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Helpful Tips for using a
Handheld Telescope

by: Southwest Low Vision 1-888-534-4321

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While you are learning to use the telescope:
1. Minimize outside distractions such as noise.

2. Make sure there is good lighting on the targets you view. Inadequate lighting will interfere with your ability to successfully view objects.

3. Make sure there is good contrast between the target and its background.

4. Keep practice sessions short at first. You decide when you are tired and ready to take a break.

5. NEVER walk around while you are holding the telescope to your eye.

Holding the telescope:

1. Hold the soft rubber part of the telescope (the eyecup) with the thumb and index finger of the hand on the same side of the body as the eye that is being used.

2. To help stabilize the telescope, rest the elbow holding the device on something solid, or hold the elbow in the palm of the free hand.

3. Bring the telescope up as close to your eye as possible. This gives you the largest field of view.

4. If you wear glasses, fold the collapsible eyecup back. Place the telescope directly on your glasses. This allows for as wide a visual field as possible.

Focusing the Telescope:

1. Make sure your body and head are oriented toward what you want to view before lifting the telescope to the eye.

2. First look at the target you want to see more clearly. Keeping your eyes focused in that direction, move the telescope up to your eye for easier spotting.

3. When you are focusing, pretend that you are a cameraman. Move the focusing ring until it looks clearest to you, then move it further until the image is slightly blurred. Finally move the ring back in until the image is clear again.

4. Practice focusing on various targets at different distances.

5. The telescope will be shorter when an object is further away.

6. The telescope will be longer when viewing an object that is very close.

7. Once the telescope is focused at a distance of 20 feet, it does not need to be focused again for viewing anything beyond that point.

Tips for viewing:

1. Telescopes distort depth perception, making objects appear nearer and closer to you than they really are.

2. Telescopes not only magnify the size of the image, but also exaggerate the speed at which objects are moving.

3. If you are facing the sun or a light when viewing through the telescope, use your had or a visor to shield your eyes and the telescope from the direct light.

Care and Access:

1. Clean the lenses with a lint-free cloth; occasional use of rubbing alcohol and a q-tip may be necessary.

2. Do not immerse the telescope in water. Avoid using the telescope in sandy environments.

3. Use the neck strap, a wrist strap, or finger ring at all times.

4. Keep the telescope within easy access.

5. Replace the lens caps before putting the telescope away. Store the telescope in its case with the strap wound around the device.