Today, binoculars with premium glass and unique features designed specifically for bird watchers or nature enthusiasts are available at affordable pricing. As a result, more nature enthusiasts than ever are enjoying truly quality optics, including Vanguard’s multiple award-winning binoculars.
No doubt, nature enthusiasts will put these binoculars through their paces. Fortunately, Vanguard design binoculars for durability and reliability.
However, there are a few important maintenance to-dos that will extend the life of your trusted binoculars and keep them performing well for years to come:
- Clean the lens carefully.
Periodically cleaning of the lenses may seem like a no-brainer but many binocular users unknowingly destroy their lens coatings with improper cleaning. Using certain chemicals to clean your lenses can cause damage to the important coatings that give your optics the clarity you need.
How to properly clean the lenses:
- Remove all loose dirt and debris using an air blower and/or lens brush. This is an important first step. If you wipe or rub the lenses before removing large particles, you could cause scratching and other permanent damage.
- Gently remove dust using a microfiber cloth. Never touch the lenses directly with your fingers.
- For a tough grime situation, use a small amount of a cleaning solution designed specifically for lenses such as Vanguard’s lens cleaning spray and pre-moistened cleaning wipes. Do not use cleaning solutions designed for glass or eyeglasses – only cleaning solutions that are designed to safely clean the unique coatings associated with lenses. Watch your pressure; wiping should be done with minimal pressure. Remove all excess solution with a microfiber. Do not use facial tissue, toilet paper or paper towels.
- Use cotton swabs to safely remove dirt and grime from hard-to-reach crevices
Vanguard’s lens cleaning kits include the essentials for cleaning your binoculars properly.
- Clean the body.
Use a clean cloth and warm water to gently remove dirt from your binoculars’ body, including the focus wheel and barrels. Do not submerge your binoculars in water; while most binoculars are waterproof, prolonged exposure to water should be avoided.
- Use a harness when you’re out in the field.
Most bird watchers and nature enthusiasts use the standard neck strap that accompanies their binoculars out of the box. This can cause your binoculars to get in the way when you’re attempting to get into the right position. While your binoculars should withstand any rough swinging and banging around that results when you’re out in the field, there’s a far safer and more comfortable way to carry them. A binocular harness will keep your binoculars exactly where you need them – with even weight distribution. After a few hours out and about, you’ll appreciate freedom from the common fatigue standard binocular neck straps cause on necks.
- Store them in their carrying case in a cool, dry place.
Many Vanguard fans tell us they never want to be without their Vanguard binoculars so they store them in their vehicles. Direct sunlight may cause damage so we always recommend storing binoculars at home in their provided carrying cases.
- Keep the lens caps on when not in use.
This will reduce the amount of dust and dirt that finds a home on your lenses. However, if your binoculars are damp, don’t apply the caps until you’re sure the lenses are dry.
Note: Never attempt to remove lenses or open any component of your binoculars in an attempt to clean inside. This will always result in damage.
Binoculars are among the most important gear purchases a birdwatcher or nature enthusiast makes in his/her life for a good reason: they’re the tools that enable us to identify animals from afar across varied landscapes and to see remarkably well in low-light conditions. An inexpensive lens cleaning kit and few minutes of cleaning after every day out will go a long way in keeping your optics performing well.