Frequently Asked Questions

Marblehead Lighthouse
Marblehead, OH


What is the viewer called?

We refer to our product as a binocular viewer. The public recognizes it as an American Icon because of its distinctive shape. It is known by a variety of names: viewfinder, binoculars, view master, viewing scope, outdoor viewer, tower viewer, scenic viewer, free use viewer, spyglass viewers, coin-operated viewing telescopes, scenic telescopes, tower binoculars, scenic magnifiers, coin operated viewers, coin operated binoculars, viewing machines, coin operated viewfinders, viewing stands, tower scopes, observation binoculars, observation telescopes, coin operated telescopes, optical rangers, optical sights, outdoor telescopes, outdoor binoculars, and all-weather binoculars.

Whatever name you choose, you can always depend on the unsurpassed quality of our products and the unparalleled service that stands behind them.

Why choose the Tower Optical viewer?

Tower Optical does not sell its binocular viewers. Our business is based on manufacturing the best, highest quality viewer on the market and backing it with service, replacement parts, and maintenance — all at no additional charge to our clients.

What are the specifications of your binocular viewer?

At Tower Optical Co., we use a 10×42 manual-focus binocular with fully multi-coated lenses and high quality BaK-4 prisms. In other words, the image appears 10 times closer than seen with the unaided human eye. A wide field of view (318 feet @ 1,000 yards) allows you to easily locate an object for up-close viewing. We have found that this binocular is most convenient for the general public to use. It produces a sharp, stable, well-defined image and allows the user to manually adjust the focus to meet individual needs.

Is the binocular fully enclosed within the binocular viewer?

Yes! The binocular device is one of the most expensive components of our binocular viewer. We protect it by enclosing it in tamper-resistant glass or Plexiglas. Left unprotected, direct exposure to the elements would result in dirt, moisture, and other environmental contaminants penetrating the binocular. At that point, costly replacement would be necessary.

What is the advantage of a mechanical mechanism?

Since our beginning in 1932, our 100% mechanical mechanisms have been built to endure prolonged exposure to extreme weather conditions. Heat, cold, salt air, and rain all have a detrimental effect on battery life and electrical components. Dead batteries and malfunctioning electrical parts often render our competitors’ viewers inoperable.

What surface types support your binocular viewers?

Tower Optical binocular viewers can be fastened into virtually any solid surface. Installation hardware for concrete or wood decking is provided and custom-made brackets are available to provide ease of installation in a wide-range of settings.

Does the binocular viewer head rotate 360º?

Yes! Since the binocular and mechanism are housed in the “head” or top portion of the viewer, rotation is unrestricted. A full range of viewing opportunities are available.

How many coins does your binocular viewer hold?

Our binocular viewers hold approximately 2,000 quarters. We recommend timely collection so that the viewer does not fill to capacity.

Can I decide how much to charge for using the binoculars?

Yes! Our viewers accept quarters and you can decide whether you want to charge $0.25 or $0.50 per usage. You can also decide how long the viewing will last (either 90 seconds or 150 seconds).

Furthermore, we also install viewers that don’t require quarters at all.

How long will it take for delivery?

Our binocular viewers ship within two weeks of our receipt of a signed contract. We ship by truck unless otherwise requested.