lens will damage the binocular entirely (although there are some models with lens made to be scratch-proof).
One of the best way to prevent this is to use a binocular harness instead of normal straps often used by most people in the past. Although using binocular straps are definitely better than holding the binocular with your hands, it’s still not good enough because it’s not firmly held. Also, it’s extremely uncomfortable for your neck.
On the other hand, a binocular harness is an innovative way of holding a binocular close to you. It’s made in a way that the binocular will be held firmly on your chest.
Also, there are some models that provide extra protection on top of what basic harness can do. Basically, the binocular is kept in a compact bag joined to the straps of the binocular harness. For those that require better protection, going with these improvised binocular harnesses will be good.
In addition, you should keep the glass surfaces (lens) closed during heavy rain or strong wind. This is to prevent dirt (mixtures of dust, sand, water droplets) on your lens. It’s not encouraged to clean the lens often because you might damage the lens while cleaning it. Cleaning is only done when necessary.
#3 How to Clean a binocular’s lens the right way
No matter how careful you are in handling your binocular, there will still be times when you are forced to clean the lens. After all, cleaning the lens will improve the optical performance of the binocular. However, it’s important that you clean the lens the right way or else you are going to hurt them.
Don’t rub the lens with your clothes, tissues, handkerchiefs or whatever materials you can possibly think off directly when there are dirt on it. You see, these dirt comprise of dust and sands. If you are rubbing the lens with these dirt on it, the lens are going to be scratched.
Follow these steps for minor cleaning (removing dirt on the lens) :-
- Blow the surface of the lens with air of high pressure (you can do it with your mouth). Alternatively, using brush with fine hair (those used for make-ups) and gently sweep the surface of the lens.
- Use a specialized cleaning cloth designed to clean the lens (normally, it comes with the binocular you purchase). Don’t use other fabrics as their fibers might scratch the lens.
- Gently rub the cleaning cloth on the lens and you should be able to remove the dirt on the lens
Note: By any chance you do not have a cleaning cloth for binoculars, you can get one at a really low price at Amazon.
These three steps above will be very helpful when you need to clean them during your journey. If you are at home, or you have the necessary cleaning kit with you, then it’s advisable to clean the lens properly, what we call major cleaning.
It’s advisable to get a binocular cleaning kit that contains all the necessary item you will need to clean the lens properly. One really good choice will be the professional cleaning set designed to clean camera lens. The fact the camera lens are much more sensitive compared to binocular lens, this kit is really good for binoculars.
It’s only $11 where you will get a full set of cleaning equipments, includes:
- Altura Photo Spray Lens Cleaner 2 oz. Bottle
- Lens Cleaning Pen
- Lens Brush
- Air Blower Cleaner
- 50 Sheets Lens Tissue Paper
- 3 Pack Oversize and Original Premium Microfibers Cleaning Cloths
To learn how to use this kit to clean the binocular, watch the video below.
Note: Each and every binoculars are different in somewhere. Therefore, it’s important to read the cleaning guide that comes together with the binocular and only apply the steps shown in the video when necessary.
#4 Send your binocular for regular maintenance
Like humans, binoculars need regular check-up too. One great scenario to explain this situation will be taking care of your teeth. Sure, we brush our teeth two times per day and they should be free of dirt right? However, we are still advised to visit the dentist twice a year to let them clean our teeth.
Same goes for binocular (especially the lens). It’s pretty hard to clean the lens completely, even if you do exactly like what is taught in the video above. Therefore, it’s wise to send your binocular for regular maintenance to maintain it’s performance as they have the required tools you don’t.
First of all, it’s always best to send your binocular back to it’s own service center. Say that you own a Leica Geovid Rangefinder, you should return it to Leica Geovid’s service center. However, there are some brands that don’t provide repair services for their models. If that’s the case, you should call the manufacturer and they should have a list of recommended service center for you to visit.
Most of the popular models out there such as Nikon, Leica Geovid and Carson provide great customer’s support in which they will service/repair your binocular at a reasonable price. If you check out our top 8 binocular list, you can look at the individual review to check out what service that brand has to offer.
Also, you shouldn’t hesitate to repair your binocular if you notice something unusual with it. Don’t assume that nothing is wrong even if you can still use it like usual. Or else, it might cost you much more to repair once it gets worse.
If you follow all the tips in this post, you should be able to maintain your binocular in tip-top condition. This guide is written with normal binoculars in mind. If you are willing to invest in quality ones, especially those recommended by us, it’s pretty easy to maintain.
Here is why:
- The lens are made to be scratch-proof.
- The body is rugged and waterproof.
- Great warranty service, so it’s possible to send your binocular for maintenance regularly.
- The inner side of the binocular is purged with fog proof gas.
Now, how do you maintain your binoculars?