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Leica Monovid 8x20 monocular
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 13448 Tue October 8, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 9.0

Description: This is a 8x20 monocular of very high optical quality. It's FOV is 6.3 degrees. Eye relief is 15mm. Close focus is 5.9'. Close focus with its auxilliary close focus lense is 8"-10".
I do use both hands when using the monovid. 1 to hold the monovid, and 1 to focus it.
Now, hand vibration will vary from person to person, and ambient conditions. The best way to hold it for me, is to palm it. Meaning, I place my hand around it, as if I am grasping the handle of a hammer. My hand (medium size) is behind the focus ring, which is located about 16mm behind the front edge of the instrument, sans the close-up attachment. The eye lens is therefore centered in a circle comprised of my thumb and the finger next to it.

I can hold it in that manner as steady as a small binocular to mid size binocular.

I am not as fast getting on the moving target with the monovid, as with a compact or small binocular. The grip i describe above is part of the reason. A finger hold is for me as fast as a bino, but then I sacrifice the stability of the view.

As far as build quality, well, its a Leica product. Enough said.

Optically, the monovid is the clear winner. It is a very hi res, contrast, flat view. For a 20mm aperture, it is hard for me to imagine better. Also, i do not notice CA.

Three Cautions:
If you are a birder, this should not be purchased as your main reliance. Using a good optical quality instrument with both eyes aways beats a monocular.
If you really are sensitive to a view sometimes described as tunnel-like- or looking through a tube, and that is an uber alles issue for you, you may want to be sure to try in person before ordering. Given the size constraints on the intended design, that may be unavoidable.
Lastly, this little puppy goes for $499 USD.

Close focus. The optical quality of the close-up view is very good. I would say that it like that of my Meiji 10x loupe, but with the benefit of standoff distance.

The case.
A high quality leather case. Close up lense screws into the inner lid of the case. As you lift the lid, the instrument rises from the case. Very cool, with to me, one exception; with the optional neck langyard attached, very little of that langyard assembly fits inside the case.

Size: 98mm long, with the close-up lense, a tad longer. Weight is about 4 ounces, out of its case.

I has already become a vade mecum, along with my pocket knife and a hand loupe. If I am anywhere, so, to speak, it will be along. It will fit in any pocket. Right now, it is in my shirt pocket.

Recommended to:

A professional naturalist
An amatuer naturalist
An entomologist or botanist
Someone who always wants the smallest, most versatile, high quality optic handy
Keywords: monocular monovid leica close

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Registered User

Registered: August 2008
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 120
Review Date: Tue October 8, 2019 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small and relatively light, optics excellent.
Cons: No substitute for a good binocular.

I had the Monovid for years before donating it to a photo club that specializes in wildlife. The Monovid would have been more useful if it had a small softcase that offered complete protection plus easy pocket carry, but I never found one. Still, this item is the least expensive entry into Leica's world of high-quality optics.
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