/ Monocular/spotting scope, vs. binoculars

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Blue Straggler 24 Aug 2019

Reading through the recent binoculars thread, I was interested to see a little bit of a mention to monoculars. 

I've rarely had any "need" or desire to use binoculars for anything but I have a trip coming up where they might be useful e.g. on a whale watching boat excursion, and generally around some Rockies national parks etc. 
Was hoping to borrow a pair of Opticrons from my father, I bought them for him years and years ago but he can't find them. 
Plenty of good tips in the recent thread but as I say, I was intrigued by the monoculars comment (and generally have always been intrigued by them, they seem more "me" somehow)

For only very occasional use might I be better off with a monocular? Assuming lighter and more compact and maybe more bang for the buck? I know someone said they are harder to hold stable than are binoculars, but my limited experience with binoculars is that I've never got on with them particularly well. I like to think I could hold a monocular stable; I can hold a dSLR with a reasonable effective zoom (200mm on an APS-C sensor) fairly stable but I guess that has a strap and a fair amount of bulk to it.

Any monocular recommendations? Thinking second hand, up to £60. I'm guessing the little one they sell in Decathlon for £20 isn't much cop! Or should I just get some binoculars?


Stuart (aka brt) 24 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I have Vortex 8x42 bins and a Vortex 10x28 mono. Both I like very much. I spent a lot of time deciding on the bins with a full on visit to various shops. The mono was bought online and without inspection based purely on my experience of the bins. The mono is excellent, good optics, and fits very snugly in the hand. Of course it's horses for courses and they do different jobs but I've never felt that the mono has been at a disadvantage (based on the reason for taking it i.e. light and compact). 

I'm not a geek on the subject.

Blue Straggler 24 Aug 2019
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Is 28 not a little narrow for the mono? 

Name Changed 34 24 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

You will get what you pay for and if you have looked through your farthers  Opticrons I think you will be sadly disappointed with a £ 60 spend

I have a DbA ? Opticrons monouler got it as kit with a 2x converter   I am more than happy with it  still use bins but go for is the monocular, unless looking at a night sky 

regarding   stability  I find the  Monocular easy to steady And you have a eye free to look elsewhere  

Stuart (aka brt) 24 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Is 28 not a little narrow for the mono? 

Yes and no. For something like spotting out static features on a landscape or slow moving it's fine. I've now developed the knack of using both eyes to view (if that makes sense) and then focus (no pun intended) on the magnified view. 

At a push I can spot birds and the like while on the move. Of course larger optics exist but then I've always felt that I'd be moving away from light/compact and so might as well have bins. I never now take the bins when out walking in the hills.

It definitely is a complex subject. 

henwardian 24 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I've always preferred binoculars. I find a monocular a bit annoying to use because my biology keeps insisting that 2 eyes are better than 1.

If I'm using either then I really want to see something well, so the monocular seems substandard. And I've never yet been anywhere where weight was a major consideration but there was also a major priority to bring either bi or mon mon oculars.

Interesting aside: my camera is good enough that I can just photograph something far away and then zoom in on the little display on the back of the camera to see lots of extra detail - I've used that to do ocular detail more than once in the past. You could check out the latest superzooms and see how mm of camera lens convert to magnification in oculars.

Tom V 25 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I'll go back to a point I made on another thread. Monoculars are strangely difficult to hold: I have an Opticron Piccolo for pocket carry and a bigger Barr and Stroud . Both are excellent quality but it is much easier to hold the equivalent pair of binooculars, even if the optics are the same. 

Blue Straggler 26 Aug 2019

thanks all, good food for thought on here. For now I have managed to borrow a pair of binoculars for my upcoming trip. 

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