Since I prefer still-hunting over tree standing I never go out hunting without some kind a hand-held optic. When I want to grab-n-go or pack-light for a quick evening hunt I carry a monocular rather than a pair of binoculars with me. If you like to use hand-held optics when you are hunting and are looking for a compact model, then check out this monocular by VANGUARD. Unlike the fixed 8x power monocular I used last season, this compact monocular is unique because it is has a 6x-12x variable power Zoom feature. I had reservations at first whether a compact zoom monocular could provide both usable optical quality and ease of use while hunting. Here’s what I found to be the case with the VANGUARD MZ.OPTICS QUALITY
No question here. Optics quality is better than expected and very good with clear imaging. For those with steady hands, I was surprised that even on 12x magnification I was able to easily focus a clear view and keep an object in sight without it shaking away from me. Unlike my other fixed 8x monocular, I really like the MZ’s option to be able to dial-down to a lower 6x power which gives me a bigger field of view for quick scanning. As most compact optics have a 21mm objective lens, the VANGUARD MZ has a larger 25mm objective providing increased light gathering ability which is important during those prime dawn and dusk outings. FUNCTIONALITY –
As with any monocular it takes two hands to focus. My current monocular has the focusing mechanism ( knob) around the eyepiece itself which I must hold in order to focus. What I like about the MZ monocular is that its primary focusing knob (see * below) is located off the eyepiece itself and a full inch further away from my face. It may not sound like much, but when you have hunting gloves on that extra inch makes it less crowded and easier to focus.
(* note primary FOCUSING Knob to the right of the metal strap post)
This design allows for a more comfortable hand position as well when focusing which helps to steady the monocular. I also found the focusing adjustment mechanism to be solidly-smooth which permits for controlled and precise focusing.
There is an adjustment knob around the eyepiece,
but it controls the less-often used Zoom feature magnification rather than the more frequently used focusing adjustment knob.ADDITIONAL FEATURE
: This monocular has “near-focus” capability down to 0.35 meters (13.8 inches). It’s a feature a Naturalist may find very useful for field work identification. I don’t think I would have reason to use this feature while hunting, but all I can say is that it works great. For this feature there is an additional focusing mechanism which moves the objective lens back and forth.
Because it is a feature that hunters would probably never use, it might be helpful to have a threaded or other quiet mechanism added for this near-focus adjustment to keep it stationary when not in use. I have not had an opportunity to use the MZ monocular for a day of hunting to know whether the near-focusing adjustment would slide on its own when not in use.
The MZ comes with a durable carrying case that you can thread onto your belt, a wrist strap, and a lens cleaning cloth. The wrist strap is great for hikers and sight-seers, but inclusion of an over-the-head neck strap may be preferred by hunters whose hands are already occupied carrying a firearm. SUMMARY:
The VANGUARD MZ monocular has clear optics, compacts to only 4 ¼ inches long, is lightweight, and with its zoom feature is a good all-in-one hand-held optic to stash in your hunting jacket. For hunters like myself, it would be nice if VANGUARD could offer a matt or camo finish version in this Series.
The VANGUARD MZ has now been added to my backpack list. MZ-61225C
MZ monoculars are compact and lightweight for easy travel. Its metal body and soft folding eyecups provide years of great performance. It also offers great near focus and zoom power.
• 2-year warranty
• Soft folding eyecups DETAILS
• Diameter of objectives:25mm
• Prism Type:Roof
• View Angle:4°~2.4°
• Field of Viewm@1000m:70~42m/1000m
• Eye Relief:8mm
• Near focus(m):0.35m;1.1 feet
• Focus System:Ocular focus
• Lens coating: Fully coated optical glass with multi coated objective lens
• Phase coating:No
• Dimensions (L x W):115 x 35mm
• Weight (g):125
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS MONOCULAR AND OTHER VANGUARD PRODUCTS, YOU CAN VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AT :