Top Monoculars Under 500 This Year – Guide & Comparative Analysis
If what you need is the best monocular under 500, we know that going through all the information available on this topic is time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming. For this reason, we’ve decided to give you a hand and do our own research regarding this category. After going through many expert reviews and gathering data from the market, our team has concluded that the monocular you should consider as a first option is Leica’s Monovid. The 8x magnification power and the 20mm objective lens help the user enjoy beautiful, clear, and bright images, while the compact design means it can be carried around for any trip. Plus, the monocular is delivered with an elegant leather case that you can use to safely store it away when it’s not being used. If you cannot get your hands on this monocular, the next best option to keep in mind is the Opticron BGA WP.
Our Top Choice
A great example of a monocular that balances portability and performance, the Monovid model from Leica features an 8x magnification power and a 20mm objective lens diameter, as well as a close-up lens accessory that allows the user to observe objects at distances as near as 10-12”.
Being a very compact design there are certain limitations when it comes to observing subjects that are further away, so make sure that you understand your needs beforehand.
Given that this model offers a lightweight and compact design, it’s the perfect choice for those situations when this is needed, such as extreme altitude trekking.
The fully multi-coated optics that work for all air or glass surfaces ensure beautiful images, while the close-focus functionality allows the user to observe objects as close as 6.6ft. Also, this device is similar to a pair of standard size roof prism binoculars in terms of viewing experience.
The 8x magnification works very well, but a less experienced user might have some issues with a shaky image until getting the hang of how to best use this device in the field.
With high-quality optics and a sturdy, yet lightweight construction, this model is surely one that you should consider for the next purchase.
With a 15mm objective lens diameter which ensures a comfortable view range, a close focus that goes as low as 30”, and multi-layered anti-reflective lens coatings, this model offers bright and clear images in almost any lighting conditions. Also, it only weighs 2.4 ounces.
Although this model offers multiple benefits, it’s not waterproof, so if you know that you are going to need to use the monocular in humid weather conditions, this might not be the right one.
The compact design and high-quality images it ensures, as well as the sturdy construction make this monocular one worth taking into consideration.
Given that there are so many alternatives on the market, sometimes it’s hard to find the right device that suits your every need, especially if you are looking for something a bit more specific, such as a budget monocular.
However, the good news about the abundance of products available for sale is the fact that you can surely find exactly what you need, the key being precisely understanding what characteristics to keep in mind as you are browsing through the options.
Since some of you might also be beginners when it comes to using a monocular, we’ve decided to list the essential features that you should take into consideration before making your choice and purchasing your next device.
Size and weight
The first thing you should establish is whether you are going to use the monocular for longer hikes and if you’ll need to carry it around, since this can make a difference in terms of the size you should choose. If so, then it’s of course a better idea to go for a model that is lightweight and compact.
If, however, you know that you are going to need high-quality images and a wide field of view, as well as technology that allows you to observe in high and extremely clear detail for long distances, then a more complex and, therefore, heavier monocular will probably be a better choice.
Just to give you an idea, an 8×25 or 10×25 monocular is considered a compact model that can fit into your pocket. The great thing about these ones is that they can be carried around anywhere, which means you’ll always be ready to spot something, whether it’s in the wild or in a museum.
The magnification power means that an object appears 8 times closer than it would to the unassisted eye. If you want to understand this in a more mathematical way, if a coin stands 50 meters away and you look at it through an 8×42 monocular, you will see it as though it were 6.25 meters away. To get to this conclusion, simply divide 50 by 8.
Of course, monoculars with a higher magnification power allow you to see further away and in greater detail. What makes monoculars an excellent choice is the fact that you get the same power of binoculars but with only half their size.
On the other hand, be aware that a high magnification power also means that the image will get shakier and after a certain point, a tripod will be necessary for accurate observations.
Before talking about the size of the lens, let’s take a moment and understand what those numbers that you see in the product’s name actually are. If the monocular you are looking at is an 8×25 one, then 8 stands for the magnification power, while 25 is the diameter of the objective in millimeters.
A monocular normally has a lens of 20mm to 42mm and, as you can very well imagine, a bigger lens objective translates to a wider field of view and also to a brighter image. On the other hand, there is also a downside when you choose a larger model, namely the heavier design which will be more difficult to carry around.
In the end, it’s a matter of personal preferences, but do think about what your needs are to determine what type of device you need. Spending your money on a monocular that has multiple features and functionalities that you are not going to use is never a good idea. On the other hand, feeling like you could use a bit more in terms of performance is not pleasant either.
Our 2019 list: Find the right monocular under 300 for your needs
In case you are going through reviews of monoculars under 500 without being sure which model is the right one for you, then don’t worry, as we might have the solution. Below you’ll find a selection that contains our favorite picks out of the most critically acclaimed alternatives available on the market.
Leica’s Monovid is a great example of a compact monocular that gets the job done. Its lightweight design makes it highly portable, which means that you can carry it in your jacket or pocket without any trouble, making it the perfect companion for any trip.
The elegant leather helps you safely store it away when you’re not using it. In terms of performance, the 8x magnification is more than enough to help you observe the subject in a wide range of situations, while the 20mm objective ensures a wide field of view.
For its size, this model is the perfect balance between portability and versatility. Moreover, the accessory close-up lens included helps you view objects at very close distances that go as low as 10-12 inches.
For this reason, it can be successfully used to observe butterflies or other insects, so your next adventure in the wild might be a lot more interesting.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($499)
Opticron BGA WP
If what you need is a good monocular under 500, then Opticron’s BGA WP 8×42 model is surely one you should take a closer look at.
With a compact design and lightweight construction, this device can be carried around for as long as you need to without it becoming a burden.
For this reason, it’s one of those good monoculars for hiking you should keep in mind.
In case you are wondering if you can use it in any weather conditions, then you can rest assured as its construction is waterproof, so if it starts raining just as you are observing something, there’s nothing to worry about.
Moreover, the high-quality fully multi-coated optical system that works for all air or glass surfaces ensures beautiful viewings, while the close-focus functionality allows you to observe objects that are as close as 6.6ft. You can compare this device with a pair of standard size roof prism binoculars in terms of viewing experience.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($141.84)
Nikon is a brand that doesn’t really need an introduction when we’re talking about high-quality devices for photography, and the same applies in the case of handheld monoculars. The 7491 model features a 15mm objective lens diameter which ensures a comfortable viewing experience, while the close focus goes as low as 30 inches.
In terms of magnification, the 7x power covers a range of up to 1000 yards, while the multi-layered anti-reflective lens coatings ensure bright and clear images in almost any lighting conditions.
Since comfort during use was also taken into account when this device was designed, the long 12mm eye relief allows eyeglass wearers to use it as well.
As if all of these features were not enough, let’s take a moment and talk about this monocular’s size. Small enough to fit in a pocket or purse, the 7491 weighs only 2.4 ounces. This means you can take it with you anywhere you go.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Vixen Optics 11485
When we’re talking about monoculars we’re always thinking about their portability, since these devices are mostly used outdoors. Since the Vixen Optics 11485 fits the bill in both portability and performance, it made the cut to this selection.
The 6x magnification power that this model features ensures the necessary performance for a wide range of situations, while the 21mm objective lens diameter allows the user to observe a comfortably wide field of view.
For this reason, this model is also one of the effective monoculars for hunting available for sale. If you’re wondering what the quality of the optics is, then it’s a good time to talk about the flat multi-coated lens that ensures the clearest views.
Given its compact design and the close focus that goes as low as 0.6m, this monocular can also be successfully used for indoor applications as well, such as museums or art galleries.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($259)
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD
Yet another brand that doesn’t really need an introduction when we’re talking about high-quality optics, Bushnell designed and produced the Legend Ultra HD monocular, a model that boasts optics with stunning HD clarity.
The good thing about this device is that it’s also highly portable, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
First, let’s take a moment and talk about the fact that, besides the beautiful design it features, this monocular is also made with 100% quality materials that have been extensively tested beforehand.
The result is a sturdy device that will be your companion for quite some time. The exceptional optics include the BaK-4 prisms, the ED Prime Glass, as well as the PC-3 Phase Coated prism.
What this means is that you’ll be able to enjoy bright and clear views from edge to edge. Plus, the waterproof and fog proof construction means that weather conditions don’t matter when you want to use this monocular.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($170.65)