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Monocular help (1 Viewer)

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I never had a Leica Monovid 8x20 but I was reading the specification's on them and I am impressed that they are waterproof and nitrogen purged so they are fog proof also. I am also impressed that they have AquaDura lens coatings to repel dust and dirt. Also, the included macro lens is a plus for close up viewing. Neither the Zeiss 6x18 or the Vixen 6x21 are waterproof so maybe you would be better off with the Monovid if it is within your budget. The Monovid got 44 5 star reviews and one 4 star review out of 45 at B&H.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/660475-REG/Leica_40390_Monovid_8x20_Monocular.html/reviews
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
The Zeiss 6x18 looks like an interesting option.

Thanks for the input!

Steve

We have used Zeiss 6x18s for 23 years and they are terrific for close-up work. The magnification actually increases at ultra close distances. They can even reveal stuff happening underwater if you lie on the bank and look straight down into pools and rivers and rock pools by the sea.

BUT

I would caution you and ask you to think again about monos. It is one thing being at home or in your garden and enjoying monoculars for what they do. It is completely different out in open country with birds flying rapidly from place to place. It is not infrequent that you get two birds in view at the same time and with a bino you can move quickly from one to the other but with monoculars, the aiming is trickier and takes longer, and the field of view is narrower so its easy to miss the target. In many ways viewing through monocs in the great outdoors is more difficult so I would advise that you don't commit to monocs as your only instrument. They can be great companions to binos but as your sole instrument they come with downsides. Good luck with your decision.

Lee
 

sf01457

Well-known member
Hi Lee

First, I enjoy reading your reviews an seeing the great images you post. I particularly like the images you bring back from your trips to Scotland!

When I am out specifically wildlife watching, there might be a theme here, I take either my Nikon 8x32 SE, 8x32 HGL or my sons 7x42 EDG. You’d never have guessed that I might try the 8x20 HGL when looking for something compact.

The monocular would just be something to have with me during recreational walks. I’m currently thinking that the reservations around handling that everybody cautions, along with great options on available models, it might be better to go for an in-expensive unit so that I can get a feel for the practicality of a monocular v binoculars?

Thanks again all, you’re a great resource!
 

Kevin Conville

yardbirder
I would caution you and ask you to think again about monos. It is one thing being at home or in your garden and enjoying monoculars for what they do. It is completely different out in open country with birds flying rapidly from place to place. It is not infrequent that you get two birds in view at the same time and with a bino you can move quickly from one to the other but with monoculars, the aiming is trickier and takes longer, and the field of view is narrower so its easy to miss the target. In many ways viewing through monocs in the great outdoors is more difficult so I would advise that you don't commit to monocs as your only instrument. They can be great companions to binos but as your sole instrument they come with downsides. Good luck with your decision.

Lee

Good post Lee. It reminds me of why I just can't get too excited about monoculars. The best reason I can think of to use a monocular is if you only have sight in one eye.

The times when I carry one is when I want the very minimum of an optic just to aid in an ID when I'm walking my dog in the neighborhood, or some such, and can't be bothered with anything larger than something that'll reside in a tee shirt pocket. That is why I use a Nikon 5x15 HG, because it is about the smallest optic that is still usable.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hi Lee

First, I enjoy reading your reviews an seeing the great images you post. I particularly like the images you bring back from your trips to Scotland!

When I am out specifically wildlife watching, there might be a theme here, I take either my Nikon 8x32 SE, 8x32 HGL or my sons 7x42 EDG. You’d never have guessed that I might try the 8x20 HGL when looking for something compact.

The monocular would just be something to have with me during recreational walks. I’m currently thinking that the reservations around handling that everybody cautions, along with great options on available models, it might be better to go for an in-expensive unit so that I can get a feel for the practicality of a monocular v binoculars?

Thanks again all, you’re a great resource!

Thank you for your kind words. Your plan to try out a monoc sounds good. I was going to say, 'as long as you approach the trial with both eyes open', but of course the whole point is that you will have one closed (Sheffield humour).

Good luck.

Lee
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Get the Monovid or the Nikon 5x15 HG. If you don’t wear glasses the Nikon 7x15 HG are also a contender, but they are more fiddly. The Nikons are much smaller, focus closer than the Monovid without the closeup accessory lens. The Monovid is waterproof. Build quality is equivalent, and heads and shoulders above Zeiss.

Here are:
  • Nikon 5x15 HG
  • Nikon 7x15 HG
  • Nikon 7x15 CM F
  • Leica Trinovid 8x20 BC
  • Leica Monovid
  • Leica Ultravide 8x20 BL
  • Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25
  • AAA battery for scale
 

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sf01457

Well-known member
What a great collection!

The main thing I see there is how large, by comparison, the Victory Pocket is!

Can I ask, how do you find the handling between the Monovid and 7x15 HG? I don’t wear glasses.

I’m not sure about going down to 5x, only because 7x and 8x are what I’m used to, yet most things I would view would probably be no more than 50m away, so likely not an issue.

Oh, and I now wish I had a Nikon Mikron, just because they have such a unique appearance. They are much more compact than I thought, but now I know. What is the view through them like?

The price difference between Monovid and Ultravid in BR form, makes the latter sound better value, as they don’t look that much bigger.

More food for thought, thanks again!!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Your interest in monoculars intrigued me enough to pop for a Leica Monovid 8x20 and I received it today and I am very impressed. It is the best monocular I have tried and I have had quite a few. The optics and build quality are really exceptional and I guess they should be for almost $500.00. The focuser is very smooth and precise and the included case is very nifty. It hold's the macro len's in the lid and when you open the lid up it has a little connected internal strap that pops the monocular up out of the case to make it easier to pull it out of the case. The optic's are really good and I could see even using it for birding when you didn't want to carry too much weight since it weigh's only 4 oz. It is way lighter and smaller than the smaller compact binoculars. I found the easiest way to steady it is too cup your right hand completely around it and then use both hands to brace it against your forehead. That way it really is as steady as a small binocular. It surprised me how good it actually work's. The advantages of it almost outweigh using an Ultravid 8x20 with way less weight. There are other advantages to a monocular you don't think about like the lack of controls (no adjusting for IPD, no opening it from the storage position, no diopter settings) very convenient and quick. You can see the object about as quickly as you can get it to your eye. Also, it is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and be discrete so as not to arouse a bunch of interest in what you are doing. Very nice for surveillance! It is a very nice monocular.
 
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fazalmajid

Well-known member
What a great collection!
The main thing I see there is how large, by comparison, the Victory Pocket is!

Yes, but in terms of comfort, it compares with 8x32s (in fact I sold off my Leica Ultravid HD 8x32 after getting the Zeiss).

Can I ask, how do you find the handling between the Monovid and 7x15 HG? I don’t wear glasses.

They are about the same. Neither is a speed demon because of the relatively long throw. You focus the Monovid using a goiter-like protrusion near the objective. The Nikons are focused by turning the ocular ring. I would guess when wearing gloves the Leica design is superior.

Also, with the close-focus lens on, the Monovid becomes essentially a stand-off loupe, the equivalent of a 4x loupe held close by.

I’m not sure about going down to 5x, only because 7x and 8x are what I’m used to, yet most things I would view would probably be no more than 50m away, so likely not an issue.

Yes, of course. The 7x is fine, it's just its eye relief is marginal for eyeglass wearer such as myself.

Oh, and I now wish I had a Nikon Mikron, just because they have such a unique appearance. They are much more compact than I thought, but now I know. What is the view through them like?

It's definitely a glasses-off proposition. The view is remarkably expansive for such a tiny instrument, thanks to the reverse porro design. Same FOV as the 8x20s (Trinovid or Ultravid), with lower magnification, of course. The focus knob on mine is a bit tight, so they are not as fast to target.

The price difference between Monovid and Ultravid in BR form, makes the latter sound better value, as they don’t look that much bigger.

I have a strongly dominant right eye, so you'd think I am the perfect use case for a monocular, but binoculars are much easier to hold stable. I only use the monoculars when weight and bulk must be kept at an absolute minimum.
 
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fazalmajid

Well-known member
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.

Vixen is a good brand, but in the UK it's as expensive as the Nikon 7x15 HG. Since the OP is in the UK, he should also consider Opticron.
 
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18000bph

Well-known member
B&H is one of the better retailer's I have found for Nikon product's. They have the 7x15 HG monocular's but it seem's the 7x15 Mikron binocular's have been discontinued but they are still available on Ebay from Japan.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/199925-USA/Nikon_7491_7x15_High_Grade_Monocular.html
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Bino...Porro-Prism-Type-New-from-Japan-/183249649911

Unfortunately, the B&H page for the monocular is dead as it says they no longer carry the product.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Unfortunately, the B&H page for the monocular is dead as it says they no longer carry the product.
It look's like both the Nikon 7x15 monocular and the Nikon Mikron 7x15 binocular have been discontinued. You have to get them from Japan on Ebay.

url]https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-HG-7-x-15D-High-Grade-Monocular-From-Japan-New/273795511363?hash=item3fbf7bf443:g:bqkAAOSw~HFcVC9Y[/url]
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Bino...Porro-Prism-Type-New-from-Japan-/183249649911
 
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AlanFrench

Well-known member
I bought a nice 8x30 monocular long ago, thinking it would be easy to have with me all the time. It was very nice but I simply didn't use it.

It was not as easy to hold and use as binoculars, in my hands it was not as steady and finding birds was toughter. In spite of it offering the same true field as my binoculars, it seemed more restricted.

I recommend, if possible, trying a monocular before buying. Otherwise make sure the seller has a good return policy.

Clear skies, Alan
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I bought a nice 8x30 monocular long ago, thinking it would be easy to have with me all the time. It was very nice but I simply didn't use it.

It was not as easy to hold and use as binoculars, in my hands it was not as steady and finding birds was toughter. In spite of it offering the same true field as my binoculars, it seemed more restricted.

I recommend, if possible, trying a monocular before buying. Otherwise make sure the seller has a good return policy.

Clear skies, Alan
Try wrapping your right hand totally around the monocular and them use both hand's to brace it against your forehead. I thought I couldn't hold a monocular as steady either but if you get the same two stabilization point's you use with a binocular it can be just about as steady. It is all in the technique. Also, some monocular's are going to seem more restricted than other's depending on the FOV, the eye relief and the quality of the optic's.
 

AlanFrench

Well-known member
Try wrapping your right hand totally around the monocular and them use both hand's to brace it against your forehead. I thought I couldn't hold a monocular as steady either but if you get the same two stabilization point's you use with a binocular it can be just about as steady. It is all in the technique. Also, some monocular's are going to seem more restricted than other's depending on the FOV, the eye relief and the quality of the optic's.

Thanks for the advice, but we parted ways.

Clear skies, Alan
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
For those looking for monoculars, I found some nice new and historic ones which passed our desks in the past years:
- Accura 7x50
- Asahi Pentax 7x21
- Asahi Pentax 8x30 (can be converted to a microscope)
- Barr and Stroud 7x50
- Berkut 10x50
- Bushnell Televar 6,5x44 (also usable as photographic telephoto lens)
- Docter 8x21
- Hartmann 8x30 porro
- Hartmann 25x80 porro
- Hartmann Bernina 30x80 porro
- Hertel und Reuss 8x30 tele monokular
- Horizon 8x30
- Kern 7x45
- Leica monovid 8x20
- Luxon monocular 8x20
- Minox macriscope 8x25
- Nikon 6x15 monocular
- Sankyo 7x35 photo monocular
- Sirius 6x30
- Splend mini 5-10x20 monocular
- Steinheil 6x30 mono
- Swallow close focus 8x20
- Swarovski Laserguide 8x30
- Tento 5x25
- Tento 8x30
- Vixen 7x35 foto monocular
- Wray Panora 8x21
- Zeiss M Blink16 4x20
- Zeiss Turmon 8x21
- Zeiss 8x20 monocular
- Zeiss DEsign selection 6x18 (Very attractive for its fast focus and close focus )and 10x25
- Zeiss 8x30 normal and a photo monocular version
- Zeiss miniquick 5x10
- Zeiss Victory PRF 8X26
- Zeiss Winkel 3x15
- Zenray 8x42 monocular
We also found a 16x52 monocular. It was a fraud, sine it proved to be an 8x40
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
In addition of the monocular list in post 37 I can add:
Bynolyt Galleryscope 8x20
Minox Telescope T8, a rather peculiar monocular with the shape of a box.
Zeiss mono 3X12T*

From the list of monoculars presented the most useful for my purpose are:
-1- Zeiss 6x18
-2- Bynolyt Galleryscope 8x20
-3- Minox macrosope 8x25
-4- Asahi Pentax 8x30
-5- Swarovski laserguide 8x30
-6- Zeiss Victory PRF 8x26 T*PRF

The Leica monoculars are well made, very beautiful and also their optical performace is very good, but its handling comfort when hiking is not satisfactory for me. And the addition of the close focus lens with its screw mount is too much trouble and takes too much time when you need it fast.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

sf01457

Well-known member
Hello again!

I have had a couple of days in deep thought and came to a decision how to proceed, then changed my mind.

My decision was to try the Nikon 7x15 HG, prompted by a bee on a rhododendron flower, about 1m from where I was sitting at the time. What changed my mind was thinking how the image darkened in poor light when using the 30x eyepiece with my 60mm scope. This was enough to make the thought of a 5x15 more attractive?

I’ve still got some thinking to do before I buy a premium monocular, prompted by the words of caution offered by the more experienced users I find here. Thanks again, it does help.

So, I’m going to order an RSPB 8x20 monocular, for less than £100, to see if I get on with monocular vision! The binocular version of these has a decent enough review on here.

I am also very tempted to get a Mikron 6x15 from Japan, though not knowing how much the final bill would be with VAT and duty, puts me off somewhat. Even then it is based on a notion that it would be more pleasing than the 7x15? From another thread here, the Mikron look very little bigger than a monocular.

I’ll let you know how I get on with the RSPB monocular.

Thanks again

Steve
 

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