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Monoculars - anyone use these things ? (1 Viewer)

I regularly use a Hawke Endurance 8x42 monocular. Also use an Endurance 7x42. Both are small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and the views are very good. I often go birding late in the day and the 42mm is helpful when there's less light. I'm able to focus the 7x one-handed, which is a plus. The 8x is a little trickier, but I use it more often because of the extra reach.
I was looking at the Endurance 7x42 myself. Any good ? Also looking at the Opticron DBA VHD+ 8x42
 
I've owned and used a Leica 8x20 Monovid for over a decade. I tried a couple from other proprietary brands (Opticron and Zeiss) before that but the Leica was where I happily settled. It just seemed to me to be streets ahead in terms of optical quality and mechanical construction.

I've been extremely pleased with it. I mainly carry it whilst out running but also often take it with me whilst cycling / driving / on the train / doing whatever for that 'just in case' moment. It's proved very robust and the optics remain splendid.

I personally found the supplied case too cumbersome, so keep and carry the Monovid in a zipped Zeiss monocular pouch that I purchased just for the job. The result is extremely compact and the Monovid well protected.
Leica is top of my list, but the Opticron DBA VGA+ 8x42 is rapidly closing in.
 
Ive had a few monoculars over the years. A small Russian fold up job 5x25 if memory serves, an opticron 10x42 and recently an opticron i.s 160 travel scope.

I have used them extensively- particularly the opticron 10x42 when I've been bike touring, kayaking etc and find it useful - the advantage over pocket binoculars is that for a similar size and weight you can have a proper sized objective lens and therefore decent light gathering.

The downside is obviously one eyed viewing and stability tends not to be as good as with a set of binoculars but it's not much worst than a set of pockets. I would think the sweet spot would be around 7x42.

From my experience I would second Richard's suggestion above though, unless absolutely tiny size (leica monovid) is totally necessary you will probably be better served with a set of pockets binoculars of 20/21/22mm apperture - in volume terms they are pretty much the same size if not shorter than 40/42mm monoculars. I have a set of pockets on my most of the time now, the monoculars much less so.

Will
 
I have both the 3x12 and 6x18 Zeiss monoculars.
I've got both of these as well and wished the 3x had seemed a bit more usable than it is for me, but the 6x18 and also the Nikon 5x15 have both proven to be the two best monoculars for my preferences.

Also having a few pocket model binoculars, which I always prefer over any monocular, it's impossible to ignore that monoculars still prove themselves to be a valuable adjunct to binoculars, and shouldn't be compared to them any more than a bicycle to a car. Both useful in their own time.
 
I tried Zeiss 3x12 about 30 years ago. During the years I have thought about to get it. But Zeiss have raised the price of their monoculars to totally insane levels. Some decade ago 3x12 was ~$150 and now ~$500. This is a lesson. Do not wait until it's too late. I don't find the price accepteable today.
 
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For those that want to try a cheap and cheerful monocular, that actually works well enough for my purposes:


I have one on my belt when walking in the mountains without a rucksack.... To spot any wild boars roaming around in our vicinity.

I believe this particular monocular is very similar to the inexpensive Viking Cygnus.
 
Anyone use monoculars ? They seem handy enough to carry about with you anywhere, as opposed to binoculars, so ideal for buses, train commutes or even walking with the missus. If anyone does use them, any suggestions. I’ve always wanted a Leica, and can afford the 8x20 monovid, but me thinks i could do better for the money.
I have a bunch: Leica Monovid, Nikon HG 5x15 and 7x15, Vixen Artes 6x21, Docter’s version of the Zeiss Turmon, Minox Makroscop, Opticron BGA 8x42, Viking ED 8x25, Seibert Emoskop, a cheap and cheerful Apexel I use to focus my laser engraver, and more. I EDC the Vixen.

As others have pointed out, binoculars prov a more stable image. If you are really set, the one I’d recommend is the Nikon 5x15 HG, or the 7x15 if you don’t wear glasses. Small, close-focusing, excellent build quality and optics.
Does anyone have the Pentax VM 6x21 btw?
I’d ordered one and the rocker switch had come unglued in the box. While I could have glued it back, I was unimpressed with the quality and returned it.
 
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I have the vixen 6x21 and recommend it. The optics are superb. However monoculars in general are clunky for me to use for long distance viewing. I find I bump my hand into my nose trying to turn to focuser, et cetera. That said the view is quite good. Monoculars, for me, excel at their ability to close focus onto an object inches away.

I've owned and used a Leica 8x20 Monovid for over a decade. I tried a couple from other proprietary brands (Opticron and Zeiss) before that but the Leica was where I happily settled. It just seemed to me to be streets ahead in terms of optical quality and mechanical construction.

I've been extremely pleased with it. I mainly carry it whilst out running but also often take it with me whilst cycling / driving / on the train / doing whatever for that 'just in case' moment. It's proved very robust and the optics remain splendid.

I personally found the supplied case too cumbersome, so keep and carry the Monovid in a zipped Zeiss monocular pouch that I purchased just for the job. The result is extremely compact and the Monovid well protected.
Which case specifically? I find the case for the vixen very nice but sometimes wonder if something thinner and portable wouldn't be more agreeable to carry around.
 
I have the vixen 6x21 and recommend it. The optics are superb. However monoculars in general are clunky for me to use for long distance viewing. I find I bump my hand into my nose trying to turn to focuser, et cetera. That said the view is quite good. Monoculars, for me, excel at their ability to close focus onto an object inches away.

Which case specifically? I find the case for the vixen very nice but sometimes wonder if something thinner and portable wouldn't be more agreeable to carry around.
I don’t bother with the cuboid case and just keep it in my jacket pocket, but you should definitely try the Nikon HG models.
 
I don’t bother with the cuboid case and just keep it in my jacket pocket, but you should definitely try the Nikon HG models.
Yes, the comments in the thread have definitely piqued my interest. :)

The only downside for me is that it seems rather conspicuous with its white exterior but perhaps I'm overthinking things.
 
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I have the vixen 6x21 and recommend it. The optics are superb. However monoculars in general are clunky for me to use for long distance viewing. I find I bump my hand into my nose trying to turn to focuser, et cetera. That said the view is quite good. Monoculars, for me, excel at their ability to close focus onto an object inches away.


Which case specifically? I find the case for the vixen very nice but sometimes wonder if something thinner and portable wouldn't be more agreeable to carry around.

I bought the case that accompanied the Zeiss 10x25 monocular as standard twelve-ish years ago. I don't know if there's been an update in the Zeiss monocular or accompanying case since that point. It's the very case depicted in this link.

I managed to buy one mail-order from a UK-based Zeiss dealer but it was so long ago that I can't remember which dealer it was. Sorry.

I attached a simple wrist strap to the Monovid and the whole package is extremely discreet, quick to deploy and very portable.
 

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The only downside for me is that it seems rather conspicuous with its white exterior but perhaps I'm overthinking things.
I held out on getting the 5x15 Nikon for the same reason, but once I had it, the color became pretty much unnoticeable to me anymore and it's one of the bestest and compactest viewing devices available, period. :)
 
I held out on getting the 5x15 Nikon for the same reason, but once I had it, the color became pretty much unnoticeable to me anymore and it's one of the bestest and compactest viewing devices available, period. :)
Interesting. I feel a burning desire to get one more and more...

Is the focuser on it different than the standard helical focuser? Is it's ergonomic grip that makes it a favorite as espoused in this thread?
 
I carry an old Zeiss 8x20 monocular (made in West Germany) always in my travel bag or pocket. It’s good to have when binoculars are not an option. There’ve been numerous times when I’ve seen something worth looking whilst out hiking or biking. Monoculars don’t replace binoculars but I do recommend having one. Really not much different from carrying car keys.

I’m also looking for new monocular. The old Zeiss feels a bit fragile for pocket item and it’s not waterproof. 8x magnification is also too much for this kind of device. Large FOV, long depth of field and quick action are more important. And very often the need is to use it one handedly. I’ve been looking at Nikon 5x15 and Zeiss 6x18T. Which would you guys recommend? Vixen seems to be difficult to find nowadays.
 
I’ve been looking at Nikon 5x15 and Zeiss 6x18T. Which would you guys recommend?
Personally I recommend both of them; the Nikon for absolute compactness and better one-handed operation, and the Zeiss for its incredible close focus. If I had to choose to keep only one, I'd glue them together. :)
 
Restarting this thread because of life changes. A couple of years ago, hip and back issues dictated a move from Swaro 30x,80 on an aluminum tripod to a Zeiss 15-45x,65 on carbon fibre. Even after a hip replacement, the latter is too heavy. I recently picked up a vintage Zeiss 15x,50 monocular that I could at least have in a daypack for walk-ins. At one pound it solves the weight issue, but even with a rest it is (of course) still shakier than a tripod-mounted optic. I find it useful as a "study" glass but not as a "scanning" glass. I'll be thinking about a way to use a hiking staff as a monopod (advice welcome).

So far, my binoculars have never been an issue. Not interested in exploring IS solutions.

My non-birding sister uses a vintage Japanese 7x,50 mono for world traveling as she is extremely right-eye dominant anyway and doesn't feel the extra barrel is worth the space in he luggage.
 
I've not found satisfaction with pocket monoculars. Leica UV 8x20 take up about the same pocket space and, for me, get on the bird faster than a monocular, and are more stable once on the bird. On the other hand, when handheld the Swarovski STC with longer tube than pocket monoculars gets on far-away birds rapidly at 17x and can follow the birds pleasantly without additional support. The STC for me does need some non-hand brace for larger magnifications.
 

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