A monocular is a compact version of a telescope. It's a great buy if you are looking to get a slightly better view of things when traveling or at a sports event. They are handy and portable and can be easily stowed away in your backpack. You could use one on your way to work or during lunch break to spot birds or other objects of interest. They could be your perfect companion on your weekend getaway. This buying guide will help you to choose the best monocular from the several models available on the market.
There are several types of monoculars, which can be classified on the basis of the prism used. The refraction of light through the prism placed inside the monocular is what magnifies distant objects.
Roof Prism: Models with a higher magnification generally use a roof prism, which produces narrow compact images.
Porro Prism: The more popular Porro prisms create brighter images that have more depth.
Galilean design produces a very narrow field of vision and is mostly seen on lower magnification monoculars.
Warranty: A warranty will assure you prompt action when dealing with repairs or manufacturing defects. You should insist on buying a product with a good warranty if you are investing your hard-earned money on an expensive product.
Durability: Since you'll usually use a monocular outside of your home, you'll need a rugged design that can withstand the elements. Safety features like waterproofing, shock-resistance, rubber non-slip grip, and reliable neck straps are some things to look for.
Check magnification: The power of the monocular determines how many times your monocular can magnify or enlarge the image of a distant object. Magnification can range from 4x to 25x. Instruments with a higher magnification allow you to see larger images that are brighter and more detailed. However, since they tend to be bulkier, they may be difficult to handle.On the other hand, instruments with a lower magnification cannot magnify objects to a great extent. But their field of view is larger, making them more suitable for viewing landscapes.
Check the lens size: The image projected by a larger-diameter lens is clearer and brighter. A lens having a large diameter allows more light to pass through, making the device suitable for low-lighting conditions. However, a larger monocular may not be easy to use if you are not an experienced professional.
Opt for an anti-glare coating: An anti-glare coating on the lens is essential to protect your eyes. The coating also affects the brightness of the image that you see through the monocular. Lenses may be coated to varying degrees. The most economical, externally-coated lens gives you a dimmer view, and is optimal for use in indirect light. Multi-coated lenses are the most efficient, as they are covered on all sides with premium quality coats that cut down the glare and provide waterproofing. On the other hand, fully-coated lenses are covered on all sides with a single coat. They are comparatively cheaper than the multi-coated lens. However, a single coat is not enough to absorb the reflected light completely, so the image quality of these monoculars may be relatively poor.
Go for better focus: Better focus on a monocular allows you to see objects in great detail. It can also allow you to measure the distance to remote objects.
Choose a night vision monocular: Some monoculars have a built-in mechanism that allows you to see at night. A night vision monocular usually has only lower magnifications, so as to provide clear, non-fuzzy pictures in dim lighting conditions.
Go for waterproof varieties: A waterproof monocular can be more expensive, but they are suitable for all weather use.
Check the size and weight: If you plan to carry around your monocular in your backpack on trekking expeditions or other outdoor activities, you must consider its weight and size.
Vortex Optics: Vortex is one of the leading brands in this segment. Their products bring the best of design, features, and durability at affordable prices.
Bestguarder: It is a well-known name for monoculars. Their products are very popular with customers, due to their superior design and quality.
Bushnell: Bushnell has established itself as a trusted manufacturer of monoculars. Their products are durable and well-designed, keeping the needs of the customers in mind.