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Monocular help (2 Viewers)

sf01457

Well-known member
Hello

I’m an avid reader of the forum here and hope you can offer some advice?

I wanted some compact binoculars to take along while walking, so bought a used Nikon HGL 8x20 on a well known auction site.

When they arrived, they had loose hinges and were out of collimation.

I returned them and got a refund, even though they have now been returned to me due to the current virus restrictions.

Since, though I don’t own them, testing has made me think that the view through an individual barrel is really rather good!

I’d get them repaired if they were mine, but they’re not.

What I have gained is that I would be happy with a monocular.

Please can anybody offer advice on the quality of available monocular’s? Testing in retailers won’t be an option for quite some time.

It looks like the Leica Monovid is probably the best but how would that compare to the single barrel of an HGL 8x20?

There are much cheaper units too, in the UK the RSPB HD 8x20 or Hawke Endurance 8x25 as examples. How would they compare to the Monovid?

Size is an issue, I’d buy a Zeiss or Swarovski 8x25 if they were smaller!

Playing with the out of collimation Nikon assures me that a monocular would work for me.

Thanks

Steve
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Try this one. Zeiss Conquest 6x18mm Mono monocular or the 8x20. Zeiss makes some of the best monocular's IMO. They are very sharp. 6x is nice for a monocular because they are harder to hold steady than a binocular and with the smaller aperture it gives you a bigger exit pupil and the Zeiss only weigh's 2 oz. If you want REALLY small get the Zeiss Miniquick 5x10 monocular. The Miniquick has remarkable optics for it's size which is no bigger than a fountain pen!

https://www.amazon.com/Zeiss-Carl-O...8dd880a92196961c5ce22eaa6d6655&language=en_US
https://www.amazon.com/Zeiss-Carl-O...ds=zeiss+8x20+monocular&qid=1589171905&sr=8-2
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/119357-USA/Zeiss_52_20_10_5x10_T_MiniQuick_Monocular.html
https://www.opticsreviewer.com/zeiss-monocular.html
 
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18000bph

Well-known member
I'm also interested in getting a monocular. I would probably use it in scenarios where it would be lightly abused so not looking for something from the alpha brands.

I'm considering the Hawke Endurance ED 10x25 at around $70. If anyone has any thoughts on that model or suggestions for an alternative please let me know.

Of particular interest to me is the included accessories. I would either like a small form fitting case or more preferred would be secure lens caps for both the eyepiece and objective. I'd like to stash it in a pant pocket without fear of scratches and dust collecting on the lenses.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I'm also interested in getting a monocular. I would probably use it in scenarios where it would be lightly abused so not looking for something from the alpha brands.

I'm considering the Hawke Endurance ED 10x25 at around $70. If anyone has any thoughts on that model or suggestions for an alternative please let me know.

Of particular interest to me is the included accessories. I would either like a small form fitting case or more preferred would be secure lens caps for both the eyepiece and objective. I'd like to stash it in a pant pocket without fear of scratches and dust collecting on the lenses.
I wouldn't get a 10x monocular. Too hard to hold steady. Stick with 8x or below. I think 6x is about optimum for a monocular. Wider FOV and you can hold it steadier.
 

18000bph

Well-known member
I wouldn't get a 10x monocular. Too hard to hold steady. Stick with 8x or below. I think 6x is about optimum for a monocular. Wider FOV and you can hold it steadier.

I was thinking 10x since I don't plan to use it for viewing long distance, but 8x would work. That would open up the option to go a little smaller as well although it seems like 25mm is the standard in the budget I'm looking at. The longer I wait the more likely I'll end up blowing the budget with a Leica 8x20...
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I was thinking 10x since I don't plan to use it for viewing long distance, but 8x would work. That would open up the option to go a little smaller as well although it seems like 25mm is the standard in the budget I'm looking at. The longer I wait the more likely I'll end up blowing the budget with a Leica 8x20...
The Zeiss 8x20 is very close optically to the Leica 8x20 Monovid but the Zeiss is not waterproof and it is much less expensive.
 

gcole

Well-known member
I highly recommend the Vixen 6x21 ED Monocular, I used one for awhile. It’s made in Japan, very small but is very eyeglass user friendly providing plenty of eye relief. I doubt their is any Alpha grade monocular with similar magnification that will beat it’s view optically. Cost .... they do not have that Alpha grade price tag either but when in hand have a Alpha grade look/feel. Easy to use with a very smooth focuser. Do not let anyone steer you to a Leica or Zeiss before you try these.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I highly recommend the Vixen 6x21 ED Monocular, I used one for awhile. It’s made in Japan, very small but is very eyeglass user friendly providing plenty of eye relief. I doubt their is any Alpha grade monocular with similar magnification that will beat it’s view optically. Cost .... they do not have that Alpha grade price tag either but when in hand have a Alpha grade look/feel. Easy to use with a very smooth focuser. Do not let anyone steer you to a Leica or Zeiss before you try these.
The Vixen is nice but you said size is an issue. The Zeiss is smaller and lighter being 3.5 inches long and the Vixen is 4 inches and the Zeiss only weigh's 2 oz. versus 5.2 oz for the Vixen.
 
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sf01457

Well-known member
The Vixen looks interesting too.

I’d not considered 6x, even though I enjoy the 7x42 EDG that my son uses for work, so have seen that low magnification is not a bad thing.

Is general consensus that 6x is better in a monocular? The wider field of view would make tracking moving birds or butterflies easier I would think.

Do the Vixen have a telescope focus like the Zeiss, or twist like a normal binocular?
 

gcole

Well-known member
The Vixen looks interesting too.

I’d not considered 6x, even though I enjoy the 7x42 EDG that my son uses for work, so have seen that low magnification is not a bad thing.

Is general consensus that 6x is better in a monocular? The wider field of view would make tracking moving birds or butterflies easier I would think.

Do the Vixen have a telescope focus like the Zeiss, or twist like a normal binocular?

The Vixen 6x21 monocular has 19mm eye relief and a FOV as wide if not wider than all the others. Do not let others here who are consistently pushing the Alpha brand, just because the Alphas are the ones they want everyone to know they own.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The Vixen looks interesting too.

I’d not considered 6x, even though I enjoy the 7x42 EDG that my son uses for work, so have seen that low magnification is not a bad thing.

Is general consensus that 6x is better in a monocular? The wider field of view would make tracking moving birds or butterflies easier I would think.

Do the Vixen have a telescope focus like the Zeiss, or twist like a normal binocular?
The Vixen has a twist focuser like the Monovid, whereas, the Zeiss slides to focus. A monocular IMO is harder to hold steady than a binocular that is why 6x is nice. It is steadier.
 

dries1

Member
I would go with something like the Vixen, you may change your mind down the road and want to go back to using two eyes. As with anything you buy in the bay, one has to ask many questions prior to purchase. The Nikon HG L 8X20 can be bought used in good shape, we have all bought duds so don't let this circumstance sway you away from them down the road. Nikon also makes a 7X15 glass which are quite good. Additionally as mentioned the Nikon 5X15 is a nice portable package, and many are available from Japan. There are owners of both the 5X15 monocular and 7X15 binoculars on here who can give you information related to their performance.

Andy W.
 

sf01457

Well-known member
I’m not sure that I would import from Japan, warranty problems and VAT/duty to add.

Maybe HG 5/7x15 are available in UK? The Mikron binoculars might be on the large side for transport in a pocket.

Thanks again for all the help!
 

Foss

Well-known member
Bino to mono: How are you with a hack saw?
(Vintage Bausch & Lomb 6x30)
 

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Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
I'd agree with others here that 6x magnification is a sensible upper limit for a compact monocular. I have the 6x18 Zeiss, which although good has a rather narrow subjective FOV.
The Nikon 5x15 HG might be a favourable alternative and is available here in Europe for €259.

John
 

sf01457

Well-known member
Bino to mono: How are you with a hack saw?
(Vintage Bausch & Lomb 6x30)

The funny thing is, 40 some years ago, I did just that with a badly collimated pair of IF binoculars bought from the local junk shop. Great minds, eh!

John, I’m something of a Nikon fan so will look closely at the HG monoculars.

Everybody, you are a mine of great information, thanks.
 

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