An outdoor person needs a lens for many different purposes, such as looking ahead to find a trail, determining if there are animals in the distance, or observing wildlife. Generally speaking, there are two common lens types that are usually employed by the outdoorsman and it’s often a debate of monocular vs. binocular.
To be able to determine which one will best suit your needs, you might first want to find out what they are individually.
A monocular is a smaller scale telescope that is handheld and used with just one eye. Monocular are usually small in size, with the shortest being just about the lengths of a finger, and the thinnest being just about the girth of a sharpie.
With that being said, monocular are usually employed when weight and storage issues are to be addressed, such as if you want to pack light for an adventure. You can easily store it in your pocket or your purse for everyday use, such as if you simply want to spot far away objects or if you want to read far away signs.
In fact, some monocular can even be used as magnifiers so you can view closer objects at a much larger scale.
A binocular, on the other hand, as its name implies, uses a pair of lens that you use with both of your eyes. They are much more common than a monocular in a sense that almost all lens manufacturers make them.
They are also a tool of choice for the military and among hunters for several uses such as scouting far ahead for trails or looking for objects, persons, or animals in the distance. Binoculars are also available in a wider range of options, from the priciest to the cheapest, and with many variations built in and features.
When to use a monocular vs. binocular
With monocular, the advantages can be mainly seen in its size and weight. They are usually very compact and are super easy to use. If compared with binoculars of the same features, they can be about half or less than half of the weight since you are only using one lens and one tube.
And since you have only one lens and singular parts instead of the pairs that are required for binoculars, they are generally more affordable as they are cheaper to make. This means that even if you get a high-end monocular scope, you still get to pay up to only half than that of binoculars of the same quality.
Monocular scopes can also come with cool features that can be so useful for the outdoorsman. They can be built waterproof, shockproof, fog proof, an ultra HD lens, tripod ready and tripod ready.
The only drawback with a monocular vs. binocular is that your eyes may tire easily. This limits your monocular use to only a few minutes at a time. Also, since you are using just one eye, your field view becomes somewhat limited to just one eye’s view.
If you plan on looking out for long periods, such as if you are waiting for an evasive buck to come into view of its trail, it is best to go for a binocular. The lessened strain on the eye is because of using both eyes instead of just one.
Your field of vision and visual acuity is also greatly improved, which is great for scanning wide areas, such as fields so that you do not get to miss a thing in your field of view. If you are a serious hunter, birder, astronomer, or are in the military service, you would know that binoculars are a general better performer since it maximizes your vision and amplifies it to produce great results.
There are plenty of binocular manufacturers in the world, so you have a good range of options to choose from. They have some very useful features too, such as crystal clear imaging, water and shockproof qualities, tripod readiness, readily adjustable magnification, and some can even cost you very little.
However, because of their built and bulkiness, it can be tiring to hold them for long times, which is why a tripod is almost always necessary if observing for long periods. They are also heavy to carry and take up a lot of space.
Who are monocular vs. binoculars for?
Explorers, climbers, and hikers can benefit greatly from monocular scopes since they are usually on the move and can use the lightweight and space saving qualities of the single scope. Birdwatchers and hunters who have to survey an area for long periods may find that binoculars are better suited for them.
Since they are not likely to move around a lot, the size and weight of the binoculars will not be an issue for them.