When we got married our good friend Joyce gave us a pair of Nikon Travelite binoculars. She knew we enjoyed birding, and would get good use from them.
Too much use, almost to the detriment of our marriage, as it turns out. We fought over who got to use them. So, we bought a second pair to preserve marital harmony.
We still love our little Nikon binoculars. The optics are great, and all these years later they get quite a bit of use. Because I still enjoy my pair, I don’t like taking them with me when kayaking.
I had been carrying a pair of cheap little Tasco binocular in my dry bag. Unfortunately, the optics were crappy, and getting a decent image focused and resolved was time-consuming and iffy at best, especially on a moving boat. Something else was needed. I had a bit of Christmas money left, so I decided to go shopping.
I had thought about getting another nice pair of waterproof binocs, but every set I looked at was either too expensive or heavier than I wanted. While using the cheap binocs I often looked through only one eyepiece because I couldn’t get the two images to match. I wondered if a monocular would work as a lightweight alternative.
I tried several models, but eventually settled on a Celestron 10X25 unit. I have a Celestron C90 telescope that had belonged to Laura’s father, so I was familiar with the quality of their optics. This monocular didn’t disappoint on that count. The image is sharp, and it’s very easy to focus the eyepiece. Even though the unit is very light, the image is fairly stable. I like the molded hand grip design, which seems like it will be less likely to drop. Even though that should happen, there’s a nice long neck strap. The unit is also waterproof, so it should be perfect for kayaking. Even more impressive, all of this came in just a little over $30. Not too shabby.
I just got the monocular today, so I haven’t had a chance to really put it through its paces. I did try looking at the moon and Jupiter, but it was a bit too jumpy for that. I think it’s best suited for terrestrial viewing. Next paddling trip it will definitely come along with me. I may even try to hold a point and shoot camera lens up to it to see how that might work. We’ll see.