Kiwi Binoculars sells an array of high-quality monoculars, which are ideal for an array of different applications. Today we’ll explore the difference between monoculars and other optics such as spotting scopes and binoculars.

“Mono” means “one”, whereas “bi” means two. So while binoculars have two telescopes, monoculars are comprised of a single modified refractory telescope. Monoculars are often favoured over binoculars since they’re more lightweight – typically less than half the weight of binoculars with comparable optics.

The most significant functional difference between monoculars and binoculars involves depth perception. You must use both eyes to achieve three-dimensional depth perception, so binoculars enable the viewer to maintain depth perception. On the other hand, monoculars offer more of a two-dimensional view.

Monoculars are somewhat similar to spotting scopes in terms of form and function. Spotting scopes tend to have a much higher magnification. Spotting scopes offer magnifications ranging from 20x to 60x, whereas monoculars generally feature a magnification of 5x to 10x.

Monoculars usually come with one, non-removable fixed eyepiece, whereas spotting scopes often come with an array of different interchangeable eyepieces.

Monoculars come in a vast array of sizes. Some monoculars are tiny – less than 10cms in length – while others are much, much larger – 30cms in length or longer. Monoculars are handy for a number of different applications, from sight-seeing, to bird watching, hiking, hunting, spectator sports or concerts. Pocket-sized monoculars are often favoured by individuals with vision impairments, as they can use this device to view at a distance. In general, the smaller “pocket sized” monoculars are handy for everyday use in situations where you wouldn’t typically carry a pair of binoculars.

Monoculars are typically used for a short period of time for quick peeks here and there. For extended viewing, binoculars or spotting scopes are favoured since they’re more comfortable and stable.

When shopping for a pair of monoculars, you’ll notice that there are two numbers such as 6 x 18 or 10 x 25. The first number is the magnification. So in the case of “6 x 18″, the magnification would be 6x. The second number stands for objective size – the diameter of the front lens, measured in millimetres. The larger the lens, the better the performance.

Some shoppers who plan to use the monoculars for up-close viewing will want to consider the close focus capabilities. The close focus figure indicates how near an object has to be in order to come into focus. The close focus number may be indicated in metres, feet or yards.

At Kiwi Binoculars, our selection includes a number of monoculars featuring night vision capabilities, for around-the-clock viewing in any lighting condition.