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Binoculars rein supreme in the hunting and shooting world, but are writing off monocular optics unfairly? Could they even be the better choice? ATN experts explain.
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There is no denying that binoculars are by far the popular choice when it comes to optics for the outdoors, but we shouldn’t be too quick to write off the monoculars. They certainly have their place in the world of optics and in many cases which we will highlight later on, can actually be the better choice.
ATN has been the market leader in optics for a long time now and for good reason. We are going to look at the best binoculars and monoculars they have on offer and provide you with in-depth knowledge that will help you decide which is the best choice for your outdoor adventure.
To lay a case for the monocular we need to first outline how it all works and what specific characteristics should be looked for when deciding on purchasing a monocular.
A monocular is a small compact refracting telescope that allows the user to observe distant objects with one hand. The light enters the monocular lens and passes over the prism lens, which refracts the image and makes them seem closer to the user.
Some may argue that a monocular is simply a small telescope, yet the difference between the two lies in the lenses. Monoculars make use of prism lenses, while telescopes use relay lenses.
With a lower number of lenses and smaller surface area being used to catch the light, it is obvious that monoculars may not perform as well as binoculars and will struggle under certain conditions, but again this is important to know because it will help with the decision-making process.
4x - 10x power
Objective Lens Diameter
20mm to 42mm
7x25, 8x20, 8x30, 8x42, 10x42
Porro or Roof
Field of View
8x equals 140m @ 1000m
10x equals 110m @ 1000m
12x equals 100m @ 1000m
As mentioned earlier, the monocular has come a long way in its development with the addition of new features such as:
With all these added features there can be no better examples of just how far the monocular has come and what a powerful tool it can be than the ODIN LT 320 4-8x and the OTS-XLT 160 2.4-10x by ATN.
Redefining the boundaries that have confined the monocular since its creation, comes the ODIN LT 320 4-8x by ATN. Simplicity, efficiency, and versatility are all characteristics of the ODIN LT 320 that are neatly packaged into this compact thermal monocular and then expertly finished with the latest technological features that will have every telescope and binocular manufacturer looking over their shoulder.
320x240, 60 fps, 12μm
1 x CR123A (Li-ion)
The OTS-XLT 160 2.5-10X comes in at a lower price tag than its bigger brother the ODIN LT 320 but the affordable price doesn’t mean ATN have lowered the standards and exceptional features that one would expect from their optics.
One could state that the OTS-XLT is simply redesigned and streamlined to suit the needs of the everyday outdoorsman.
160x120 px / 12μm 50 Hz
Field of view, degrees
The world of binoculars is a fascinating place with an almost endless supply of manufacturers, models, shapes, sizes, capabilities, and features that can satisfy the needs of anyone. Today’s outdoorsmen are extremely spoiled when it comes to choosing a pair of binoculars.
Hence it can make choosing the right pair a little overwhelming, but the easiest way to choose a pair is by understanding the basic principles of binoculars and what features match the type of activity you will be taking part in.
The most obvious attraction to a pair of binoculars is magnification. The ability to bring distant objects closer to the user so they can observe the finer details.
Binoculars are in essence two refracting telescopes mounted side-by-side, providing the user with a three-dimensional image through a parallax that gives the visual cortex the impression of depth.
Binoculars are categorized by specific elements that provide an immediate indication of the binocular's capabilities. They are magnification and objective diameter and these are expressed in the following way, 7x35, 10x40, 8x32, and so on. Looking at the first description, 7x35, means these particular binoculars have a 7x magnification with an objective diameter of 35mm.
The objective lens number refers to the front lens of the optics. A larger objective lens means more light will enter the binoculars, making for a brighter image. A larger objective lens size generally means a larger set of binoculars.
4x - 25x power
20mm to 70mm
7x35, 8x25, 8x40, 10x42, 10x50
Porro, Schmidt-Pechan Roof Prism, Abbe-Koenig Roof Prism
8x equals 565m @ 1000m
10x equals 300m @ 1000m
12x equals 260m @ 1000m
Center or Individual Focus
Binoculars have quickly become the complete package when it comes to optics and it seems there is no end to what manufacturers can expertly pile into these compact devices.
You hear the term “all-in-one” getting thrown around quite a lot these days and often these all-in-one packages tend to come up short. Well, it seems ATN got it all figured out and is answering the call of the outdoorsman looking for the complete all-in-one pair of binoculars.
ATN’s BINOX 4K 4-16X binoculars have the ideal features to match any scenario, they are put together in such a way that makes using them seamless and straightforward.
Angle of View
220ft @ 1,000 yards
Video Record Resolution
1080p @ 30/60/120
USB Type C
We mentioned earlier the importance of selecting a pair of binoculars that match the scenario and in some cases, the users just need to see further day or night with the most advanced thermal imagery sensors.
Make no mistakes, the BINOX 4T 640 2.5-25X binoculars are designed for the serious outdoorsman who wants to know every detail of their surroundings, day and night.
Field of view
Video record resolution
1280x960 @ 60 fps
iOS and Android
9.4” x 5” x 2.6”
It is hard to say exactly whether a pair of binoculars or one of ATN’s excellent monoculars is best for you because every person is different and has varying expectations. Regardless of which one you choose, we can assure you that you will not be disappointed.
Binoculars work well in all situations, while monoculars can be a little more purpose-specific. With that we have listed a few scenarios below where monoculars may work best:
There is certainly a place for monoculars, sure they may not be as versatile and adaptive as a quality pair of binoculars but when used in the correct manner for a specific purpose, they become invaluable.
ATN has taken an almost outdated, obsolete piece of equipment that is the monocular, and transformed it into a powerhouse of innovation, technology, and value. While binoculars will always remain the number one choice amongst outdoor enthusiasts, it may be time to start considering packing both binoculars and monoculars into your pack for the next adventure.
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