• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Best low- to mid-priced monocular (1 Viewer)

Artigas

Member
My wife has taken to hiking and wants something very light and compact to observe the occasional bird or animal. When we are together and see something interesting, I hand her my Leica binos and she is content to look through them for about 20 seconds and that's it. So I want to buy her something that is sharp enough to have a rewarding, but quick look. I am considering the Hawke 8x25 monocular. I am also interested in the Zeiss 6x18. I tend to buy high-end optics, not because I have a fat wallet, but I do appreciate good glass, perhaps more than my wife. So maybe she would be happy with the Hawke model. I have heard the focussing ring is stiff and plasticky feeling, which puts me off a little. Any thoughts or suggestions--on these or other models--are most welcome. Thank you.
 
I now use a used a late 50's Zeiss 8x30 - you can pick them up in excellent condition for about £100-£150. It's essentially half the original Zeiss West porros so very compact, and superb optics even with old coatings.
 
Thanks for your suggestion, but as the title of my thread suggests, I am looking for a low- to mid-priced monocular. :)

I know.

But it is a gift for your wife.
And you are looking for something that gives a rewarding look, while being small and portable.
And you appreciate good glass.

The curios are a better fit than any monocular for that scenario.

Suggest burnt orange.:)
 
Look, I'm with you. I don't think the weight savings is worth it because the viewing experience with binoculars is far superior. But she said she wanted a monocular. I already have a very nice pair of compact Ultravids she could use. But she has her mind made up. So I think I'm much better off going down that path! 😅
 
The Zeiss 6x18 is really nice. Smaller and lighter than the excellent UV monocular for example and steadier image. No experience with the Hawke but as you like higher end optics you might find a nice monocular surprisingly handy and enjoyable as well.
YMMV.

Mike
 
The Zeiss 6x18 is really nice. Smaller and lighter than the excellent UV monocular for example and steadier image. No experience with the Hawke but as you like higher end optics you might find a nice monocular surprisingly handy and enjoyable as well.
YMMV.

Mike
Thank you. Even though the monocular is a gift, I might get to use it now and then so the Zeiss is appealing. 333 euros vs 95 for the Hawke is quite a jump but I guess I should look through both of them in order to come to a decision.
 
I now use a used a late 50's Zeiss 8x30 - you can pick them up in excellent condition for about £100-£150. It's essentially half the original Zeiss West porros so very compact, and superb optics even with old coatings.
Very tempting, thanks. I’m a lover of vintage optics. I have two Trinovid binos but I never use them because of inferior (compared to modern) coatings and close~focus limitations. But I’m a moth to a flame so I might try this 8x30.
 
Hi. When not rainy, I use a komz soviet 8x30 porro, superb optically, you can pick them up very cheap on ebay, anything from £25-40! When rainy, a Vortex solo 8x36/opticron 8x32, good optics, and waterproof, new, around £105.
 
Last edited:
I’m curious about why she rejects the binocular after 20 seconds.

Can she say why, or what makes her dislike the experience of looking through it?
 
Last edited:
...also interested in the Zeiss 6x18. I tend to buy high-end optics, not because I have a fat wallet, but I do appreciate good glass, perhaps more than my wife. So maybe she would be happy with the Hawke model. I have heard the focusing ring is stiff and plasticky feeling, which puts me off a little.
Not sure how many monoculars I still have, but the Zeiss 6x18 is the one that has worked best for me, even over the Ultravid 8x20 that I had. With slide tube focusing it's very fast, and also has an incredible close-focus capability.
 
Maybe get a really inexpensive monocular to try out. Small monoculars tend to provide unstable image viewing compared to small binoculars. The monocular rests on one place on the face and has short reach for second holding position which makes angular shake greater than for a small binocular which rests on two places on the face. Small binocular also has short reach for second holding position. Both small monocular and small binocular have lower mass than larger siblings, lower mass also leads to increased image instability compared to full size binocular.

My guess is that Curio or UV 8x20 would be happier long term usage but takes short term learning how to use best (which also will be true for monocular). But human nature being what it is, getting through the learning phase is not always achieved. Learning to play a violin is painful for the first 500-1000 hours and makes music after that. The small monocular or binocular learning curve to comfortable, enjoyable use is perhaps an hour or two of time-on-the-eye, not achieved by multiple viewings of a few seconds each at a dealer.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top