Monocular vs binocular

Monocular Vs Binocular

Monocular vs binocular

The world of science has improved our ability to see over large distances over the years. The new technologies introduced have helped mankind better perform at whatever activity relied on that particular technology, be it spying or nature viewing.

However, with the development of these new technologies comes the rise of new debates like, which option is best. The long sight field is no exception to that, as many a times the question that arises is what the difference is between a monocular and a binocular, and what the pros and cons are of each.

In order to answer a number of these questions, we’ve conducted a search throughout market findings, and present you with the following results of the monocular vs binocular ongoing battle.

Monocular Vs Binoculars: Which One Is Better?

Before we go through a match of comparisons regarding these two types of optical instruments, it is important at first to lay out the main definitions of each one.

A binocular is a device that has two telescopes that are affixed side by side and are made to point in the same direction. In so doing it allows the viewer to use both eyes to view objects at a far distant.

A monocular on the other hand is a refracting telescope modified to enable the magnification of images of objects at a distant. They are ideal for situations where vision can only be attained through one eye, or where low weight is important.

In general binoculars are more common and easier to find than monoculars. Also, monoculars are considered specialty objects, meaning that there is a very niche group of people who have a preference for them.

Thus, at this point, rather than declare which option is better, we can conclude that each one of them is designed for a set of specific purposes and goals.

Just as a side note before we start, please keep in mind that having any kind of vision loss like myopia or astigmatism, is going to affect the quality of your view through both devices.

Top Features That Make a Monocular Superior

Even though monoculars are less common, they are also less heavy with a more compact design, and therefore are easier to use. If you want to save space and weight, a monocular will offer the same magnification for 50% less weight.

Because less material is needed to make them, they are also cheaper than binoculars. In this case for example, a military monocular can display the same high quality for a lower price when compared with its two lens counterpart.

Top Features That Make A Binocular Superior

On the other hand, binoculars are much more comfortable than their one-eyed counterparts. If you happen to follow a target over long periods of time when hunting for example, using a monocular for hunting will make it extremely difficult to follow the target without squinting.

On the contrary, using a binocular while hunting is best because the eyes can stay rested and less fatigued throughout the hunt.

Also, another aspect that gets improved with binoculars is the visual acuity or clarity of vision. When you use both of your eyes to view a distant object, your clarity of vision improves in comparison with using only one eye

Monocular Vs Binocular Cues

Other important factors to be taken into account are the differences between a monocular and a binocular cue, which simply put is the capacity of the eyes to create depth perception values.

These cues are information taken in by two eyes and one eye respectively. The brain collects information from both eyes and integrates it, interprets it and constructs a 3D vision of everything we see, because the process enables depth perception.

This way, while monocular cues makes up for single eyed depth perception related aspects such as:

  • Motion Parallax
  • Depth from motion
  • Kinetic depth effect
  • checkOccultation/ Interposition
  • checkCurvilinear perspective
  • checkTexture gradient
  • checkLighting and shading
  • checkDefocus blur
  • Perspective
  • Relative size
  • Familiar size
  • checkAbsolute size
  • checkAerial perspective
  • checkAccommodation
  • checkElevation

Binocular cues provide both eyes depth perception aspects like:

  • Stereopsis (pupillary distance)
  • Convergence
  • Shadow Stereopsis

It is not uncommon that people sometimes tend to confuse a monocular with a spotting scope. Even though both are single lens, they are designed for different purposes.

While a monocular is designed to be light compact and portable, to be carried around wherever you go with no problem, spotting scopes are way bigger and heavier.

That’s because spotting scopes are often used for activities that, like telescopes, consists of watching a particular spotted subject or object from a fixed location for longer periods of time such as:

  • Hunting
  • Bird Watching
  • Astronomy

Who Wins?

The final verdict is that it depends on which activity you’re going to do. What is the type of task where you need to magnify long distances?

If you happen to be someone that like a hiker, or an explorer, is always on the move, and therefore you need a lightweight compact magnifying device, I’d go for the monocular as it is perfect for scouting.

On contrast, if you carry out activities that require both scouting and observing something for long periods of time in a stationary position like a hunter, a bird watcher or an astronomer, binoculars are the way to go.

However, there might be some rare cases that combines these two different types of activities, be it those of a hiker who’s also a bird watcher. In those cases, binoculars and/or monoculars should come in handy.

It doesn’t matter which case is best. Ensure that you always buy your gear to match with what you have in mind, and which befits the task at hand.

There is rarely a one size fits all solution to every situation, so the best you can do is to try to buy monoculars and binoculars of top-notch quality.

This will give you the best in terms of increased clarity, because the main point of optical devices is to see through them clearly.