Compact Spotting Scopes Compared: MINOX MD 50 Favored in Price to Performance

The MINOX MD50 is also comparatively new to the scene, although it takes up the price range previously occupied by Kowa’s 50mm spotter that appears to have been discontinued. Before these models from Vortex and Minox showed up, selecting a compact spotter was a pretty straightforward affair: if you wanted the best one available, you had to pony up the cash for Nikon’s smallest Fieldscope.

This is easily the champ in the “bang for the buck” contest.  Form factor-wise, it looks like a scaled down full-size spotter with a proper “foot” for a tripod mount.  It has a very solid feel, owing to it being short and moderately heavy.  It is easily the heaviest spotter in this group.  Eyepiece cover is somewhat unusual: it is a threaded metal cap that fits over the whole eyepiece providing a lot of protection in case I were to just throw the spotter into the backpack.

Finally, would I buy one of these? I am actually thinking about it.  It is sufficiently inexpensive to be worth looking at.  While I am unlikely to drop the cash on the Nikon, this one is much easier to swing and it does most things I need in a compact spotter quite well.

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