Monday, February 4, 2013

Minox BL 10x42

After my last few waterfowl trips, it became apparently clear that I needed a new field beater glass. I've been using a pair of Steiner Safari 8x22 that I keep in the center console of my Rover or my waterfowl bag.  It is okay but hardly great.  For waterfowl I leave the high end stuff at home as I usually am not wearing the binoculars around my neck but rather it is stuffed in my bag or pocket.  As such they get beat up pretty good from banging around with other gear, being dropped in the muck, and all the other abuses of normal field use.  So I leave the Leica and Zeiss binoculars at home.  So I looked long and hard for a replacement quality beater glass.  When I saw that Sierra Trading Post having Minox binos on their site I started looking into those.  I knew of Minox because of their classic spy cameras, that no self respecting spy would be without, but I didn't know until a few years ago that they made optics.  It was not until I saw them in the Akah catalog did I realize they made binoculars.  With all the coupons STP is sending out, I got mine 35% off with free shipping.  All in all not bad for $259.35 for German made optics. 

The big money spent on high end optics is for low light clarity.  Any binocular will look fine on a bright day but in dim light that's when big money optic earns it's keep.  While the Minox is no Leica, and I wouldn't classify it as high end, it still is a fine optic for it's price range particularly for what I paid for it.  I'm comparing the Minox with the Leica at sunset and while there is no contest, the Minox is not half bad.  It is clearly less bright and definition is not as good but it is acceptable for what I plan on using it for.  Remember I won't be using it for counting points on a big buck with it so it is a fine enough for my waterfowling needs where I drive near a pond or river and glass it  looking for quality ducks before making a stalk.  As long as I can tell if a duck is a quality bird is all I need from these glasses. 

These binos are made from polycarbonate and wrapped with rubber armor and given its power it is compact and lightweight.   Supplied with a neoprene strap, a one piece rear cover and individual front covers, they are comfortable in the hand and around the neck.  The front covers are not ideal as they are attached by a slit that easily pops off the strap.  Rubber eye cups accommodate eye glass wearers.  Waterproof up to 16 feet and because it is filled with nitrogen it is also fog proof which is perfect for duck blind work. These Minox are phase corrected roof prism design and multicoated lens coatings which provide great image quality.

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