What Does the Magnification Mean on Night Vision Monoculars? – Everything You Need to Know with FAQs & More

Are you wondering what magnification means on night vision monoculars?

Let’s find out.

What Does the Magnification Mean on Night Vision Monoculars?

The magnification of a monocular is measured in power. Higher numbers mean greater magnifications.

For example, a 5x monocular has five (5) fold magnification compared to a 2x monocular which has two (2) fold magnification. A 1x monocle has no magnification at all, so it can only see objects directly in front of it.

How Does Night Vision Work?

Night-time sights allow you to see things at a distance of up to 1,000 feet (300 meters) on a dark night. They’re useful for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and even watching movies.

Night vision binoculars let you take pictures and video of objects at night with your naked eyes.


Night vision technology uses two different types of devices.

Optoelectronic Image Enhancement

Night-time imaging systems usually rely on optical amplification techniques to create images from faint ambient light.

Objective Lens

The first element in an imaging system, called the objective (primary) element, captures the invisible light waves known as “photonic” waves.

Photonic waves consist of tiny particles called “photonic” waves, which are similar to electrons but smaller than atoms.

Electrons from the filament travel through the cathode ray tube (CRT) and hit the phosphor screen, causing them to glow.


The first part of an electron microscope is called the cathode. It converts the incoming photons into free electrons.

Photon, neutrons, and electrons are all very tiny particles that comprise the components inside atoms.

Electrons orbit the nucleus of the atoms they’re part of, carrying an electric charge.

Microchannel Plate

Electrons flowing through the first section of the tube, called the dynode, collide with gas molecules inside the tube, causing them to emit light.

A microchip capacitor (MCP) is a small device with millions of tiny holes through which electrons pass. It multiplicates the number of electrons by thousands, thereby increasing the strength of an electrical signal.

Why isn’t this traditional night vision image in color?

It has to do mainly with converting the light waves into electrons, which removes the color information from an original colored picture and turns it into a black-and-white one.

Green phosphors were chosen because they’re easy to see in the darkness.

Digital Image Enhancement

A newer technology called digital image enhancement captures available natural lighting on a digital camera and then digitally enhances the colors in a full-screen display.

Digital image enhancement technologies result in smaller, lighter-weighing, more versatile nighttime vision devices.

Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor

With digital night vision technology, the light from an object enters the objective lens and is then turned into a digital signal by using a CMOS image sensing device, just like the one found in digital cameras.

The electronic camera takes pictures of the subject, which are then processed by computer software to enhance them. The larger the CCD (charge-coupled device) chip, the better the quality of the picture you see.

Most current digital night vision devices can capture and store high-definition videos at up to 1080p resolution.

Applications of Night Vision Technology

Night vision technology is often used in various kinds of devices, including ones designed to improve viewing in dark or low-lighting conditions.


Telescopes are probably the most common type of nighttime vision equipment. They’re often used by hunters and military personnel.

Scope mounts can be either handheld or fixed to certain kinds of guns, such as rifles. Binocular night vision scopes can be either monocular (one eyepiece) or stereo (two eyepieces for a stereoscopic image), depending on their design.


Night vision goggles are used for both recreational purposes and military applications. They’re similar to binoculars but incorporate night vision technology.

Goggles are worn instead of held; therefore, they allow your eyes to be freed up for other uses. They’re great for nighttime activities or if you need to move around in dark buildings.

Video Cameras

Finally, most still and video cameras include digital nighttime vision technology for shooting at nighttime. These cameras are often useful for security purposes, especially around a property’s unlit perimeter.

what does the magnification mean on night vision monocular

What Does the Magnification Mean on Night Vision Monocular?

How to Select a Monocular?


Choose how much magnifying power you want for your monoculars. Higher magnifications will allow you to view objects at greater distances and in more detail. Lower magnifications will allow you to view objects closer up but less clearly.

Higher magnification usually means that the image jumps more when you move the camera. However, if you’re using a high-magnification lens, it may be hard to see details because of the jumping images.

For a good quality monocular with decent magnifications, you might want to consider a 5x, 6×, or 8× one.

Lens Size

Choose the right focal length for your camera. Also, choose an appropriate aperture setting so that you can capture images with good quality.

Lenses come in different sizes. Smaller lenses usually offer better views than larger ones. Monoculars typically have lenses ranging from 20mm to 42mm in diameter.

Lens Coating

Look for a monocular with a lens that has antiglare (anti-reflective) coatings on it. These coatings can affect the image brightness, but they don’t usually distort the image.


Test out the close-focusing capability of the monocular. You should also examine the close-focusing abilities of the monocular.

Close focusing is the distance at which a monocular can bring into sharp view an image. Close focusing may be measured in centimeters rather than meters.

Eye Relief

When choosing monoculars, consider eye relief. It’s the gap between your eyes and the eyepieces.

It is usually expressed in millimeters and will determine how far you can see when using binoculars. If you use eyeglasses, you will require eye relief of at least 15mm. If you don’t use eyeglasses, then you might not require a large eye relief.


A monocular is an optical instrument consisting of one lens and one eyepiece. They are often used for close-up work such as bird watching, nature study, and astronomy.

Monoculars can also be used for general observation purposes, especially if they are equipped with a zoom feature.


Night vision goggles are used to see things at night or in low light conditions. The images they produce are much clearer than those of our eyes, which cannot see anything beyond about 20 metres away.

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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