Customer Reviews: HDE® 15x - 55x Zoom 21mm Compact Monocular
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Price:$15.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on July 30, 2012
First off, its 10-30x magnification, according to the instruction pamphlet. Using it that seems more likely than 15-55x

Looking at the moon as an example, less than half the size of a dime at arm's length, using this monocular on the lowest setting increased the size to the point I could see individual craters. Increasing it to its maximum setting, although very hard to keep steady and to focus compared to lower settings, the moon took up about 80% of the view.

It's an extremely nice monocular for the price, although I wouldn't recommend it for stargazing, I only used the moon as an example everyone could relate to.

I highly recommend this product for any and all purposes you would use binoculars for, because of its low price, compact design, and wide range of the zoom function.

I use it on mid-low settings more often because it takes a very steady hand and patience to focus it on its maximum setting (every movement of your hand is magnified 30x or 55x w/e the max is) I would definitely suggest getting a tripod for its maximum setting because of this, but it works fine held by hand on its lower settings.

If your just looking for something to keep in your car, purse, backpack, or for casual sightseeing, definitely purchase one of these. By no means are they the highest quality, but a great value for under 20$
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on July 18, 2012
Initially, I was skeptical about the monocular. Couldn't find any other reviews for this particular one, but 15 dollars is a minor amount to spend. Got it not too long ago, and I must say, it's impressive. I cannot think of any real downside except trying to stay steady when you're zoomed up to 55x, which there's a socket for a tripod to help with keeping steady.

Isn't the product's fault, but 55x21 doesn't capture a lot of light. It's good for use during the day, but if you're in a heavily shaded area or it's twilight, your view is going to be very dark.
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on July 25, 2012
I was surprised at the good quality that I was getting . It resembles a spotting scope that would cost more than 10 times what I paid for . And the zooming is neat also . Good quality and definitely not a toy .
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on November 25, 2013
This works surprisingly well. I bought this on a whim since it was so cheap. I was having difficulty spotting rounds at a 100m shooting range with my old 10x25 binoculars. This helps a lot with the distance. The only difficulty is stabilizing your arm so you can see clearly at 55x. For $14 bucks, it was a good purchase, though.
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on November 7, 2015
Pretty cool for what it is - get the phone clip for pretty good photos up to 200 feet away - my attached photo is from about 150-200 feet. It's focus is adjustable, then your phone camera is important too - try different settings if you can. With an iPhone 6, I took this photo of an Osprey near my home. The clip (not included) worked well for my iPhone 6 and is very adjustable to other phone sizes.
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on August 27, 2012
Dont be fooled by negative reviews, they are comparing this with something that costs many times more. This will not give you the image of a $60 10x50 monocular, but it will give you a usable image for scanning at low powers. It also has a tripod screw to mount and avoid the vibrations in monoculars. Again, for the price, this is very good. Fiel of view is not the widest, but again, we are talking about a monocular that costs as much as a drink in a NY bar.

Five stars for price/image ratio.
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on June 27, 2012
Very good optics and image quality, and picture looks very nice even with dim light, in the evening or indoors. Looks like real 55x on high zoom, but for me it seems more than claimed 15x on low zoom. something like 25x or so.

Considering its price it is really MUCH better than I expected to receive.

P.S. And disregard other reviews, I can easily hold it with high zoom and have a comfortable view.
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on April 2, 2016
I bought this for $12, so in that context, it's great. I just use it for very casual whale/bird watching. The image quality is very suitable for that use. The main features of this monocular is that is tiny, and the zoom is ridiculous. Even with a tripod, at full zoom it pretty shaky. I can only hold it steady enough very briefly. It's nice to be able to zoom though, 10x-20x is useful even when not using a tripod. Also, the zoom is actually around 10-30x. Not 55x, which would be useless on a monocular this small because of light and steady view. The shortcomings of this monocular would be the field of view and eye relief. You eye needs to be held in the right spot to see the full view. When zoomed in past 20x, the FOV is very small, which makes holding it steady even more important, and very difficult to do at high zoom. View is somewhat dark when fully zoomed in, but better than I expected for a objective lens no bigger than a quarter. But again, when at 10-20x (much higher than most other monoculars, i.e. 8x), this is very easy to use and was well worth the low price. I have attached a photo with my phone, and one through the monocular at about 15x zoom. The zoomed image is actually even sharper with the naked eye, because my camera had a hard time focusing itself.
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on January 27, 2014
(Almost) no complaints about this nifty little product. I bought one for me and for my partner as well. It works fine and if it's too jiggly then you need to either hold it more steadily or zoom out a little, is all. Only complaint is that I wish the cap were attached to the rest of it with a little string so I didn't have to always worry about losing it (which I'm sure will eventually happen).

If you're creative, you can even manage to take digital photos through it (as if your camera had a powerful zoom lens). But only if you don't mind your photos being round, hehe. I did this to get some good shots of an adolescent brown bear from a distance.
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on November 25, 2013
The reviews here are fair and factual. This scope is mediocre but about what you'd expect for the low price. Your subject has to be bright, because a lot of light gets lost in this thing. Cloudy day? Forget it. And at max zoom, things are pretty dark, even for things that started out brighter. Focus is less than great. The zoom power is quite amazing, whether it's really 55x or something less, however, the focus never gets very clear, especially at max zoom. Something nobody has mentioned and goes for a lot of things made in China with rubber on them - they all STINK! I mean this things reeks of poor quality rubber. If you're chemically sensitive, look for another scope made in Japan or the USA. China has not figured out how to make rubber - eyecups, rubber coverings, AC cords on drills, etc., feet on tripods, handles, knobs - all the rubber coming out of China (with a few exceptions) is toxic to breathe, and it outgasses for years and years. You can soak some of them in water with dish washing liquid to get the outer parts to shed the plasticizers that smell, but for some rubber items there is no hope. Just walk into Harbor Freight and hit that wall of poisonous gas from Chinese rubber - gasp. I wish I had found a better monocular for twice or three times the price. I prefer a more clear image, even if the zoom is less powerful, and a brighter image. This is really dark. Worth the price? Yes. Worth buying? No, not for me. I prefer better quality, and no smell. I'll give mine to a friend and look for another.
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