Owning a monocular is a great alternative to carrying a pair of binoculars. Being only half the size of binoculars it is significantly more compact, light and portable. The following guide talks about how to choose the best monocular for your budget and needs.
What is a Good Monocular Power?
The first thing to look at when choosing a monocular is its power or magnification. A monocular will typically have a magnification of 6x to 10x – higher magnification will allow you to see further and in more detail. 9x or 10x monoculars will usually cost a bit more than 6x or 8x ones. The good thing about a monocular is that you get the same power of binoculars with only half of their size.
What is the Right Lens Size?
If you look at a monocular’s specs, you will always see two numbers. For example, 8×25. The first number represents its power (8x) and the second number its lens size (25mm).
A monocular will normally have a lens of 20mm to 42mm. A bigger lens will allow you to see a wider view. A bigger lens will also result in a better, brighter image when looking through your monocular. The downside is that the bigger the lens is, the heavier and bulkier your monocular will be.
Monocular Size and Weight
In general, an 8×25 or 10×25 monocular is considered to be a compact/pocket monocular. It will easily fit in your pocket and be very portable. This type of monocular will usually come with a small carrying bag. The pocket monocular works as a cool gadget as it’s easy to carry around everywhere, keep in your car or in your pocket when hiking. Pocket monoculars are cheaper and can also serve as a nice gift to someone.
Remember not to expect too much performance from an 8×25 or 10×25 pocket monocular though! These little monoculars have good power but a very limited view because of their small lens. You will need to first identify your subject and then use the monocular in a “point and shoot” manner. They can also be difficult to use due to their very small eyecup. If you want to enjoy a wider, sharper and brighter image, then you should always opt for a 30mm to 42mm monocular.
Monocular vs. Spotting Scope
A monocular is designed to be very compact and portable. Larger monoculars with more power, bigger lenses and wider views are called spotting scopes. A spotting scope will be significantly bigger and heavier than a monocular. These are often used for hunting, bird watching or spotting subjects from a fixed location. So if you need better performance and don’t mind the size or weight, then you should consider getting a spotting scope.
Night Vision Monoculars
If you are looking for a monocular to use at night or complete darkness then you should consider a night vision monocular. These monoculars use a built-in IR illuminator to allow night vision capability. They normally have less magnification in order to provide a better image (less fuzzy). Night vision monoculars range in sizes, magnification and price.
Our Best All-Around Monocular for 2018
Avalon’s 10×42 WP Monocular has the perfect balance between performance, size and weight. This is not your usual pocket monocular. This is a relatively compact monocular but still allows you to enjoy the power and wide view of a full sized binocular.
At only 320 grams it is very lightweight and can fit in your jacket pocket. The Avalon 10×42 WP Monocular features fully multicoated lenses and provides a high quality image even in low light. It is also 100% waterproof and fog-proof. The rubber armoured body makes this monocular durable and easy to grip.
Another great feature of the Avalon 10×42 WP Monocular is its long eye relief. This means it can be used with or without glasses. You can also twist the eyecup to adjust it for your eye sight. $179 inc. free delivery