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Monocular for one handed person (1 Viewer)

mummymonkey

Well-known member
Supporter
United Kingdom
My elderly mother has moved house and we've set her up with a bird table and she likes to watch the birds come and go. She has a little wall chart to identify the birds but it's hard for her to see them clearly (maybe 30 feet distance). She had a stroke many years ago and only has the use of one arm.

Are there any monoculars that might be of use? Need to be light, easy to use one handed and suitable for a spectacle wearer.

Failing that I thought about a bird feeder cam?
 

Essex Tern

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Supporter
England
I find monoculars hard to use, is it possible she could keep a lightweight pair of binoculars steadier with the use of her eye sockets than a monocular, just a thought? They would likely be easier to focus one handed too.
 

Hermann

Well-known member
My elderly mother has moved house and we've set her up with a bird table and she likes to watch the birds come and go. She has a little wall chart to identify the birds but it's hard for her to see them clearly (maybe 30 feet distance). She had a stroke many years ago and only has the use of one arm.

Are there any monoculars that might be of use? Need to be light, easy to use one handed and suitable for a spectacle wearer.
I'd look at a stabilised binocular, e.g. the Canon 10x30 IS. That can be used one-handed. Monoculars ... Not sure they'd work for her, unless you set one up on a tripod focused on the bird table. That may actually be the best idea.

Hermann
 

Aotus

Active member
United States
Iโ€™m sorry I donโ€™t have a good tip on a monocular, as Iโ€™ve been reading a lot about unsteady and awkward use reviews that have led me to abandon the idea for me.

BUT, you might try a lightweight bino with an open bridge. The open bridge allows you to hold one barrel and focus at the same time with one hand - I do this a lot while walking my dogs, as they pull on the leash held in my left hand I watch the birds with my right.
 

PhilR.

Well-known member
Besides the Pentax suggestions above, Carson also makes a monocular w/a rocker focuser. Also, you can buy monoculars that are essentially half a binocular. No need to buy a whole bino when half a bino will do. I don't know if they come in 32mm objective models, but there are a number of 42mm versions. They have a rotary focus knob that can be manipulated by one finger, and I would bet that this type of focus mechanism will be easier to use than a rocker type.

Lastly, there used to be a few electronically stabilized monoculars out there too. I don't know if they are still being made, but you might look into it.
 

WalterRayle

Emeritus Prof at University of the Bearded Clam
United Kingdom
I have a friend in a similar situation, he bought a monocular (I don't know which one) early last year and found it quite difficult to use, cumbersome and quite heavy and got no joy from using it. I loaned him my Pentax Papillio 6.5x21 binoculars and a year later I still haven't had them back from him. He's looking to sell his monocular. I'd strongly recommend the Pentax binoculars as they're light, easy to use and don't require the user to squint/close one eye while using them.

Good luck with whatever route you go down.
 

pete_gamby

Birds? What Birds?!
We hear from our dealers that the Oregon monocular is finding favour as it can be used more readily with one hand than other monoculars in our range:


A scope is likely to have 12x or higher power so IMO for viewing at 30 feet is probably not practical, especially as some low cost scopes won't focus that close. It would also probably need two hands to set up/adjust the tripod head.

HTH

Pete
 

normjackson

Well-known member
If all the action is in the vicinity of the bird table maybe focusing can be set and forget; particularly for a low magnification device. For quick peeks at a garden feeder a Canon 5x17 FC worked for me; once set up no adjustments necessary just raise to eyes/spectacles and view.

For more extended watching think I'd want something more comfy though and ideally a binocular. Any chance could set up a table to rest elbow on? How about a Finn stick or monopod on the binocular and resting the end on a little bean bag or something to provide vibration reduction and ability to swivel?

Without having something to support the weight of the device that might restrict consideration to compacts which tend to carry a penalty in either quality or ease of view or cost. The Helios Nitrosport 8x26 is a compact with open hinge so looks promising but can't vouch for its optical or mechanical quality; obviously any loosening of hinge would make it unworkable as a binocular.

At a higher budget something like the Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8ร—32, Kenko OP 8x32 DH II or Minox BL 8ร—33 at ยฃ150-ยฃ220 might offer better views and mechanics but are also double the weight.

Some of these binoculars specify 16mm eye relief which might be borderline for a spectacle user to see the full field of view, but again that might not be an issue for viewing a bird table or feeder.
 

Aotus

Active member
United States
If a table top scope is a contender, then consider a table top bino+tripod setup.

one hand does not mean that a person cannot enjoy(prefer) using TWO eyes.

Oh! And Opera glasses! They often include a vertical rod to facilitate prolonged one-hand viewing!
Edit: here's a link for some basic info (I don't know much about opera glasses): Best Opera Binoculars & Theatre Glass Reviews
 

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