Best Monoculars in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 17, 2017
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
BEST 2017
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

Comes with a tripod and has a great light transmitting coefficient, allowing using it even in dim lighting.

CONS

The tripod is easy to tip over as the monocular as the gravity center is closer to the front.

OUR VERDICT

Top-rate monocular, with weather-resistant qualities and a durable body, that shows a bright, crisp picture. A perfect choice for bird watchers and hunters.

detailed parameters
Prism System
ROOF
Magnification Ratio
12x
Objective Lens Diameter
50mm
Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter
4.2mm
Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)
Fully multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4
Field of View

82 m / 1000 m

Body Specs
Waterproof, Fogproof
Weight

397 g

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

One of the smallest monoculars with a 10x magnification ratio.

CONS

Low light transmittance, owing to the small eyepiece diameter.

OUR VERDICT

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

10x

Objective Lens Diameter

25mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

2.5mm

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

A rich package bundle includes many items at a low price.

CONS

This monocular is more suitable for observation of static objects because of its narrow field of view.

OUR VERDICT

Boshile 10X42 monocular comes with many accessories, required for observing static subjects. It boasts a good price/quality ratio that might surprise you.

detailed parameters
Prism System

ROOF

Magnification Ratio

10x

Objective Lens Diameter

42mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

4.2mm

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4

Field of View

20 m / 1000 m

Body Specs

Waterproof

Weight

350 g

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

Boasts a far-seeing magnification ratio and great light transmittance ratio, thanks to the Fully multi-coated glass.

CONS

As it features PORRO prism system, this monocular is bulkier and heavier than many other models.

OUR VERDICT

The BNISE monocular will become an optimal choice for watching distant objects even under faint lighting conditions, owing to great characteristics, superb magnification ratio, and convenient body design.

detailed parameters
Prism System

PORRO

Magnification Ratio

12x

Objective Lens Diameter

50mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

5mm

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Fully multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4

Field of View

108 m / 1000 m

Body Specs

Waterproof, Fogproof

Weight

450 g

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

Features a wide angle of view, allowing tracking more objects at once.

CONS

The focusing ring is a bit stiff to turn around.

OUR VERDICT

This MAOZUA Monocular is a one-size-fits-all solution for any category of users. It's relatively compact, has decent optic specs, and weather-proof qualities.

detailed parameters
Prism System

ROOF

Magnification Ratio

13x

Objective Lens Diameter

42mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

3.5mm

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Fully multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4

Field of View

125 m / 1000 m

Body Specs

Waterproof, Fogproof

Weight

380 g

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

What is a Monocular

Without a doubt, one of the most popular portable optic device for looking into the distance is binoculars. However, such field glasses usually have a massive weight and size. The monoculars solve this problem as they share the same working principle but have only one ocular, hence the name. They are lighter, take twice less space but, unlike spy-glass, they don't have a telescopic body. Not to mention the price. At a cost of one pair of binoculars, you can buy two monoculars for different purposes!

If you also need a more powerful optical device for a day-time observation, we recommend you to take a look at our selection of the best binoculars.

Did you know that night vision devices come not only in a form of goggles? Check them out in our review of the best night vision devices.

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.

...Read more ...Read less

Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular

Rediscover the World

The Polaris Explorer monocular will surely show you the world and all its hidden beauty. When travelling, a lot of tiny but important details slip out of our eyespot merely for the natural limitation of the human sight. With the Polaris Explorer monocular, you won't miss a spot and discover them anew. The Polaris Explorer monocular will be of great help for travellers and bird watchers, thanks to its exclusive image specifications and fully multi-coated glass capable of transmitting a great flow of light through it. The monocular boasts 12x magnification power that allows watchers to see clearly the objects 300 m away as if they were located 25 m away from you.

Review of Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular Bright and Clear Range of View, Waterproof

Tested by Nature

The Polaris Optics has created a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use monocular. It’s fully waterproof, while the interior is filled with gas to prevent fogging of glass from the inside. That means the lens will always stay clear and dry when the temperature changes rapidly, and can be used under the rain. At mere 14 oz. the monocular comfortably lies in a hand. Besides, it also comes with a pouch for transportation and a tripod.

The tripod is an awesome inclusion for those of us, who likes bird watching. For example, when you find a beautiful bird sitting in the nest, just mount the monocular on a tripod, point at it and you can share the view with a friend or just gaze at the bird, without tiring your hand by holding a monocular for a long time.  

Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular Bright and Clear Range of View, Waterproof in the use

More Products to Consider

You can upgrade your Polaris Explorer monocular to magnifying camera lens for your mobile phone. You might find a universal cell phone adapters for monoculars. After assembling them into one unit, you will be able to not only take photos but also record videos to share them with your friends later.

Detailed review of Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular Bright and Clear Range of View, Waterproof

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular
Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular
 

Celestron 71210

Vast Possibilities in Compact Body

Сelestron company has more than 50-year experience in the field of optical instruments manufacturing. This pretty monocular is very compact and convenient to hold with both hands, owing to its ergonomic grip. 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 is also decent quality regardless the size and 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.

Review of Celestron 71210 Monocular

Celestron 71210
Celestron 71210
 

UrChoiceLtd® Dual Focus Monocular

More Equipment at Less Cost

10X42 Boshile Monocular has several aces up its sleeve to show us all. Firstly, it has quality optic characteristics. A multi-coated glass transmits decent image even under dim conditions or stormy weather. The body is fully waterproof, so neither rain nor seawater sprays may damage it. We also liked the fact the objective glass is installed deep inside the housing and comes in the set with a protective cap. Thus, there are fewer chances it might get scratched or broken even if fallen to the ground.

However, it looks like a wide ring around the objective lens has affected the field of view: at 1000 m distance from a subject, you are getting only 20 m of wide picture. On one hand, you're likely to lose your target more often and spend time searching for it again. On the other hand, the included tripod allows you to fix and lock the device to aim it at a specific object, like for example, birds' nests and feeders, a school of fish, etc. At a slightly narrower viewing angle and 10x magnification, this monocular will work better for observing calm animals in their habitat conditions or watching some static objects rather than sports even. To sum up, the combination of decent optics characteristics, rich package content and a relatively low price make it a safe choice for the beginning wildlife enthusiasts and hikers.

Review of UrChoiceLtd® Dual Focus Monocular

UrChoiceLtd® Dual Focus Monocular
UrChoiceLtd® Dual Focus Monocular
 

BNISE 13x50 Monocular

Looking Into Details

At first glance, the BNISE monocular may seem quite large and cumbersome, compared to some other models. Nonetheless, it features a convenient body design with the rugged sides for better handling. The major feature here is the optics. This model has a great 13x magnification ratio, allowing you to check out the smallest details of your objects at very long distances. The image quality is absolutely wonderful. At 50mm objective lens and 5mm ocular lens, it has a comparatively wide angle of view: 108 m at 1000 m away. Additionally, a fully multi-coated glass has a great light transmittance ratio. Therefore, you are provided with a crisp picture even in low light. The scope also has a reticle for measuring the distance between the objects. The only downside is that the PORRO lens systems are not too light and can be somewhat bulky. The monocular weighs almost half a kilo and is pretty big. However, its advantageous optic specs make it a great choice for customers who are not averted by its dimensions. As for the intended use, this BNISE monocular is great for all: from sports events to wildlife observations in any conditions.

Review of BNISE 13x50 Monocular

BNISE 13x50 Monocular
BNISE 13x50 Monocular
 

MAOZUA Monocular Telescope Dual Focus Adjustable

All-seeing Eye

The MAOZUA monocular is suitable for any task: watching birds, concerts, sports events or simply observing nature in the nearest part or forest. Considering its 12x magnification ratio, the device boasts incredible 125 m field of view at 1000 m distance. That way, you can observe many moving objects at once or easily pick up one of them and focus on it.The design is pretty standard for monoculars. The compact metal housing has a rubberized coating for a steadier grip. Furthermore, it has a screw hole at the bottom for the tripod that comes in the set. The package also includes a hand strap, a cleaning cloth, and a carrying pouch. The monocular also has a built-in compass on the top for quick land and sea navigation that may come in handy for fishermen and birds enthusiasts that like to track down things like birds migrations or hunting routes. The waterproof and fogproof qualities are also helpful for harsh weather conditions and sudden temperature drops. On the whole, this is a solid choice for any person who seeks a reliable, multi-purpose monocular.

Review of MAOZUA Monocular Telescope Dual Focus Adjustable

MAOZUA Monocular Telescope Dual Focus Adjustable
MAOZUA Monocular Telescope Dual Focus Adjustable
 

Sources:

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

2. A. Rohlandt How do I Choose the Best Monocular Scope? wiseGeek. June 20, 2016.

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

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

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

6. Monoculars, Zeiss.

7. How to Choose Binoculars, Ems.

8. Monocular, Wikipedia, June 22, 2016.

Other reviews