G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Review of Barska 10x40 Blueline Close Focus Monocular

Originally submitted at

The unique Barska 10x40 Blueline Close Focus Monocular offers a host of special features. Close focus brings you closer to the action, and the ergonomic design makes it comfortable over long viewing sessions. Along with 10x magnification power and 40mm objective lens diameter, this scope boasts ...

Great Monocular, Website and Service

5out of 5

Pros: Strong Construction, Quality Lenses, Accurate Ranging, Easy To Use

Best Uses: Surfing, Hiking, Bird Watching

Describe Yourself: Casual/ Recreational

I will use this monocular primarily to "check the surf", which is a ritual employed by almost ALL ocean wave surfers. My usual surf checking vantage point is a sheer cliff about 100 ft. above the water. From there I can look up and down coast for miles, as well as across the bay. I can easily see over a dozen surf spots and get a good read on where the best waves are. This monocular replaces my Nikon binoculars (now mysteriously disappeared) that I had for over twenty years, and an old backpacking monocular that has seen a lot of hard use. The 10X40 specification is a huge and valuable step up from the old 10X25 spec in both the above pieces. So far I like everything about the Barska. The feel, focus, image brightness, smoothness of operation, sturdiness, dual lens caps, highly functional eye piece (I can wear my dark glasses, yeah!), and neck lanyard (maybe a bit skinny but the loop size is just right). My wife and I feed local and migratory birds at home and the Barska is incredible for viewing (very up close and personal) from our "blind" located right inside at the kitchen sink. We also do some recreational hiking together and with friends and the mono will be a great addition to those trips...(no more backpacking unfortunately).

Finally, mega-kudos to Hayneedle's website which made it easy and informative to shop. It took a while to whittle down all the great choices that fit my needs. By using the "Compare" feature I was able to make a good decision and buy a piece of equipment that fits my needs exactly. And to top it off, it arrived by Fed-Ex about three days sooner than I was expecting it.

I know five stars is a high rating...nothing is perfect as they say. But all things considered, the Barska 10X40 monocular and Hayneedle deserve the *****-Star mark!



  1. Nice, but... within approx. the same price range one can get WATERPROOF monocular. How come that a not waterproof model got such high recommendation from a surfer?

  2. I don't use it in the water, therefore it doesn't need to be waterproof.

  3. I own the same monocular. To answer Anonymous' question: You will not find a close focus monocular with the same magnification and light-gathering capability in a waterproof unit for anywhere close to the same price. This device is meant for people who will care for it. It is sturdy, but like all quality optical equipment is not meant to be abused.

    To be specific, its 40mm objective, giving a 4mm exit pupil, is practically unheard of in a 10x monocular of any description. (Exit pupil is a measurement that indicates the ability of the system to transmit light; the greater the diameter, the better.) The close focus of seven feet facilitates use for nature study. Butterflies look awesome! I have even made reasonably decent photos through mine, although it's a hit or miss affair, to be sure.

    The reason I'm sure about the above is that I researched monoculars at great length before purchasing the Barska. You have to get into the area of about three times the price to get similar performance in a waterproof monocular.

    As srfnff said, if you take care of your equipment you don't need waterproof. I have a $2000 pair of waterproof, fog-proof Swarovski bins if I want to go out in bad weather. I bought the monocular precisely because it was inexpensive and gave good service, without having to worry about carrying insurance on it. It compares well to the binoculars costing 40 times as much in terms of performance, all things considered.

    A long answer to a superficial comment, but I thought someone looking at this review for reasons other than finding fault would find another opinion useful.

  4. Any idea what the field is? That's the one stat that I can't find. I'm looking for something to watch sports, so the wider the angle, the better.

  5. I was able to easily get this from the Hayneedle website. A little more digging might yield more info.

    Field of View @ 1000 Yards: 288.

  6. Angular field of view expressed in degrees.

  7. I just read your review about this product and found it very informative for those who are looking to buy the best monocular for their hunting or hiking needs. While there are many different options available in the market so it is hard for a user to find the best one for their needs. Well, if you are looking for the best one then I'd recommend you to take a look at this list of monoculars where you will find the best collection and tips to buy the best one for your needs