• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Which monocular as a substitute for binoculars...? (1 Viewer)

Bentley03

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hello all,

In the space of the past 5 days I have suffered a tear in the retina of my left eye, laser surgery to close the tear, then a second tear adjacent to the original tear and some retinal detachment. Yesterday I underwent (rather unpleasant) surgery to fix the tear and reattach the retina. My eye is (hopefully) now fixed, but my vision in the left eye is definitely not and won't be for some time.

So, whilst I'm recuperating, rather than simply accepting a degraded view through my binoculars, I fancy adding a full size monocular to my 'wardrobe'. I think I've probably settled on an Opticron DBA VHD+, although I'm very open to recommendations of other monoculars, but what I'm really puzzling over is whether to purchase the 8x42 or 10x42. My instinct with binoculars is most frequently to carry a 10x, and if I'm only purchasing one monocular that's where I'm leaning, but in reality, are monoculars so much more difficult than binoculars to hold steady, that I'd be sensible to forgo that extra 2x magnification I generally prefer and go for the 8x42?

Testing before buying isn't going to happen, and whilst I could buy the 10x and return it for an 8x replacement, I'd prefer to get the decision right first time. It's really the steadiness factor, compared to binoculars, that I'm particularly interested in, but for anyone who might recommend a different monocular, I am short sighted and wear glasses, so eye relief is a factor to take into consideration.

Any advice or recommendations would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

James
 
Hi James,

I have a left dominant eye and my right eye is squinting a bit to right. This means I only use my left eye with binoculars. Despite that I find binoculars to provide better viewing comfort.
Not only as you say about stability but also about the possibility to cover even the right eye.
To avoid the right view getting outside the field(which is annoying) I then adjust the barrels wider apart so the right view keeps within the field. Despite the right eye here is passive and has no function it works good. The only reason I use monocular(I have a 5x10 and 6x21) is when I want compactness.
Therefore I wonder: are you sure a monocular is better taking in consider the worse hold comfort and stability? You will close left eye anyway, right?
 
Last edited:
Very sorry to read of your plight. All the best and as speedy a recovery as is possible.
Now in media res: I once had a Vortex 8x32 monocular and found it was relatively easy to hold steady, as I could grip it with my whole fist and then press the fist against my eye socket/cheek bone. (The reason this item did not work out for me in the end was that I am just not very good with one eye due to astigmatism, scarred cornea etc. which is also why I do not do well with spotting scopes, except my beloved BTX.)
 
Good Luck with your recovery.
I had an operation on my right eye to attempt to repair a epiretinal membrane. It worked reasonably well and my sight is now better than it was when I started using glasses (57 years ago), although I now have reading glasses.

During recuperation from the operation (which included a new lens in my right eye) my vision was incredibly unbalanced (-6.75 left & practically 0 in the right) by experimenting I found that I could counter most of it with the diopter setting on my ELs. Once the right eye had recovered I took to contact lenses, for my left eye only, while I waited to get to the top of the NHS cataract surgery waiting list. I would have paid but I adapted to contact lenses really well - should have tried them sooner !

Sorry to drone on !
The point Iā€™m trying to make is that I wonder if you could balance things out with the diopter settings ?
If not covering one barrel will save you learning how to use the monocular
 
Thank you very much for the suggestions and sharing your own eye issues and experiences. I'm just starting that journey, so find it all very interesting.

Overall, I'm not feeling much love for monoculars, an adaptation of a binocular being recommended/preferred for the added stability.

Maybe I'm guilty of a knee jerk reaction, because so soon after surgery I can't tolerate anything applying pressure around that eye, therefore can't see myself using binoculars anytime soon.

@Hermann that's a very interesting suggestion, I wasn't aware anyone manufactured an IS monocular. Then again, I've never considered a monocular of any sort before. That's certainly food for thought, especially as the Imagic 10x30 can be fitted with a zoom eyepiece. That would be something quite different!

I'd still be interested to know people's thoughts regarding 8x vs 10x monocular stability, when compared to the same magnification in binoculars...

Thank you,
James
 
Get well soon! Had more or less the same and while recovering I used my Swarovski 8x20 as a monocular. I folded it completely, held it vertical and then I looked through the lower barrel. The higher barrel was pushed against my forehead/eyebrow so the eye was 'free'. These binos are - just like a monocular - small and ligthweight. The biggest advantage of pocket binos is that they are still useful when the eye is cured.
 
10x monoculars are very rare because monoculars are harder to hold steady than binoculars. That's also why monoculars are available in powers like 5x or 6x that are not common in binoculars.

Those Opticron Imagic are made by Kamakura Koki, they are available from other brands like Bresser and at one point Viking. The reviews are mediocre.

The DBA VHD+ is very large, the size of half a pair of chunky 8x42 binoculars (I have their previous top-of-the-line BGA, which is much cheaper and still available as old-new stock). Most monoculars are much smaller 20 or 25mm objective ones. The ones I'd recommend are the Nikon High Grade 7x15 or 5x15, the Leica Monovid and the Vixen Artes 6x21.

Take care, and here's to a speedy recovery!
 
Last edited:
The only monocular I use is the Minox Macroscope - it's adequate for distance whilst being very good for close up viewing. Maybe something similar to that or the Monovid would do you short term for distance but still prove useful for close up when you go back to binoculars?

Good luck with the recovery.
 
Hello all,

In the space of the past 5 days I have suffered a tear in the retina of my left eye, laser surgery to close the tear, then a second tear adjacent to the original tear and some retinal detachment. Yesterday I underwent (rather unpleasant) surgery to fix the tear and reattach the retina. My eye is (hopefully) now fixed, but my vision in the left eye is definitely not and won't be for some time.

So, whilst I'm recuperating, rather than simply accepting a degraded view through my binoculars, I fancy adding a full size monocular to my 'wardrobe'. I think I've probably settled on an Opticron DBA VHD+, although I'm very open to recommendations of other monoculars, but what I'm really puzzling over is whether to purchase the 8x42 or 10x42. My instinct with binoculars is most frequently to carry a 10x, and if I'm only purchasing one monocular that's where I'm leaning, but in reality, are monoculars so much more difficult than binoculars to hold steady, that I'd be sensible to forgo that extra 2x magnification I generally prefer and go for the 8x42?

Testing before buying isn't going to happen, and whilst I could buy the 10x and return it for an 8x replacement, I'd prefer to get the decision right first time. It's really the steadiness factor, compared to binoculars, that I'm particularly interested in, but for anyone who might recommend a different monocular, I am short sighted and wear glasses, so eye relief is a factor to take into consideration.

Any advice or recommendations would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

James
James, I use two monoculars regularly. Both Hawke Endurance ED models, 7x42 marine and 8x42. I like the extra reach of the 8x but the 7x is easier to focus one-handed. Tried a 10x but couldn't hold it steady. Let us know what you end up with. Wishing you a full recovery.
 
Many thanks for all the further replies and well wishes. I really wasn't in search of any sympathy, more explaining why I find myself 'potentially' in the market for a monocular. That said, I do confess to feeling a bit sorry for myself...šŸ˜‰šŸ˜‡šŸ˜‚

I also hadn't appreciated how difficult it would be adjusting to using one eye. Binocular vision is a very wonderful thing, no wonder we evolved with two eyes...and no wonder the cyclops was so angry!

Until @winginit's post above, I think you'd collectively managed to put me off acquiring a full sized monocular and simply adapt the way I use my binoculars. I wasn't thinking in terms of a compact lightweight monocular, I was thinking full size, big, bright, large ocular for ease of use with my glasses.

I think everyone is unanimous in trying to steer me away from a 10x monocular, unless it's an IS instrument, due to the difficulties in holding it steady and, after a little reading, I think the Opticron 10x30 IS monocular @Hermann alluded to is probably not for me.

I'm a big fan of the Hawke Marine range of products, I bought some 7x32's for my elderly parents to take on a cruise, so I do like the idea of the 7x42 monocular. But, I think I'd prefer that extra little bit of reach an 8x would provide, especially as my original intention was to concentrate my research on 10x monoculars.

A little more pondering required, and I'll sleep on it for another night or two...

Thank you again, James
 
Hi. I use monos quite alot, I find them easier to use. I don't have any top notch alphas, but my preferred ones are: my komz 8x30 porro - excellent portable mono, Tento 10x50 (porro), and when rainy/wet, a Minox 8x25 macroscope, and finally, an 8x36 vortex solo.... all excellent monos!

Have a speedy recovery, all the best.
 
Hi Bentley03,

There are also Zeiss 20x60S monoculars. Stabilized.
Large, heavy.

Russian 10x46. Plastic but O.K.

Soviet 12x/20x 40/60 combined monocular with optical window and bayonet connection.
My one had a faulty bayonet, but some are O.K.

Folding 5x25 and 7x25 monoculars and 8x21s I think.

Zeiss and Russian 8x30.

7x40 Glanz close focus 9.5 degree field.

Opticron have various models.

Soviet 10x30 drawtube telescope.

Also smallish zoom telescope.

But the 7x and 8x mentioned above should be O.K.

Wish you well for your recovery.

Regards,
B.
 
I picked up a celestron hummingbird ED last year and have been quite impressed with the. Very wide view with a 12.5mm Baader Morpheus eyepiece. 16x but cradling it close to your eye can give quite steady views. With the longer focal length eyepiece you could get lower power views. Pocketable.

Peter
 
Personally, when one eye is tired I can close one eyelid without a problem and use a binocular, which for me gives greater stability than a monocular.

One could just put the front cap on one side of a binocular.

Regards,
B.
 
@Binastro and Peter, thank you, some really interesting suggestions. I'm not familiar with any of the monoculars mentioned, so some reading and research is required. A Hummingbird handheld is an interesting idea, although being angled (I don't think I've seen a straight version...?) it is maybe too far removed from the style of monocular I envisage using.

All food for thought...
 
Celestron 6x30 Outland X. Supposedly waterproof.
Wide angle, but I cannot remember, maybe 9 or 10 degrees.
Probably sample variation but mine is good.
A useful monocular.

10x,12x,15x and 20x 50 Chinese monoculars sold under at least eight different names, with glowing adverts.
All seem to come in same inner boxes, with different names outside.

I find they have focus backlash.

But all can be useful.

In my experience the more glowing the reported attributes the less good the optics are.

Also Pentax dual magnification monocular, maybe toggle focus.

There are numerous older monoculars, Hensoldt is one I have, also 10x25 and others.

Plus high end modern ones from Leica, Zeiss.

Regards,
B.
 
Binastro, post 13,
The wide angle 7x40 Glanz porro monocular is very pleasant to use since focussing takes place by turning the objective. FOV=166m/1000m, close focus around 2 m. It is a porro and the shape of the body makes it pleasant to handle.
Gijs van Ginkel
 
Binastro, post 13,
The wide angle 7x40 Glanz porro monocular is very pleasant to use since focussing takes place by turning the objective. FOV=166m/1000m, close focus around 2 m. It is a porro and the shape of the body makes it pleasant to handle.
Gijs van Ginkel
Gijs, do you happen to know the eye relief measurement for this monocular? I have struggled, so far, to find the information online. Thank you.
 
From memory the Glanz 7x40 monocular also screws onto the front of camera lenses, so there may be a rather larger rear projection.

I don't have mine to hand.

I know some members here have or had one, so they be able to help.

There is also another version with slightly different magnification.

Regards,
B.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top