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Common Features Of A Monocular

Jan 28, 2008
Monoculars are the more compact, lightweight version of the binocular. Instead of peering through two separate lenses, you view your object through one. There are many times in life when you want to see something closer: a bird in the distance, a sign up ahead, whatever it may be...and you didn't bring your binoculars and your pocket magnifier, just won't give you the optical quality and freedoms that you'd like. This is when a trusty compact monocular comes in hand. Many birders, ocean voyagers, and field enthusiasts opt for a monocular over a pair of binoculars because of its compact and convenient size. Most carry theirs in their purses, backpacks, or pockets; and are prepared wherever they may end up. If you're seeking out a new monocular for your adventures, you need to know what features and functions to be on the look out for to ensure you get the best monocular for your purposes. Below is a list of the most common and important features/functions you'll come across while shopping for a monocular:

Magnification: The magnification of your monocular and really any optical device, is the first number of the common numberXnumber equation you'll find when seeking to buy a new piece of optical equipment. For example: if a particular monocular is 10X50, the magnification is 10. What this means is that the monocular will show you objects ten times larger than how you would be able to perceive them with the naked eye. Depending on use, monoculars usually deliver their best image quality results with a magnification of 5X or 6X.

Objective Lens or Aperture: The objective lens or aperture of your monocular is the second number of the common equation. For example: if a particular monocular is 10X50, the aperture is 50. The aperture is the diameter measurement of your objective lens, and the objective lens depending on its size controls how much light is perceived when viewing. The larger the objective lens, the more light is reflected off the object; therefore making the overall image brighter. Depending on use, with standard magnification specs work best with a 15mm aperture or objective lens.

Field of View: The field of view of your monocular is the perceived width of the image from 1000 yards away. It's good to note that the larger the field of view, the less magnification you will have; and conversely, the higher the magnification, the less field of view you'll be able to perceive of your intended object.

Eye Relief: The eye relief of a monocular is the maximum distance that your eye can be away from the eyepiece and still perceive the intended field of view. If you wear glasses, the eye relief specs are crucial. Never use anything less than a 14mm eye relief.

Close Focus: The close focus of your monocular is the minimum distance that it will be able to legibly perceive or focus, an object. Always look for a close focus that can give you a good view from even a few feet away.

In closing, if you look for the right features in your monocular, not only will your monocular perceive objects and views with the near-aptitude of a pair of binoculars; but it will also give you the ease of use and agility of a portable magnifier; so that you can see the world around you more closely...wherever your day takes you.
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