Straight out the box and soft Nylon case, the Viking Cygnus ED 8×42 monocular feels very solid and well built. Weighing nearly 50g more than the non ED version, their is obviously less plastic / polycarbonate in the shell.
In the hand they balance nicely, and have a secure grip. A drop down lens cover protects the objective lens, while a pull off one covers the eyepiece. The top focus wheel is smaller than some in this type of monocular, but is very smooth to use with no back lash or tight spots. The eye cup is twist type, which I estimated to be around 15mm. So just enough for most spectacle wearers. You get a nice soft wrist strap and a standard Nylon case with belt loop. The wrist strap connector can be removed to reveal a standard tripod thread which is handy.
So what about the optics ?. You are instantly met by a bright and sharp image with excellent clarity. The fully multi-coated optics with ED glass offer excellent sharpness across most of the field. Only the outer 10-15% drop of in sharpness, but only by a small amount. In the centre 60-70% there is virtually no chromatic aberration, with outside this showing only a small amount. This is s big plus point if viewing wildlife in high contrast situations. Pin cushion distortion is also at very low levels. Testing the clarity against a very challenging and heavily back lit tree, I was able to make out birds in the branches that were invisible to the naked eye. I would imagine these will great as a wide field astronomy optic.
Close focus is quoted as 2m, but I found it to be around 1.3m, Field of view is a generous 7.5 degrees. So should make tracking of moving wildlife easy. The AFOV is also wide.
Summing up this is a capable and affordable monocular that I am sure will surprise you with the clarity of image.
Plus points – Image clarity and lack of CA . Only minus point – Would have been nicer to have a better case. Excellent value.
You can purchase from Northern Optics HERE