Leica Monovid 8x20


Precision optics have taken on a new dimension in the shape of Leica’s Monovid 8x20 monocular, which has been developed to cover a broad range of applications. Weighing just 112 g and measuring slightly under 98 mm in length, this tiny instrument is designed to allow its users access to the full spectrum of nature observation, from high-proximity magnification of insects and flowers to birds and animals at much longer ranges.

In the field I was able to quickly alternate between macro and general observation by attaching or detaching the close-up lens provided as part of the package. Using the latter cast a whole new perspective on a range of objects, immediately revealing in intricate detail, for instance, the complex surface structure of ‘simple’ items such as Sycamore seeds, lichens and woodlice. The depth of field is highly restricted when this lens is attached, so to fully appreciate the magnified image requires a very steady hand.

For long-distance viewing of birds the depth of field is much better and the high-quality image remains sharp to the edge, although again a steady hand is required to appreciate it.

All the expected refinements of full waterproofing, adjustable extending eyecup and water repellent AquaDura lens coatings are all part of the package, as is the protective leather case complete with belt attachment and magnetic closing cap.

The Monovid will, of course, never replace binoculars in the field but it does provide an ‘at the ready’ pocketable alternative to more conventional optics.

Tech spec

Price: £329
Size: 105 x 35.5 mm (including close-up lens)
Weight: 126 g (including close-up lens)
Field of view: 110 m at 1,000 m
Close focus: 1.8 m
Gas-filled: yes
Waterproof: yes
Guarantee: 10 years