To quote Clint Eastwood, “A man has to know his limitations!” Clint may have been talking about a criminal in one of his “Dirty Harry” movies, but it is an axiom that also holds true for anyone venturing into the field for an extended stay or just a simple short hike. That’s one reaseon we’re taking a look at Brunton’s Eterna Monocular today.
Humans just aren’t made with the same built-in abilities as most wild animals. If you doubt these truths just take your dog out for a short walk. Even on a jaunt around the neighborhood keep an eye on your dog. He will smell things that you never could. His eyesight and hearing far exceeds yours and he will react to stimulus long before you even know it is present. If I want to do a little pre-season scouting for new deer trails the simple way is to just take my Australian Sheppard to the woods and let her point out the trails to me. There is little I can do to try and match her smelling ability and I have not gotten to the point of walking around with a set of microphones trying to match her hearing, but I have made efforts to improve my seeing ability.
If I head out to do any serious “woods walking” you will notice a set of binoculars around my neck or in my day pack. At my age I may need a set of glasses to read a menu at dinner but put me in the woods and I can pick out movement without any problem. The hard part comes when I try to see what is causing this movement. A good set of binoculars allows me to at least be some competition to my dog. There is one major drawback to this practice, weight! If you are just sitting in the grandstands at a sporting event, the weight of your binoculars really doesn’t matter. Try carrying them with you on a hike and soon every ounce counts. I’ve tried just about every size and configuration of binoculars and have settled a nice compact model that has worked well for me. But give me the chance to see if there is a better option and I’ll jump at it.
Brunton has long been a supplier of good outdoor equipment and optics has been a part of their product line. One of their latest offerings is a new monocular known as the Eterna. Just about everyone can claim to have looked through a set of binoculars so if you want to imagine a more compact setup just break those binoculars in half and use one eye instead of two. On regular binoculars you normally set the diopter ring on the right side (the dominate eye for most people) and let your left eye adjust. Then you can use the center adjustment to focus for both eyes. On a monocular you only need to adjust for one eye. The rear ring is used to focus all objects once the monocular is placed in front of the dominate eye. For this purpose is matters little if the dominate eye is your left or right. While some may prefer to close the eye not in use, I’ve found that I have less eye strain if I just leave this eye open. It also gives me a better sense of balance during prolong use. The Eterna was about as simple as it gets during use. The adjustment ring was easy to focus with just the right amount of tension during rotation. At no time did the Eterna change focus unless I wanted it to. The rubber eye cup places the lens the correct distance from the eye for anyone not wearing glasses. Add in the glasses and it is easy to roll the rubber eye cup back.
One really nice feature on this unit is the ergonomic shape of the body. Finger grooves matched with thumb recesses for left or right hand allow you to grasp this monocular with a firm grip. The unit only has a weight of 11.5 ounces so extended viewing will not wear you out. The focus will adjust from 12 feet on out and at 1,000 yards you have a field of view of 341 feet. The magnification is 6 X making this product ideal for general field use.
As with any product, the literature is nice and the promises made are reassuring. However it is field use that really gives you faith in a product. For the past month, including our deer season for this year, I have been using the Eterna on every trip to the woods. These trips have included all types of weather and lighting conditions. Brunton’s promises the Eterna is waterproof and fog proof and I have no reason not to believe them. Even on days that started well below freezing and then warmed up to the mid-fifties the Eterna stayed clear. On several days the unit was exposed to rain without a problem.
One aspect that is hard to relate is the clarity of objects viewed by the Eterna. There is a sharpness to the image, even in dim lighting conditions, that is only apparent on high-end optics. The total field of view is clear from edge to edge with no lost of sharpness at any point in the image. The lens has Brunton’s “Emerald Fire” multi-coating which they state improves the clarity and light gathering ability. My guess is they know what they are talking about.
While hunting I would scan the woods unaided by optics. Once any movement was detected I could bring the Eterna into play and identify the cause. Take my word for it, other hunters would much rather see you raise up a monocular to identify them should they stroll near your deer stand than a fully loaded rifle. Nothing is more heart stopping than seeing another hunter use his rifle scope as a spotting device. This is even more true if you happen to be the object he is looking at.
The Eterna line of optics by Brunton is not a low-end budget priced affair. However, the monocular is about half the price of the Eterna binoculars. Now doesn’t that just make sense? Just to add a bit more security to your choice in optics, Brunton has a life time warranty and has long been known to stand behind their product.
2255 Brunton Ct.
Riverton, WY 82501