In the past Minox have perhaps not been the first Brand to spring to the mind of UK Deer Stalkers when considering a pair of Binoculars however whether it be for Camera's, spotting scopes or Binoculars they have always had a reputation for quality.
It seems however that times may be changing with Minox now having set their sights firmly on the Field Sports and Deer Stalking market.
Not having reviewed a Minox product before but being aware of their reputation I was delighted when they offered to send me a pair of their 8x44 Binoculars from their BL range and more than a little excited at the prospect of giving them a try.
My first impressions of these Bino's were that they are remarkably light weight. Weighing only a little over 800g (strap and eye covers included) and being just 15cm in length they are very practical and easy to carry. Whilst this isn't the most important thing in a pair of Bino's it certainly does help, especially when already loaded down with a rifle, shooting sticks and all the other accoutrements that many deer stalkers tend to carry.
MINOX's latest addition to its birding optics range is light, comfortable and certainly impressed Mike Alibone when he field tested the model.
There are some binoculars which feel instantly comfortable when you raise them to your eyes for the first time, and for me, the MINOX BL 8x33 is one of those models.
With its rather simple, unpatterned charcoal-coloured body and trademark notched eyecups, this small binocular is instantly recongnisable as a Minox product. It is one of a number of relatively new open-bridge models which form the basis of the manufacturerer's BL range. It weighs 650 g but feels lighter, with the thin layer of soft, non-slip rubber covering the polycarbonate body helping to keep the weight to a minimum, while lending an impression of solidity and durability.
The German-designed but American-made Minox ZA3 is powerful, rugged and affordable.
Half a century ago it was common to buy optics made entirely under one roof, but thatís rare in these days of specialization. Grinding lenses is very different than multi-coating lenses, and both are very different than making scope tubes or binocular bodies. So a common manufacturing strategy is to engineer optics in-house, then have the parts made to the companyís specifications in various factories. The parts are then shipped to an assembly plant, its location often depending not just on the price of labor but import duties and shipping costs.
An old name in optics. MINOX is very much back on the radar with a very cool scope and a pair of premium binoculars.
It is not that often that I get a fairly uniquely designed binocular to review, so when the guys at MINOX asked me if I wanted to review their compact fixed focus BD 7x28 IF binoculars, with its open bridge design I was immediately interested.
A good pair of compact binoculars needs to excel in a wide range of areas, this is because I tend to use them more than any other pair. The reason for this is that they are so easy to carry with me, and so I do - I take my compacts with me just about everywhere I go.
For example good compact binoculars should easily fit into my golf bag, or in my carry bag when I go out mountain biking, hiking or to watch a football game. They should easily fit in the cubbyhole (glove compartment) of my car or just in my jacket or shirt pocket when I going out for a walk. So not only do they need to be compact, but also tough enough to handle being left in a bag and be able to take the heat inside my car when I forget to take them out. As well as this, I also want the view through them to be as to as good as possible, but at the same time they should not be too expensive as to be irreplaceable!