Is the Objective Lens of a Binocular Convex or Concave?

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Lenses are the most important components of binoculars. Different types of lenses are used in a binos that work together to give you images. However, many people need clarification about the objective lens and the type of lens it uses.

So, the question arises: Is the objective lens of a binocular convex or concave? Objective lenses of all binoculars consist of convex lenses as they are designed to converge the light at one focal point and help in making the image. 

This guide is going to be dedicated to the objective lens and its functionality. So, let’s get started without any more delay.

Related Article: Should You Use a Binocular Case or Pouch?

What is an Objective Lens in Binoculars?

The objective lens is the outermost lens when you hold and use the binoculars. In other words, it is the lens that is pointed towards the object that you aim to see through the binoculars. This lens is considered the most important part of the functionality of binoculars.

Actually, the objective lens captures the incoming light and makes an image that the user sees through the eyepiece of the binoculars. If the objective lens works efficiently and captures more light, you will see brighter, sharper visuals, and vice versa.

This lens also determines the size of the binoculars as well. Different sizes of the objective lens are available. Those binos that come with bigger-sized objective lenses capture more light, but they are bulky in size due to the bigger size of the objective lens and vice versa. In light conditions, the binos with bigger objective lenses are usually recommended.

Is the Objective Lens of a Binocular Convex or Concave?

All the binoculars consist of the convex lenses as they are specialized in converging or collecting the incoming light at one focal point, and making the images. Without convex lenses in the objective lens, the light won’t cover and there will be no image at all.

In order to get more clarity, you should understand the purpose of the objective lens. It works by collecting or capturing the light from the surroundings, and converging all the light at one point and making the image. Right? If the objective lens does not contain a convex lens, then light won’t converge at one point.

Suppose, a binocular objective lens contains the concave lens instead of the convex, then the incoming light will be diverged instead of converged at one point. As a result, you won’t be able to see any image visuals through the barrel of the binoculars.

Let’s dive into the types of lenses i.e., convex and concave lenses that will help you understand their functionality in a much better way.

Difference between concave and convex lenses

Difference between concave and convex lenses in binoculars

Majorly, the convex lenses are specialized in converging the light at a single point, on the other hand, the concave lens diverges or scatters the light instead of converging or collecting the light at one point.

From the physical appearance, the concave lenses are thin at the center but thicker from the edges. They diverge the light. On the opposite side, the convex lenses are usually thicker at the center point, but their edges are thinner and they cover the light at one focal point.

All those tools that are made for magnifying the image including the binoculars consist of the convex lenses. Telescopes, cameras, and monoculars are some other examples. The concave lenses are usually used in the glasses, and they don’t really magnify the visuals. 

For example, the patient’s glasses to correct myopia (nearsightedness) consist of concave lenses. As the binoculars are made for magnification purposes, they consist of convex lenses instead of concave.

CharacteristicConvex LensConcave Lens
ShapeThick in the center, thin at the edgesThin in the center, thick at the edges
Focusing BehaviorConverging (brings light rays together)Diverging (spreads out light rays)
Image FormationReal and invertedVirtual and upright
Convergence PointPositive focal lengthNegative focal length
UsageMagnifying glasses, cameras, projectorsEyeglasses (for myopia), telescopes, binoculars
Binoculars MentionConvex lenses often used as objective lenses in binoculars to gather and focus light.Concave lenses might be used as eyepieces in binoculars to further magnify the focused image.

Why is a Convex Lens Used in Binoculars?

All binoculars use convex lenses because of the fact that these lenses are specialized in converging the light at one focal point and making the image that users see through the eyepiece of the binoculars.

If the binos could have concave lenses, then there wouldn’t be any convergence of the light which ultimately affects the formation of the image. So, the whole mechanism of the binoculars will fail. This is why all the binos consist of convex lenses.

Characteristics of the Objective Lens 

So, it is established that the convex lens is used in the objective lens of binoculars. Let’s go into more detail, and talk about some characteristics of the objective lens size of the binoculars.

  1. The size and the weight of the binoculars are highly associated with the objective lens size. If a binocular has a larger objective lens, it means that it will be bulky and heavier in size
  2. The performance of the binoculars in the lowlight conditions is also linked with the size of the objective lens. Those binos that have bigger-sized objective lenses capture more light, and you’ll end up seeing brighter visuals in low-light conditions
  3. It is considered that the objective lens size is the most important part of the binoculars. The reason is that it converges all the light at one point and makes the image. Without this, the binos won’t function at all.
  4. The objective lens of the binoculars consists of a special coating that reduces the reflection and increases the transmission light. In this way, the objective lens captures more light efficiently and there happens very minimal loss of light.


In the end, I would say that the objective lens of all the binoculars consists of the convex lens. Not only binoculars but all the optics that magnify the visuals of a distant object consist of convex lenses. The reason is that these lenses converge the light and make the image at one point.  I hope that this guide will prove to be helpful for you.

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