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Binoculars or a Monocular: What’s the Difference

Binoculars or a Monocular: What's the Difference

If you have been thinking about purchasing a set of binoculars recently, you might be wondering if it’s best to go ahead and make that purchase, or if it’s better to purchase a monocular instead. Perhaps you’ve never heard of this term, but now you’re intrigued. Chances are, you’ve seen one even if you didn’t know what it was called.

Suffice it to say, there’s a very obvious difference between the two as the names imply, but there are also some key differences between them that aren’t so obvious. There’s also the opportunity for using the monocular for more than one purpose, as you’ll find out below.

Binoculars or a Monocular: What's the Difference


The Obvious, Visual Difference

Without a doubt, the monocular looks very different from its cousin, the binocular. In some cases, it might look very similar to a set of binoculars, yet a monocular has only one lens. Hence, its name includes the prefix ‘mono.’ All of this might leave some people wondering what the point is in making a single-lens viewer in the first place.

This thinking might mostly be true for someone that has never utilized a monocular before, as they are less likely to realize the true potential of one. While there is no doubt that they can look similar, they’re also very different. More importantly, there are some other differences between the two that are likely to make you realize that they are very different products, indeed.

Binoculars or a Monocular: What's the Difference

Key Differences

For starters, the monocular is usually a lot smaller. Although there are larger versions that are made, they can actually be so small that you can slide one easily into your pocket without anyone else ever knowing anything about it.

In some cases, you can find a monocular that is about the size of a pen, yet it allows you to see fairly clear images of things that are much too far away to see clearly with the naked eye. If you’re wondering what the advantage of using a monocular is, think about ease of use. It doesn’t get much easier than being able to tuck something in your pocket and be able to pull it out whenever the need arises. If you choose to go with binoculars, you’re going to have them hanging around your neck, or you’re going to have to carry them wherever you go. In this case, you don’t have to worry about any of that.

Binoculars or a Monocular: What's the Difference

The Monocular as a Magnifying Glass

Another benefit of keeping a monocular is that you can use it to magnify text and other close things that you’re trying to get a better look at. It seems like almost every household used to have a traditional magnifying glass, but that is something that has largely gone by the wayside. Nevertheless, there are those times when one could really come in handy. If you have a monocular lying around, you can use it for the same purposes. Therefore, you’re able to do two things with the same product.

Binoculars or a Monocular: What's the Difference


You might be wondering if a monocular is reliable or how will it enhance those images that you can’t see well with the naked eye. In both cases, it comes down to the quality of the manufacturing process. If you purchase one that is high quality, you shouldn’t have any trouble seeing things with it, nor should you have to worry about any part of it failing soon after you buy it.

High-end binoculars are frequently used by members of the military as well as other tactical teams, and they perform flawlessly in those types of situations. On the other hand, if you decide to purchase a monocular that has a price that seems too good to be true, you’re probably not going to be very satisfied with its performance. Again, it all comes down to getting what you pay for.

When it’s all said and done, the choice is yours. You can decide whether to purchase one or the other, or even both. A lot will depend on your personal preferences. Some people simply prefer one over the other. It isn’t necessarily that one is better than the other. Instead, it’s usually based more on how you plan to use it and what you need it for.


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