Advantages of a monocular over spotting scopes, binoculars and other types of optics.

September 30, 2020


Advantages of a monocular over  spotting scopes, binoculars and other types of optics. - September 30, 2020

Monoculars are simple and usually the most accessible night vision devices, which look like a modern spyglass tube. Their field of application is very wide. They are tourism, hunting, repair work, area protection and surveillance of various objects. In this article we will talk about monoculars, how to choose and what to pay attention to. And also on the main differences between monoculars and other night optics devices.

What is Monoculars

Monocular is one of the types of optical devices, which is widely used during hunting, object protection, research, police operations, as well as for active recreation and mountaineering. The name of the device implies the presence of one optical channel, respectively, you can only look into the monocular with one eye. Of course, there are pseudo binocular models, but everything is in order.
The device consists of a lens, a signal amplifier, which is most often used as an image intensifier tube (IIT) (), and an eyepiece in which the user observes the resulting picture. The purpose of processing is to make visible to the naked eye that part of the landscape and objects focused on it, which due to low light is not visible or is very poorly visible.

Why choose a monocular?

The main feature of the monocular for hunting - is an affordable price, it can be bought by almost every hunter or tourist. Cheapness is due to just one optical path, one IIT, no need for impact resistance to recoil (as opposed to the sight), lack of sighting mark, etc.
You should not assume that this device is ineffective or useless at all. It is very convenient to observe the terrain or to track the beast. Most varieties have Weaver rails on the body to attach additional accessories, such as, for example, directional microphones, additional infrared lights to work in total darkness, in addition, the monocular itself can be fixed to the head or helmet. Head fixation allows you to observe the terrain in total darkness with your hands free. This is very important for hunting, because you can flip your gun and shoot at any time. Monoculars are often used for hunting. It helps to track the beast, and in general to control the area around the hunter, which at night is very important. The design of these devices implies a certain versatility. You can observe simply from your hands or from a tripod. With the help of special brackets, compact models can be mounted on a cap goggle kit or helmet to free your hands. A special adapter allows you to mount a monocular device in front of the rifle's simple spotting scope sight, making it a night vision sight.

Understanding the differences between monoculars, binoculars and spotting scopes

When it comes to field optics, the choice is usually between a spotting scope, monocular and binoculars. At the same time, any hunter would like the selected device to meet the following requirements: viewing range, wide field of view, compactness and light weight. But to combine all this in one device is very difficult, usually you have to do something.
  • Spotting scopes are preferable for long observations, as well as in situations where high multiplicity is important, such as mountain hunting. They are convenient to use on weight and with a tripod, with their help it is easy to track the movements of animals. According to testimonials of experienced hunters, monoculars are preferable for short "quick" observations, when you only need to assess the situation at a remote distance. They are not burdened with their weight during long transitions, fit in a pocket and are easy to use. They also make it easier to see the small markings of bullets and other illegible inscriptions.
  • Pseudo binocular monoculars differ from binoculars only in the fact that the binocular principle of image output is realized, that is, the device has one IIT, consisting of one lens, one IIT, but two eyepieces. In the binoculars, you will not get a stereoscopic image; it will be the same image displayed on two eyepieces. Naturally, the cost of the binoculars is higher, especially if you are talking about a device with IITs of II+ or III generations. In addition, when using the zoom, you will not be able to move freely, especially in rough terrain, which is not the case with a monocular: the second eye always watches what happens under the feet of the hunter. The binoculars can't be placed on the gun instead of the sight.

Choosing the right monocular for you

Choosing a monocular for hunting is a nontrivial task. There are a lot of factors to consider. Of course, one of the main factors will be your willingness to spend this or that amount, because really good specimens (thermal imaging cameras, models with II+ and III generation IITs) cost a lot of money. On the other hand, you should clearly understand what kind of device you need, what the requirements are. It may well happen that you do not need an expensive device with enhanced tactical and technical characteristics. Therefore, it can be concluded that the correct choice of product depends on the experience of the hunter, who will be able to tell which monocular is better for hunting (taking into account all these nuances).

Monocular Magnification and Objective Size

  • Magnification. Magnification is usually indicated in specifications. For example, in the model AGM Wolf-14 the magnification is 1x (3x and 5x optional). That is, the observed object from a distance of, for example, 300m will look as if you were looking from 100m. The magnification of any optical device depends on the ratio between the focal length of the lens and the eyepiece. However, due to the technical design, the eyepieces of most similar models have almost the same characteristics. So in the end it all depends on the lens itself.
  • The objective lens size. The objective of a lens is to collect as much faint light as possible from the object being observed, respectively, the larger the lens is, the brighter the image can be constructed by the instrument. It is also worth mentioning the luminous intensity. Modern tools are equipped with lenses with aperture ratio of 1.5-2, which is the ratio of lens focus to lens diameter. In other words, the lower the specified value, the more aperture-intensive the lens is.

Field of View, Eye Relief, Lens Coating

  • Field of view. The field of vision is usually specified in degrees, all other things being equal, the bigger it is, the better. In the dark, even with a night vision device, it can be difficult to navigate. A larger angle of view will allow you to cover a larger area for observation. It is also worth remembering that with increasing multiplicity, the field of view decreases, so you should not always chase high magnification.
  • Eye Relief. The characteristics of the device often indicate the range of focus, i.e. the working distances at which the NVD can give a clear picture. Be sure to pay attention to this characteristic and check if it corresponds to your tasks. If you have problems with your eyesight, check the presence of dioptric correction of the Eyepiece .
  • Lens Coating. For night vision devices, the resolution is given in the number of visible strokes per millimeter. Other things being equal, this value depends entirely on the generation used in the design of the image intensifier tubeThe higher the resolution, the more small details you can see at greater distances.
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