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What are monoculars used for? What is the major difference between monoculars and binoculars? These, along with various other questions, are normally asked by outdoor enthusiasts who are still relatively unaware of the efficacy of this device. And if you are one of those people, you have just landed at the perfect place.

We have prepared this guide for those customers who want to know everything about monoculars. Apart from providing valuable information about the usefulness of this device, this guide will also help you purchase a high-quality monocular. Finally, we will take a look at how one can differentiate this optical equipment from binoculars.

What Are Monoculars Used For?

Most people, even those who use one, don’t know the full extent to which they can use a monocular. The reason behind it is that unlike other optical instruments, such as telescopes or binoculars, monoculars are still very uncommon amongst the outdoor enthusiasts.

While ordinary people use them for reading purposes, the military uses them for tracking danger. Hunters, meanwhile, use them for keeping track of their prey. Finally, if you have unequal eyesight, using a monocular with focus on one eye would be more practical than using a binocular which focuses on both.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Monocular

Now that you have come to know what are monoculars used for, you might want to get one for yourself. To help you in making an informed choice, here are some factors which you need to keep in mind when buying a monocular. Not only they will help you make a solid looking purchase, but at the same time, these factors will also prevent you from investing in a faulty equipment.

  • Bulk and Weight
    For simplicity purposes, we kept both these factors together. Still, if you want us to give it to you straight, here you go: keep both the bulk and the weight as minimum as possible. Simple as that!
    With that said, if you are a birder, you might want a larger monocular as they provide high-quality resolution and contrast. Similarly, if you are planning to go day hiking, a larger monocular might be more appropriate.


  • Eye Relief
    The space between your eye and the eyepiece of the monocular is known as eye relief. Knowing it is important because it tells you how far your eye can be from the eyepiece—the distance in millimeters—and you could still see clearly through it.
    While people who don’t wear glasses can have an eye relief of 17mm, those with glasses should settle at 14mm. Having said that, if you wear glasses and want to be doubly careful, you could use 17mm eye relief as well.


  • Glare Adjustment
    Ever got troubled with the glare of the sun? Well, as people with visually aiding appliances might testify, this problem of glare gets doubly distracting while using such appliances. For, thanks to their lens, the rays of the sunlight gets reflected straight to your eyes to disrupt your vision.
    Therefore, if you are fond of sitting in sunlight with a newspaper in your lap or are looking to go on a hike this coming summer, make sure your monocular is multi-coated. That is because different colored coatings absorb different wavelengths in the sunlight, thus allowing none of them to disturb your view.


  • Magnification
    It goes without saying that choosing the magnifying power of your monocular is a matter of personal preference. While some people want it to be at a bare minimum, others look for telescopic magnification in their monoculars. The choice, therefore, is yours.
    Nevertheless, while the choice is yours, there is one thing you need to know before choosing the magnifying power of your monocular—its stability. That is, the greater the magnifying power your monocular might provide, the less stable it would be, which means even a minor blip of your hand would cause it to lose focus, and the focus will be difficult to re-adjust as well.
    Hence, while choosing the magnifying power, make sure it offers an amalgam of stability and focus.


  • Lens
    It doesn’t matter which visual device you may want to use, its most important part will be its lens, and monocles are nothing different. For, be it the quality of the image, its size or the focus, everything a monocle provides is directly dependent on its lens.
    Therefore, if you ask us, make sure the lens of your monocular has a wide field of view, which means it should provide a bigger picture. Second, monocular with a bigger diameter provide easy focus than their small diameter counterparts.

Difference Between Monoculars and Binoculars

I bet you already know the basic difference between the two; monocular covers one eye whereas binocular covers both. Still, the differences are far more than that.

  • Compactness
    Sorry binoculars, but your single-eyed counterpart is more compact. For instance, even when one has a compact binocular, they would have to place it on a tripod stand while using for a long time. Otherwise, get ready for arm fatigue.
    Monoculars, on the contrary, are both lightweight and compact. Weighing less than a pound in most cases, you can use them for long periods without any hint of arm fatigue. Their compactness also gives you the freedom to carry them alongside.


  • Convenience
    Convenience means that you could carry an object around with minimum fuss, and monoculars, thanks to their abovementioned compactness, offer just that!
    Binoculars, despite all their usefulness, require a separate case in which you would have to store them to for you to be able to carry them around safely. Worse, if your travel luggage is getting heavy, binoculars might be the first item your companions would tell you to leave behind.
    As for monoculars, the reverse is true for them. Thanks to their light weight and compactness, they are a cinch to carry around, and you don’t even need a separate case to store them as they can be carried around in your pockets and bags.
    Consequently, anything you want to see something interesting, mark out a target for hunting or even read a sign, you could pull out your monocular with ease.


When it comes to monoculars, they can be used for a wide range of applications. You can use them for bird watching, hunting, or even for sightseeing and due to their compact design, it makes them a viable acquisition for hitchhikers and backpackers.

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