Caring for Binoculars and Seagoing Optics

Binoculars, nightscopes, video recorders and cameras need protection from a humid environment and salt spray as much as your electronics do especially the lenses. If you’re traveling in the tropics and subtropics, fungus problems can develop in just 4 to 6 weeks because of the high moisture content in the air.

Given the right conditions, mold spores can grow and etch into lenses, altering the surface and sometimes the shape of the lens, this changes the characteristics of the lens and reduces its performance. Once the damage is done, it’s irreversible and the equipment will need to be replaced. If growth is detected before actual etching into the lenses occurs, cleaning by a professional will salvage the lenses.

Saltwater, dirt and oil on surfaces wick moisture from the atmosphere, providing the perfect environment for mold spore growth. Keeping any gear with lenses clean is an important first step to protecting your equipment. Where and how your equipment is stored is the second step.

Binoculars that are rubber-coated, such like Konus Action 8 x 21 (armored) and nitrogen-filled won’t fog. The positive pressure of the nitrogen prevents moisture from forming on the inside of the barrels, prohibiting a mold-growing environment. Dry nitrogen-filled binoculars still require a freshwater rinse after being exposed to salt spray to remove any salt crystals on the exterior of the lenses that may scratch the lenses or their coatings.

Binoculars and other equipment that isn't waterproof requires extra care to inhibit mold growth. Store them in an airtight or watertight container, such as a Pelican™ ( case.

If this isn’t practical for you, freezer-weight Zip Loc® bags will work too, but only if as much of the air is removed from the bag as possible prior to sealing it. The best way to do this is with a straw. Seal the bag, leaving an opening just large enough to insert a straw, then remove the air by sucking on the straw. Quickly remove the straw while closing the bag completely. Then place that bag inside another one and remove the air from it as well.

Storage in Zip Loc® bags is good for longer term storage but not very handy if you anticipate removing the equipment from the bag more than once a day.

Another solution is to place a packet of silica gel, a drying agent, in the case with cameras, camcorders or other gear with optics. Buy the type with blue crystals, in which the color acts as a moisture indicator. You can purchase this type of silica gel in bulk at hardware or arts and crafts stores, and make your own packets in any size using small coffee filters and rubber bands. Damp Rid also makes “traps” that are small enough to add to your gear cases.

There are other products on the market for storing your binoculars and cameras that are waterproof and float. Some of these are inflatable and protect delicate optics from hard knocks, which is ideal if you keep these items in the cockpit.

Before storing your binoculars, cameras, video recorders, etc., clean the lenses with a tissue or cleaning solution made for lenses. Don’t reuse the same tissue twice and this will only spread any spores you just removed from the lens. Also, be sure that the case in which you’re storing the gear is clean and dry, and toss in some packets of silica gel. Don’t store your gear in cases that are made of leather, leather is a known promoter of mold.

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Konus NAVYMAN 7x50 C.F. - Waterproof Binocular

The Navyman binocular delivers a great performance in every marine and boating environment thanks to its waterproof and nitrogen purged construction, coupled with ruby lenses that help cut glare over water or snow. [specifications]

Konus TORNADO 7x50 I.F. - Waterproof Binocular

The Tornado is a 7x50 binocular with compass and illuminated reticle that has been developed for the most professional users in the marine, military and hunting field. [specifications]

Konus VIVISPORT -21 8x21 I.F. - Waterproof Binocular

Black version of an extremely compact binocular, that, although very competitively prices, features some very professional specifications like the individual focusing and the waterproof construction with nitrogen gas. [specifications]

FOREST 8x21- Marine Waterproof Binocular

Revolutionary design at a price that can't be beat, since we have no doubt that this true novelty will instantly become one of our best-sellers. [specifications]

Konus AUDAX 8x42 W.A. - Waterproof Binocular

Made for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. Designed with a military style, they are built to exceed the expectations of even the most demanding user. Fully waterproof and nitrogen filled, they will challenge the most hazardous weather including heavy rain and snow, boat and yacht.[specifications]

Konus AUDAX 10x42 W.A. - Waterproof

Made for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. Designed with a military and marine style, they are built to exceed the expectations of even the most demanding user. Fully waterproof and nitrogen filled, they will challenge the most hazardous weather including heavy rain and snow boat oor yacht. [specifications]

Konus EVENT 8x42 , 10x42 W.A - Waterproof Binocular

These binoculars are a true revolution that encompasses all the most significant achivements of the last 30 years in the binoculars' technology. Stylish and agressive design, rugged and extremely compact body, impeccable optical quality in any weather .

Binoculars from owner - New or Used Binoculars for Sale

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Tasco - Marine and Offshore Binoculars OS19, TASCO OS21 OFFSHORE 7 X

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