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Help me choose a monocular (1 Viewer)


avis fanaticus confirmavimus
Hi, friends.

I am looking for a monocular I can chuck in my purse or pocket for casual day-to-day use. I want something discreet, compact, and lightweight that I can use to get a closer look at birds flitting on the trees beside the road whenever I'm out on a walk. I'm willing to invest no more than 150 US dollars on it.

My first option at the moment is Vixen Optics's 6x16 monocular. I like the fact that it is VERY compact (about 8 cm/3 inches long I think) and that it has excellent close focus. I don't know how useful it might be for casual birdwatching, however. I am also considering the Vixen 6x21 although it is above my preferred price range and dimensions -- I've heard good things about it.

My second option is Opticron's TRY Trailfinder 8(10)x25, but I've heard several people say that the focus wheel is too stiff. This was my first option originally but it seems like the stiffness is too much for some people.

Any recommendations?

Edit: I am also looking into the Nikon 7x15, but it looks like you can only get them through EBay nowadays. These ones are also above my price range, however.
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I don't have experience with the models you say, but having several, from 2x18 Emoscop to 8x30ΜΠ2, I find the Zeiss 6x18 T* with short focus to be the best overall and the fastest to take out and see. It is also small and excellent optically. Since the Vixen resembles it, I think that it will be good for you.
8X21 are bigger and my Opticron Gallerysxope has a stiff focus and so and so optics (I keep it in the car). Docter is excellent also but the eye relief is a problem. 8X30 is very big, Pentax Papilio is preferable for me since it is almost the same weight but a true binocular.
So, I think that 6x16/18 is nice for a monocular and one might step up to a 8x21 binocular for something more powerfull. I used a Leica Trinovid which was very good, but I prefer the Papilio or a 8x30 Nikon Monarch for EDC. Monoculars are used indoors a lot, in classes, theaters, airports, concerts, museums, arcitectural monuments etc, so they don't need much power.


Staff member
The Zeiss 6x18 T* is excellent for super-close observation but may be beyond your budget.


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