Nature is even more captivating when we can genuinely witness it. With inventions such as binoculars and monoculars, nature can be brought to our immediate attention in striking detail, often from a safe and reasonable distance.
Unlike their sibling binoculars, monoculars come with only a single magnifying lens, allowing a user to fulfill any pirate-themed dreams they may have. With the ability to see up to 1,000 feet in the palm of your hand, monoculars make an excellent product for those who love camping, birdwatching or long-distance sightseeing. Our top pick, the Bushnell Night Vision_Equinox Z2 Monocular, allows users to record what they are seeing.
Monoculars, like most binoculars, can come in varying types. Some monoculars work better for daytime, while others feature night-vision capabilities. Night vision monoculars can offer crisp displays with signature magnification optics, making them great for seeing the creatures of the night. Modern night vision monoculars can show incredible detail while coming in a relatively small package.
Perhaps the most crucial aspect to consider, a monoculars magnification distance can vary depending on the model. There will be two numbers in a monocular’s specs to determine magnification, for example, “5x15.” The first number refers to the amount of magnification the monocular has. It is also important to note that as the magnification of monoculars increases, the heavier and bulkier the instrument will become.
The objective lens size is the second number on a monocular’s specs, measured in millimeters. The larger this number, the more light will filter through the monocular lens. This allows for a crisper and sharper view.
There may be different coatings on the lens of the monocular. Coatings are light filters that can help improve brightness or image clarity by cutting out reflections or increasing contrast. Monoculars may be uncoated, coated, fully coated or multi-coated. Additionally, the tint of the coating may turn the lens of your monoculars red or blue-green, depending on the type of tint utilized.
Eye relief is essential for those who use monoculars for extended periods and refers to the distance a person’s eye can be from the eyepiece. Also referred to as the exit pupil, this feature, on average, is around 14mm or greater.
Because of the technology these instruments utilize, they must handle the harsh environments where they are most used. Most quality monoculars will have a solid exterior made of quality plastic or metal and feel hefty without being too cumbersome. Many of these models will also have shockproof and fog proof construction, making them even more durable.
The price of monocular telescopes will increase as the durability and features of the telescope also increases. Inexpensive monocular telescopes will cost under $30. They do not have the quality or durability of trusted telescope brands, but they will be able to magnify distances to a degree. Mid-range monocular telescopes can cost $30-$150 and come with several quality features, including multiple magnification settings and other features like night-vision capabilities. The most expensive monocular telescopes will cost more than $150 and may guarantee features like night vision or other tactical capabilities.
A. To avoid scratching the lens, make sure you always secure the lens cap on the monocular telescope when it is not in use. To clean it, use camera-cleaning products or microfiber cloths and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
A. This comes down to a matter of preference. Monoculars tend to be cheaper because they are easier to make and may get stronger magnification in some models. However, binoculars still are the more popular option for many.
What you need to know: The Bushnell monocular has night vision and connectivity features that allow users to stream and record while the instrument is in use.
What you’ll love: It features a 50mm lens with 6x magnification. Additionally, it can grant pristine night vision up to 1,000 feet away in clear 1080p quality.
What you should consider: This is larger than most other monoculars.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: The Vortex monocular is a perfect telescope for camping and other outdoor activities thanks to its minimalist design and quality construction against harsh weather.
What you’ll love: It features a 25mm lens and up to 8x magnification. It has a fully rubberized body with a nitrogen-filled interior sealed with o-rings to prevent fogging.
What you should consider: Users have reported that it does not have a large field of view.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: The Bushnell monocular comes from a popular brand and has impressive features such as night vision.
What you’ll love: It features waterproof construction and 6x magnification settings. It also comes with video capabilities, allowing you to enjoy your favorite sights from up to 1,000 feet away.
What you should consider: This is a relatively expensive model, and users have reported difficulty focusing on night vision.
Where to buy: Available at Amazon
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Jared Lindsay writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.