Mini-monocular for seeing detail - Macular Society

Macular Society
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Mini-monocular for seeing detail

StokeySue
StokeySue
13 Replies

My right eye is not a lot of use, and my left one is fairly limited (I am registered as partially sighted) so I replaced the binoculars I used when walking with an inexpensive monocular (i.e. a simple telescope). So much easier to use than bins! But still quite bulky and with 10x magnification more than I need when not gazing into the landscape

However, I know that some people with partial sight, particularly those with macular disease, use a compact monocular to see detail in the environment, and I am interested in getting one. I went to an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, and noticed a man using a very compact monocular, perhaps not more than 7 or 8 cm in length, to see details of paintings, and possibly the labels and signs as well, It was very crowded and I didn't get a chance to ask him about it.

I've searched on line and have found similar looking devices, but there is a huge variety of specifications available and they aren't cheap, so I am loathe to order one without doing a bit more research

So, questions

1. Do you use one? If so, do you like it, and what type do you have? Waht do you find it most useful for? Every mention I have seen of them mentions looking at bus numbers, which is not a big deal for me, but there are other uses I am sure

2. Do you know of anywhere (London or near) where I could see a range and get advice? I am doubtful about mail order as there is so much choice.

13 Replies
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eyesright

I use a free magnifier app. on my phone for close up details.

For monocular etc try an outdoor shop like Go Outdoors, they cover walking hobbies not just camping so will probably have some you can try.

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Bobbie915
Bobbie915
in reply to eyesright

Hello Eyesright. Is the magnifier app you use on your phone, an Apple App? I have one on my iPad which is part of the accessibility choices. Just wondered if the one you have is even better!

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eyesright
eyesright
in reply to Bobbie915

Not Apple, I have an android phone and tablet. I just picked a free one from the Play Store. It's Smart Magnifier by the Smart Tools co. Has a pic of an upright magnifier and 4*

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Bobbie915
Bobbie915
in reply to eyesright

Thanks for the swift reply, Eyesright. I don't have any android equipment but will look on the Apple store. If it is there, I should recognise it from your detailed description.

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eyesright
eyesright
in reply to Bobbie915

I didn't check any others out but I'm happy with the one I picked. At least it's easy these days to download and delete if you're not happy lol.

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StokeySue
StokeySue
in reply to Bobbie915

I have the "2018 Magnifying Glass" App on my iPhone and it's good and free

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StokeySue
StokeySue
in reply to eyesright

The ones sold at outdoor shops are the kind I already have, intended for birdwatching, finding landmarks etc. as an alternative to binoculars (but easier to use) They aren't expensive but quite bulky and only good for some things. The compact ones are a bit different

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tallyho

Hi there I am registered partially sighted and I use a Specwell telescope that is very small. I got it from my low vision clinic it is very small and so useful especially for theatre trips where mobile phones are not allowed to be used ( have been to a few of those!!)

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StokeySue
StokeySue
in reply to tallyho

Thanks, it was Specwell I found online and very much the sort of thing I was thinking of

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Macular_1

Hello StokeySue,

Please see our booklet called 'Low Vision Aids' for more information about some of the equipment available;

macularsociety.org/sites/de...

Also our 'Using Technology' booklet;

macularsociety.org/sites/de...

The Macular society helpline have a list of good suppliers which we could send you, please email help@macularsociety.org if you would like a copy.

If you would like to discuss further, including finding somewhere that you can view equipment locally to you, please call the Macular Society helpline on 0300 30 30 111 (9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday).

Best wishes

Macular Society

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StokeySue
StokeySue
in reply to Macular_1

Yes, I had seen the Low Vision Aid booklet thanks, that's where the comment about bus numbers came from! Both local social services and the book just say more or less a monocular might help, but offer no advice on where or how to find the right one. I will call the Help line, but it feels a bit odd to call for every piece of information

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StokeySue

Well, thought I'd report back

I had a low vision assessment at the RNIB and I now have an Eschenbach 6 x 16 compact monocular that can focus on objects from close to quite a long way away

One of these (I'd link to it on the RNIB site but I can't find it)

amazon.co.uk/Eschenbach-clu...

It's excellent, it makes a real difference, I went on a history walk with a small group and I could see all the details of architecture, signs, plaques etc really well - something I've had difficulty with for a long time. I have also found I can read those irritating menus posted up behind coffee shop counters with it :) Yes, and bus numbers but moving targets are less easy, far more interesting things to look at to be honest

Well worth having the assistance of an optometrist to select the right one, this is very much NOT the one I'd have picked out for myself

Off to see some archaeological sites in two weeks, can't wait to see the details

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AnthonyCrouch

I was in the same position where you are. I can provide you with an article that helped me a lot and it took out the confusion and unnecessary stress away. There's nothing worse than to buy something that you would regret later on. If you would like to have a quick read outeroptics.com/best-monocular. I should also add that the Wingspan Optics Explorer monocular is overall a very good option, it has good reviews across the board

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