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Monocular buying guide

Whether you are a nature lover or hiking enthusiast, monoculars play a significant role in making the experience memorable. These are developed explicitly to view the aesthetics of mother nature from a distance and enjoy the natural beauty.

If you follow hunting as a hobby or are an expert in the activity, you must know the significance of light packing. With high portability and lightweight, monoculars provide a simple yet efficient way to get a glimpse of wildlife.

However, you need to select a suitable product to enjoy your hiking experience. To make the right purchase, you need precise knowledge about different elements of the monocular. Gathering in-detail information on several characteristics can consume a lot of your time.

On the contrary, a comprehensive buying guide provides all the information under one roof. Also, you can quickly get all your answers to different questions regarding the product.

Before starting with the guide, let us brief us with a quick introduction of the product for a better understanding.

What do you mean by monoculars? Why is it important to have them?

A monocular works in the same way as binoculars do. It is a useful device that helps to magnify your views.

It does not have two viewing lenses, but you can view an object at a distance efficiently.

Having a monocular will help you to observe the hill and nature from a close distance. It has a compact design that is appropriate for observing things efficiently.

You can choose a monocular for different outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, bird watching, hunting, and more. Also, when you are at a concert, you can use a monocular for better views.

There are certain reasons why people want to buy a monocular such as—

  1. Portability

This viewing device is lightweight and has a compact design, so it does not take much space to store. You can carry it easily.

  1. Ease of use

You just need one hand to use a monocular and you can do other things with another hand.

  1. Cost-efficiency

As it is less expensive than binoculars, you can buy it within your budget. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, it will be better to have a monocular within a pocket-friendly range.

Monocular VS Binoculars

A monocular is an optical device that is designed with a single lens. It helps you to view objects which are at a distance. It is lightweight and easy to carry. Also, it has a compact design, and thus it comes with a smaller size.

However, binoculars have two lenses, which also supports your long-distance sights. Binoculars are available with a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors.

But according to functionality, a monocular is different from a binocular in various ways. Three significant aspects are given below:

  1. Magnification

For a monocular, the magnification power depends on its size. A larger monocular provides a clearer view of the object because of its higher and better magnification.

The binoculars may not reach your expectation in terms of magnification as both lenses need to have the same quality of magnificence, which causes difficulties sometimes.

  1. Objective lens

A bigger objective lens is always the right choice for a monocular as it will improve your vision. You are able to see the objects in a more definite way.

When it comes to the binoculars, the objective lens actually depends on the size. The objective lens of a binocular is twice that of a monocular.

  1. Field of view

For a monocular, the field of view is counted in the ratio of the height and distance of the yard.

Binoculars have a better performance in terms of field of view. They have a higher ratio than a monocular. But with increasing magnification power, the field of view of a binocular reduces.

Why should you read a buying guide before purchasing the suitable monoculars?

With several brands available in the market, you cannot blindly make a purchase. You need to study every element of the product carefully.

A buying guide allows you to evaluate all the critical factors with your requirements. With this, you can quickly funnel down the best product and prevent yourself from being duped by the salesmen in the market.

Let us dive into the immense pool of information.

Types of monoculars

  1. Infrared monocular

It comes with an incredible light wavelength that can illuminate the images in a significant way. With some best quality infrared designs, you are allowed to use the infrared according to your needs. So, you are able to use the infrared monocular during day and night as well.

Some models are designed with a red light that can frighten the animals. So, they are not the best choice for hunting. This particular design is very affordable so that anyone can have it.

  1. Thermal imaging monocular

It also has the night vision ability that works depending on the heat of the objects. The heat released by a particular object is identified and helps to create an image of the object. Therefore, thermal imaging models are instrumental in mapping animals, rocks, and other warm elements.

You can use the monocular during the day and night. The best thing about this model is you do not need to change modes like infrared monocular.

Moreover, it does not have any red lights, so you can easily spot an animal when it is dark.

  1. Compact monocular

Generally, a modular is known for the compact design, and this particular design is more compact than the regular one. It is shorter in height than the standard height of a monocular. Accordingly, the magnification power and lens are also smaller in size.

But you can use these models anytime, anywhere without any issues. You can consider a compact design for concerts, sign readings, etc. They also come within a budget-friendly range.

  1. Night vision monocular

As the name suggests, a night vision model is used in spotting objects at night. You can choose either a thermal image model or an infrared one. However, these models can be used in the daytime as well.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Monoculars


Usually, people look for magnification power or lens size when it comes to buying a monocular. But the size of the monocular is the first and foremost factor that you should consider before making your purchase.

At first, you should check the physical size to make sure it fits in your hands properly. Then you should select the lens size, and lastly comes the power of magnification.

This viewing device is usually smaller in size, so it does not take much space. You can easily choose them for your outdoor trips that include fishing, hiking, bird watching, etc.

Because of the compact size, they are easy to maintain. You are able to keep it inside your bag, pockets of the jackets or pants.

Two numbers are used to measure the size of a monocular like 4x28.

Magnification power

While buying a monocular, you must thoroughly check the modification power because this is an essential feature that determines the monoculars' performance.

When you use a monocular, you will want the objects to be clearer as if they are in front of you. With higher magnification power, you will get better clarity of the images.

The range of monocular magnification varies from 4-25+ power. When you check the devices, it will be shown as 6x or 20x.

As the magnification power will rise, your field of view will reduce. It can narrow down your field of view as well as the view window will become smaller.

If you want to buy a monocular with a higher magnification power, you will have to spend a little more on it.

Objective lens size

Besides magnification power, the size of the objective lens is also very crucial for the monoculars. The size plays a vital role in determining the amount of life that the device can gather.

Therefore, with more lights, you will have a better chance to get clearer images while using the higher zoom levels. Also, it ensures that you can have better visibility at the time of dawn as well as dusk.

However, one thing you must keep in mind that a larger objective lens will definitely increase the physical size of the monocular. You may think that getting the biggest lens will be a good option. In turn, it will make the viewing device heavier to carry. So, a bigger objective lens is not the right choice for the hikers and backpackers.

So, you have to make your decision first. If your priority is to have crystal clear images, you can go for a larger lens. But for people having issues with storage space, a smaller lens can serve the purpose as well.

When you have a monocular with extreme high-power, it will be better to buy spotter scopes equipped with a mounting stand to ensure more stability.

Lens coating

When you are about to buy a monocular, you must look for the lens coating properly. Different types of lens coatings for the monoculars are available now. You must choose a coating that can improve visibility without any fogging and sheds water effectively.

  1. Coated lenses

These lenses are the cheapest of all. The primary purpose of these lenses is to provide better image quality.

  1. Fully coated lenses

These are the advanced version of the coated lenses in terms of quality. They ensure a better quality of images than the coated lenses. Also, they have a higher price than the coated lenses.

  1. Multi-coated lenses

It is easy to understand from the name that these lenses have multiple coatings, and it improves the image quality to a great extent. They are a little more expensive because of the different coatings.

  1. Fully multi-coated lenses

These lenses provide you with the best image quality. They are able to absorb light to increase the visibility and crispness of the images. It is needless to mention that they are the costliest among all other types of coatings.

So, you must check in advance and select the lens coating which suits you the best.

Field of vision

With the Field of View, you will have a clear idea of the diameter of images that you are able to see with your monocular. It is commonly measured by the ratio of feet and power.

For example, if your monocular has the field of vision such as 20ft and 20x power, it will define that you are allowed to look at a 20ft diameter of the window at the power of 20 times.

The field of view hugely depends on the magnification power. It means when the magnification power increases, automatically, the field of view drops.

But, there are also some other factors, including the objective lens size, prism type, and design, which have huge impacts on the field of view.

If you go for a higher zoom level of the lenses, you will surely get a better field of view of your monocular.

Waterproof Rating

You should never overlook the waterproofing feature of the monoculars when you are going to buy one. It is crucial because you can make sure that your monocular will not get damaged by water quickly.

If water gets inside the lens tube, you will end up with fog and poor visibility, and this is not something you intend for.

Nowadays, the monocular models are available with IP ratings, so you can check it quickly to get a waterproof monocular.

For instance, you will get to see IP76 in the monocular you are choosing to buy. The first digit is about dust resistance, which varies from 1 to 7, and 7 ensures the highest protection.

Accordingly, the second digit is for water resistance, which has a range of 1 to 9. Nine is for maximum protection.

If you are looking for a standard IP rating, you should not go under IP56.

Focus adjustment

It is nothing unusual that you need to make some adjustments with your monocular to have a crystal clear view of the objects far away from you. It is better not to expect the perfect focus when you are trying for the first time.

There the adjustable focus comes in your use. Most of the monocular models have this adjustable ring so that you can get the right focus on the object. If you find a monocular without having the facility of focus adjustment, you should not give a second thought to discard it.

Moreover, you should decide beforehand how you want to use the device. You can find some adjustment rings that can be operated by both hands where some others have the single-handed operation. There are some adjustment knobs placed around the lens tube where others are inline.

So, you are allowed to choose any of the adjustment styles according to your convenience.

Eye Relief

Another critical factor is eye relief that you must consider while choosing your monocular. Many users do not pay much attention to it. But it is essential because you can not have a perfect image if you fail to choose the distance between the rear lens and your eyes accurately.

In general, the eye relief number of monoculars comes in Millimetres and has a different range.

If you do not have glasses, you can go for 10 to 20mm to have a clear view of the objects. It is also compatible with the eyecup of the lens.

People who have glasses should choose eye relief that is longer. You have to choose them carefully so that you get the perfect image when you sight in.


If you wonder how a monocular works know that the credit goes to the monocular prisms. Prisms are something that works inside the monocular.

It is all about the optical sciences. There is some hardware placed inside the devices that can create attractive images.

The three major types are:

  1. Roof prism

They are absolutely perfect for long ranges. If you have a monocular with high power and you need to have long ranges, these prisms will work in an excellent way.

  1. Porro prisms

They work in a different way than the roof prisms. You can choose them for close and mid-range. They are not ideal for longer ranges.

The Galilean model has a more straightforward concept that works effectively for close range.

  1. Inert gas-filled monoculars

There are some monocular devices that are filled with some inert gases, and the lens is sealed completely. It helps to protect the device from water, dirt, and debris so you can get clear images every time.

The lens tube is filled with inert gases, which are rare and expensive as well. It ensures that you will get better images with proper visibility.

The primary purpose of using the inert gas inside the lens tube is to prevent the reflection or refraction of light. This makes sure that the light does not split by gases.

In the atmospheric gases, the light passes through different distortions that may have a bad impact on the image quality if the monocular is not filled up with the inert gasses.

You have to spend a little more to have this expensive feature on your monocular. This feature is more appropriate for lenses that have a higher zoom level.

Ease of use

If you are likely to go for outdoor activities, you can include a monocular in the list of gear. As it comes with a compact size, you can carry it easily. Also, you do not need to worry about space.

Therefore, many outdoor enthusiasts look for monocular devices to make their adventures more exciting.

You may feel uncomfortable using the monocular over glasses. Therefore, you must find a model that will be compatible with your glasses.

Also, most of the models are designed with eye relief features, which is an added advantage to use the viewing device without any hassles.


It will be better to compare the prices of different monoculars before you are going to select a model for you. A wide variety of models and brands are available online. So, checking the price in advance is easy and beneficial.

You should consider the magnification power, lens size, the weight and physical size of the monocular devices to make sure you are paying for precisely what you want.

You can see different retailers online so that you can have a clear idea of the prices, and you can get exactly what you are looking for at the best price.

Sometimes, you may find the same model at a different price, and it depends on the retailer. It will help you to buy a monocular at a cheaper rate effectively.


Having a warranty for your monocular is extremely important. You should always look for a more extended warranty for the monoculars. There are different companies offering a different warranty period for the devices.

You can discuss with the salesperson about the warranty. Generally, these viewing devices are expensive, so they come up with a higher warranty. A higher warranty means the manufacturers have more trust in their products.

A more extended period of warranty increases their credibility of the products in a significant way.

Also, the warranty comes up with the assured return policy that will give a better opportunity to return your product if there are any issues. It means that the products are reliable enough, and you can rely on the manufacturer when you need to give it back for any manufacturing or technical defect.


  1. I want to pack light for my hiking trip. Should I opt for monocular or binoculars?

The monoculars are almost half the weight of the binoculars. Also, the size of a monocular is small, which makes it highly portable. So, you should opt for a monocular if you don't want to add weight to your backpack.

  1. Can I use my monocular with eye-glasses?

Yes, definitely, you can use the tool with your eye-glasses. You just need to maintain a specific distance between your glasses and monocular to see clear images. It will be a little tricky at the start, but you will get used to it.

  1. Are night vision monoculars available in the market?

If you are really into monoculars, then you can find some models that provide night vision. However, they will cost you loads of money but are totally worth it.

  1. How should I clean my product to ensure proper maintenance?

Clean the lens with the cloth that comes with the product. If lost or not available in any case, you can use any lint-free cloth. Dip the cloth in an alcohol solution to clean the surface of the lens.

Final Verdict

With suitable monoculars, you can experience the outdoor life in a different way. With all this information under your possession, what are you waiting for?

We have presented all the necessary factors in the extensive guide. Go through it and look into the critical pointers to strike down an elite product. / - © Copyright 2020