Monoculars – Buying guide & Comparison
If you are scoring the net trying to find the best monocular reviews but you lack the time to do a lot of research on the topic, this short paragraph should help you out. After reading plenty of specialized reviews, we have concluded that the Leica 8 x 20 Waterproof Monovid is the model that is worth your consideration. This unit stands out thanks to its powerful magnification ratio (8x) as well as because it comes equipped with close up lenses that allow for a macro effect. Moreover, this product is waterproof and it has a nitrogen filling that prevents fogging, two features that make it ideal for outdoor use. If the Leica 8 x 20 Waterproof Monovid is unavailable, you may want to check out the Nikon 7491 7×15 High Grade as it is a reliable alternative that has a lot of similar practical capabilities.
The task of finding the best monocular for the money is not particularly easy, especially if you don’t know much about the subject. Because we are well aware of the situation, in an attempt to lend you a helping hand, we have put together a list of features that you should not settle without in a product from this category.
How much magnification is right?
As you probably know, the first decision that one has to make before purchasing a product of this type is the magnification ratio. If you want to find the best budget monocular on the market you should look for a unit capable of magnifying the images up to 6 or 8 times.
Usually, these models are both reliable and price-effective. Nevertheless, if you want a model that is more powerful, you should order one with a magnification ratio between 9 and 10. Nonetheless, these units are a bit more expensive than their already mentioned counterparts.
Additionally, all possible buyers should know that a product that comes provided with a high magnification ratio and a relatively small lens diameter will most likely have a limited field of view. Consequently, the user’s view will be hindered by the lack of an all-embracing perspective. Yet, the owner of this type of unit is prone to be supplied with a detailed image of the object(s) being observed.
Lens coating and glass quality
If you want to invest in a quality monocular and you are not afraid to pay for extra features, you should pay attention to the type of coatings that the models you like have. From this point of view, the best models on the market are fully multi-coated. Thus, they allow for more light transmission and are remarkably durable.
Still, it is crucial that you always check what type of glass was used when the product was constructed. According to the specialists, reliable models are made from high-quality glass that is said to be able to stand the test of time. Therefore, it is safe to say that, a fully-multicoated model made from a glass that is of bad quality is not worth the investment.
No matter what product you pick, the specialists advise that you take all of the model’s features into consideration. By doing so, you can make sure that the chosen item is able to perform well in various situations and environments.
Type of prism
Before going online and ordering the first monocular that you find up for sale, it is recommendable that you verify the type of prism used in the making of the device. At the current time, one can choose between two distinct models: those made using a Porro prism and those constructed using a roof prism system.
Apart from price differences, the roof prim is a bit more expensive, there are a few other aspects that might determine you to pick one model over the other.
On the one hand, the Porro prism models are very popular. Moreover, it is worth pointing to the fact that this is the oldest technology used when it comes to developing optical instruments. Equally important, these devices are better priced and can supply the users with a quality image when outfitted with the necessary correction coatings.
On the other hand, you have to know that roof prisms have a much slimmer design, mainly because in these products, the light goes right straight through the device. What is more, they are said to provide the users with a clear image, no matter the distance of the object being observed. Still, these units have a high tolerance for errors, reason why they are more costly.
5 Best Monoculars (Reviews) in 2020
Selecting a good monocular for the money is quite tricky nowadays, particularly because the market is packed with countless similar models. To make this task effortless, we have composed a list of top features that are worthy of your attention.
1. Leica Monovid 8 x 20 Monocular with Leather Case
If you want to purchase a model that comes stocked with plenty of features, the Leica 8 x 20 Waterproof Monovid might be just what you need. This unit is said to offer high contrast and sharp images that you are prone to appreciate whenever using the device.
Additionally, the item has a magnification ratio of 8 x and a lens diameter of no less than 20 mm. As a result, this model is able to supply its user with quality viewings. As a plus, the product is waterproof and thus can be used no matter the changes in weather. Even more to this point, this model has its optics coated with a water and dirt repellent “AquaDura” lens coating that can make the experience of using the unit even better.
Lastly, all those interested in the device should know that it comes shipped with a case that some buyers have described as a molded leather holster that is very much protective
This monocular is filled with nitrogen so that it does not fog and it is also water and dirt repellent. Consequently, it can be used no matter the weather.
On top of that, it has a focus knob that is easy to use so that you are provided with a view that suits your needs entirely.
This unit includes a roof prism and it also has lenses that have been covered in a special type of coating called P40.
It is light in weight and it comes with an elegant case and a strap that you can use while on the go. This model has a magnification ratio of 8x and a lens that measures 20mm.
There was one reviewer who said that this option is overpriced. However, most of its buyers are happy with its quality and recommend it
Some users noted that the optics of the device are not as powerful as they had expected them to be.
2. Nikon 7491 7×15 High Grade
Another product that is worth your time and money is the Nikon 7491 7×15 High Grade. This device has a magnification ratio of 6x and a 345-foot field of view at 1000 yards. Therefore, those settling for it will receive both precision and clarity.
Also, this optical instrument comes equipped with a 15mm objective lens diameter and with multi-layered anti-reflective lens coatings. Hence, the unit is capable of delivering clear, high-quality images.
Small in size and considerable lightweight (it only weighs 2.4 ounces) this product is petite enough to fit in one’s pocket/ purse. Because of its portability, you can carry it around without feeling hindered by it.
Last but not least, the unit’s manufacturer guarantees that the model can perform well in all lighting conditions. What is more, the long, 12-millimeter eye relief that the product includes makes it appropriate to use by those that wear glasses on a regular basis.
This alternative is also easy to carry around as it only weighs 2.4 ounces. The model is small enough for you to keep it in your pocket.
Plus, it has a magnification ratio of 7x and an impressive 345-foot field of view at 1000 yards.
The objective lens diameter of the device measures 15 mm and its optics have been coated in anti-reflective coatings that improve the quality of the image.
It also includes 12mm eye relief so that it can be comfortably utilized by people that have to wear glasses.
It has been said that this choice can only be used for static observation. In other words, it is difficult to focus on the image when in a moving vehicle.
Another buyer said that the product is not as practical as it could have been because it is not waterproof or at least water resistant. This was the only owner who pointed to this aspect.
3. Night Owl Optics Galactic View Star Gazer
If you want to buy an item that can be used both during the day and during the night, the Night Owl Optics Galactic View Star Gazer (60mm) is the model that you should have on your mind. With a wide objective lens and quite a wide field of view of 35’ at 200 feet, this device is perfect for any type of activity that implies the use of an optical instrument of this kind.
In order to make it easy to maneuver and handle, this model has been fitted with a rubberized grip that ensures that it won’t slip your hand anytime soon.
Because it was built to perform during the nighttime, this device includes an infrared system that makes it fit for the job. According to its manufacturer, this monocular is particularly suitable to use while stargazing. So, if you are a fan of the stars, be sure to give it a good look.
What makes this choice likely to stand out is the fact that it includes built-in infrared. So, it can also be used during the night for game observation.
It features machined aluminum lens rings that make it more durable than other similar products of this kind.
The unit has a field of view of 35\' at 200 feet and an angular field of view of 10 degrees. It has a maximum focus range of 5.7\'.
Even more so, the body of the monocular is covered in rubber so it won’t unexpectedly slip from your hands.
One buyer was dissatisfied with the fact that this model uses not just one, but three AA batteries in comparison to other units that only use one.
This device does not include a brightness adjustment setting. As a direct result, there are moments when the images that it delivers are too bright.
4. Vixen Optics 11485 HR 6×21 ED
If you are interested in a quality device but you don’t want to go over a budget, be sure to check out the Vixen Optics 11485 HR 6×21 ED (Black). Technically speaking, this unit is well equipped to offer its users bright, crisps viewings.
In fact, this model has a magnification ratio of 6x and a wide lens objective of 21mm. Consequently, it has a sizeable field of view that you are likely to enjoy. Very compact and lightweight, this product was made using a BaK4/SK15 roof prism with a near focus of 0.6m.
Besides, the unit is great to handle by those that wear glasses, because it has a 17.5mm eye relief. As one happy customer puts it, this optic is very well built and feels solid as a rock. Size wise, the model is just large enough for one to be able to manipulate the controls easily and to securely hold it.
This model was constructed using a roof prism and it features a near focus of 0.6m. Besides, its field of view is of 8.7°.
Because the lenses of the option were manufactured from ED glass, the images that it delivers are high definition.
The lenses of the product are multi-coated, as well as phase coated so that the user is supplied with clear views.
It has a magnification ratio of 6x and an objective size of 21x. It also has a durable design and it is quite compact and easy to travel with.
Because it only has a magnification power of 6x, this model might not be suitable for a wide range of applications. There was only one owner who said this might be an issue.
There were some users who noted that the price of this device might be a tad too high. Not many buyers actually agree with this statement.
5. Opticron BGA WP 10×42
This list would have been incomplete without listing the Opticron BGA WP 10×42. With overall great ratings from both previous users and specialists, this model is a great deal for the money.
What is more, this product has a compact, lightweight roof prism design and a nitrogen gas filled waterproof construction, two aspects that certificate both its portability and durability. However, the feature that recommends it is its quality optics.
Furthermore, this model has fully multi-coated optical surfaces and, as a result, is considered a reliable device that can produce images of exceptional quality. Besides, this pocket-sized item is largely seen as a well-built device that does not disappoint.
Nonetheless, the model has a lot of happy users that are content with their purchase and that recommend it to those interested in a powerful and overall feature-packed model. So, it might be a great idea to check it out before making up your mind.
This alternative has a compact, lightweight construction, and a roof prism design that many appreciate and recommend.
All the glass surfaces of the product have been fully multi coated so that the images that the user gets are clear and bright.
The choice has a close focus that measures 6.6 ft., as well as an eye relief of 16mm. So, it can also be utilized by people that wear glasses.
Given that the body of this monocular was filled with nitrogen, this unit is fog proof and waterproof and, thus, it can be used outdoors.
One owner said that he was delivered a product that had two tiny scratches on the lens and some thinning of rubber armor. He had nothing bad to say about the image quality.
Another user claimed that the end caps that protect the lenses do not fit tightly. Still, she did not consider this a major drawback.