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Monocular Vs Binocular - What's the Best Option?

Updated: April 2021

Are you obsessed with optic devices? I use these gadgets for both professional and leisure purposes and finding a good device to use has not been easy I have encountered devices that could not take a single clear image and others that could not see past a couple of feet. This is why finding the right optic device is important to us. These gadgets usually revolve around monocular vs binocular options.

Understanding different types of optic gadgets and their features is essential when looking for a device that is worth your time and money. That is why I had to come up with an elaborate post where you can refer when you need to know anything about these optic solutions. Keep reading to find out more.

What is Monocular?

Monocular

A monocular is basically a halved pair of binoculars. It is very comparable to a telescope in the sense that both use one observation tube. It is, however, essential to note that they differ in magnification strength. Telescopes also use different optic combinations to process and refine light.

This mixture of features that aren’t quite the same as the binoculars or telescopes has resulted in many people ignoring them when looking for an optics solution. What most people do not realize is that the obscurity of their applications makes them an excellent choice for a wide range of functions.

Features

Here are some of the attributes that depict a monocular as much more than a mono-eyed binocular and an excellent choice for your optic needs.

Monoculars are compact, conveniently portable, and not as awkward to carry as regular binoculars. The single tube is easier to handle and less prone to clumsy bumps against stuff or even damage.

Monoculars are usually very light. Most of them also come with sturdy straps to enable you to wear them on your person comfortably. Binoculars have straps too but they are heavier, causing needless strain on your neck and back.

Prism and Lens

The lens of a monocular and its observation technique usually deploy a model known as Porro prism. The model was created by Ignatio Porro and was initially featured in binoculars. The design functions on the concept of a curved lens functioning alongside a prism.

The lens and prism of a monocular work hand in hand to optimize its functions. The lens captures light from afar and develops it by design. The prism then captures and inverts the image. This makes the prism an integral part of a monocular because the curved lens produces an upside-down image when the light is developed.

These handy features make up the most complex and consequently expensive aspects involved in the production of a monocular. That is why monoculars are more expensive than binoculars.

Difference between BK-7 and BaK-4 Prisms

Advanced and average optic options usually use either BK-7 or BaK-4 roof or glass Porro prisms. These prisms were developed by Schott AG, a renowned German manufacturer for optical glasses.

BaK-4 is a glass prism specification that portrays BaritleichKron which is German for "Berium Crown". Its refractive signal is higher than that of BK-7 glass. This allows for more light from the field margin to get to the eyepieces through the prisms. The field's edge is brightened while the middle remains pristine.

Most people consider BK-7 inferior to BaK-4 but it has proven to be more suitable in some fields like astrophotography.

Magnification

None is the others superior when it comes to magnification. However, although one may consider monoculars and binoculars similar in this regard, viewing with a monocular for prolonged periods is more likely to strain your eyesight than a pair of binoculars. Your eyes are bound to grow fatigued, especially when one eye is seeing through a magnifying lens and the other one isn't. This makes monoculars more suitable for fast glances as opposed to full-fledged viewing.

Field of View

Binoculars have an edge over monoculars in the field of view. This is because they have two observation tubes which provide a broader scope of view. However, when it comes to night vision, the tables turn tremendously.

A monocular uses only one eye for vision which means that while one eye is seeing through magnified vision, the other one is unimpaired and still able to use its natural night-seeing abilities. Night vision binoculars may provide a larger field of view but it will take you longer to readjust your eyesight in the dark.

Monoculars enjoy an almost similar field of view to telescopes. Binoculars offer a broader observation adventure while monoculars provide what we call a true field of view. Monoculars are used to spot precise targets, so the width of the field of view is of no consequence to them. A narrower field of view helps you to focus better.

Advantages of Using a Monocular

  • They are compact and smaller in size compared to binoculars.
  • You can easily adjust them when you are on the move.
  • They are more suitable for night vision observation.

Disadvantages of Using a Monocular

  • They have a smaller field of view.
  • Viewing is awkward because while one eye is engaged in optimized vision, the other one is just doing nothing.
  • They cause more strain on your eyes.
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What is Binocular?

Binoculars

These are optic gadgets used for general and specialized viewing purposes. As the name suggests, these devices come with two sets of everything where a monocular has one. Take a look at their features and how they compare to those of monoculars.

Features

Binoculars are widely used throughout the world for almost any situations that call for optical magnification or improvement. You can comfortably use them for long periods because of the vision uniformity they provide. Most people use them on safaris, bird-watching, and sports events.

Although they provide excellent view enhancement, binoculars are a bit hefty. Carrying them on your hands is tiresome and hanging them around your neck will have you change your walking posture in no time.

It is almost impossible to attain instant focus with a pair of binoculars because unlike monoculars, these have to resolve two optical functions.

Prisms and Lenses

Binoculars can function with the use of Galilean, Porro, or Roof prism systems. Did you know that the first monoculars to be developed using Galilean prisms? The Roof and Porro prism mechanisms advanced into present-day binoculars much later.
Since binoculars have two sets of lens and prisms, they are more expensive than monoculars which function with a single set.

Magnification

The specifications for magnification between monoculars and binoculars are largely similar. They enjoy the same level of view expansion to provide you with a more precise image from afar. However, neither a monocular nor a pair of binoculars can amplify an image enough if you are trying to observe objects at far off distances or in space. Telescopes are best suited for such escapades.

Binoculars do not strain your eyes as much as their one-eyed counterparts because both eyes are equally enjoying magnified vision. Monoculars may cause one eye to strain when viewing objects but that does not mean that binoculars are ideal for constant use. Your eyes are guaranteed to suffer from fatigue if you use magnified vision for prolonged periods.

Field of View

You can count on even the cheapest quality pair of binoculars to provide you with a larger field of view compared to the most advanced monocular. Binoculars are crafted for use with both eyes so the viewing tubes automatically provide a broader scope of vision. That is why binoculars come in handy when you want to watch events like sports or scout for animals in the wild.

Did you know that magnification quality reduces with the increase in the field of view? That's right. Binoculars may allow you to view a larger field but the level of magnification is lower than that you will get from a monocular, but with a smaller field of view.

Binoculars lose their advantage when it comes to night vision. You will be able to view images clearly but your natural night vision capacity will be shut off while you view magnified images. When you stop looking through your binoculars, your eyes will take longer to adjust back into seeing through the dark unaided. That is why military forces use night vision monoculars instead.

Advantages of Binoculars

  • They offer a larger field of view.
  • You can use them comfortably because both eyes are engaged in using magnified vision.
  • They reduce the risk of fatigue caused by eye strain.

Disadvantages of Binoculars

  • They are heavier to carry.
  • They are more expensive than monoculars.
  • They are awkward to move around with and more prone to damage.
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Monocular VS Binocular

These are the benefits of using a monocular instead of binoculars:

  • One-eyed with a single viewing tube Two viewing tubes and two sets of lenses for both eyes
  • Small Large
  • Light and easily portable Heavier
  • Suitable for night vision Harder to readjust your eyes when using night vision
  • Higher risk of eye fatigue Lower risk of eye fatigue
  • A small field of view Larger field of view
  • Higher magnification quality Lower magnification quality
  • Awkward to use More comfortable to use
  • Less expensive More expensive
  • Ideal for seeking precise focus on single objects Ideal for scouting and watching sporting activities

Alternative

Choosing between a monocular and a pair of binoculars is not a cut and dry option. There are other similar devices in the market that provide similar and even better quality optics. This monocular telescope comes highly recommended because of its spectacular features and capabilities. Take a look at some of the reasons why we love it and you are likely to fall in love with it as well.

Starscope Telescope Monocular Review

There is no better way to freeze moments in time and preserve them for years than taking photos. Whether you are a photographer, a student, or just a lover of photos, taking quality images is essential. This necessitates a magnificent camera that will capture the moment exactly as it is, maybe even enhance it to make it sharper.

Starscope Monocular

Finding a good camera is like looking for a needle in a haystack. That is why we strive to try out and recommend worthwhile devices to you. Taking pictures on your phone can be a convenient alternative but have you tried using yours to take a picture from afar? The resolution is not usually up to par and may even end up ruining the entire photo. That is why you need a camera that can take high-quality images seamlessly.

This gadget we want to recommend to you is a game-changer in the field of photography. We give you, the Starscope Telescope Monocular. Its lucid lens can be used to get precise images from close and afar. If you are looking to up your photography game, keep reading, this might just be the holy grail you’ve been searching for.

Considerations Before Buying the Starscope Monocular

Since this device is a monocular, a lot of thought and consideration needs to go into your choice to purchase it. It would be best to make sure that you understand how monocular functions so that your expectations are similar to the features provided by the gadget.

What would you like to use the Starscope Monocular for? You may require t check certain specifications if you are going to use it for professional photography and not just your social media account.

Take a look at some of the prominent features offered by this monocular so that you can decide if you need it or not.

Magnification Scope

This is probably the most essential aspect of your monocular camera. Magnification capacity comes in ranges from 5X, 10X, and more. It is essential to remember that the field of view reduces with an increase in magnification. Think about whether you need clearer, more precise photos or wider ones of lower magnification.

Eye relief

This is the distance between your eye and the monocular during use. You may need a longer or shorter eye relief depending on the state of your eyesight or even your preference.

Optical Coating Quality

This feature determines the quality of the image produced by your monocular. Clear vision and photos demand high-quality optical coating. How does this feature achieve this? It lets in adequate light to ensure that your device captures the clearest images.

Monoculars come in different varieties but the Starscope Monocular is one of our prime choices because of its astounding quality.

Pros

  • It has an in-built compass to help you navigate with ease.
  • It is water-resistant, doing away with the photography limits set by other devices devoid of this feature.
  • It is made of durable material that will serve you for years if handled properly.
  • It is resistant to fog: you can take your photos anywhere!
  • It has an easy-grip that reduces arm fatigue.
  • Its scratch-resistant exterior and lenses ensure that you will use it in pristine condition for longer.

Cons

  • Its field of view is limited.
  • It is not ideal for professional photography.

Summary

Technology has made it possible for us to view and capture images from all sorts of angles and distances without the hassle involved in using traditional cameras. That is why we make it our main objective to keep you informed on new devices and the best options in the market. We sincerely hope that you have found this article insightful and useful.

Written by Simon Reyes
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