How to Choose a Monocular (11 Steps Guide with Pictures)

how to choose a monocular

Along with the advancement in technology, monoculars have also become so popular. The latest monoculars have been manufactured with top-notch features and specs as compared to the old versions. That’s why; it is essential to choose a monocular with precision and attention. 

But the actual question is how to choose a monocular. Well, it depends upon various factors that what is the best monocular to choose. You will have to consider magnification, picture quality, lens and prism setup, eyepiece, close focus range, and monocular size & weight. 

What are the other factors that you will have to consider while buying a monocular? Let’s start a discussion on it.

What is a Monocular

A monocular is a single-tube gadget with glass located at the front and an optic at the end. This is a specialized item and you can get it for sale in large quantities at any market. They are great for observing animals from a range. Thus, their small size and low weight make them easy to carry while going on a hike or other adventure. 

Additionally, they can be held firmly in the palms. So that the same hand can be used to change the focus and allow for simple and user-friendly usage.

How to Choose a Monocular and What to Look for It

Monoculars are available in a variety of dimensions and magnification strengths, just like other types of optics. Additionally, this information is commonly displayed on the lens itself. The information provided by these digits is exactly similar to that on the front of a pair of binoculars

To find the ideal match, you will have to consider the following four aspects while choosing the monocular that is perfect for you.

1. Magnification 

This is the significant aspect you need to take into account while buying a good quality monocular. It is because the quality increases with magnification. Additionally, you will pay more for this gadget with higher magnification. For instance, you can get a compact monocular with a magnification of 4x or higher.

2. Lens and Prism Setup

Monoculars can have Porro or Roof reflectors, just like binoculars. Porro prism-equipped models will be less expensive and have a superior 3D resolution. Roof prisms are more costly but will give you a clearer as well as richer color image. 

You should also give importance to the product’s choice of lens covering. Greater coverings will result in photos of higher quality. Thus, this premium option will cost you extra money.

3. Eyepiece

You should also give close attention to the eyepiece design. It is not enough to simply hold it up to your face to determine whether it suits you. 

The comfort of the eyes is something you must notice. This represents the maximum distance of your eyes to the lens to see clearly. 

Generally, this wouldn’t be a problem, unless you were using contact lenses. You must then get a monocular with greater eye comfort.

4. Lens Coating

A monocular with a superior lens covering will not only have better efficacy but will also transmit more light. This will make the images crisper. Depending on your preference, you can choose multi-coated or fully-covered lenses. The cost of multi-coated lenses is lower than that of completely covered ones.

5. Close Focus Range

This range of a monocular is a measurement of how close something must be for it to focus. Generally, a greater range is required to get a crisp focus along with greater magnification power. 

For instance, a 20x magnification lens could require a 20-foot line to begin developing a strong focus, whereas an 8x magnification monocular might require 24 inches.

6. Exit Pupil

Exit pupil measures the size of a pointed image produced by the focal plane when a viewer looks through a telescope’s eyepiece. An item will appear brighter when the exit pupil is wider.

For instance, a 10x40mm monocular has a larger exit pupil and field of vision than other monoculars.

7. Picture Quality

The most essential aspect of the item that retains the image in high resolution in your mind is the image quality. If you will have a good quality monocular, it will be crystal clear and have high image quality.

8. Objective lens diameter 

The size of the optical system that can be seen through an eyepiece or the field of view on a monocular is known as the objective lens diameter. Better quality is provided by larger lenses, but they are heavier and bulkier to handle.

9. Eye Relief

Eye comfort is the maximum range the eyes can reach from the eyepiece while still seeing the entire image. Without this range, seeing a picture will be challenging. You will be able to view things better with the aid of eye relief. Since it is the most essential element of a monocular, you should select one with greater eye relief.

10. Field of View 

The field of view at a range of 1000 yards is specified in feet. More space will be captured if there will be a wider field of vision. Its visual quality will decrease. For instance, a 10x40mm monocular offers a better field of view than a 10x50mm monocular. Additionally, when compared to previous versions, the 8x32mm has a larger field of view.

11. Detection Range

The area from your thermal monocular at which you can view any item with great detail is called the detection limit. It relies on the lens, the magnification, and other elements.

What are the different types of Monoculars

Below are some common types of Monoculars: 

1. Regular Monoculars

The most popular kind of monocular is a standard one. These monoculars only have one optic. They perform under daytime viewing and can include additional functions, such as magnifiers. 

 2. Night Vision Monoculars

Hunters and campers both love using night vision monoculars, or NV monoculars. You can utilize these items to view your environments at night with the proper gear and setup. They perform the same function as binoculars but only have one lens as opposed to two. Also, these are the best monoculars for wildlife viewing.

3. Thermal Monoculars

A pretty new inclusion to the variety of monoculars is the thermal monocular. Although less common than standard monoculars, these tools have drawn a lot of interest from people. A thermal monocular has a detector that can pick up and then store the thermal light that all items generate. When this light is translated into thermal imaging, you can view a heat map. In this way, you can say that these are the best monoculars for star gazing.

What is the best Monocular to buy?

When it comes to a good monocular, Avalon’s 10×42 monocular is the best one. In terms of weight, size, and quality, it is the finest choice. Although it is a small monocular, you can still get the brightness and broad field of view of a full-sized pair. 

It is extremely lightweight such as only 320 grams and small enough to put in a coat pocket. The Avalon 1042 WP Monocular offers excellent images even in dim light due to its completely multicoated optics. 

Additionally, it is water-resistant and fog-proof. This Monocular’s rubberized armored casing keeps it sturdy and comfortable to hold. Wide eye relief is just another fantastic aspect of the Avalon 1042 WP Monocular. It can be utilized both with and without glasses. Additionally, the eyecup can be turned to suit your visual acuity.

What are the best uses of Monoculars?

To get precise and accurate image quality, monoculars are highly preferable to use. Thus, below are some common uses of a monocular. 

  • Use for Hiking 
  • Birding 
  • Hunting 
  • Sporting events and Concerts 

Monoculars vs Binoculars 

  • Below is a short comparison of using a monocular and binoculars: 
  • As compared to binoculars, monoculars are lighter weight and less bulky
  • Monoculars are more portable than binoculars 
  • Monoculars are great devices for night vision
  • Monoculars allow for faster spotting than binoculars 
  • Monoculars come in different lenses, prisms, coatings, and sizes
  • When compared to binoculars, monoculars have more eye fatigue with extended use
  • They have a narrower field of view
  • Monoculars have less spatial 3D imagery than binoculars

Click on the link and read about the monoculars vs telescope comparison of the other. You can choose the best telescope for plants from our buying guide.  


What is good monocular power?

When selecting a monocular, the power or magnification should be the first consideration. Typically, a monocular will have a power of 6x to 10x. Thus, a higher magnification will let you view farther objects in greater detail.

How much do monoculars cost?

The cost of your monocular might vary from reasonably low to somewhat high. It is based on the prism alternatives, coverings, and general quality of your gadget. A monocular will typically be less expensive and cost around half as much as a pair of binoculars with all the same specifications.

Why choose a monocular?

There are many benefits of buying a good quality monocular they are excellent for bird watching, hunting, and night vision as they are some special and the best monoculars for night vision. They are also helpful to get a clear vision in fog, haze, and smoke. Compared to binoculars, they are very affordable and easy to use.


Here I am going to wind up this article that was all about how to choose a monocular. You can buy a good quality and good monocular if you have gone through this article. I have briefly explained all the essential points that you must take into account when deciding to buy a monocular. Also, you must specify your requirements before going to buy one. 

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