Customer Reviews

67
4.6 out of 5 stars
Vortex 8x36 R/T Tactical Monocular with MRAD Ranging Reticle
Price:$119.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2012
Verified Purchase
During my research for a monocular I repeatably was confused if there was a reticule marking range estimates (Mrad) or not.
This does.

Construction:

Very solid. This is in no way cheaply built. Conforms to the hand nicely too.
Controls:

You have two controls, image focus and reticule focus.
image focus is obvious but the reticule focus is for some kind of past complaint that the reticule would be blurry.
Basically - set it so it's perfect and never touch it again.
Carry case:

This made me laugh when I saw it. It's "custom" all right. Doesn't mean it's good. nudge it a bit and your optic might fall out. Nice big open spot to let the environment scratch the lens.
The belt loop is a snap on loop. Not sturdy for a pound heavy monocular. If you're climbing and it falls loose, your consolidation is it's in the case as it falls I suppose.

My advice?
Sew the loop so it's permanent.
Turn the case inside out and sew patches of cloth on both sides closing the gaps. I had some leather lying around (black leather) and sewed it on. Looks 10x better and 100x more sturdy. Beats buying a new one and after all, it is "custom" made for it. Too bad they didn't spend an extra 20c on cloth for each one but oh well.

Reticule:
Uses Mrad measurement. Basically you need to know the height in yards and how many mrads it takes. TargetHeightx1000/mrads.
very accurate. Tested it out on some houses (using 10ft for a story) and cross referenced with Google Earth - correct distance.
If you hate math, go for the cheaper non reticule sponsoring monocular. I think they're $90.

Optics:
Very clear. It's harder to tell what I'm looking at as quickly as binoculars and harder to see with at night vs binoculars.
But remember you're using 1 eye vs 2.
With that in mind, These are perfect flawless optics. It reflects very little of the sun which is great as it reduces glare and bright reflections.

Pro's
For price - very well made.

Unconditional, transferable lifetime warranty.

Accurate distance measurement.

Con

Carry case is cheap and needs work.

Summary:
for the price, if you're looking for great optics, this is great in every way that matters. I would buy a new one if this ever broke.
Which I wouldn't have too, because of the warranty.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2012
Verified Purchase
Since I volunteer for Search and Rescue, this item has totally come in handy-- and all the guys are both jealous and impressed. The range finder is easy to use (I'm a novice) and one of the SWAT sniper guys that is the unit is teaching me more on how to scope objects better. I've used it dozens of times within 1 month for both personal and volunteeer work. As far as the carrying sack that previous reviews have complained about: NO LONGER are they used. The newest one is well-reinforced material albeit it's a little big for the monocular. I just sewed some extra velcro to tighten things up better. It comes with a handy clip also. Cheers!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2013
Verified Purchase
This monocular is highly under-rated. The optics are exceptionally crisp and clear with no fringing or vignetting discernible.

The mil-rad reticle and the silhouette outlines make range-finding both concise and expedient. Just a little time invested in familiarization with the reticle features, makes range estimation intuitive and effortless. It also serves as an excellent backup to laser rangefinders in case of electrical failure of these devices.

The monocular in generously rubber armored and appears is constructed to withstand continual use in most any environment. The body of the unit is very ergonomic, the focus ring situated perfectly for ease of access, and the resistance in the ring is perfect for fine focus adjustment and holding that setting without being unduly difficult to rotate, even with a gloved hand.

The fold down eye cup is also a nice touch with the side-light diffusing feature. It really does help when there is bright sun behind and to the side when using the unit. A good feature with a nice touch.

Optical clarity is outstanding as is brightness of image and ambient light transmission. Dusk and dawn reflect the superiority of this monocular to other optical products! The light gathering ability of this 8x36 optic is simply stunning, especially for the price point!

While weight of this unit might put some people off, it is no more, and certainly less than most ultra compact binoculars, and the visual acuity combined with the brightness of image of this Vortex Solo R/T shames most of those product. I would FAR rather carry the Solo R/T into the field than any of the ultra compact binoculars, both for compactness, quality of image and portability. As a bonus, the mil-rad reticle, with familiarization can become an exceptional tool in-and-of-itself as a range-finding instrument.

For retention afield, this monocular has an excellent metallic clip for use on a belt, waistband, MOLLE, or secure to a pocket. It also has a neck lanyard with a quick-detachable clip which is the perfect length for this tool.

This optic is the one that will always go with you, especially when you want to travel light and fast, and the binoculars stay home, this little jewel will find a place in your pocket, on your belt or around your neck. It's simply too handy and too useful to leave at home!
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2012
Verified Purchase
I have just received the Solo Tactical RT 8x36 monocular, and so far I am impressed. The build quality seems very good. The lenses are clear, producing a great image and FOV. The reticle is also very good, both the graduated mils scale and the silhouette-style layovers. The dials for adjusting image and reticle focus, are suitably firm but usable. I also like the overall feel of the rubberised protection and grip.

The down side is that the "pouch" provided is next to useless, and is essentially open on two of its four sides; which seems like a good way to loose the monocular, especially if you don't make sure you hook the belt clip onto the pouch for added security. Additionally the belt clip itself does not seem overly sturdy. Based on a previous customer reveiw I purchased a flash-bang pouch to hold the monocular (and had already received that when the monocular arrived), it works very well.

If I was purely reveiwing the monocular I would probably give it five stars; however the issues with the pouch and clip, which lets face it are part of the price, prevent it from acheiving perfection. The monocular own its own is excellent.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2014
Verified Purchase
I wanted a small monocular that was crafted of decent quality, somewhat rugged, small enough to fit in my hand without looking like a pirate, and not so expensive that it would cause rapid and violent swearing possibly followed by tears of anguish if I dropped it.

It came down to either this Tactical model or the Vortex Solo 10x36. So I ordered both and did a side by side comparison.

They are both solid performing for their price range, far better than the cheaper plastic models and most every unit available under $90. No real comparison. Spending $200-300 on a monocular requires a very specific need or desire - neither of which applied here. Are they clearer? Sure, but not by much. These units are both very well made with a killer warranty.

To clarify a few things (no pun intended), the 10x model versus the 8x model are just about identical in viewing color and clarity. Science will tell us that the 10x model doesn't allow as much light to the pupil, but you would need a very accurate measuring device to verify that with these two models. They are both nearly identical in dimensions, the only difference being the location of the pocket clip - the tactical version has the clip attached ½" closer to the eyepiece.

Do you really need a range finder? It can be a little distracting, depending on what you're looking at. The mil lines that you use for this action are small by design. So imagine you're standing there holding this thing with one hand and trying to hold your target at the crux of the crosshairs and count mils. You also need to know the height of your target, which becomes really important at longer ranges. Elevation differences, lighting, and environment all effect this equation, so practice with known objects first. At ranges over 200 yards, you might want to be leaning on a tree or employ the use of a secondary support. Practice brings accurate results. There's no direct attachment point for a tripod or holder, so what do you do? Here's a very simple free tip that someone smarter than me can make money from - Use a magnet on the supporting device to snatch the giant metal clip on the side. Stability is your friend. A mini camera tripod (like this Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod) a magnet setup would be small, light, cheap, easy to make, and totally sweet.

This unit is about five inches long, not seven as listed in some descriptions. The 10x does make the view closer, but not by much. If you're on the fence about getting an 8x or 10x, but want the range finder, you're not really sacrificing much. Both units will easily spot or track a person / place/ thing / animal with ease. I like this for a very simple reason - no batteries. I can see stuff closer, figure about how far away it is, clip it to my person, or put it in the relatively useless holder. The EOTWAWKI types will appreciate this. When the stuff gets tough, you can laugh at the gear geeks with the laser range finders that don't work for sake of dead batteries.

To that aspect, the holder needs help. There are no lens protectors for either unit, the case is supposed to provide that, which is sort of does. A neoprene scope cover might do well for this, and would be preferred. Simple, quiet (no Velcro), offers multiple levels of protection, floats if dropped separately, and still allows use of the clip. If you sew on a flap to hold the included lens towel, you've got a winner.

In the accompanying video, any shadowing, blurry or fuzzy edges are strictly the result of this amateur photographer using an iPhone through a magnifying device. There's some science (and frustration) behind using two lenses out of alignment and fighting with the autofocus feature that wants to "see" the reticle not the target. If you're ever looking to use this to take pictures - practice first. A lot. It's not like your paying for film. So there's a real world example if you try it yourself. I have big hands, and it was still a challenge to hold the phone in perfect harmony with the monocular and tap the screen or squeeze a button without screwing up the picture. It's not a wondrous piece of cinematic excellence, but it's the only one on the net that shows what it does. If you're shopping for a quality monocular, I hope it helps.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2013
Verified Purchase
Products of this type seem to fall somewhere between $25 and $130 ... Then will spike all the wy up to $400 to $550 dollars ... And that's not counting rang finders or night vision units ....

I believe this to be the perfect monocular within the lower price range .... It just reeks quality as soon as you take it out of the box ... No cheap plastic, fits nicely in the hand, smooth adjustment of the reticle and image .... It has that 'new car', quality smell to it ....

It has some weight to it .... Not too heavy, but enough to let you know your not pulling a ViewMaster out of the pouch ..... The glass has no imperfections and the coating is consistent .... It just feels solid ... Although some folks have a differ option, I found it to be very easy to adjust the image with one hand ... For me, holding it in my right hand and adjusting with my index and thumb .... ... The eye piece requires two hands, but typically only needs adjusted one time for the same user ....

The eye piece light shade is removable, but I found it very easy to use while wearing prescription glasses .... It rolls onto itself to allow placing the eyepiece directly in front of, or even on your glasses lense .... Eye relief is perfect .... You don't get that 'looking through a tunnel' feeling while wearing glasses ....

The ranging function gives this modal some coolness factor, but its not a true range finder and shouldn't be purchased as such ... If you remember the math, or shove an equation cheat sheet in the pouch, this can act as a faux range finder in a pinch ....

Image quality is very sharp through out the limited focus range .... It's also very bright ... There really isn't one position of the focus ring that will take care of business; you'll be making fine adjustments at about anything you want to look at .... But again, this is very easy to do with a finger and thumb of the carry hand .....

The included case is quite good for storing the unit .. I.e. inside of your pack or bag .... But it is insufficient for carrying on your belt or molle pack .... As another reviewer mentioned, the HSGI single smoke pouch is perfect for this unit .... It provides much better protection and just looks damn good while doing it ....

If your looking for a quality monocular (not a range finder), you can't do better than this Vortex unit for the price ... Actually, I had never heard of Vortex until I started doing some research on Monoculars ....

Carl .....
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2013
Verified Purchase
Really wanted to like the Vortex 8x36 but it just didn't fit my viewing style. I honestly would not consider this a true monocular. It should be categorized as a rangefinder. I thought I could get away using both rangfinder aspect and monocular but the reticle was just too distracting. If you're thinking about this model be sure you really need the distance reticle. At first, it was a neat 'extra' feature but after several uses it became annoying. I'm returning this model but here are my overall impressions: Positives: physically large and a little heavy but built like a tank; optics are clear edge to edge; pretty good light-gathering but not as "astonishing" as some reviews have suggested; good fist hold to keep unit stable; life-time warranty. Negatives: main focus ring too stiff; seems like you have to refocus all the time -- this is particularly bad since you're holding with fist; didn't care for the eye cup, would rather have twist-up design; key-clip adds too much bulk; case is worthless
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2014
Verified Purchase
I use the Bushnell G-Force 1300 ARC. It is a wonderful tool for measuring distance to objects. However, sometimes I need to know the height of the object I am measuring, such as a building, utility pole or tower.

The Vortex Solo R/T SOL-3608-RT is a tactical monocular that has a hash-marked reticle which uses MRAD-based subtensions for ranging, holdover and windage corrections. Basically this is a fancy way of saying it has crosshairs like a rifle scope. The crosshairs have little hash markings going up & down and left & right on the crosshairs.

They are typically used for a shooter to calculate distances of objects of known height (normally human targets). There is lots of useful information out there telling you how to use these markings for calculating distances.

However, that is not what I wanted to use it for. I use my laser rangefinder for measuring the distance. I wanted to use the MRAD subtensions for calculating object height. It works very well for giving me reasonable estimates of object heights.

Here are the formulas if you want to calculate object heights using the Bushnell Laser Rangefinder and the Vortex Solo R/T Monocular.

To measure height in inches, if you know the yardage to the target:

Multiply the yards to target by the measured MRADS and then divide that number by 27.7777777. The answer will be the height of the object in inches. (Note: each little mark on the crosshairs is one MRAD, they are very easy to count).

For example, I just measured a Toyota 4Runner. Using the Laser Rangefinder, I measured the distance as 106-yards away from me. Next, I looked through the Vortex monocular and read the height as 18.5 MRADS. So, I multiplied those two numbers together, which resulted in an answer of 1961. Next, I divided 1961 by 27.7777777. The answer was 70.6. So, I estimated the height of the vehicle as 70.6" or 70 5/8" tall. Looking up the vehicle specifications, it is listed as 71.3". That is an error of about 1%. Pretty darn impressive.

Another formula allows you to measure the height of an object in yards, if you know the yardage to the target:

Multiply the yards to target by the measured MRADS, then divide that number by 1000. This will give you the height of the target in yards.

For example, say you measure something 425-yards away and using the monocular you measure its height as 13.5 MRADS. You would multiply 425 x 13.5 = 5,737.50. You would then divide 5,737.50 by 1,000 which would result in 5.7375-yards tall (or 206.55 inches tall).

The trick seems to be holding the monocular steady while you make your reading. The more accurate your reading, the more accurate your result. If you need to be very certain of your calculations, take several readings from different distances from the object and perhaps from different angles. Write them all down then figure out their average. You'll probably be pretty darn close.

Also, using the same formulas you can calculate the length of an object. Just use the left-to-right hash marks, instead of the top-to-bottom hash marks when measuring the length of the object.

Hope this helps.

PS - I ordered the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular, Black, 10 x 42-mm at the same time to compare them. The 10x zoom was nice and the image did seem brighter or sharper, hard to quantify, but I did like it better. Also, the focusing mechanism was far superior. Vortex should replicate their focusing mechanism. However, the Bushnell monocular is much larger and the case was more then twice the size of the Vortex case. In the end, my 12-year old son and I both agreed we liked the Vortex monocular the best. It just felt most natural in our hands and we liked the eye cup design.

The Bushnell cannot be used for measuring heights. Several people commented about the Vortex belt-case design. I really like it. It is compact and easy to slide the monocular into. If you are journeying into rough terrain, you should probably consider investing in a more industrial case. If your lifestyle is less harsh, the free case included with the monocular should be perfect for you. Other people commented about not liking the crosshairs in the viewfinder. Strangely enough, I preferred the crosshairs. I found it easier to track objects that were moving.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
Verified Purchase
I bought this model after a lot of research on line, for a very finicky gift recipient. It was a success. The optics were outstanding, the size is compact and it is built robustly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2013
Verified Purchase
Image is clear,even and no fringing. I partly expected to see some fringing or some optical aberration for what I was paying for it. I bought it mainly for the ranging scale, I haven't had any previous experience using a mil scale reticle but it's clear and it works. Great monocular!
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