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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 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 September 19, 2017
I bought this scope and the Celestron G2 x 25, to use when scanning an area, that I will be moving through, going hunting.
The HDE has quite a bit more magnification power, but a much narrower field of view, than the Celestron.
I do like the size of it, which is very slightly smaller than the Celestron. It fits in my front pocket, something like a roll of quarters would fit.
It does have a mount screw hole for a tripod, which I doubt I will find a need for, but it is a bit shaky at high magnification so someone would need this I suppose.
In low light (dawn and dusk), my testing shows the Celestron is better.
Both of them seem to focus closely at 10-12 feet.
Considering all the above, I find I can scan effectively, in terrain in front of me, for game at about 350 yards with this one and about 250 with the Celestron.
I will use the Celestron for my hunting due to the better lower light capability, as I am often moving in early predawn hours.
This one is very handy and useful for keeping around for nearly any other daytime use, such as bird watching, surveillance or sports.
I am glad I have it.
I hope this helps.
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on May 17, 2017
I bought this item and used it a couple times. I dropped it while I was sitting in a chair (so maybe a 2 foot drop) and the entire interior broke/came lose and it's totally useless now. It is obviously made very cheaply and can't withstand any kind of normal wear and tear. I can't imagine how bad it would have been if I had dropped it while standing. I do not recommend this product.
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on March 2, 2016
I want so much to like this. I bought this thinking it would be a great substitute for a zoom lens to mount on my smartphone, and if it were as designed, it would be perfect, and much less expensive than a smartphone camera lens.

There are a lot of pros. It feels solid. The zoom and the focus are smooth, with some resistance so that you don't over-compensate, or knock it out of focus accidentally. It comes with a wrist strap and a carry case, with a cap for the eyepiece. All good, and the build feels good.

HOWEVER - The product was very sticky. They overuse some lubricant on the threading for the eyepiece, and it was all over the outside of the product. Even worse, there is some on the inside of the lens, that I cannot get to to clean. That makes it absolutely worthless.

Were the quality standards stepped up a bit, I could give this four or five stars. As it is, two is generous, but the build IS solid. For people not wanting photographs, maybe you could do with the schmootz on the lens.

The price is a pro and a con. It is a terrific price on what wants to be a quality product, but is not worth paying to return for a replacement. Also, the full moon I wanted to photograph has come and gone.
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on July 11, 2015
Product arrived in new condition as described.

Truth be told, if I had tried this product in a store I probably wouldn't have purchased it. The view area is just too small, so that even at the smallest zoom level, the viewing area is quite small. I also noticed that the focusing is rather poor--even when the object is focused in the center of the view field, the edges tend to be very blurry. Not sure if that has something to do with the particular construction of the lenses or what.

As others have noted, if you're zoomed in all the way, it gets quite dark because of the 21mm lens size. That can't be helped, that's just optics.

The knob in the picture is a screw-in plug for a tripod. Definitely necessary when zoomed in any more than 15x.

EDIT: I've had this product for a few months now and I can't come up with a single good use for it. I really wanted this to just quickly take a look at where my buddy's golf shots were going, but the view area is way too small for that. It might be of some use to someone birdwatching or a hiker sighting navigation objects, but I really can't imagine this being used for anything. The good news is that it was so cheap, I probably won't even bother RMA'ing it. One of the kids will enjoy it.
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on July 14, 2015
The monocular takes a little getting used to, especially with the zoom function. On a more powerful zoom, you MUST get your eye closer to the eyepiece, or you will see BLACK HAIR and/or other undesirable artifacts in your field of view. Lower zoom levels are more lenient on this. As for focus-ability, it may be similar to a camera with an f-stop of around 2.0 to 3.0. As for user stability, I found no major problems, especially at lower levels. WARNING: SOME people that have two good eyes may have difficulty using this device, since it is just for one eye. I, myself, have only one "good" eye, and as a result, I fare better than many people when using such devices that use only one eye. If you're not sure if you'll fare well with this thing, try a pair of binoculars, but only look through one eyepiece, maybe having the other eyepiece lifted up and above your other eye or try covering or closing your other eye. I am a bit disappointed that a cover was provided for the eyepiece, but not for the "business end" of the device (front end). Fortunately, it does come with a nice carrying pouch. The monocular is definitely worth the money. I bought two of them, just in case if I lose one of them or something happens to one of them.
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on January 19, 2014
I could hardly believe just how much zoom this little monocular has. I got this after around Christmas time and on New Years eve I saw some orange lights in the sky over San Diego. I took pictures of the strange lights that no one has yet to explain what they were but my camera does not have a zoom so the pics only show the orange lights and I wanted something that I could maybe get a better look at the lights if they show up again. I do not believe in UFOS but these lights were strange. Anyway I do like my little Monocular. I was looking at the moon tonight and I can see all the dark spots better than just with a bare eye. I go every other day to a friends house who lives up on a high hill in Tijuana and we could see the Coronado bridge really clear and even boats in the bay so yes it has pretty good zoom especially for the price. It comes with a cleaning rag and a nice little pouch to keep it in and a lens cover. I am happy.
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on March 23, 2017
Leaking some sticky liquid from the zoom rocker.
Clarity of lens could be better.
review image
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on October 5, 2016
Sorry to say it, I really am, because I really wanted this little monocular to work OK, but after receiving it, I have to AGREE with most of the 1-STAR reviews.

It is BRAND NEW, day #1, just received it, fresh out of the sealed plastic bag, and already, the rubber trim on it (which constitutes about 50% of the outer surface) is getting sticky gooey slimy tacky, such as when certain types of poorly formulated rubber eventually melt and decompose, and leave sticky black goo all over your fingers. It's a shame, really. This little device is ruined.

And the twisting adjustments (for focus, and for zoom) are so stiff and sticky, that I have to struggle with the monocular to get it to adjust either the zoom or the focus.

The disappointed customers who said the 15x-55x zoom is a hoax, are right, I'm sorry to say. Somewhere in the mid-range of its zoom, I can get an image, but the image is not very good -- it's not nearly as clear as my 3 other binoculars.

If I saw this in a store and had been able to pick it up and try it before I bought it, I would not have paid one dollar for it. It's just trash.

Save yourself the trouble. Buy something with better quality. I'd call this thing Chinese junk, except that would be an insult to the other Chinese junk. This piece isn't even good enough to earn THAT sorry description.
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