Zeiss Mono 10×25 T Monocular Review: Bigger Is Not Always Better

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Did you ever wish for a smaller version of your binoculars? Are there times while out on a hike when you just don’t want a relatively heavy piece of optical equipment hanging around your neck? If so, the Zeiss Mono 10×25 T monocular could be the solution to your problem.

Zeiss actually makes several monoculars in their Mono line. I’ll take a brief look at each of them along with the MiniQuick 5×10 T monocular.

If you’re in a hurry and just want to check the pricing and availability of these Zeiss monocular units on Amazon, you can click one of the links below.

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What Are the Main Differences in the Mono Monocular Models?

If you look at all six of these models side by side, you first notice the difference in size. The MiniQuick is tall and thin, whereas the Mono 3×12 looks relatively short and stumpy.

Zeiss Mono 10x25 T monocular and cousins
Left to right: Zeiss Mono 3×12, 4×12, 6×18, 8×20, 10×25, MiniQuick

These size and shape differences are a factor of their power and objective lens size, which is another obvious difference. You can see by examining the name of each that the magnification power varies from one to the next, as does the objective lens size in most cases.

The greater the magnification, the harder it usually is to hold the monocular steady for viewing your target. Owners haven’t found even the most powerful Mono 10×25 T monocular to be all that hard to hold still though.

Often it’s useful to steady the hand that is holding the monocular by laying it against an unmoving object like a tree or part of a building.

Another main difference amongst these monoculars – and one that isn’t so obvious at first glance – is the close focus distance of each.

The table below gives you a quick comparison of the close focus ranges of the MiniQuick and all the Mono models of Zeiss monoculars.

ModelClose Focus (ft.)
Mono 3×12 T0.66
Mono 4×12 T1.48
Mono 6×18 T0.98
Mono 8×20 T9.84
Mono 10×25 T14.78
MiniQuick 5×10 T13.1

One more specification that changes from one model to the next is the field of view (FOV). If this item is important to you, you will probably be more interested in those models with the larger numbers. It’s generally easier to find your target with a wider FOV.

Unfortunately, Zeiss is not consistent in reporting FOV. They use metric measurements for the MiniQuick only. By my rough calculations, that monocular’s FOV is about 330 feet at 1000 yards, making it about the same as the Mono 6×18 or the Mono 8×20.

In the table below, which shows FOV in feet at 1000 yards, you can see the relative differences from model to model.

ModelFOV (ft.)
Mono 3×12 T660
Mono 4×12 T540
Mono 6×18 T360
Mono 8×20 T330
Mono 10×25 T264
MiniQuick 5×10 T330?

Spoiler alert: In the video below, the Zeiss 10×25 comes in at #5 per this reviewer. That’s not bad, considering how many monoculars there are in the market.

Other Features and Specifications of the Zeiss Monoculars

In general, the remaining significant features are close to the same from one Zeiss monocular to the next.

The eye relief is 15 millimeters for all except the Mono 3×12 (and possibly the MiniQuick for which the data is not reported). Fifteen millimeters is not great for eye relief, but since these units are small to begin with, you probably will make the effort to put them close to your eye anyway. It just feels right to do so. Eyeglass wearers may have some difficulty here, depending on the size and shape of your glasses.

The diopter, which on a monocular is essentially the same as a focus wheel on a pair of binoculars, has a range of about plus or minus 4. That should be plenty to give you a sharp image of your target bird, deer, or other object.

The lenses have multi-layer coatings for high light transmission and “low reflex susceptibility” – though I’m not sure what that last phrase means in this context. The “T” in the model name is actually “T*” which is the label Zeiss uses to denote their high quality lens coatings.

All of these monoculars are “sealed against spray water”. In other words, don’t drop them in a puddle. They are not nitrogen filled, as many binoculars are, so they are not waterproof (or fog proof).

Most of these monoculars come with a zippered carrying case that offers a bit of protection against drops. They also have a lanyard that’s long enough to hang the device around your neck. The exception to these extras is the MiniQuick which has a pocket clip (much like that on a standard ballpoint pen) instead of the case and lanyard.

There is one more thing to mention about the Mono 3×12. It was designed so you can attach it to a pair of binoculars (like the Zeiss Victory or Conquest models), using an adapter ring, effectively giving you a spotting scope. The magnification power of each unit multiplies. So if you add the 3x monocular to an 8x binocular, you get a 24x scope.

Attaching a monocular to binoculars
Zeiss Mono 10x25

Many owners consider the Mono 10×25 T monocular the best available. If I were in the market for a new monocular, it’s the Zeiss model I would get.

However, not everyone agrees with that assessment. Here is what one user has to say about the Mono 10×25 T.

“I disagree with the reviewers who say this is the best of the small monoculars. The Alpine 10×25 is as sharp and a more stable and wider apparent field of view complemented by easier hand holding and superior eye relief; other comparable small monoculars (opticron) are superior, though larger.”

The same owner goes on to comment about the Mono’s size.

“I would say this unit is for the customer who wants the smallest unit.”

Whether or not the Mono 10×25 T is the absolute best in the market, it certainly is among the top in its class. The other models also rank very high due to their high quality glass and solid construction.

Zeiss Mono 10×25 T Monocular

Check the pricing and availability of the Mono 10×25 T at Amazon.

Zeiss Mono 10×25 T* Monocular

Check the pricing and availability of the Zeiss Mono 10×25 T* monocular at Ebay.

Don’t forget the links for the other monoculars at the top of this page. They will take you to the Amazon listing for each model.

If you think there might be a better monocular out there for you, take a look at this overview article to see what else might tickle your fancy.

Gary Sonnenberg

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