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Learning About Monocular Magnification

Monocular scopes are light, handy, and compact lenses that are favored by many hikers, explorers, and even some hunters. They are sort of like mini telescopes that you can fit in your pocket or purse for a quick faraway view of a trail, a bird, or any unforeseen obstacle ahead of their current route.

Below are a few important features of monocular scopes:

Monocular magnification.

You may find that monocular scopes’ magnification is measured by numbers in a certain format such as 6×15. The first number measures just how much an image is enlarged over the normal view.

Usually, the favorable magnification is about 5x or 6x. Any higher than that and the compact device may become challenging to use because higher magnification in a smaller instrument can make it harder to steady and may limit your field of view.

That is why the 5x or 6x is favored as it makes it easier for you to spot a target. However, if you find yourself needing a much nearer view of your located target, there are available zoom options in some monocular scopes that can go as high as 10x.

You just might find it a bit of a challenge, especially if you are trying to view a moving target such as an animal.

Objective size.

The second number that follows after the monocular magnification measurement is the objective size. This simply measures the exact size of the front lens.

The larger this measurement, the better the optics, but there are drawbacks to a bigger lens too. Usually, if you are looking for a monocular for the sake of size and weight, you might want to consider monocular scopes that don’t go above 5×20 or 6×20 for you to easily fit it into your pocket.

A monocular with monocular magnification of 10 and an objective size of 40 would sort of be equivalent to one-half of a full sized binocular.

Field of view.

This measures how wide your field of vision is through the monocular. The field of view is inversely proportional to the monocular magnification. If you have a magnification that is significantly high, you can expect a field of view that is significantly narrow.

Eye relief.

This feature measures the maximum distance of your eye from the eyepiece with the whole field of view still intact. This is especially important for people who wear glasses as they are less likely able to get the eyepiece close enough to the eye.

A goof eye relief for people with glasses is about 14 millimeters or more.

Close focus.

The reason why some monocular scopes can effectively double as a magnifier is because its close focus is measured in inches instead of yards. This means that it will be able to focus on close by objects unlike other scopes that may produce a blurry image or may not be able to focus at all, especially those with a significantly high monocular magnification.

Lens coating.

The coats on the lenses actually have an effect on the brightness of the image produced. Usually, you would want to look for monocular scopes with fully multi-coated lenses.

They are at the top of the hierarchy, followed by multi-coated brands and then the fully coated ones.


This feature is not available in all monocular scopes, but it is very useful if you are boating, or will need to use it around wet conditions such as if you will be wading in a swamp or traveling around the rainy tropics.

For normal days and on generally dry areas, you can go for the normal non-waterproof scopes as the waterproof features may cost you a bit of extra.

Night vision.

If you find yourself wanting to spot something at night or in the middles of complete darkness, a night vision monocular may come in handy. In fact, some modern military use monocular scopes with night vision to better spot in the dark.

These scopes function using a built-in infrared illuminator which allows it to let you see things in the dark. Usually, monocular scopes with night vision have less monocular magnification so that the images that they provide are less blurry so that even if the images registered are not in color, they are still sharp enough so that you can easily decipher the things that you are trying to scout for.

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