How to buy a monocular
A monocular buying guide
Whether you are shopping for hunting supplies, sports and outdoor equipment or simply considering optics and binoculars for your next sailing or camping adventure, consider shopping for monoculars as they are a suitable alternative to regular binoculars or spotting scopes with a tripod. Whatever your desired viewing environment, you will have a wide variety of choices to suit your viewing requirements. When thinking about which is the best monocular to buy, there are a few things you will want to consider.
>> Consider how you will use a monocular
Assessing your current and future viewing needs is an important initial step when figuring out how to buy a monocular. Consider the available storage space in your home, bag or belt pouch. Also think about whether you want to buy a monocular for professional or recreational use. Knowing which monocular to buy is easier if you keep in mind the nature of your viewing and the environment in which you will most likely use it. Monoculars are generally compact in design and are usually much smaller and lighter than binoculars, spotting scopes and other viewing equipment. There is also the added convenience of having a wide variety of monoculars to choose from. Consider night vision monoculars for camping and hunting trips, or waterproof monoculars for canoeing trips or when viewing distant objects in the rain.
>> Consider the monocular's features
Consider the magnification power
Magnification power is one of the most vital considerations when figuring out how to buy a monocular. This feature determines how much larger the monocular will magnify the image you would like to view. Both lower and higher levels of magnification can be advantageous depending on how you intend to use your monocular. Low magnifications ensure that the zoom of the image is small and the field vision is large. As the magnification becomes higher, the field of vision becomes smaller. The optics magnification power is listed inside a set of numbers that might look something like 4 x 28. The first number is the magnification power. Thus, a 4 x 28 monocular will magnify your target four times.
Consider objective size
The objective lens is the lens located at the front end of your monocular. When considering how to buy a monocular, choose an objective lens based on your intended use. The second number in the 4 x 28 example refers to the objective lens diameter in millimeters. In this case, that diameter is 28 mm. The larger the objective lens, the more light is allowed in. So if you plan to use your monocular in situations with low lighting, such as star gazing, consider an objective measuring at least 35 mm. A smaller lens on the other hand is fine for daytime use.
Consider eye relief
When it comes to choosing viewing equipment, considering eye relief is an indispensable factor in deciding how to buy a monocular. Eye relief refers to the farthest distance that your eye can be situated from the monocular while still allowing you to see the widest possible field of view. You will find this to be important to ensure a comfortable viewing experience. When considering which monocular to buy remember that if you wear glasses or work in operationally sensitive situations, such as law enforcement, you are encouraged to use a minimum of 14 mm eye relief.
Consider the lens coating
Another initial step in figuring out how to buy a monocular is understanding that the type of lens coating on the monocular will influence the brilliance of the viewed image. Durable coatings are considered to reduce glare in order to increase brilliance and clarity. Full multi-coating consists of a combination of anti-reflective coatings. When considering which monocular to buy for water activities, choose this type of monocular as this coating works well in a variety of elements.
>> Consider the optical design
When considering which monocular to buy, look for the design that is best suited for the environments you are most likely to view. When figuring out how to choose a monocular, bear in mind that the most common optical designs are roof or porro prisms, with a select few manufactured as Galilean models. Consider a roof prism if you plan to use your monocular for greater distances and a porro prism if you would prefer viewing a directly erect image. If you would like an erect image but with a smaller field of vision, consider the Galilean design.
>> Consider field of view
Another important aspect in considering how to buy a monocular is the field of view. An excellent field of view will allow you to see a wider terrain, so the size of your monocular's magnification will greatly influence obtaining a good field of view. A general rule when considering monocular uses is that the higher the magnification, the lower the field of view. Thus, for a better field of view, consider a lower magnification monocular and vice versa.
Be sure to research as much as you feel is necessary about individual monoculars, as well as optic accessories, to help make an informed decision on which monocular is the best to buy. You might also find it helpful to read up on monocular brand reviews made by both average users and professional reviewers.