Minox Binocular Review
Peter Jones reviews the 8x44 BL Binoculars from Minox.
Minox Binocular Review BL 8x44
In the past Minox have perhaps not been the first Brand to spring to the mind of UK Deer Stalkers when considering a pair of Binoculars however whether it be for Camera's, spotting scopes or Binoculars they have always had a reputation for quality.
It seems however that times may be changing with Minox now having set their sights firmly on the Field Sports and Deer Stalking market.
Not having reviewed a Minox product before but being aware of their reputation I was delighted when they offered to send me a pair of their 8x44 Binoculars from their BL range and more than a little excited at the prospect of giving them a try.
My first impressions of these Bino's were that they are remarkably light weight. Weighing only a little over 800g (strap and eye covers included) and being just 15cm in length they are very practical and easy to carry. Whilst this isn't the most important thing in a pair of Bino's it certainly does help, especially when already loaded down with a rifle, shooting sticks and all the other accoutrements that many deer stalkers tend to carry.
The next thing you notice about them is that they look and feel seriously hard wearing. In true German fashion they have a quality robust feel to them which is enhanced by a tough, matt polycarbonate rubber coating. The handling is further enhanced by what Minox describe as the 'Comfort Bridge' which basically means that the tubes are attached by two hinges allowing you to wrap your hand around either tube thereby improving single handed operation. I liked this feature which when added to their being light weight means there is no denying these binoculars have been very well thought through.
To give you some idea of the feel and nature of these Binoculars perhaps you'll humour me if I draw an analogy with a car because if I were to describe them as such I would have to do so as the VW Golf of Binoculars. Like the Golf they are tough, reliable and well put together which brings me nicely on to the next point, price.
It's always interesting to trial something before you know the price and I have to say that this product had me guessing. Minox although not traditionally known amongst deer stalkers do none the less have a fine reputation for being a quality brand. Add to this their durability and the fact that they have a very respectable 136m at 1000metres field of view and they really have you thinking that you are in for something expensive...... Well here's the nice surprise they have a recommended retail price of just £499-00.
If I can stretch the car analogy a little further this puts them in a very reasonable price bracket, and "'Just like a Golf" I think these Binoculars have the potential to become an extremely popular choice in their price bracket. For many stalkers who don't want to spend their life savings on a pair of optics these Bino's offer you a great quality brand at a very fair price.
If I had to be super critical I would like to see Minox put a bit more effort into developing depth of focus and into polishing those lenses right up to the edges however as soon as I write that statement I find myself reminding myself that I'm comparing these Binoculars to another set which I have that are around three times the price! Indeed the very fact that I am comparing these two brands speaks volumes about both the quality of the product and Minox's reputation. All in all well done Minox, this is defiantly a brand to watch out for.