Leica Monovid 8 x 20 monocular

A smart little optical device from Leica

Image: George Ong

I’ve never been much into binoculars, partly because I don’t have 3-D binocular vision, but equally because they just strike me as a bit trainspotterish. I am, however, interested in seeing distant things more clearly, so do often use one barrel at sports matches and in the theatre. With this wonderful Leica monocular – a mini telescope with microscope-type functions too – I can be my own Lord Nelson-cum-botanist.


The Leica Monovid offers, in a minuscule 112g aluminium body, eightfold magnification of distant batsmen, goalkeepers, sopranos and so on if you have a steady hand (a must) – plus a close-up lens for detailed inspection of things as near as 25cm – ideal, so I’m told, for viewing butterflies and insects.


The Monovid has typically perfectionist Leica touches, too. The body is filled with nitrogen to prevent misting, its lenses are water- and dirt-repellent-coated, plus it’s waterproof to 5m. Oh, and I love this: the leather case has a silent magnetic fastener, apparently to avoid frightening away nervous critters when you get the Monovid out.

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