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Odd EBay find (1 Viewer)


Staff member
Found while browsing oddities on eBay. More of a monocular than scope. Claims to be 2.5 x 17.5, so nice and bright. Not seen one before now there are multiple identical listings, all under £10. Says Made in Russia, but all the sellers are Chinese. Might get one out of curiosity. Shame I can't find one on Amazon, I have some vouchers!

These are very common.

I have the monocular and binocular versions.

Galilean and tiny, but actually I haven't found much use for them.

The monocular is so tiny, I suppose you might as well have one as it takes almost no room in the pocket.

One of them has a strange bug inside it, but I leave it alone and it leaves me alone.

The monocular probably is as tiny as it gets.

I have much more use for the Nikon achromatic multicoated approx. 650mm fl attachment from one of their lenses.
It provides pin sharp views at about 2.8x for my far sighted eye and gives me 20/7 equivalent eyesight but a tiny FOV maybe 5 degrees, I can't remember.
A single lens telescope using my eye as the eyepiece.
Held at arms length.

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Superficially these remind one of the monoculars which could be prescribed for the visually impaired to aid them in daily life - reading street signs etc.
The short length and "large" 17,5 mm objective suggests that they must be Galilean as Binastro states.
The above monoculars though are Keplerian telescopes with Schmidt-Pechan prisms and are expensive. The smallest Specwell is 2x8, there is a 4x12 from Schweizer and the Zeiss 3x12 may have originally been intended for this purpose.
I have the latter and bought it as a booster, but it is also good on insects down to 20 cm. Today's price however is crazy!
Here is an interesting link on monoculars:- Monokulare – Monoculars (Monokular-Schulung - monocular training) – U. Zeun

Looking at the binocular Russian version that comes in an oblong plastic white case.

The length of each monocular half is 33mm. the objective is probably 17.5mm and the magnification about 2.5x.
But it focuses at the front by rotation of each half of the binocular. So the magnification might change.

The field for me is 11 degrees.

It is quite sophisticated.

There are three multicoated surfaces and 4 white reflective surfaces, so probably a cemented doublet and two singlets. Maybe four elements.

It actually isn't bad optically, and it hinges in the centre to fold in half.
But the binocular in its case isn't that small.

I think that for under £10 the monocular is worth getting, but might suit some people more than others.

There are 3x, 3.5x, 4x, 4.5x and 5x monoculars from maybe, Opticron, Vixen, Nikon, Zeiss, Beechers Mirage and Eschenbach. Maybe others also.

The most useful for me is the 8x21 folding monocular that cost about £15. Made under various names. Maybe originally Japanese but now Chinese? Originally Zeiss.
There is also the folding Russian 5x25 and 7x25 which are a bit bigger.
Then there is the Leica Monovid?

For me, just holding my distance glasses 8 or 10 inches in front of my face gives me a 2x magnification with greatly increased stereo. In fact rather spectacular, so the 2,5x Russian Galilean binocular is normally superfluous..

I also have the Zeiss 5x10 shirt pocket monocular, but the eye relief is so great I cannot use it unless I wear distance glasses and gently rest the device against the glass surface. It may use relay lenses.

The Nikon doublet is in the other room. I'll check maybe 52mm?
I can't remember which camera lens it came from but cost me nothing.
It is high quality.

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Opticron do 4x12 monoculars for £34 and £99.

Hilkinson 6x20 Quickscope focuses to 25cm.

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The Nikon multicoated achromat is the size of a 62mm filter.

It is actually about 700mm fl or 1.4 dioptre not 2/3 dioptre.

I didn't realise how useful it is as a single lens telescope until fairly recently.

I cannot remember which Nikon lens it was used as an accessory.


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