Monk Observer 20x80 binoculars
The Monk binoculars come packaged in a sleek foam-lined aluminium carrying case. They have a central stabilising bar to attach them to a tripod so that you can adjust the balance for better viewing, while the outer casing provides a firm grip.
The end faces of the prism housing, out of which the eyepieces protrude, are finished in a reflective chrome effect.
Any light source behind us was reflected in this and could be quite distracting, but it does give the pair an air of class.
The optics did a great job capturing the faint light of our deep-sky objects: nebulae along the galactic plane (M16, M17, M20 and M8) were a pleasure to see.
Higher in the sky we could see mottling across the box-like shape of M27, which wasn’t as clear with the other binoculars.
Turning to Altair for our field of view test, we were impressed with the number of extra stars we could see in the same view as Altair.
The view was sharp across 75% of the 3º-wide view.
Our test globular clusters, M3 and M22, stood out in the view, while Albireo had great colour contrast between the two stars.
The eyepieces could be focused independently and were good, if a little fiddly, while the multicoatings and internal baffling were the best on test.
There was only a slight trace of internal reflections from the Moon, which displayed sharp detail.
To sum up, this is an excellent pair of stargazing binoculars.
Weight 2.4kg (5.2lb)
Supplier Monk Optics
Telephone 01291 689858
This review appeared in the September 2008 issue of Sky at Night Magazine