There’s no doubt that the Minox BV 8×25 is an accomplished little compact binocular. It does a lot of things very well, but I can’t shake the feeling that it should deliver a little more “punch” in terms of overall image quality.
While it is certainly very compact, and feels extremely robust, the single hinge design means it can’t fold down like dual hinge compacts do — and that makes it a lot less pocketable. For me that diminishes its usefulness as a carry-anywhere binocular, which is the only reason I’d choose a compact. On the flip side the single hinge design is less “fiddly” in use, means your binoculars are always ready, and makes them feel much more like “real” binoculars in the hand.
MINOX 10x25 BV Optics
As I do with all my reviews, to get an objective opinion, I compared the view through these with my benchmark compact binoculars, that have a configuration of 10x26.
The image produced was as clear and sharp as my benchmark, contrast was also about the same, which means that they are above average and as good as or better than any in their price range. The colour reproduction for a compact was good and the amount of colour fringing (chromatic aberration) around the edges of a dark object when viewed in front of a light background was extremely minimal, but no more than other binoculars in this class and only noticeable if you are really searching for it.
As Director of Sales and Marketing/Outdoor Channels for MINOX Sports Optics and formerly Vice President of Sport Optics for Leica Camera Inc. (NA), Terry Moore is a recognized authority on high-quality sports optical equipment, including "glass" designed for the steadily growing birding market. Born and reared in Oklahoma, Moore exhibited an early interest in the outdoors and pursued schooling as a field biologist before focusing on business. His career grew from part-time work in a camera store to sales and sales management in the consumer photographic industry. In 1995, he established Leica's Sport Optics Division. An enthusiastic birder himself, Moore has traveled extensively in the pursuit of this passion.
Moore gives Birding some professional advice on choosing binoculars, previews the optics of the future, and reveals why - when it comes to optics - birders and hunters are more alike than they might think.
Considering that these binoculars are available for around $250 £220, I have to agree with Minox and say that they do indeed offer an outstanding price to performance ratio and are in my opinion incredible value for money.
Highlights include their excellent close focusing distance and their very wide field of view (for a 10x binocular). Their fully multicoated optics and the phase correction coatings on the prisms also help to produce a very bright and sharp image that has to one of the best in their class.
Weak points? With all their highlights and at their excellent price point, it is hard to find anything to be very critical of. Sure you can find 10x42 binoculars that are slightly brighter or with slightly less softening of the image on the edge of the view, but in my experience you have to pay much more for it. Because to achieve qualities like this you have to start using things like special reflective coatings on the prisms and extra low dispersion glass, which cost more to manufacture, bringing their price up. Besides if you want it all you should then look at the excellent HG-Line from Minox.