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Old July 19, 2008, 08:21 PM   #1
tirvin73
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Front sight and target together!!??

Is there anybody able to focus on the front sight AND the target at the same time?

I hear that it is an absolute, blasted in stone, fact that NO ONE can see the front sight and target at the same time.


There is a possibility that this idea could be wrong.
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Old July 19, 2008, 08:48 PM   #2
Shawn Dodson
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If you're talking a hard focus, in which both front sight and target are in sharp, clear focus, then No. It's impossible. YOu can't even obtain a hard focus on front AND rear sight.

There are two techniques I know of: 1) front sight focus, in which the front sight is in clear focus and the target is out of focus, and 2) target focus, in which the target is in clear focus and the front sight is not.

Personally I practice #2. I've developed the skill to "see" enough of my front sight to determine whether or not the quality of my sight alignment is adequate to achieve a hit in vicinity of my aim point.
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Old July 19, 2008, 09:16 PM   #3
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Shawn tells ya right. I focus on the front sight and the target becomes the backdrop. The rear sight is sorta fuzzy.
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Old July 19, 2008, 09:47 PM   #4
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Your eyes can only focus on one distance at a time. What some, typically young, shooters can do is shift focus from sights to target and back. For the most accurate, bullseye shooting, FOCUS ON THE FRONT SIGHT AND LET THE TARGET BLUR. To prove how well this works, turn the target over and shoot at the plain backside, aligning sights properly and firing gun without disturbing sight alignment. Then turn the target over and you will usually find the group well centered in the bullseye because your eye will do so naturally.

For combat shooting, there may be reasons to reverse this procedure in order to identify the target and avoid shooting innocent person. Besides, super accurate (Bullseye) type shooting is not typically required for defensive situations at the short distances normally reported.
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Old July 19, 2008, 10:03 PM   #5
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Being able to hit what you aim at with a Handgun

Being able to hit what you aim at with a Handgun

By: Tom Perroni

As I read the plethora of Handgun, Shooting, Combat, SWAT, magazines I am perplexed. Everyone has their own style of training always use “One Hand” in a close or CQB situation. Always use “Two Hands” at a distance or use the Weaver stance, NO only use the “Isosceles” stance always do this never do that etc.

I also read things like: Don’t train on square range. Force on Force is the only real way to learn combat shooting skills. Classroom Training “Talking” is for those who can’t really shoot ….just get out on the range and shoot. Combat Focus is the new wave of handgun training.

What I have discovered is there is no shortage of experts on the subject of shooting. Just go to any Internet “Firearms” chat forum and see for yourself.

So not wanting to be left out of the fun, I thought I would share my thoughts on how to hit what you aim at with a handgun for target practice or combat shooting situation.

So if you want to be able to hit what you aim at with a handgun in any situation read the following:

Stance:
Each shooter, under the guidance of the Firearms Instructor, and consistent with safety must find the shooting stance which is best suited to them and provides the greatest degree of stability and accuracy for shooting. The shooter must be able to assume their stance instinctively, as a reflex action with minimal effort or conscious manipulation of their body. Having said that it is my opinion that the placement of your feet has absolutely nothing to do with where the bullet impacts the target. You shoot from the mid chest up so to speak. However you need to be able to Move, Shoot and Communicate. Getting off the X is very important in a gun fight. A high degree of control is necessary to deliver a rapid, accurate shot. Every individual is unique and possesses characteristics that are theirs alone. These characteristics include height, weight, muscular and skeletal development, degree of flexibility and more. Therefore, there can be no universal shooting stance that can be utilized by all people

Grip:

A proper grip aids in controlling recoil and muzzle flip. It also allows the shooter to obtain a second sight picture more rapidly. Hands must have a 360 degree grip around the weapon. This allows the shooter to engage targets more rapidly

Grip is acquired in the holster, prior to draw and presentation. The web of the shooting hand must beat the top of the tang on the back-strap and no higher. If you are too high the slide will ‘bite” your hand. If you are to low with your grip you allow the gun to move more with recoil making sight recovery and follow-on shots more difficult and time-consuming. A key point is to have both thumbs pointing at your target. The heel of your non-shooting hand should cover the area on the grip that is exposed. You should squeeze the handgun with no more force than you would use to shake someone’s hand.

The support hand applies pressure in exactly the same fashion. The idea behind the two hand grip is to completely encircle the grip of the gun in order to be in control of recoil. The support hand thumb will be on the same side of the gun as the weapon hand thumb. “Fingers over Fingers and Thumb over Thumb”. A good test of correct grip is; with your trigger finger off the trigger and placed along the slide it should be even or directly across the slide from your weak hand thumb also along the slide.


Front Sight Focus:

In order to get accurate hits on target you must have “Front Sight Focus”. First you must understand that your eye can only focus on one thing at a time….All to often we walk around all day looking at the “Big Picture” In order to be able to hit what we aim at with a handgun we must focus on the front sight 100% of the time Not the target. Not the rear sight the FRONT sight. I often hear student say the front sight looks a little fuzzy….I tell them that is o.k. give all of your attention to the front sight. But where on the Front Sight should you focus? The Top Edge is the answer. The object is to press the trigger to the rear while not moving the front sight off the target once the handgun fires. Each shot should be a surprise. Anticipation will cause trigger pull or trigger jerk. I will often tell my students to repeat “Front Sight, Front Sight, Front Sight, Front Sight until the shot breaks so that all of their attention is focused on the………Front Sight! I also tell my students that for every pull of the trigger they must have 2 sight pictures the one they had just before the shot broke and the one right after. They must have 2 sight pictures so if they fire 2 shots they need 3 sight pictures etc.




Trigger Control / Press:

Trigger Control in either double action or single action mode, it is defined as steady pressure exerted on the trigger straight to the rear to release the hammer and fire the weapon and immediately allowing the trigger to return so the weapon can be fired again. Descriptive term here is a press and not a squeeze. Note the trigger finger continually maintains contact with the trigger.

When pressing the trigger, the shooter should use the tip of the index finger. This should be accomplished by utilizing a smooth movement isolating the trigger finger only. All other fingers must remain still during the trigger press. Another important part of trigger control is trigger reset. Once the trigger has been fired, slowly release pressure on the trigger until an audible click is heard and felt. At this point, the shooter need not release any more pressure on the trigger to fire again. This maintains a proper sight alignment and sight picture more easily.

Trigger Manipulation

• Speed at which the trigger is pulled – a single gear, one smooth continuous motion at a single speed… not increasing as you apply pressure.
• The Motion in which the trigger is pulled – Is a smooth continuous motion, not a jerk, not a little at the time.
• Always remember that you press or pull a trigger, you never jerk the trigger.

The finger is placed so that the trigger is halfway between the tip of the finger and the first joint. “The trigger is pressed straight to the rear in a smooth continuous manner without disturbing sight alignment.” You should not be able to predict the instant the gun will fire. Each shot should come as a surprise. Note the trigger finger continually maintains contact with the trigger.

Once the sights are aligned, the shooter must apply steady pressure to the trigger until a surprise break (hammer fall) occurs. The pressure is directed rearward with no interruptions, stalls or hesitations present. The proper trigger control allows the weapon to fire without disturbing the sights.

To begin proper trigger control, the shooter must first properly place the index finger on the trigger. The index finger is placed in the middle of the trigger at the most rearward curved portion. The trigger should cross the finger approximately halfway between the tip of the finger and the first joint, over the swirl of the fingerprint.


Trigger Press. After attaining proper placement of the finger on the trigger, proper trigger pressure can be applied to the trigger. There are three parts of trigger pressure each time the weapon is fired. They are Slack, Press, and Follow through.


All three parts are important to proper trigger control.


1.Slack. The shooter must first take up the slack at the beginning of the trigger movement by applying slight pressure to the trigger. The trigger will move slightly to the rear until the internal parts of the trigger mechanism come into full contact with each other, and the “softness” in the tip of the finger is eliminated.

2.Press The trigger is then in the press portion of its movement, which is when the internal parts of the weapon are being disengaged from each other to allow the hammer to fall. The pressure should be a smooth, constant, and even pressure, applied straight to the rear so that the sights are not misaligned at the instant the hammer falls. Once the hammer begins to fall, the follow through portion of trigger control begins.

3.Follow Through. Follow through is the continued steady pressure applied to the trigger until the trigger reaches its most rearward point of travel. If the shooter does not continue to apply the constant, even pressure during follow through, it is possible that the impact of the round could move on the target, thus spoiling an otherwise good shot.

• On Glock handguns we us a technique called ‘Catching the Link” Once you have pressed the trigger to the rear hold the trigger until the slide cycles then let the trigger out until you hear a “CLICK” then you may follow through with another shot. What you have done is cut your trigger pull in half which makes you more accurate and increases the speed of follow up shots 80%.

• Always finish the shot, never quit the shot.
• Keep the gun at eye level doing the exact same thing as the shot breaks that you were doing prior to the shot; aligning the sights, maintaining target acquisition.
• Maintain the gun in front of the eyes long enough to ask two questions:

a. Did I hit the target?
b. Did it work?

Dry Fire – This when the trigger is pulled without live ammunition in the firearm.
This method of training can be done just about anywhere and costs absolutely nothing. In this Instructors opinion it is vital to anyone who uses or carries a handgun. Essentially you are doing everything you would do at the range except your handgun is empty. (NO AMMO) The most important single fundamental skill in shooting - Trigger Control – is one which can best be improved off the range in dry practice. As I have stated in past articles all the fundamentals of Handgun shooting can be practiced with Dry Fire grip, sight alignment trigger control, malfunction drills, reload drills and all at no cost.

Practicing the above drills for 10-15 minutes each day will greatly benefit the shooter. I have seen marked improvement in students who practiced these drills for just 2 days. However please remember Handgun Skills are like buying a car: if you do not make your payments the car will be repossessed. If you do not practice the new handgun skills you paid for they will also be repossessed.

In conclusion remember smooth is fast, and speed is economy of motion; Accuracy always takes precedence over speed. Speed is fine but accuracy is final.

Well there you have it. I think this would be a solid foundation for any shooter. You can learn a great deal from a Basic Class it’s the foundation of your shooting skills. So before you take that “ADVANCED HANDGUN COURSE” make sure you have a solid understanding of the Fundamentals of Handgun Shooting. Remember you have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run.

Stay Safe & Shoot Straight!

And remember ; "Conflict is inevitable; Combat is an option".
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Old July 19, 2008, 10:09 PM   #6
tirvin73
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I say it is possible to focus on both front sight AND target. My right eye sees the front sight, the rear sight is out of focus. However, my left eye sees the target. In fact I can see the perforations on an IPSC target at seven yards and the front sight. It works with deliberate slow fire, and from the holster in .75 sec.

It is possible,with training, to actually see both at the same time. Force your strong eye to see the front sight. Force your weak eye to see the target.

Muscle memory does not apply to just shooting, but also seeing. You can't shoot faster than you can see.
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Old July 19, 2008, 10:17 PM   #7
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tirvin73,

First you must understand that your eye can only focus on one thing at a time…

I also agree that in a COMBAT situation you will have both eyes open but I believe it is physically impossible for 1 eye to focus on one thing while 1 eye focuses on another.

But just remember to make a precision shot you will need to use your dominant eye.

Just my $0.02

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Old July 19, 2008, 10:49 PM   #8
tirvin73
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You won't be able to focus your eyes on the front sight and the target until your muscle memory is developed. This is the most critical step you must take once you have made the mental decision to "GO". Once you have mastered this skill, you will then be able to not only focus on the sights and the target, but also multiple targets. You will also be able to aquire and focus on a target without staring down the inital "threat".
If you take a defensive posture with a potential threat you could make a bad situation worse. Remember, you must react to a threat.Therefore, you can only act upon the actor. You can work within the parameters of an attacker by the speed of your own abilities. This method of focus will attain high speed hits accuratley, as well as distant, deliberate precision shooting.
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Old July 20, 2008, 11:57 AM   #9
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Tirvin:

So what you're saying is that you're using each eye independent of one another?

If so, and I really am not being a jerk here even though it sounds like it, were you hit really hard in the head at some point, or have you experienced some sort of other trauma to the head? That's the only situation I can think of where your eyes start tracking independent of one another, and by all accounts and my own personal experience, it a bad and disorienting thing.

If you're saying that you're just training yourself to see both at once then that is impossible. The Depth of field that you experience when focusing on something in front of you prevents you from focusing on something else that is closer or further away than the object you're currently focusing on. It's how cameras work, and it's also how eyes work.

The exception to this. If you decrease the aperture that you're looking through, the depth of field decreases as well to some degree. We focus better in bright conditions because our eye is dialating creating a narrower aperture and there for things appear sharper, or more in focus because the range of what will be in focus has increased.
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Old July 20, 2008, 02:47 PM   #10
tirvin73
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The eyes can't look in two different directions at one time. When the sights are on the target,with considerable practice, you can focus on the front sight and the target. The sight is on one particular spot on the target. .The front sight appears to be projected on to the target. The double vision will go away with practice.

This became a problem I solved while trying to focus on night sights in low light shooting. With low light my eyes would see two sets of front and rear sights. I began by looking only at the target. Later, I was able to see the target with the left eye, bring the sights up and see the front sight aligned perfectly with the rear.

Don't be so quick to tell someone they can't do something. This is a problem many people face. I am only offering a different method to try. This is not something you can see instant results with. Try it, practice, see if it works for you. If not then no big loss.

Don't fool yourself into beliving that muscle memory is limited to the limbs, hands, and feet. If you do, you will never surpass your current limitations.
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Old July 20, 2008, 03:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
I hear that it is an absolute, blasted in stone, fact that NO ONE can see the front sight and target at the same time.

There is a possibility that this idea could be wrong.
Let's go back to basic physics. Get out your 35mm camera. Set the aperture to, oh, say f2.0 for purposes of discussion. Place a target 25 yards from the muzzle of your pistol. Take a picture from the shooter's eye view of the front sight, that is, with the camera at the same distance from the front sight as your eye is when shooting. Focus the front sight in sharp. The target will be blurry.

Now, focus on the target. The front sight will be blurry.

This is not an "idea," it's a function of the laws of physics, subspecialty optics.

If you stop the lens down to, oh, say, f22, or better yet, a pinhole in your lens cap, you will find that that at some particular distance to the target, the front sight and the target will be in acceptable focus. That's why bullseye shooters us a a Merit disc on their glasses; it's an adjustable pinhole to effectively get a tiny aperture so as to increase the hyperfocal distance.

Those of us with blended bifocals can amuse ourselves at the range with our aperture sights, peering through the different focal lengths of our glasses to bring the front sight and then the target into focus. Funny thing, you just can't get them both sharp at the same time.

Shoot the center of the blur and you'll get Xs every time.

Regards,

Walt
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Old July 20, 2008, 09:04 PM   #12
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"When the sights are on the target,with considerable practice, you can focus on the front sight and the target."

No, you cannot.

"There is a possibility that this idea could be wrong."

No, there is not.

The guy about to type out something about contact shots should be banned.
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Old July 21, 2008, 01:42 AM   #13
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I prefer to focus on the front sight. The target is large enough, but the front sight can be blurred if you focus on target, and that could affect actual bullet placement...focus on the front sight, aim for the center of your target and you should be close enough...
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Old July 21, 2008, 09:14 AM   #14
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tirvin73:

I'm going to have to respectfully say that I believe you to be completely wrong. I make my living dealing with Optics, and how human eyes perceive things. That having been said, I value your right to your opinion, even if I don't agree / believe that it's true or based in fact. Hope you have a great day!
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Old July 21, 2008, 11:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
That's why bullseye shooters us a a Merit disc on their glasses; it's an adjustable pinhole to effectively get a tiny aperture so as to increase the hyperfocal distance.
Pinholes work by reducing the size of the 'circle of confusion' in the image plane.

Anything out of focus in an optical train assumes the shape of the smallest aperture in the train.

If you make that aperture small enough the 'out of focus' areas become sharper.
This is why a pinhole camera has almost infinite depth of field.
Even the 'out of focus' areas have a circle of confusion small enough to appear sharp.
The limit is that the light gathering ability is severely limited.
You are only using a tiny portion of the available optical train in a system with lenses.

The human eye and brain work together.
The eye is constantly moving to prevent the retina from running out of the chemicals used to react to light in any one spot.
The brain cancels out this motion so we see a stable image.
Damages to the brain and optic nerve can produce some very interesting things.
'Holes' in the visual field will be 'covered' by the brain, just like the fovea is not normally 'seen' as a hole in the visual field.
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Old July 23, 2008, 04:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
tirvin73,

First you must understand that your eye can only focus on one thing at a time…

I also agree that in a COMBAT situation you will have both eyes open but I believe it is physically impossible for 1 eye to focus on one thing while 1 eye focuses on another.

I disagree to an extent. Maybe I'm crazy but it works for me. And darn near everyone else I've trained with. Granted some have had trouble. I've had a hard time doing it with a pistol and usually opt not to, but with my m16 and/or m4 I use both eyes especially in 'combat shooting.'

-Max
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Old July 23, 2008, 05:10 PM   #17
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Focus

I'm wondering about the use of "focus" in some of the posts. I get the impression that some of us mean "see" or "notice" as opposed to see sharply and in detail. I am of the school of thought that believes that an eye - one eye, not two - can only focus (see clearly and sharply) on one thing at one distance at a time.
The original question was general in that sense:
"Is there anybody able to focus on the front sight AND the target at the same time?"
Not with my strong eye.
I, also, have trouble believing that one can train the eyes independently but piano players use their hands independently so....
I wonder, though, if the two-eyed thing is not a case of the shooter rapidly switching back and forth between the two eyes. That seems to be a more achievable physical goal.


The statement following the question is more general:
"I hear that it is an absolute, blasted in stone, fact that NO ONE can see the front sight and target at the same time."
I can "see" both at the same time. I am well aware of where the target is in relation to the front sight when I am shooting. The target, however, is not nearly as defined, unless I use an aperture over my eye or on the gun. Shooting prone .22 matches, the rear sight is an aperture and the front sight is also. Both render the target itself a lot clearer. But this is not the same as shooting a pistol or rifle with open iron sights. Not at all.
Pete
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Old July 24, 2008, 09:15 AM   #18
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In combat shooting for your life you will shoot with your reflex only.You will shoot the way you train....period.You will not have time to think; only react and remember, reaction is slower than action which the criminal has done that forces you to react to their threat.The average life or death shootout last for 3 seconds with 2-4 shots being fired and at a distance of less than 7 feet.

You must hit your target with the first shot in an area on his/her body that will stop the aggression as fast as possible in order to save your life.

Train using either front sight focus or target focus until you can hit your mark reflectively within 2-5 seconds.Remember in a shootout lasting less than 5 seconds you will not think you will only react,so train with that in mind.
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Old July 25, 2008, 08:51 PM   #19
tirvin73
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Master Poe

A famous quote came to mind. "Old man, how is it that you can hear these things?" Young man, how is it that YOU cannot?" I'll change the "hear" to "see" in my quote!
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Old July 25, 2008, 11:38 PM   #20
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To answer the original question here, the answer, in my experience is "NO" you cannot see both the sights and the target in clarity at the same time.

Now if you're asking what to do, and where to focus, the answer, again in my experience is: Do what works best for you. Practice and try results. Also, keep in mind the circumstances needed in your "average" usage.

When I'm shooting with my Colt Python at long range, I tend to focus on the front sight. I make every shot count. That means my target blurs....

I also shoot in IDPA. I'm not a master, and frankly I have a ton of room for improvement. Generally when I shoot really well I "feel" the shot. Generally I focus on the target and let my sights blur slightly. I have bright fiberoptic sights in differing colors however, so it makes this process easier....

Just my 2 cents...
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Old July 25, 2008, 11:50 PM   #21
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Quote: "A famous quote came to mind. "Old man, how is it that you can hear these things?" Young man, how is it that YOU cannot?" I'll change the "hear" to "see" in my quote!"

Now that is REALLY significant evidence!
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Old July 26, 2008, 10:03 PM   #22
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I just couldn't resist. Makes about as much sense as anything else I've read so far.
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Old July 27, 2008, 04:30 PM   #23
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From one poster, yes.
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Old July 27, 2008, 05:04 PM   #24
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Do a search on the net for Monocular Vision. One eye corrected for near sightedness and the other eye corrected for far sightness.

This does give you the ability to focus on two objects that are at different distances.
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Old July 27, 2008, 08:47 PM   #25
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Monovision contacts

"Do a search on the net for Monocular Vision. One eye corrected for near sightedness and the other eye corrected for far sightness.

This does give you the ability to focus on two objects that are at different distances."
Yes, it does. But one cannot focus on the two things at the same time. I used this system for years while I was working in order to avoid taking off reading glasses and then putting them on again. I had one eye corrected for reading and the other eye was left for distance. I tried the "two things at once"; Not, eyes are not made that way. It would be nice - but it's impossible - to be able to see what someone is doing who claims to be able to focus on two distances at the same time. Do they really see both in focus or is their eyesight strong and sharp enough that they can (and do) make the unconscious microsecond switch from one object to another so smoothly that it appears to be a single sustained act? We'll probably never know.
I'm open to instruction, though obviously biased toward the "eyes can't do that" school of thought. How would one go about training the eyes to do that? What is/was the procedure? I know how to train muscles - was a trainer for years - but this would be a learning experience.
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