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Monocular vs Binoculars – Which Are Better for Going Hunting?

The ability to view from far distances has become a valuable tool over the years, from ship captains to commanders on a battlefield, hunters, birdwatchers, and many others. Today, many outdoorsmen around the globe appreciate the ability to see a lot further and use optics to help them.

The question though is what kind of optic to use? Let’s check out the monocular vs binoculars comparison to see what works better for you!

Comparing BInoculars and Monoculars

Hunters also make use of these optical tools to scout or judge the size of their prey. Hikers also enjoy the ability to examine their route to avoid as many obstacles that they can.

Naturalists and bird watchers, along with any individual who possesses a closer view of the nature around them appreciate this ability to view things up close.

Binoculars for Hunting

But you may be wondering, whether binoculars or monoculars are better. We have reviewed the current marketplace, and here is what we have established:

What Are Binoculars?

The binoculars derive their name due to the two lenses. The better sets of binoculars use both eyes to look through the dual lenses to scout and observe. The binoculars are a lot more common in comparison to the monoculars.

They are also much more common to find in an assortment of variations, sizes and price ranges. Binoculars are produced by all the primary optics companies across the globe, and they range from a few fantastic optics onto very poorly made and cheap sets. Binoculars are commonly used by most outdoorsmen and are widely used in military sectors.

What Are Monoculars?

These single-lens devices make it a lot easier to see from extreme distances. These are compact, small and lightweight devices. They are the natural evolution from the traditional telescope and match up to most of the similar roles.

The monocular comes in various power, price ranges, and sizes, but are not standard like the binoculars. The night-vision monocular is used by most of the military forces of today.

A monocular with night vision capabilities can have its uses when you’re tracking game during night hours when you’re for example coyote hunting. This device is not classified as one of the specialty items, yet they are chosen by individuals who have specific preferences for its use.

Birdwatching and Hunting with Binoculars

The Key Features And Functions Shared By Monoculars And Binoculars

When you compare binoculars vs monocular you’ll see that they share some features and functions that influence their overall performances. We will offer you a bit more information here:

Exit Pupil

When looking at the “ocular-lens” when held from arm’s length on both the monocular and binocular, it shows up a vibrant circle on the lens. This is known as the particular “exit-pupil.”

It is the exit-pupil which determines the lighting in association with the sight-view. This will be calculated in mm. It’s the consequence involved in separating a set zoom-level by the diameter of the objective lens.

Relative Brightness

In the way of considering the “relative brightness” of a preferred binocular or monocular, it is easy to work out light effectiveness offered through the ocular lens. Relative brightness will be attained in the way of the squaring-size of the exit pupil.

Hunting and exploring nature with a monocular

Twilight Factor

When considering the capabilities of either a binocular or monocular to work in a “low light” condition, it is an essential factor. From here the twilight factor assists in comparing the different devices.

Twilight factor dimensions will determine the capabilities of the provided device to accumulate light when it comes to vision facilitation.

Besides, when the “twilight” element is greater, the more superior will be the ability of the binocular or monocular to work in a “low light” condition.

Eye Relief

This is the length between the eyes of a viewer and the “ocular-lens” of either the binocular or monocular. People who wear eye-glasses need to think about the impact of “eye-relief” on their chosen binocular or monocular focus, as the distance increase which is created by their glasses could interfere with the field vision.

Flawed Vision

View distortion that is found on both binoculars and monoculars can result from astigmatism, spherical aberration, chromic aberration, or field curvature. It is essential to assess the lens quality of a preferred gadget well before you buy it.

Lens Quality and Coatings

There are no real differences in the quality when you look the quality of the lenses and coatings on monoculars vs binoculars. Typically, you will want to make sure that you get an optic with ultra-clear glass. This will reduce any distortions from your view.

Binoculars often are available with a large objective lens. This does tremendously help with light transmission and capabilities to go bird watching during dusk and dawn. The downside of such a large objective lens is that the pair of binoculars is getting bulkier and heavier.

Many optics also have proprietary coatings on their lenses. These are to reduce glare and enhance the quality of the image you see. Fully multi-coated lenses have several layers of coatings for different improvements of their optical and mechanical features.

A Closer Look Into Binoculars

Binoculars are a lot more comfortable when used for extended periods. The users’ eyes will remain rested for longer time frames. Eye fatigue is lowered significantly, and the user can avoid a headache when using their binoculars over the whole day.

With so many companies producing binoculars, there is an abundance in magnification levels and sizes, and it’s enjoyable to have so many options available.

Advantages Of Binoculars

  • Most binoculars are simple to use, all that is required is to point the binoculars at something and then dial in your focus. This device will allow you to view game, bird, or any other types of interesting objects.
  • Because you use both eyes, compared to the one eye when you use a monocular, the binoculars offer a much wider field of view along with projecting a “spatial” 3D image.
  • Binoculars are a lot more comfortable for your eyes, which means you won’t experience “eye fatigue” and the users will also not suffer from headaches caused by eye-fatigue, even when they look through this instrument for many hours at a time.
  • A pair of binoculars is used mainly for nature observation, where users desire to watch objects from far away for longer durations. Typically, these uses include bird watching or observing other animals in the wild. Skilled outdoorsmen and nature observers will quickly observe that superior binoculars are much better than monoculars along with providing an improvement in viewing results.
Environment watching with binoculars on the beach

Best Binoculars For Hunting Along With Other Uses

The binoculars such as the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD series are built by and designed by the very same company which produces a few of the very best rifle scopes available today. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD binoculars are designed to operate in rough environments.

Bushnell is one of the most reputable manufacturers for the very best optics that you can find. The power-optic that is fixed gives the users a 10-power magnification, with a large 42 mm objective lens that offers a crystal-clear image with a wide field of view.

With a medium-magnification, it is unlikely that your eyes will tire, which means you can observe for as long as you want. The 10x Legend Ultra HD binoculars are fog proof, field ready and waterproof.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x 42mm Roof Prism Binocular
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x 42mm Roof Prism Binocular

The optics are of the highest quality with Extra-Low Dispersion fluorite glass. The dial is large and very easy-to-operate even when your hands are wet or half-frozen. The binoculars use roof prisms and provide a high definition resolution along with a crystal-clear picture. This is just an example of the binocular types out there. There are many other options available.

Another great example is the Nikon Aculoan binoculars. This is a variable model that packs immense power into a capable and compact package. The Nikon Aculon binocular series offers you 10 to 22 power magnification levels along with a 50mm objective lens. This series is well-made and extremely powerful.

Nikon is highly experienced regarding optics. They produce an extensive range of optics when it comes to spotting scopes, binoculars, riflescopes and more. If you’re in search of any kind of optical device for outdoor use then Nikon is a brand you definitely want to have a look at.

Nikon Aculon A211 10-22x50 Zoom Binocular
Nikon Aculon A211 10-22×50 Zoom Binocular

The Aculon series offers an armor coating of durable rubber that provides an outstanding non-slip grip that can be used in all types of conditions. Nikon Aculon is an impressive binocular set that displays the distance you can reach to view a target.

However, this binocular type is also a classic example of a few of the drawbacks of binoculars. The binoculars are heavier and larger and are never as compact when compared to monoculars.

A pair of binoculars also takes up more space, unless you have chosen a relatively low-powered and small model. They are also difficult to carry around in your pocket.

A good reason as to why a tripod is a popular choice to use with binoculars has to do with their weight. This is because your arms will become tired after using this device for many hours at a time.

A Closer Look At Monoculars

Easy to use, compact and lightweight, monoculars have reserved their space in association with how light and easy they are to use. Monoculars that have a similar or same magnification to a pair of binoculars are often half or even less in weight and can be just as if not more effective. The monoculars also cost less to build, which means you can in most cases buy monoculars of high quality for a lot less when compared to a similar binocular.

A specialized version that is often used by different militaries around the world are night vision monoculars. We are not looking at military gear here but there certainly are uses for a night vision monocular for hunting or game sighting during early morning or early evening hours. If you’re a hunter you can even consider using a night vision monocular that is mounted in front of your scope for night hunts.

One of the downsides of the monocular compared to binoculars is that it has a narrower field of view compared to a pair of binoculars or your natural vision. If you combine the monocular with a rifle scope then that’s not an issue as the scope also has a limited field of view. However, if you’re nature-watching then the limitations on the field of view can limit your enjoyment of exploring the nature around you.

Night Vision Monocular for hunting. The night vision capabilities come in handy during dusk and dawn.

Advantages of Monoculars

  • Monoculars are associated with some pros and cons. One of the stand-out benefits would have to be how small, compact, and lightweight they are.
  • Since these devices are only “half” of a binocular, while still offering the same magnification levels of a standard set of binoculars, the monocular is cheaper.
  • One of the drawbacks of monoculars is their deficiencies when it comes to relaxed vision, which can quickly result in eye fatigue. Also, the construction makes them more prone to annoying side “light effects” and a narrower “field of view.”
  • The monoculars, however, are better used in situations where you do not need to observe moving objects from far on a consistent basis. They are best used to view an object from far quickly. For example, to aim when hunting, to calculate a distance while you are playing golf, or to catch a quick glimpse of an object.

A Closer Look Into The Better Monoculars For Birdwatching, Hunting And More

The Wingspan Optics Titan monocular offers an outstanding view when you look through them. This model provides users with 12-power magnification along with a 50mm objective lens.

Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular
Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular

This design is meant for heavy use and to last for many years and comes with some pretty impressive features. The monoculars are shockproof, fog proof and waterproof. They are made for heavier field-use, and they are great at it.

Another outstanding, budget-priced monocular is the Vortex Optics Solo Monocular series. There are a number of different optics in this series ranging with either an 8x or 10x magnification and a 25mm or 36mm objective lens.

Vortex Optics Solo Monocular 10x25
Vortex Optics Solo Monocular 10×25

These are entirely waterproof and fog proof monoculars. They are small enough so you can take them anywhere with you without needing a large bag to store them.

However, when using a monocular for an extended period of time, this is where you meet up with the main drawback of the monoculars. It can become uncomfortable on the eyes over longer time frames.

50mm objectives lenses may be alright for light-gathering, but because you use only one eye, a lot of space is lost in the field-of-view. This is even more obvious with smaller lenses like in the Vortex models mentioned above.

Monocular vs Binocular- Who Is The Winner

To accurately answer the conclusion when comparing monocular vs binocular, you need to consider what you plan to use the device for. Or what your hobby or task is where you require something magnified.

For example, if you hike or explore, I would suggest monoculars. Hikers are often on the move and scout quickly, making lighter and smaller monoculars more beneficial.

If you are a hunter, you will often be tasked with watching an area or scouting for more extended periods, and you remain in stationary positions, the weight of binoculars is usually not an issue.

There are other factors for each side. For example, hikers that are also avid bird watchers will do better with binoculars, while hunters that hunt birds will be best suited with monoculars.

Regardless of the case, you should aim to purchase your gear so that it matches up to your objectives. This is never really a straightforward answer, so you shouldn’t be expecting one, specifically when you’re comparing a monocular vs binoculars.

However, it is suggested to buy a better quality when you shop for optics. Higher quality will increase clarity because the main aspect of optics is the ability to see clearly.

Comparing BInoculars and Monoculars
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Tom Devine