One of the challenges that the Western hunter faces is finding the right pieces of equipment without breaking the bank. Many hunters, like myself, are very price conscious, but won’t sacrifice quality - herein lies the challenge. Speaking from a personal standpoint, the family budget is almost always tight – especially with a lovely wife who is a stay-at-home mom, and four young children that think they need to eat every day (the audacity!). To put it bluntly, a $2,000 pair of optics will probably never be in my budget, only in my dreams.
For my money, a mid-range pair of binos like the Minox BL 10x44 is tough to beat. Couple all of these great features with the Minox Lifetime Total Coverage Warranty, and you have a quality setup that will not only last, but leave some money for that taxidermy bill.
I recently caught up with a couple of the guys from MINOX at the CLA Game Fair 2011 that was held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. We spoke a little about their range of binoculars, especially the ones that are ideal for taking on safari like the excellent Minox BL 8×33 Binoculars and their compact BD 7×28 IF binoculars. After a short while I noticed a small green box on their stand and enquired about what it was and what it did:
They told me that it was their new trail or game camera. Which for the benefit of those who don’t know is a camera that you leave at a location to take photos or video of what ever passes by that activates the motion sensor on the camera.
Apart from the fact that they are both German brands that produce high-end optics, Minox binoculars are in many ways very similar to Steiner's in that they pride themselves on producing tough, functional binoculars using the highest quality optics, yet are also priced in such a way as to make them really good value for money.
With this in mind, I recently had the opportunity to review their very good looking mid-sized BL 8x33 binoculars, that from first appearances look like ideal binoculars to take with you on safari, camping, birding walks on a hike or pretty much anywhere.
The riflescope I tested featured Schott glass. Schott is well known as one of the premium suppliers of top-grade optical glass. Lenses are multicoated with up to 21 different layers of MINOX M coatings. Multicoating significantly improves brightness, color rendering, contrast and light transmission.
I like the European-style fast-focus eyepiece, which is cushioned with rubber to prevent "shooter's eyebrow."
As with the binoculars, Minox has decided not to do anything cute; in addition to a choice of models you have a choice of three reticles, and that’s about it. They are all of normal size, weight, and configuration, but there are two things about the line that sets it apart.
First, unless you’re already living in a refrigerator carton, they are affordable. The MSRPs are in the medium range, but the real-world prices put them down in low medium.
Second, the optics are sensational. I don’t mean good for the money, I mean sensational. My scope is clearly better than a comparable American scope of slightly higher price, and about equal to an imported scope that costs nearly three times as much.