On hunts during the most challenging lighting conditions, the ZE 5is 3-15x56 SF tested very well.
With so many camera trap makes and models now available, advances in technology and (in general) a reduction in price, camera trapping has become a pastime for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Here I have a more detailed look at some of the makes and models on the market, features to look out for and how best to set your camera trap up.
Camera trapping can be phenomenally satisfying and a really enjoyable pastime. The buzz when you remove your SD card and flick through the images is something I will never tire of, as there is frequently a surprise waiting. Camera traps, or trail cameras as they are also known, have gone from expensive scientific kit to garden toy in a very short space of time. Increasingly they are being used for scientific and professional ecological monitoring but their affordability, durability and technological advancement have made them just as rewarding to use at home or on your local patch. In this article I will generally focus on the more affordable models rather that the higher priced scientific ones such as Reconyx.
Back in 2010, I tested and wrote a review on the previous version of the MINOX BL 8x33 binoculars. As you can see from it, my reviews have come along way since then, but even so with the scores they achieved, it is obvious that I really liked them. Indeed they went on to win the award as the best safari & travel bin later on in the same year.
To this day, those MINOX binoculars still remain one of my favorite mid-sized bins and that is why when I discovered that they had updated their BL range to include HD glass in their lenses, I just had to get my hands on the 8x33 version. I really wanted to see if they were as good in all the areas as the older version, but also if the HD lenses had perhaps even improved on them optically.
No matter whether it matters to you or not or indeed if it is good or bad, the fact is that more binoculars are being manufactured in China than ever before and increasingly you can now only find a relatively small number of the very finest and most expensive instruments being fully designed and manufactured in places like the US, Japan and the traditional European countries like Germany and Austria.
MINOX are proud of the fact that their BL Line (as well as most others) are fully designed and manufactured in Germany and that they are hand finished and undergo a rigorous quality control inspection before leaving the Wetzlar factory.
This level of detail and care is becoming increasingly rare, but what makes it even more unique is that they have been able to produce what they say is a premium quality binocular at what is a very competitive price, that is way below many similar products no matter where they are made.
So to see just how well they are made and indeed how they perform, I spent a couple of weeks using and testing the latest version of the MINOX BL 8x44 HD binoculars - read my full review.
With their revamp of the BL Line to incorporate HD / ED glass elements in their optical design, Minox is aiming to bring premium grade, German-made optics to the masses at a much lower price point than you’d expect to pay for top tier binoculars. By and large they’ve done a very good job — the BL 8×44 HD is an excellent all-round binocular. Rugged and stylish, with an excellent finish and premium “feel” this is a very nice binocular indeed, and while optically it isn’t quite on a par with the big guns, it really isn’t very far behind them either.