We’ve previously covered the importance of having binoculars that you can throw in a backpack, not overthink them, or worry about every bump and bump they might take on the trail. We loved Celestron Nature DX series of binoculars, but the cool kids love the Nocs, a modern stylish pair of binoculars that are good quality without breaking the bank and can take some abuse without stressing you out.
Nocs just released a monocular telescope they call the Zoom Tube, and while I’d never used one before and was a bit skeptical at first, I’ve come to really enjoy this little piece of hardware on the trail.
Why a monocular? Well, first of all, they are lighter than binoculars and smaller, so they are much easier to take on a day trip. These weigh less than 8 ounces and fit very easily in the hand. They’re also much faster to use if you’re bird watching or trying to track something that’s moving. With only one lens to adjust, it’s so much easier to spot something in the distance and whip the zoom tube into focus than it is binoculars.
On a recent trip to Yosemite, I used the Zoom Tube to follow climbers high up on El Cap; having only one lens to focus meant I could quickly find them again if I looked away for a while.
The zoom tube is an 8x32mm scope, meaning it has a 32mm objective aperture with 8x magnification. It’s about the same as using a 400mm zoom lens. Inside are Swiss-designed Bak4 prisms, coated to reduce chromatic aberration and increase brightness. The eyepiece is nicely large, so it is easy to spot fast-moving animals, or to spot a climbing route with your eye and immediately bring it into focus with the Zoom Tube.
Nocs also releases a lens that turns the Zoom Tube into a tiny 32x microscope. It will dramatically extend your walking time because you will absolutely want to stop every other foot to examine the grains of unusual rocks, the patterns of a dead dragonfly, or the texture of a leaf. It works well and the kids will love it.
I use mine with Peak Designs Capture Clipa device that attaches to a backpack shoulder strap, which in turn will accept the Zoom Tube, making it easy to wear right there on your chest for easy access.
• BUY 75 USD