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What Is The Difference Between Monocular And Binocular Night Vision?

Without the use of a solid pair of binoculars, or monoculars for that matter, when in the great outdoors you are putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage. Whether you are hiking the grand canyon or pottering around the golf course, the ability to see clearly at distance (and even in the dark) can be super beneficial.

This quick but comprehensive guide to night vision monoculars vs binoculars will give you all the facts and figures you need to make an informed decision.

What is a night vision monocular?

Simply put, a night vision monocular is a handheld optic device that allows people to see in poorly lit conditions. It does so by filtering all light through its single optoelectronic lens. This special image-enhancing lens filters out certain light while conversely being extra sensitive to infrared light.

This infrared light reflects off of objects and is captured by the monocular and transformed into what our eyes interpret as a slightly blurry green image. Since this green, albeit somewhat unclear, the image allows us to see in the dark we are able to hunt, photograph, or simply see things the naked eye could not. Monoculars tend to be better for long-distance viewing compared to their binocular counterparts.

What is a night vision binocular?

The night vision binocular is very similar to the monocular apart from the utilization of two lenses, one for each eye, rather than one singular lens. Binoculars are often slightly heavier and more durable as well as less strenuous on the eyes. While they utilize the same optoelectronic lenses the focus is split equally between two eyes reducing eye strain and often improving the field of vision.

Key differences between night vision monoculars vs. binoculars

Key differences between night vision monoculars vs. binoculars

While performing very similar, almost always identical, tasks there are some key differences between monoculars and binoculars that you should be aware of before you commit to one of the two:

1. Viewing Tubes

As you might expect, monoculars have one viewing tube while binoculars have two. That is where they get their respective names from, after all.

2. Size and Dimensions

Monoculars are often smaller and lighter than binoculars which makes them portable and easier to carry or even use for long periods.

3. Prism and Lens

Monoculars and binoculars both use a Porro prism design, invented in 1854, which captures and amplifies trapped light, inverts it, and presents it to use (the viewer).

4. Viewing Window

Monoculars tend to have a longer viewing window, meaning they can see further away. While binoculars have a wide field of view allowing you to see more but not as far.

5. Magnification

Binoculars and monoculars are pretty even in terms of magnification potential. However, monoculars are often better suited to long distances at a given price point.

6. Eye Fatigue

Monoculars are far more strenuous on the eye due to all of your visual focus being concentrated through one point instead of two.

7. Price

While monoculars and binoculars are available at almost any price point, when given equal or comparable prices the monocular is almost always far superior.

Which is better for specific activities?

While monoculars and binoculars both have their uses, they each tend to thrive in different areas. Here is a quick breakdown of which is more suited to the following uses:

Stationary Hunting

For stationary hunting, you will have an improved field of view and better overall vision with binoculars.

Long-Distance Rifle Spotting

Monoculars are far better for long-distance spotting as they are more apt to concentrate on one specific area.

Bird Watching

Binoculars are better for bird watching overall. However, if you are watching a very concentrated point then monoculars may be your better option.

Night Vision/Tactical

Monoculars are better for tactical night vision as they create less eye strain and are easier to maneuver subtly.

Marine Sightseeing

Binoculars are better suited for marine sightseeing as they give you a better field of view to spot telltale signs of a whale or dolphin etc.

Hiking and Trekking

Binoculars are better for hiking and trekking as they allow you to take in more information while looking around. However, monoculars are lighter to carry in your pack.

Sporting Events

For sporting events, binoculars are better as they allow you to take in everything that is in play, not just one focal point.

Playing Golf

Monoculars are the go-to when playing golf as they are far better for identifying something as small as a golf ball.

Mileseey Night Vision Monoculars and Binoculars

Mileseey Night Vision Monoculars and Binoculars

We at Mileseey have a ton of awesome monoculars and binoculars to choose from, depending on your needs. Here are a few examples of the best options on the market today.

Mileseey PF2H Monocular Laser Hunting Rangefinder

With up to 6x magnification and laser-guided focus, the Mileseey PF2H is the pinnacle of hunting rangefinders allowing you to quickly identify your target with the ease and speed only a monocular can provide.

Mileseey NV20 Night Vision Monocular

The Mileseey NV20 is perfect for night vision, and day vision, and excellent for hunting and photography alike. The NV20 is an excellent budget option that doesn't sacrifice quality.

Mileseey TNV10 Infrared Night Vision Thermal Imaging Monoculars

The Mileseey TNV10 is the perfect night vision monocular for anyone who wishes to record what they are seeing for later use. Whether you are setting up a temporary trail camera or stalking deer there and now, the TNV10 could be just what you need.

Mileseey BNV21 Night Vision Goggles Digital HD Infrared Night Vision Binoculars

Mileseey BNV21 is a sleek and compact binocular at the absolute peak of digital night vision potential. With high-quality video and imaging options as well as tremendous field of vision and long-range options.

Wrapping It Up

So, now you know just how different these very similar night vision viewing devices can be. While they both thrive in many areas, sometimes with a lot of overlap, they each tend to stand out and shine in their own way. Mileseey is an excellent brand known for providing reliable, affordable, and durable monoculars and binoculars.