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Monocular options - weigh in on pros & cons

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 11:02
dcvibe123 View Drop Down
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Hi.

I'm looking for a monocular with the following parameters, in order of importance
  • Under $100, prefer under $50
  • Good optics in all light
  • Durable, stand up to elements and punishment (clumsiness)
  • Great field of vision
  • Small & Portable (instead of range finder, etc) can fit in pocket easily
Uses would be:
  • Hiking / backpacking / canoeing
  • Urban
  • Concerts / Sporting events
The ones I am considering and reasoning are: 

  1. Vortex Solo 10x25:  seems to be a favorite on the forum from a respected brand
  2. Simmons ProSport 8x21: only $10 plus shipping, and gets some decent reviews online
  3. Vanguard DM-8250:  Gets a great review of value for cost on Amazon
  4. Alpen 10x32: Another one that I saw mentioned on here, and gets some solid reviews elsewhere
I am also open to another option if you have suggestions.  I can only see out of one eye, so this is a good solution over binoculars. 

I appreciate the help from folks who really know this stuff inside and out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 11:49
lucytuma View Drop Down
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I would much rather have a bino, easier to stabilize and better field of depth and view.
Here's a very nice, compact, inexpensive sample:
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 13:58
dcvibe123 View Drop Down
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Thanks for the bino idea.

Another option that has been recommended to explore is a Vixen 15x17.  Looks pretty good.

1178 5`15x17

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 14:03
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A 15x17mm???  That would only have 1mm of exit pupil.  The view through that thing would be horrible.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 14:43
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Lucytuma, I think you missed the part where he said he can only see out of one eye.  In such a case, a binocular will do absolutely no good. Its second barrel is just added weight.

Supertool is right, however.  A 15x17 would be nigh useless.

As to the question of quality monoculars; most of the little mini-monoculars that you can get for like $15--$50 from brands like Alpen, Barska, Eagle Optics, Yukon, etc. are pretty worthless.

Zeiss makes a 5x10 monocular called the MiniQuick. It is pretty good, though it's magnification is quite low and it costs 3x what those other mini-monoculars run ($150).

Zeiss also makes an 8x20 and a 10x25 monocular in their "Design Select" line. They are very good optically but they aren't cheap.  They run almost $300.

Leica makes one called the monovid. I have never actually seen one but, judging by the brand, I'm sure it's pretty impressive. At $500 it better be.

Such mini monoculars would be a good choice for the same purposes for which most of us would use a mini binocular; casual viewing, theater, lightweight traveling companion, etc.  They are not, however, ideal for extended viewing or serious hunting/observing.  For such purposes you really need something a bit bigger.

Brunton makes a 6x30 monocular in their Eterna line and also a 7x40 Macroscope. Both are quite a bit larger than the mini-monoculars. The Macroscope is really more of a tiny little low-powered spotting scope. It even has a tripod mounting bracket and would probably make for a pretty great little telescope for young children to learn on. Either would prove good all-purpose optics for the "one-eyed" user.

Leupold makes a 10-20x40 spotting scope in their Golden Ring Line. I owned one for a couple seasons and was very surprised just how well it could be used hand-held at 10x.  The 4mm exit pupil was as good as many peoples' hunting binoculars.  Then mounted to a tripod (or even propped against a daypack or tree) at 20x it was again surprisingly good, despite it's somewhat low 2mm exit pupil. It is larger than the other monoculars I've mentioned but, no more so than a good hunting binocular and its added versatility could be a big plus.  If I had sight in only one eye and had to pick a hunting optic that would serve the same purposes for which most people use binoculars, this would be my choice.

Nikon also makes the Fieldscope ED50 that, depending on what eyepiece you elect to use, could be another very viable choice.



Edited by lucznik - February/03/2010 at 14:47
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 14:44
koshkin View Drop Down
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I do not think that monocular that you want exists in your price range.

I would probably look at Vortex Solo as the best option:

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 15:09
dcvibe123 View Drop Down
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The response and advice has been great and is certainly appreciated.

I was certainly hoping for spending less than $100, and it may still be possible.

I also believe in spending more on something worthwhile, than spending lots of times on useless crap.  I agree that the Vixen referenced above is likely useless.

That said, one option that exceeds my budget that was recommended and is quite enticing is the Optolyth
http://swfa.com/Optolyth-10x28-Monocular-P12137.aspx

I would still like to hear thoughts and reactions to the other items on the list. Specifically the vanguard

Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 15:33
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[QUOTE=lucznik] Lucytuma, I think you missed the part where he said he can only see out of one eye.
 /QUOTE]
I missed that one myself, so much for speed reading. Sad
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 18:39
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Lucytuma, I think you missed the part where he said he can only see out of one eye.  In such a case, a binocular will do absolutely no good. Its second barrel is just added weight.
 

 

 

My apologies.

Edited by lucytuma - February/03/2010 at 18:41
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2010 at 06:44
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If your interested in the Alpen 10x32 monoculars I have two brand new in the box with paperwork, carry case and laynard that I will take $22 dollar for which includes USPS Priority Mail shipping.  Just let me know.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2010 at 15:53
dcvibe123 View Drop Down
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anyone have more to add?

Anyone ever use vanguard products?

Could someone provide a layman's terms comparison of the
Optolyth 10x28
Vortex Solo

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2010 at 16:06
koshkin View Drop Down
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I have the Optolyth (technically, I gave it to my brother, but mine if the first to come into this country).  It is a nice monocular, from an optics standpoint.

However, considering its comparatively high magnification and light weight it is essentially useless as an observation device.  It is a nice novelty piece and OK for a quick glance through, but that is pretty much it.  If Optolyth made a 7x28 monocular in the same form factor, it would be superb.

Vortex Solo's configuration (8x36) gives it a huge advantage.  While the optics ar enot as nice as the Optolyth, you can actually hold Solo steady enough to look at something.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2010 at 16:11
koshkin View Drop Down
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Ultimately, if you really want to do some serous observation with a monocular, you should be considering something like this:


But it is much bigger and more expensive.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2010 at 16:35
dcvibe123 View Drop Down
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Thank you jedi, very clear explanation
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2010 at 20:06
dcvibe123 View Drop Down
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Koshkin,

Thank you for your advice, I believe I am going to go with the Vortex Solo.  On their site, they list several options.

Would the 10x36 be better than the 8x36?
What would be the best size for my uses?

Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 13:25
koshkin View Drop Down
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Originally posted by dcvibe123 dcvibe123 wrote:

Koshkin,

Thank you for your advice, I believe I am going to go with the Vortex Solo.  On their site, they list several options.

Would the 10x36 be better than the 8x36?
What would be the best size for my uses?

Thanks.

In this case, less is more.  10x monocular is quite a bit harder to hold steady and it is not as good in low light.  Go with 8x36.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 17:28
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Originally posted by dcvibe123 dcvibe123 wrote:

anyone have more to add?

Anyone ever use vanguard products?

Could someone provide a layman's terms comparison of the
Optolyth 10x28
Vortex Solo

 
Another idea here.  It seems choices are slim for a monocular, and although the user only
has need for viewing through one eye,  I am thinking that a binocular would be much easier
to hold steady, and of course the choices are many.  2 hands are better than 1.
I would think a monocular would be very hard to hold steady.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 18:02
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Originally posted by NDhunter NDhunter wrote:

 
Another idea here.  ...and although the user only has need for viewing through one eye,  I am thinking that a binocular would be much easier to hold steady, and of course the choices are many.  2 hands are better than 1. I would think a monocular would be very hard to hold steady.


It's always a good idea to weigh all options but, I think the difficulty holding a monocular steady is being overstated.  I had no trouble holding my 10-20x40 Golden Ring at 10x (and even somewhat beyond) hand held. 

If I had the use of only one eye, I cannot imagine being willing to put up with the extra bulk and weight of a binocular. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2010 at 18:23
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Originally posted by NDhunter NDhunter wrote:

 
Another idea here.  ...and although the user only has need for viewing through one eye,  I am thinking that a binocular would be much easier to hold steady, and of course the choices are many.  2 hands are better than 1. I would think a monocular would be very hard to hold steady.


It's always a good idea to weigh all options but, I think the difficulty holding a monocular steady is being overstated.  I had no trouble holding my 10-20x40 Golden Ring at 10x (and even somewhat beyond) hand held. 

If I had the use of only one eye, I cannot imagine being willing to put up with the extra bulk and weight of a binocular. 

The difficulty of holding a monocular steady is different for different people.

Also, holding your spotter steadily is quite a bit easier than the monocular since it is a fair bit heavier and longer.  I think it weighs about a pund vs Vortex' 9 ounces and is at least three or four inches longer.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/11/2010 at 09:45
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Lucytuma, I think you missed the part where he said he can only see out of one eye.  In such a case, a binocular will do absolutely no good. Its second barrel is just added weight.

 
It would still help to stabilize the view. He has one eye, but two hands.
 
I looked through the best of them, Zeiss and Leica, and used them. I will not give up binoculars anytime soon. In fact, i would rather use a Yosemite 6x30 binocular instead of a Zeiss or Leica monocular.
 
Thirthy years ago i inherited a binocular that was shot in one side, but the other side was brilliant (a Zeiss 7x50). So, i figured to turn it into a monocular. After i realized the horrible disadvantage of unstable images, i put the glass back together and proudly displayed the bullet hole and shattered body for another 15 years. Mind you, that was a large bodied piece, not a tiny tube.


Edited by anweis - February/11/2010 at 09:47
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2010 at 17:07
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I just got me a Zhumrll 10-25x42 Zoom Monocular that's pretty nice for around $50.  It's large enough to hold with 2 hands and has a fitting for a monopod.  I hop in my gold cart each morning and take this bad boy with me.  Fits my needs better than the binoculars I've been using.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2010 at 11:33
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I checked out the Leica Mono at the FWS/FNAWS  convention in Reno a few months back... It is the highest quality monocular I have ever looked through.  It has incredible clarity, a truly high quality carry case and a macro lens that screws on and turns it into a "field microscope"...  It is water proof and has a lifetime warranty.  At $500 bucks it's not cheap, but it is a lifelong investment - something you can pass down to your kids/grandkids.   Leica doesn't sell junk...      

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2010 at 15:54
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Originally posted by OlManRivah OlManRivah wrote:

I just got me a Zhumrll 10-25x42 Zoom Monocular that's pretty nice for around $50.  It's large enough to hold with 2 hands and has a fitting for a monopod.  I hop in my gold cart each morning and take this bad boy with me.  Fits my needs better than the binoculars I've been using.

10-25x42?  curious how often you zoom out to 25x? Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/28/2010 at 20:56
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I zoom when I really looking for details, which is not often.  But, it's nice to have the capability.  That's why I like a zoom.
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