Best Monoculars in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update May 14, 2021
Imagine you're in a forest, the wind is still and the air is full of birds twittering. You can hear them but cannot see. Well, that won't be an issue anymore, as with a monocular you will finally find out which bird chirps that song. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Prism System
Magnification Ratio
Objective Lens Diameter
Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter
Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)
Field of View
Body Specs
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

Due to great optics with a BAK-4 prism, this scope will allow you to see distant features and objects with high precision. Meanwhile, its dust, water, fog and shock-protection makes it suitable for active use.

CONS

Quite bulky compared to the peers.

OUR VERDICT

Those who're in search of a reliable companion for hunting, bird watching, fishing, boating or any other outdoor activity will find the Gosky 12x55 to be the best deal. The model boasts great longevity and has one of the best optics to suit various needs.

detailed parameters
Prism System

Roof

Magnification Ratio

12 x

Objective Lens Diameter

55 mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

4.2 mm

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Multi-layer Eyepiece and Large Crytal BAK4 Prism

Field of View

109 m / 914 m

Body Specs

Waterproof, fog proof, dustproof, and shockproof

Weight

450 g

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

PROS

One of the smallest monoculars with a 10x magnification ratio. Despite its smaller size, though, it has a reinforced body for superior protection in all environments.

CONS

Low light transmittance, owing to the small eyepiece diameter.

OUR VERDICT

The Celestron 71210 is a compact solution for bird watching or sports events. The body has a great grip and waterproof qualities, making it suitable for use under any weather conditions.

detailed parameters
Prism System

Roof

Magnification Ratio

10 x

Objective Lens Diameter

25 mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

2.5 mm

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4

Field of View

101 m / 1000 m

Body Specs

Waterproof, fogproof

Weight

170 g

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The scope has an ergonomic design to provide a firm grip. Mounting and adjusting the viewing angle takes just a few seconds. Comes with everything needed for comfortable use, storage, and transportation of the device.

CONS

Has many small details. 

OUR VERDICT

The TENESA 6886 12x50 offers the best value for the buck. With this scope, you get a whole set of accessories, including a small tripod, a universal clip, a strap and a bag, so you can save some money and neatly store everything in one place. 

detailed parameters
Prism System

Roof

Magnification Ratio

12 х

Objective Lens Diameter

50 mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

4.2 mm

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Multi-coated optics / BAK4/BK7 Prism

Field of View

96 m / 1000 m

Body Specs

Waterproof, non-slip, shockproof

Weight

281 g

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

PROS

Compatible with all existing smartphone brands. Hence, you can connect it to your phone via a special adapter and, using a Camera Shutter Wire Control (or voice control of your phone), record HD videos and pictures.

CONS

The quality of the phone holder leaves something more to be desired. 

OUR VERDICT
The scope features a solid design and has excellent build quality. More importantly, it is highly focus-capable, reproducing high-resolution images of what you see without any fogging effect. Thanks to the long eye-relief, it's convenient to use with/without glasses.
detailed parameters
Prism System

Roof

Magnification Ratio

12 х

Objective Lens Diameter

50 mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

4.2 mm

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Large BAK-4 Prism

Field of View

88 m / 914 m

Body Specs

Waterproof, dust-proof, and shockproof

Weight

393 g

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

PROS

The unit works great in close and mid-range, which makes it ideal for viewing concerts, air shows, sports competitions, and many other activities. It's light, easy to use, and produces crystal clear image for objects and features that you want to see closer. 

CONS

The focus control has an excessive slack. This, however, is not a problem and most people quickly get used to it.

OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for a travel-friendly scope to take with you on your adventures, we couldn't recommend the Prime Optixs highly enough. It has a pocket-size design with high-powered viewing and comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so you can safely use it anywhere you go.

detailed parameters
Prism System

Porro

Magnification Ratio

10 x

Objective Lens Diameter

42 mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

~3.5 mm

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

High-powered optics and large diameter lens

Field of View

~ 80 m / 900 m

Body Specs

Waterproof, dustproof and shockproof

Weight

300 g

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

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Gosky 12x55

Powerful Magnification

In situations when binoculars are just too bulky and big, your go-to choice should be a monocular. Much more lightweight, compact, and pocket-friendly than binoculars, many of these devices are just as great in terms of magnifying performance and will easily slide in your pocket, making them ideal for different outdoor activities. Is this the kind of device you are looking for? Then turn your eyes to the Gosky 12X55 HD High Power Prism Monocular. This model offers amazing value for the money while providing you with all the necessary features you'd need for one-hand viewing in the field.

To start things off, the Gosky 12X55 HD High Power Prism Monocular has a generous 55mm lens. Thanks to this, it can offer you a large viewing area of about 109 m / 914 m, which is big enough for viewing birds, watching wildlife and other scenery that is far from you. The magnification power of the lens of 12X is quite impressive too, making it perfect for photographers and travellers looking to obtain a clear view of the animal or other objects placed at a distance, without distracting their peace and having to come close to them.

Considering the lens's specs, it's only natural to expect the device to be a tad bit heavier than some of its competition. The unit weighs 450 g and measures 8.3 x 5.4 x 17.7 cm. That being said, its dimensions are definitely not huge and if you aren't planning to keep watching birds or features in the woods non-stop, the unit's weight won't be an issue for you whatsoever. Besides, it features 1/4"-20 stand tripod threads, meaning if you do need to use it continuously, you'll have an option to simply connect it to a camera tripod.

Review of Gosky 12x55 High Definition Monocular

About Optics

While the bigger size of the monocular is something to be expected, what you'd be surprised at is that the lens here is not only able to magnify the viewing area 12x times but that it does it quite brilliantly at that, with the unit flawlessly capturing the image of objects in high detail and with no distortions. This has been achieved thanks to the upgraded 20mm multi-layer eyepiece and large BAK4 prism with a green coating that keeps it from absorbing light and allows it to reproduce clear and sharp images of both static and moving objects.

Other features standing it out among the competition include a long eye-relief and a twist-up eyecup that can be adjusted for comfortable use with glasses.

Finally, the Gosky 12X55 HD High Power Prism Monocular boasts great durability, featuring a waterproof, dust-proof, fog-proof, and shockproof design with O-rings preventing dust and debris from getting in the way. Therefore, you can safely take it with you to the woods or elsewhere where you'd like to observe the distant world, and do not worry about the unit being fragile or flimsy to not survive the adventure.

In all, if you are looking for a monocular that would be suitable for climbing, hiking, bird watching, observing wildlife, scenery, and any other outdoor activity, the Gosky 12X55 HD High Power Prism Monocular will satisfy your spirit.

Gosky 12x55 High Definition Monocular in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £118.98
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07B8XTS3Z

 

Celestron 71210

A Bit of a Looker

Сelestron company has more than 50 years of experience in the field of optical instruments manufacturing. And, sure, the company has had its hiccups. But, for the most part, they're putting that experience to good use, providing their customers with great optics at an affordable price. And while this is evident in the majority of their products, we would say that the Celestron 71210 is probably one of the best examples of that.

Generally speaking, "attractive" in the most literal sense of the word is not something you associate with optics. But that is the first word that comes to our mind when we look at this device. For a monocular, it is undoubtedly pretty. On top of that, this pretty monocular is very compact and convenient to hold with both hands, mostly thanks to the ergonomic grip.

The ergonomic grip is also the part that makes this black model a bit prettier than most of its counterparts. We don't know if the visual appeal is the first thing that the manufacturers had in mind when they were designing the product. But it is definitely an aspect of the model's construction that they had no intention of sacrificing. The sort of ribbed, finlike design makes the monocular look ace.

Review of Celestron 71210 Monocular

Vast Possibilities in a Compact Body

On the outside, the body is covered with rubber for additional protection. The flat bottom part has a rough texture to prevent the device from slipping out of user's hands seeing it's being used in the rain or seized with sweaty hands. Speaking of the weather, the monocular body is waterproof sealed. This also provides the Celestron 71210 anti-fog qualities under the condition of a rapid temperature change. Thus, the monocular can be adapted for hunting or bird watching during rainfall seasons.

The optics here also boast a pretty decent quality despite the modest overall size and the smaller glasses of the monocular. The eyepiece makes 2.5mm in diameter, while the objective lens nevertheless makes 25mm for better light transmission and features a multi-coated BaK-4 glass.

Additionally, the monocular delivers a tenfold magnification, making it optimal for shooting ranges or watching sports matches as well. Of course, nobody is saying that you can't bring this device with you to some kind of music festival. With that magnification ratio, you'll be able to observe your favourite band from the most ridiculous range.

Saving the best for last, we couldn't conclude the review without mentioning that this monocular weighs just 170 grams, so the usual hand fatigue will kick in a lot later than it usually does.

Celestron 71210 Monocular in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £50.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B004KMA19Y

 

TENESA 6886 12x50

LITTLE TELESCOPE

Whether it's a concert you're waiting for or a special sports competition, a great monocular would definitely come in handy. And the TENESA 2021 Newest Monocular Telescope can be the one you need. It is reasonably priced and it comes with great optics and great magnifying performance, allowing it to lend you a helping hand in many situations.

Starting with the optics, the TENESA 2021 Newest Monocular Telescope is equipped with 12 times magnification and a 50mm objective lens with BAK4 Prism. Consequently, it can deliver clear, bright and sharp images in low-light conditions, capturing faraway objects at a distance up to 96 m / 1000 m, which should be more than enough for watching concerts, competitions, and many other outdoor activities. What's more, the model doesn't seem to lose quality when you zoom in, making it possible to connect it to your smartphone via a phone adapter (included) and take videos and photos in high definition with no blurs.

Another highlight of the model is its compact and lightweight design. With the dimensions measuring just 17.7 x 10.5 x 10.3 cm and 0.43 kg of weight, it's simple to stow the device in your handbag and hold it in hand for prolonged periods of time without experiencing hand fatigue. Plus, as is usually the case, the outer housing has a rubber coating that prevents the product from slipping out and a sealing that keeps dust, fog and water at bay. Thus, even if you grab it with sweaty hands or the rain catches you off guard right in the middle of the competition, the device will be fully protected.

Review of TENESA 6886 12x50 High Definition Monocular Telescope

EVERYTHING INCLUDED

What also sells the TENESA monocular is the package you get together with the purchase, which favourably sets it apart from similar devices. Thus, along with the monocular itself, the box contains a small tripod, a universal clip, a cleaning cloth, a user manual, a strap for a hands-free viewing experience, and a bag, which is pretty much everything you need for comfortable use. The bag, though, isn't hard, so it is better to not store it in the bottom of your backpack where it may get crashed by other stuff.

As you can see, the people behind TENESA made sure to equip their product with all of the necessary features you'd need in a monocular. It's small in size, doesn't weigh a ton, has very decent optics to let you admire the distant beauty, and comes with a wealth of accessories making its use even more enjoyable. Without a doubt, anyone who's camping, climbing mountains, wants to observe the universe or are simply in search of a scope to use during the next concert or sports event will find a lot to love about the TENESA telescope.

TENESA 6886 12x50 High Definition Monocular Telescope in the use
Last updated price £37.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B08VNDVN41

 

Gosky Titan

Another One From Gosky

Another monocular from Gosky that is just as great as our best pick model but a bit more affordable is the Titan 12x50. How does it stack up with the competition? Let's find out together.

Starting with the model's design, this scope weighs about 400 g and measures 10 x 9 x 19 cm, which though not the smallest of sizes is quite small and portable nevertheless. In addition, the unit features a solid frame with a rubber armoured body and stripes, ensuring a firm grip and excluding the risk of it somehow slipping out from your hands during use. To add to that, it has all the needed protections (a waterproof body as well as shock-, fog- and dust protection) to make sure that nothing gets in the way of the comfort of using the device wherever you go with it.

When it comes to this scope's magnification power, its zoom capability is nothing to sneeze at either. You get a very decent 50mm objective diameter wide lens that can let you see your target 12X closer than it really is, making it suitable for a vast variety of outdoor activities including hunting, hiking, bird watching, driving, sightseeing, and many other things. Also, the scope employs a large BAK-4 Prism and a fully multi-coated lens coating. This allows it to ensure smooth light transition and brightness of the image of the object that is up to 88 m / 914 m distance from you. Compared to the Gosky 12x55 High Definition Monocular, this is a bit smaller but in the grand scheme of things - remarkably more than what most people usually require.

Review of Gosky Titan 12X50 High Power Prism Monocular

Little Things

Speaking of little things, you get a very rich package containing a carry bag for hassle-free transportation of the unit, one eyepiece, lens protection covers, a cleaning cloth, one pair of straps, and a smartphone adapter in addition to the monocular itself. Thus, you're all set right from the beginning and can actually get down to using it out of the box. What also adds to the convenience is that the smartphone adapter that comes included in the kit is compatible with almost all existing brands of smartphones, giving you the ability to connect it to your phone for recording the beauty in the distant world and instantly sharing it online. It is not of the best quality, though, but if you treat it carefully it'll serve you fine for long years.

The only thing that is missing is a tripod, so if you were interested in taking pictures for streaming or sharing them online, buying it additionally will surely not go amiss.

To sum this review up, the Gosky Titan 12x50 High Power Prism Monocular has a lot going for it. It has a strengthened body to withstand different weather conditions, boasts powerful magnification to let you see distant objects with high precision without the need to move to them, and comes with everything needed for its comfortable use. It's true that its viewing field is a tad bit smaller than that offered by the mentioned scope from Gosky, but for most people looking to use it for indoor and outdoor games and activities, it'll prove to be a sound choice.

Gosky Titan 12X50 High Power Prism Monocular in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £83.98
Stock In stock
ASIN B06XKR7DBX

 

Prime Optixs Mono Pro HD 10x

POCKET-SIZE MONOCULAR

Out of all models reviewed in this article, the Prime Optixs Mono Pro HD is the smallest one. It measures just 15 x 4.2 x 4.2 and weighs 0.3 kg, which makes it look more like a toy rather than a piece of equipment. Despite that, it has all of the qualities most people are looking for in a monocular. See for yourself.

As usual, let's start with the basics. The model has a 10x zoom magnification. Though a bit smaller than the other monoculars on this list, this magnification will be enough for a wide range of activities, including sporting events with fast-moving action and air performances, not to mention camping, hiking, bird viewing, and many other indoor and outdoor activities.

Furthermore, you get a 42mm diameter lens. This lens is just the right size for 10x that will provide you with a clear and bright image of faraway objects without the need to follow them.

It's worth noting that, unlike the other monoculars, this one uses Porro prisms rather than roof ones, meaning it works better at mid and close range. Most people don't usually need higher than that but if you do, then you may want to consider opting for some other option. In general, though, devices with higher magnification cannot be used without a tripod since magnification amplifies the movement, making it more difficult to keep the scene or object in the field of view. Therefore, in practice, with less you can achieve more.

Review of Prime Optixs Mono Pro HD 10x Monocular

More Highlights

Despite being packed into a pocket-size, the Prime Optixs Mono Pro HD is neither shoddy nor flimsy. Far from that, in fact. The manufacturer made sure to produce a travel-friendly scope that would be weather-sealed to withstand the whimsical British weather. So, if you are worried about using it in the rain, don't: the optics of the scope is suitable for all weather conditions.

Besides, the unit features a durable shockproof body, thus, even if you do drop it to the ground somehow, it won't break. Sounds too good to be true? But these aren't mere claims. Since the folk behind Prime Optixs Store are 100% confident in the quality of their products, they back this scope with an incredible lifetime warranty, which alone makes for a strong selling point in favour of this monocular.

In conclusion, for those who are looking for a pocket-size monocular suitable for watching performances, bird viewing, mountain climbing, fishing and hunting, the Prime Optixs Mono Pro HD will fit the bill.

Prime Optixs Mono Pro HD 10x Monocular in the use
Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07FZ6V5CR

 

What Is a Monocular?

Without a doubt, one of the most popular portable optic devices for looking into the distance is binoculars. The only issue with them is that they are quite big and bulky. The appearance of monoculars on the market helped solve this problem a bit. They share the same working principle, yet have only one ocular (hence the name). Naturally, they are more lightweight and smaller but, unlike spy-glass, their body is not telescopic. And of course, compared to any average binoculars, a monocular is less expensive. In fact, you can acquire two different monoculars for the price of one pair of binoculars.

Read also about night vision devices and learn how to choose the right one to suit all your needs. You may also get interested in buying a special bag for carrying your optic devices as well as all other accessories.

What Features to Compare

Optics

We cannot stress enough that the first thing you should look for in any optical device is optics specs. Monoculars are not an exception. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the outer lens is, the more light it collects. The light refracts into the ocular lens, and compressed, magnified picture can be seen through it. There are different magnifying monoculars that have a small zoom – 2-4x, medium – 5-8x, or large – 10-22x. The higher this value is, the closer and bigger a distant object appears.

Another feature in optics is a coating. This refers to layers of anti-reflective coating on an objective lens. The glass itself reflects a lot of light, but with such coating, more light comes through, meaning you are getting more detailed, brighter view of objects. Multi-coated and fully multi-coated lenses are more preferred than single coated. Monoculars can also be assembled in accordance with different prism systems. For instance, ROOF prisms are more compact than PORRO, plus usually somewhat lighter.

The last but not least is the glass type. Usually, it's BK-7 or BaK-4. Those refer to a form of an eyeglass lens. In the case of monoculars, Bak-4 is a preferable choice as it gives a slightly better picture than the BK-7 type of glass. The latter has a prism glass in the form of a square, what may create a small chromatic aberration. However, BaK-4 has just a slightly higher refractive index than BK-7, so in both cases, you'll get a great result.

Body Design

Monoculars often come in a body of a tube; therefore they're easy to hold in one hand. Manufacturers come up with different surface materials and finish for even steadier grip: wavy or knurled, dimpled or pimpled, rubber or plastic, you name it. A high-quality monocular should also have waterproof and dirtproof qualities. And in order to protect the inner side of the glass from fogging, special transparent gas is pumped and sealed inside the body. Among other features, there may be adjusting rings with or without dials for better focusing on a target.

Features

The size and weight of a monocular are also critical parameters, especially, if you are going to climb up a mountain or go camping. Monoculars are often chosen because they are smaller and lighter than binoculars. Therefore, look for lightweight, compact models. Monoculars usually come with a case or a carrying pouch for transportation, neck or wrist straps, protection lens caps, a cleaning cloth, etc. What’s more, the eye lens may have a rangefinder reticle, just like a sniper sights, or even a built-in compass that comes in handy if you like camping or fishing on a boat.

Sources:

1. OpticsPlanet Guest Expert Everything You Need To Know About Monoculars, Opticsplanet. July 17, 2015.

2. Eric Lind A Guide to Birding with Binoculars, National Audubon Society. June 15, 2015.

3. Tamia Nelson Focusing on Monoculars, Verloren Hoop Productions. October 9, 2012.

4. Monocular Buying Guide, eBay, January 27, 2016.

5. Monoculars, Zeiss.

6. Monocular, Wikipedia, June 22, 2016.

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