Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to discuss eyecups on binoculars – what eyecups are; the purposes, features, and types of eyecups.
The binoculars ease of use is directly dependent on the quality of the eyecups. People have different faces, some wear glasses and the eyecups are enabling us to use the binoculars normally. People who wear glasses, need to put the eyecups down, and people who don't, have to put them up to get the optimal results.
If you don't wear glasses, you need to extend the eyecups so that you can use the binoculars normally. Everybody needs a different configuration of eyecups and a different distance between the surface on which we lean to the lens. It basically means that the better the eyecups are, the bigger the group of people that can use the binoculars comfortably.
There are several types of eyecups. The most basic are fixed eyecups and they are very problematic. People that wear glasses can't use binoculars that have fixed eyecups because their field of view is diminished.
It's the same case with some Porro prism binoculars. You could squeeze the eyecups a little but then you would damage them. It's very hard to get a good comfortable fit for a lot of different users this way.
The next type of eyecups is two-position eyecups. One position is for people that wear glasses and the second one for everybody else. They are better than the fixed ones but they still do not cover all the groups of users.
Some eyecups have an additional feature. They are winged for low light use so that all light which comes from the side is blocked. Some people really like this approach, we have some customers who only use binoculars with this feature. Winged eyecups are not mainstream and don't work well for people that wear glasses.
Advanced binoculars have multiple positions of eyecups and can, therefore, be comfortably used by everybody. These eyecups have at least 3 positions. the general rule that applies is that more is better.
Most of the high quality, more expensive binoculars have multiple position eyecups. The main problem with binoculars that have multiple position eyecups is the steep price, but for someone who uses binoculars a lot, it's worth the investment.
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