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.
MINOX is one of the oldest names in the optic business. At SHOT 2015, MINOX USA introduced an entirely new tactical line of scopes, binoculars and spotting scopes. The MINOX tactical scopes are built by Optronica in Germany. Optronica was the actual manufacturer of the scopes for the now defunct Primer Reticles. Their 3-15x56mm design was selected for the Marine Corps version of the KAC M110 semi-auto 7.62x51mm sniper rifle.
MINOX of Germany has introduced three new rifle scopes in their new ZP TAC line, marketed as a “High End Tactical” line of optics. The versions include the ZP8 and the ZP5 in two magnification options. These new scopes are particularly designed for professional military or law enforcement snipers and the rigors and stringent requirements those shooters must have to be successful. However, the ZP TAC scopes have many features that serious shooters can appreciate as well. MINOX optics have a reputation for superior quality and craftsmanship, and the new models appeared to be clear examples of that level of product commitment.
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.