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.
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 (No. 62048) and you can read my full review here:
The Minox BD 7×28 is a unique binocular… and that’s not a distinction many can claim. Designed by Volkswagen, the slimline barrels linked by a narrow but very solid metal bridge high on the instrument makes it look incredibly sleek and modern. It leaves almost the entire barrel exposed for a really comfortable wrap-around grip (what Minox calls its “Comfort Bridge” design). Optically it’s excellent… with one caveat… you can’t focus both barrels at the same time.
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.