Our customer service team is here to assist you with any questions you may have about our products and services. The Carson frequently asked questions (FAQs) Page is constantly being updated with new information, so customers can always find the latest answer to their question. FAQs are an important part of our commitment at Carson to providing excellent customer service. We're dedicated to your satisfaction and will work diligently to resolve any issues. Simply select the category relating to your question to find answers relating to Carson products, services, policies, procedures and more! You may also reach us by phone or by email at info@carson.com. Thank you for choosing Carson!

Search the manual for your product:

If you have more questions or doubts please read our FAQ below.

Select a category:

How do I adjust the diopter knob for my eyes?

Step 1: With right eye closed, rotate the central focus knob until image in left eyepiece is clear and sharp.

Step 2: With left eye closed, rotate the independent right diopter knob until the image is clear and sharp.

Step 3: Look with both eyes and image should be very crisp and in focus. If not, repeat above steps.

bino instruction

What does fully multi-coated mean?

Fully multi-coated means that every optical surface has an anti-reflective (AR) multi-coating to maximize light transmission.  

What is light transmission?

Light transmission is the resulting light that gets to your eye from the object. Typically, some light is lost due to reflections from the optics so there is always some loss of incoming light, even with the best anti-reflective coatings. Carson is known for binoculars with high light transmission at affordable prices.

What is chromatic aberration?

Chromatic aberration, also known as color error, is caused by dispersion, where light spreads out according to its wavelength like a rainbow. This effect also happens in a lens, so different lens materials or designs can reduce chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration is typically seen as purple fringing on the edge of a dark object on a light background or lack of contrast in a color image.

What is dispersion?

Dispersion occurs when the colors of light spread out due to different wavelengths. Think of a rainbow: this is what dispersion looks like. White light is the combination of all colors; when reflected off something like a water droplet or a lens, the various colors will spread out differently.

What are dielectric coatings?

Dielectric coatings are a type of reflective coating. They are one of the best grades of coatings available to maximize light transmission.

Which is better, a BAK4 or BK7 prism?

BAK4 is a higher-grade prism glass than BK7, but the glass type does not have a critical difference on overall performance.

How do I calculate Relative Brightness?

Relative brightness is the exit pupil diameter squared. For example, an 8×42 binocular with an exit pupil of 5.25mm has a relative brightness of 27.6, while a 10×32 binocular with an exit pupil of 3.2mm has a relative brightness of 10.2.

How do I calculate Twilight Factor?

Twilight factor is the number used to calculate the relative effectiveness of binoculars in low light situations, such as hunting at dusk. You can calculate the twilight factor by taking the square root of the total magnification and multiplying it by the objective lens diameter. For example, the twilight factor of an 8×42 binocular is 18.3.

What materials are the binocular chassis made of?

Most are made of plastic (like polycarbonate), aluminum or magnesium. The different materials have different costs, strengths and weights. Plastic would be the lightest and least expensive. Aluminum is more expensive and heavier than plastic. Magnesium would be the most expensive of the three, but it’s also a lightweight material.

What does waterproof mean?

There are various levels of waterproofing, such as water resistant, splashproof, waterproof, etc. Waterproofing levels are usually stated in IPX ratings, with a higher number relating to a higher level of protection.  

What does fogproof mean?

Fogproof means the internal surfaces of the binoculars won’t fog. This doesn’t apply to external surfaces. Typically, the binoculars are pumped with an inert gas and sealed to prevent internal fogging. For external fogproofing, you could apply a safe fogproof solution or wipe to the lens surface to remove the fog. Do not rub your lenses with dry clothes or paper towels as you may scratch or damage the optics.

What is the difference between the Field of View (FOV) and Apparent Field of View (AFOV)?

Field of view (FOV) is the degree of the angle of the visible field seen through binoculars. Although the FOV specifications may seem limited, it’s the apparent field of view (AFOV) that will dictate view perception, giving you a larger viewable angle. For example, a binocular with a field of view of 7 degrees may appear to have an apparent field of view of 50 degrees when you see the magnified image.

What are anti-reflective (AR) coatings?

An antireflective or anti-reflection (AR) coating is a type of optical coating applied to the surface of lenses and other optical elements to reduce reflection. Without anti-reflective (AR) coatings, there would be a significant reduction in the amount of overall light transmission, which would result in a darker image.

What are phase coatings?

On a roof prism, the image is split into the two roof parts of the prism. Because of the split, a phase shift error occurs between the images. When the two halves of the image recombine, there can be some loss of contrast in the image. In high quality binoculars, a phase corrective coating is placed on the prism to minimize this error, thereby increasing the contrast for roof prism binoculars.

What is ED glass?

ED glass stands for Extra-low Dispersion. Dispersion occurs when colors spread out due to the wavelength, like a rainbow effect. Since this also occurs in lens systems, some lens elements can be made from ED glass to minimize the dispersion and resulting chromatic aberration (color distortion that creates an outline of unwanted color along the edges of objects – caused by a failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same point).

Can binoculars be mounted to a tripod?

Yes, binoculars can be mounted to a tripod with a binocular tripod adapter. This is great for stability over long hours and highly recommended for digiscoping.

What is the close focus or minimum focus distance?

Close focus or minimum focus distance is the closest/minimal distance that a pair of binoculars can focus on. The shorter the close focus distance, the more one can focus on details that are typically not visible to the naked eye. 

What are Porro Prism Binoculars?

Porro prism binoculars have a prism design that results in a binocular tube with a bend, so there is not a straight line between the eyepiece and objective lenses. These binoculars can provide greater depth of field and a wider field of view compared to similar roof prism models.

What are Roof Prism Binoculars?

Roof prism binoculars use two roof prisms, resulting in an instrument with parallel sides and objective lenses that are the same distance apart as the eyepiece. A roof prism binocular has straight barrels, so it’s more compact and easier to hold.

How do you calculate Exit Pupil Diameter (EPD)?

To calculate the exit pupil diameter, divide the diameter of the objective lens by the magnification of the binocular. For example, a 10×32 binocular has an exit pupil of 3.2 millimeters. All binoculars with the same magnification and objective lens size have the same exit pupil diameter.

What is the Exit Pupil?

The exit pupil is a bright circle that can be seen in the center of each eyepiece when you hold binoculars about 30cm (arm’s length) from your eyes with the objective lenses pointed toward a bright light. The diameter of the bright circle helps determine how much light will reach your eye. To determine the exit, divide the diameter of the objective lens by the magnification of the binocular. For example, a 10×32 binocular has an exit pupil of 3.2 millimeters. All binoculars with the same magnification and objective lens size have the same exit pupil diameter. Your pupils will adjust to the amount of light outside, whether low or bright light. A binocular that has a larger exit pupil can make your viewing field brighter, which is important to consider when using binoculars in dark situations or for astronomical observation.

What is the diopter knob?

The diopter knob allows you to balance any vision differences between your left eye and right eye. The first time you use any binocular, always make sure to properly adjust the diopter knob. There may be a mark for the zero-adjustment point, so you can use that as a reference.

What are the eye cups used for?

Eye cups typically twist up or fold down. If you don’t wear glasses, the eyecups should be twisted up to their fully extended position. If you do wear glasses, keep them folded down. This is critical. It will keep your eye at the proper eye relief distance from the binocular’s optics, which will provide the best image and maximum field of view.

What is the objective lens of the binocular?

The objective is the lens system farthest from where you put your eye, where the incoming light from the viewed object first enters.

What is the eyepiece of the binocular?

The eyepiece is the lens system closest to where you put your eye.

What’s the difference between a closed bridge and an open bridge binocular?

The bridge of binocular is the space between the two barrels. Some binoculars have an open hinge bridge design, and some have a closed bridge design, which is basically a larger, single-piece hinge. Open hinge systems use two smaller parts of the bridge, so they’re typically lighter but may not be as durable. Closed bridges are very rugged but heavier.

I heard you can look at the moon with some binoculars. Is that correct?

Yes, you can view the moon with 10x or 12x binoculars, the larger the objective the better. Typically, we would recommend one of our 12×50 binoculars, which you can mount onto a tripod with a binocular tripod adapter.

Why is 10x not good for bird watching?

The higher the power, the harder it is to quickly find and follow movement. Higher power binoculars make spotting and following birds more difficult.

What power is better for bird watching?

Typically, 8x is ideal for bird watching.

What makes one pair of binoculars cost less than another?

A lot of factors influence binocular cost, including size or aperture, magnification, type of prisms, types and quality of coatings, body material, lens design and quality. Overall, optical quality is usually the main difference. In an inexpensive, low-quality binocular, the image is very small and dark, could be hard to focus, and only crisp near the middle of the image. In an expensive, high-quality binocular, the image is large and bright, easy to focus, and has a crisp, high-resolution image.

Which binoculars are best for sporting events and concerts?

Lower power is better because it’s hard to quickly find and follow movements if you are at a high magnification. Ideal magnification would be 6x-8x for most events. For opera, binoculars are called opera glasses, and they are typically 4-6x.

What do the numbers on the telescope eyepiece mean?

The numbers refer to the focal length of the eyepiece. The higher the number, the lower the magnification. You should always start with the eyepiece that has the highest number (lowest power); that will make it is easier to find objects.

The focal length of the eyepiece is also needed to calculate the overall magnification of the telescope (focal length of telescope / focal length of eyepiece = overall magnification).

How do I clean my telescope optics?

Generally you should avoid cleaning telescope optics unless absolutely necessary. To avoid cleaning, you should always put on any caps/covers when not in use to prevent debris or dust from gathering on the optics.

For a refractor, you can clean the lenses with a lens brush or damp microfiber cloth.

For a reflector, clean the eyepiece lens with a lens brush or microfiber cloth, but we do not recommend trying to clean the mirrors as you could damage the reflective coating.

Why is my telescope showing everything upside down?

Some telescopes are just for astronomical usage, as looking at the moon upside down is not an issue.

If your telescope has an erecting prism, this will invert the image to correctly orient the view (right side up).

What is an Alt-Az (Altitude Azimuth) mount?

Alt-Az (Altitude Azimuth) mounts move in an up-down (altitude) and left-right (azimuth) fashion related to the user, so they are more intuitive for beginners.

What is an Equatorial mount?

Equatorial mounts use only one knob to track celestial movement but must be polar aligned to work properly.

What are celestial coordinates?

Celestial coordinates are like latitude and longitude for the night’s sky, but they are in a system that uses Declination (Dec.) and Right Ascension (RA) instead. You can look up these celestial coordinates in a star almanac and use them as a guide to locate objects in the sky.

What are setting circles?

Some telescopes include setting circles which let you dial in your celestial coordinates so it’s easier to find specific objects. However, proper use of setting circles requires that you have completed all necessary alignment.

Should I pick a Alt-Az or an Equatorial Mount?

Alt-Az (Altitude Azimuth) is easier better for beginners as since it’s easier to find and locate objects, but it is more difficult to track and follow the objects.

For more advanced users, equatorial mounts are easier because if you are good at locating objects, then it’s much easier to track the objects for regular viewing or for astrophotography.

How do I balance my Equatorial Mount?

Please go to our YouTube video on how to balance an equatorial mount.

What is a finderscope?

A finderscope is a small optical telescope mounted on top of your main telescope tube (optical tube assembly). A finderscope has a much lower power which makes it easier to locate objects. When setting up your telescope, be sure to align your finderscope to your optical tube assembly (OTA). Go to our YouTube video on how to align your finderscope to your telescope.

How do I align my finderscope?

Please go to our YouTube video on how to align your telescope.

What is focal length?

Focal length is the distance between the optical element and where the image of the object is in focus. Shorter focal lengths mean the light focuses even more, which corresponds to higher power optics.

How is magnification calculated for telescopes?

The magnification of an astronomical telescope changes with the eyepiece used. It is calculated by dividing the focal length of the telescope by the focal length of the eyepiece (focal length of telescope / focal length of eyepiece = overall magnification). For example, a telescope with a 1000mm focal length using a 10mm eyepiece is operating at 100x magnification (1000/10=100).

Why can’t I focus my telescope?

Please make sure you are starting with the lowest power (highest focal number) eyepiece and looking at an object that is over 100 feet away.

If your telescope includes an erecting prism, make sure it’s inserted before the eyepiece. If your telescope come with a Barlow lens, you should not be using it until AFTER you focus on an object.

Turn the focus knob very slowly through the full range, and the object should come into focus.

What is a refractor telescope?

Refractor telescopes use lenses to bring an image into focus. A simple refracting telescope is made up of two lenses, which are called the objective and the eyepiece. The purpose of a lenses is to bend the light in such a way that it brings images into focus.

What is a reflector telescope?

A reflector telescope uses two mirrors instead of lenses. The concave primary mirror is located at the bottom of the telescope. It reflects the inbound light to a focal point, while a second flat mirror set at 45 degrees sits just below the aperture and redirects the light toward an eyepiece.

What is a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (SCT)?

This is a compound type of telescope, neither a reflector or a refractor, it combines lens and mirrors to produce a shorter telescope design.  Carson currently does not offer Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes (SCT), but we do offer a wide range of reflectors and refractors.

Do I need to know the focal length of my Barlow lens?

No. Although the focal length of an eyepiece is important for calculating the magnification of the telescope, a Barlow lens simply multiplies the total overall magnification. Therefore, a focal length of a Barlow lens is not needed to determine magnification, just the multiplier such as 2x or 3x.

What can I see with a telescope?

This depends heavily on your telescope’s aperture (diameter of the opening that allows light to enter), type (refractor, reflector, etc.) and optical quality, in combination with any environmental factors such as light pollution or weather. Typically, with most telescopes you can view the moon, planets and stars.

What is light pollution?

Light pollution is from various sources such as streetlights and any man-made lighting that gets directed to the night sky. Think of how the Earth may appear lighted from a view from orbit. This light pollution combined with actual air pollution and dust particles causes a degradation of image quality when viewing the night sky. There are many “dark sky” locations in the world where astronomy is best viewed by a telescope because there is the least amount of light pollution in these protected locations.

What is the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA)?

The Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) is the optics of the telescope contained in a cylindrical housing. This is separate from the mount or tripod parts.

How do I properly store my telescope?

First, bring the telescope indoors and allow it to acclimate to room temperature. This will allow moisture to evaporate. Once adapted back to room temperature, put on all caps and store out of direct sunlight. Do not display your telescope indoors without the caps.

You can remove the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) from the mount, and store it vertically or horizontally, although vertically for reflectors with the primary side down (bottom side down)  is the preferred method.

Why can’t I see anything through my telescope eyepiece?

Make sure you are using the lowest power eyepiece; this is the one with the highest focal number. Then rotate the focus knob slowly until your desired object is in focus. Finding a star initially can be difficult so it’s helpful to practice first on stationary or larger objects like a building or the moon.

Why isn’t there any light coming through my telescope?

Make sure the lens caps and covers are off.

What is the solar safety warnings for telescopes?

• Never use this telescope (or its viewfinder) to look directly at or near the sun. Viewing the sun can cause instant and irreversible eye damage.
• Do not leave telescope unattended at any time. Untrained adults or children may not be familiar with the correct operating procedures.
• Do not point the telescope at the sun even when you are not looking through it. This will cause internal damage to the telescope.
• Handle telescope with care. Rough handling may knock the internal optical components out of alignment.

How is telescope resolution calculated?

Resolution is usually measured in arc seconds, which is an angular measurement of 1/3600 of a degree.

There are two ways to calculate resolution, the Rayleigh criterion, and the Dawes limit.

Rayleigh’s formula depends on the specific wavelength of the light, typically a yellowish green color at 550nm is used as a standard. While the Dawes method is not color dependent, both methods rely on the aperture (diameter) of the telescope.  Using the appropriate equation, in inches or millimeters, resolution results will always be in arc seconds.

Rayleigh resolution is calculated as 5.45 / Aperture ( in inches) or 138 / Aperture (in mm).  

Dawes resolution is calculated as 4.56 / Aperture ( in inches) or 116 / Aperture (in mm).

With the angular distance between two stars, such as two double stars, you can check whether your telescope could see that these are two distinctive stars, or whether it will blur the two into a single object. You can consult a star almanac for a list of objects with a resolution in arcseconds. Given good viewing conditions, you should be able to see anything with arcseconds higher than your telescope. Always remember this is a theoretical maximum based upon physics. Actual resolution results may depend on manufacturing quality.

What is an erecting prism?

In the case of telescopes, the basic optical system is always upside-down, but an erecting prism inverts the image (orients to an upright view). In binoculars, erecting prisms are built into the optical system because they are used for viewing every day “terrestrial” objects, like birds.

What is a secondary mirror?

A reflector telescope has two mirrors, a primary mirror and a secondary mirror. Light bounces off the primary mirror first, and then hits the very small mirror close to the open end of the telescope. From there, the light is reflected into the eyepiece.

What is collimation?

Collimation is optical alignment. Rays of light are lined up accurately and parallel when a product is correctly collimated. Our products come properly collimated. Unfortunately, high vibrations or extreme temperatures (like being left in the trunk of a car) may affect collimation. For telescopes, we have a collimation video on YouTube so you can check to make sure your telescope is still well collimated.

Why can’t I see deep sky objects?

Environmental conditions can hinder deep sky viewing. For example, light pollution in a city can make it difficult to see astronomical objects. So can a cloudy day in a remote field.

Additional factors for telescope viewing of deep sky objects can also be, aperture, magnification, and optical quality. A very high-powered telescope with poor optical quality (empty magnification) will not allow you to see objects well. Even if the manufacturer lists resolution as an indication of optical quality, the formula is only an estimate based on design, not an actual measurement of the manufactured telescope.

At Carson, to make sure the manufacturing resolution meets our standards, our telescopes undergo a double star resolution test at the end of every production. This means high quality optics that allow you to see deeper into the night’s sky.

What is a Barlow Lens?

A Barlow lens is an additional lens that multiplies the total magnification of a telescope. Typically, Barlow lenses are usually 2x or 3x in power, therefore, doubling or tripling the overall power. They can be handy to get a closer view of an object, but a regular eyepiece without a Barlow should be used first. Once you have found and focused on the object, then insert the Barlow lens before the eyepiece and view again to get that extra close image.

What is the aperture of a telescope?

The aperture refers to the diameter of the largest optical element. In a refractor telescope, it’s the diameter of the objective lens. In a reflector telescope, it’s the diameter of the primary mirror. The aperture determines how much light gathering ability your telescope has.  

 With a larger aperture, you to can see deeper into the night’s sky.

What is a “focusable” loupe?

“Focusable” is an added feature above a basic stand magnifier. A stand magnifier is focused by physically picking up the loupe to the desired height above the object. A focusable magnifier has a ring that can be twisted until viewing object is clear.

Which should I buy: an LED or an incandescent reading light?

LED reading lights generally cost a little more than incandescent reading lights, but LED reading lights are well worth the investment. LED reading lights last for a long time: on average, about fifty times longer than the bulb of an incandescent reading light. LED lights are resistant to shock, but incandescent reading lights can break easily. The most important consideration is energy use: LED reading lights use very little battery power and operate at a low temperature. Incandescent reading lights consume a great deal of battery power and thus are much more expensive to operate than LED reading lights.

What features should I look for in a reading light?

There are several features to consider when purchasing an LED reading light. Some of the factors are clearly visible in the package, but others are not. Below, you will find details on most of the important things you should consider when purchasing a reading light. For more information on Carson LED reading lights, please visit the Lighting section.

Are all LEDs created the same?

LEDs are not all created equally. In general, more LEDs create more light. However, it is certainly possible that a single, well-constructed LED can outshine a group of poor quality LEDs. LEDs vary considerably in terms of brightness, color, and lifespan. Since there is no real industry standard to test LEDs, Carson generally tests them ourselves. We compare LEDs from many manufacturing facilities before constructing our reading lights. We test for brightness, durability, and lifespan. We then select the lights that will create the best value for our customers.

Do the digital microscopes work with tablets or phones?

No, these devices are not supported.

Where can I download the software for my digital microscope?

Please visit the Software Download Page.

My digital microscope doesn’t reach the resolution on the product page. What can I do?

To achieve the maximum resolution in picture mode, open the software, go to settings, and select the maximum resolution. The software initially defaults to a lower resolution. Also, please note that the video resolution may be lower than the picture resolution.

What is my digital microscope’s resolution?

Please check each product page for specific information about each microscope’s resolution. However, do note that there may be two resolution specifications: one for picture mode and one for video mode.

How does Carson determine the magnification for a digital microscope?

Carson determines the magnification as the total effective magnification based upon a 21″ monitor. To calculate the effective magnification when the image is displayed on your monitor, multiply the screen size by the factor listed on your digital microscope’s product page. Please note: The effective magnification is a combination of the optical system and a high-powered digital zoom.

What is best for a kids’ magnifier?

It is important to keep a few items in mind when looking for a kids’ magnifier. The magnifier should have a large viewing lens, yet still be lightweight enough for a child to use. The BigEye is ideal for kids because it has an oversized acrylic lens, which makes it lightweight and safer than glass.

My child is fascinated with bugs. Any recommendations?

It is important to encourage outdoor play in children that are fascinated with bugs. Carson Optical has a variety of products to that will help your child explore nature. The BugView will allow your child to catch bugs, examine them, and release them when they’re done.

What should I look for in binoculars for kids?

A kid’s binocular should be durable and lightweight, and it should aid in exploration and outdoor fun. The Carson’s Hawk binoculars (HU-530) fit all these criteria.

What type of binoculars are best for sporting events?

This age-old question really comes down to personal preference. Do you want to carry heavy, bulky binoculars from your car to the stadium? Do you prefer the added brightness that a full-sized binocular will offer? Or is the convenience of putting the binoculars in your jacket pocket more important to you? The jury is split between full-sized binocular brightness and compact binocular portability. Whether you choose compact or full-sized binoculars, there are a few other factors to consider. If you are watching a fast-moving sporting event, do not opt for binoculars that are too powerful (8x magnification is ideal). Higher magnification means a smaller field of view, so it will be harder to follow the action. Also, make certain that the optical configuration of the binoculars offers a sufficiently wide field of view. Keep in mind, however, that you may sacrifice binocular edge definition or binocular eye relief with a wide field of view. In conclusion, it is important to compare every feature a binocular offers before you make your decision.

What is the best binocular magnification for me?

The magnification of a binocular describes how many times closer an object appears through the binocular than with the naked eye. An 8×21 mm binocular magnifies the image to eight times its normal size. Typical binocular magnifications range from powers of 7x to 10x; however, they are also available in much higher magnifications. Keep in mind that binoculars with higher power gather less light, and the viewing field will be reduced, as well. It is also very difficult to keep an image steady at very high magnifications using a handheld binocular. A tripod is usually necessary to steady an image at higher magnifications.

Which binoculars are best for me?

There are many factors to consider in choosing the right binocular for an individual’s needs, including price, color, and style. The most important factor in this decision relates to how you intend to use the binoculars. To most people, binoculars are a simple optical device, but in reality they are complex and precise optical instruments.

Does a binocular’s lens size make a difference?

The amount of light passing through the different lenses of the binocular depends on the diameter of those lenses. The objective lenses are located at the front of the binocular. The diameter of the objective lenses is measured in millimeters. An 8×21 mm binocular has an objective lens diameter of 21 millimeters. The larger the diameter of the lens, the more light they will gather. More light means a brighter image of greater detail and clarity. The size of the binocular’s exit pupil also affects the brightness of an image. The exit pupil is the diameter of the beam of light, in millimeters, that passes through the binocular’s eyepieces (or oculars). The larger the exit pupil, the brighter the binocular image becomes. Keep in mind, however, that larger binocular lenses means larger binoculars.

What is the importance of a binocular’s field of view?

The field of view is the size of the area that can be viewed through the binoculars. Field of view is measured in two ways: angular field of view and linear field of view. The angular field of view of a binocular is measured in degrees. Linear field of view is the width of the area, in feet, that is visible at one thousand yards. Remember that the higher the power of your binocular, the smaller the field of view will be. In most cases, the larger the field of view is, the more the image clarity will decrease, especially around the edges. Bear this in mind when making your choice. Bigger does not always mean better!

Does the type of prism used in binoculars make a difference?

There are prisms located inside binoculars that function to flip an inverted image upright. There are two common styles of prisms used in binoculars: the BK-7 and the BAK-4. The BAK-4 prism is made of a higher-density glass and can produce sharper images than a BK-7 prism can. If you are unsure as to which prism is being used, hold the binoculars out in front of you and look through the eyepiece. If you see a square shaped beam of light, chances are a BK-7 prism is being used. A round beam of light indicates the use of a BAK-4 prism.

What is the purpose of binocular lens coatings?

All the optical components of binoculars (lenses and prisms) should be coated to minimize light loss and reflection problems inside the binocular. A poorly-coated binocular can lose up to 50% of the light initially gathered through the objective lens, resulting in a poor quality image. By coating the optical components with a fine film of chemicals, light loss can be greatly decreased. The highest quality binoculars have multiple coatings on all the optical components. These are known as “fully multi-coated” binoculars. These binoculars have the least loss of light and the result is a higher quality image.

How do I focus my binoculars properly?

There are several steps you should take to focus your binoculars. The first step is to close your right eye and look through the left eyepiece of the binocular. Turn the center focusing wheel until you see a sharp image. Then, close your left eye and look through the right eyepiece. Turn the diopter eyepiece until you see a sharp image in your right eye. Lastly, look through both eyepieces. Use the center focusing wheel only to correct the focus when you begin looking at different objects. Now you are ready to fully enjoy your binoculars.

What is binocular eye relief?

Eye relief is the distance, in millimeters, that a binocular can be held away from the eye and still see the entire field of view. If you wear glasses, a longer eye relief would be advantageous since the glasses prevent your eyes from getting as close to the eyepiece as possible.

What steps can I take to maintain my binoculars?

Make sure your lenses are clean at all times and keep them free of fingerprints, dirt, and debris. Use a Stuff-It microfiber lens cloth or a C6 Lens Cleaner to clean your lenses quickly and safely. Never use chemicals on your lenses; it can harm the optical coating. When not in use, always replace the lens caps and store your binoculars in a case. For more cleaning options, visit the Lens and Screen Care section of our website.

What type of binoculars is best for bird watching?

8×42 mm binoculars are the most popular optical configuration for bird watching. A 42 mm objective lens provides sufficient light gathering capabilities in low light conditions, and an 8x magnification allows the user to “steady” the binoculars much more readily than with higher powers, making the task of bird-identification a little easier. Look for 8×42 mm binoculars with high light transmission capabilities like our 3D/ED Series.

What type of binoculars is best for hunting?

Some informal industry surveys suggest that 40% of all binoculars that are sold in the United States are sold to hunters. The most popular style of binoculars sold are 10×42 mm. What is so special about 10×42 mm binoculars? Deer are most active at dawn or dusk, so brightness is critical. Full-sized 10×42 mm binoculars gather more light than their compact counterparts, so 10×42 mm binoculars are an obvious choice.

What are the advantages of glass magnifying lenses?

Glass magnifiers allow for very high light transmission, which provides a very clear and precise image. Glass magnifiers are also durable and extremely difficult to scratch. There are many grades of glass available; however, the best grade of glass magnifying lenses is better than the best grade of acrylic lenses. Glass magnifiers typically magnify slightly more than acrylic magnifiers as a result of the material density. The most popular glass magnifier from Carson is the SG-10 SureGrip Magnifier.

Glass magnifiers have declined in popularity over the years. Twenty years ago, nearly all the magnifiers sold in the United States were made from glass. Today, however, more than 90% of the magnifiers sold in the U.S. are made from acrylic.

What things should I consider when purchasing a lighted magnifier?

Lighted magnifiers come in a wide variety of styles and shapes. The most important consideration when purchasing a lighted magnifier is the type of lighting. Lighted magnifiers come in LED and incandescent styles. Generally speaking, a lighted magnifier with an incandescent bulb will be less expensive than an LED lighted magnifier. However, LED magnifiers are generally brighter and use far less power than an incandescent bulb. When you consider the cost of batteries, LED magnifiers are typically a cost-effective investment.

In recent years, magnifiers have shrunk in size. LED magnifiers are often powered by button-cell batteries, thus allowing for sleeker and more compact designs. Products like Carson’s Lighted Rimless Magnifier and Lighted MagRX could never have been made without the use of LED lights.

What types of magnifiers are best for needlepoint?

Carson manufactures a number of hands-free magnifiers for crafting and needlepoint. They are often referred to as “around-the-neck” magnifiers because they are positioned just below the chest of the user and are suspended by a cord around the user’s neck. These “around-the-neck” magnifiers provide the user with free use of both hands, which is ideal for needlepoint. Caron’s LumiCraft (model LC-15), MagniFree (model HF-25), and MagniShine (model HF-66) are all examples of “around-the-neck” magnifiers. Visit Carson’s Handsfree Magnifier section to view more products.

Another type of magnifier that is designed largely for crafts is the MagniCraft Magnifier (model MC-10). The MagniCraft has magnets that are embedded into this Bar Magnifier. This works very well for needlepoint patterns. The user can place the pattern on a metal stand. The Bar Magnifier’s magnets will hold the pattern in place and magnify the appropriate line on the pattern. Visit the Sheet and Bar section to see all of Carson’s Bar Magnifiers.

Is a magnifier with the highest power the best choice?

Not necessarily: the higher the magnification, the shorter the focal distance. In order to use a high-powered magnifier, you would need to put your head very close to the object you are viewing. In addition, a magnifier that is too powerful will distort the image, making it difficult to read. Lastly, a high-powered magnifier has a very small viewing area. If the magnification is too high, it becomes difficult to use the Magnifier as you end up focusing on a very small part of the page. Don’t get too caught up with magnification. Regretfully, we are in an industry where some companies exaggerate magnification. Buyer beware!

What are the advantages of acrylic magnifying lenses?

Acrylic magnifiers are extremely lightweight and durable. They are shatterproof and difficult to break. Acrylic material also makes it possible to have a smaller, more powerful magnifier inset in the larger lens. More than 90 percent of Carson’s magnifiers are made using acrylic lenses.

A Fresnel magnifier (pronounced “fre-nel”) is a flat magnifier that is produced by stamping a series of annular optical grooves onto a flat sheet of acrylic or PVC. Fresnel magnifiers use far less material than a typical double-convex magnifier lens, so they are typically very light and thin. The “flat” profile of a Fresnel lens makes it ideal for a purse or a wallet. Another added benefit of a Fresnel magnifier is the size of the actual lens. There are very few size constraints in producing Fresnel magnifiers than with other lens configurations. Because of this, Fresnel magnifiers can be made in page-size or larger. One disadvantage of Fresnel magnifiers is the “sharpness” of the image. Fresnel magnifiers generally cannot produce as sharp an image as a double-convex magnifier lens.

How does Carson measure magnification?

Magnification, also referred to as magnifying power, depends on the focal length of the lenses used in an optical device. At Carson Optical, we calculate the magnification based on measurements of the actual product, not the theoretical properties of the lenses. We use optical measurement equipment, such as a lensometer or lens clock, to measure the power of a lens. This provides the user with much more accurate results of magnification compared to other methods, which are based upon the lens mold or intended design, that might not correspond to the real-life product.

Our advertised magnifying power (MP) is based upon the standard industry equation (also referred to as “trade magnification”) for the maximum magnifying power corresponding to ideal viewing conditions, and it depends on the diopters of a lens or lens system. The diopters of a lens are equivalent to the inverse of the focal length in meters.

MP = D/4 + 1

The above magnifying power is related to the nominal magnifying power as follows: MPnominal=MP-1=D/4. The diopter value (D) used for these calculations is based on empirical measurements from actual samples of the individual lens or lens system, using a lensometer and/or lens meter with a confirmed zero and calibrated to at least two points using known reference standards. The diopter measurement is made according to the back focal length (BFL) specified by the directionality of actual usage of the lens or lens system. The testing is repeated over a sufficiently large sample set to calculate the average actual magnification. The results are converted to magnifying power and rounded to the nearest half power. For example, magnifying powers between 2.25-2.74x are rounded to 2.5x and 2.75-3.24x are rounded to 3.0x.

For magnifying lens systems worn directly over the eyes like reading glasses, the convention is slightly different. These types of products are both designed and marked based on diopters as the primary indicator of optical strength, instead of magnifying power. As is customary in the eyeglass industry, diopters shall be written in format as +X.XX, and converted to the nearest equivalent quarter power of magnifying power as a reference for the consumer.

Magnifying power provides the maximum magnification for spherical lens-based magnifiers, where actual magnification depends on the distances from the object to the magnifier. For our ball and cylindrical lens systems that have a set focal distance or position to the object, we measure the magnification directly at their pre-set positions.

What is a linen tester?

A linen tester, often referred to as a “thread counter,” is most commonly known for its association with the garment trade. Historically, linen testers were used to count the number of threads within a fixed area of fabric. Linen testers have a measuring scale on their base and they typically fold flat for storage. Today, they are used in the printing industry to see how inks lay on a printed surface. Linen testers are sold in varying magnifications or optical configurations.