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GUNS Magazine October 2010 - Page 14
Minox offers great binos and now great scopes. here’s a new player in the field of premium binoculars: the T Minox APO HG 8x43 made at Wetzlar, Germany. As with topend binoculars from prestigious European makers such as Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss the concept of the APO series is to use the most up-to-date technology, make the best possible product and charge whatever it costs. A good binocular is one of the good things in life, because it is so useful, used so much and, given reasonable care, lasts so long. It is worth stretching the budget for a binocular, more so than for even a rifle and scope. Generally in big-game hunting you can expect to spend a couple of hours a day, sometimes much more, using the binocular. The rifle and scope may get used for a few seconds on the entire hunt—admittedly a few critical seconds in which they have to work, but reliability doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Moreover, once the hunt is over and the rifle has been cleaned and stored away, the binocular can still get a lot of use for spectator sports, camping, hiking, fishing, and watching birds and wildlife. At home, Simone and I always have a couple binoculars handy by the door and at the kitchen window for identifying birds at the feeders or wildlife in the yard (usually deer nibbling at the trees). The Minox APO HG 8x43 gives full-size performance and mid-size weight. For hunting I prefer “midsize” binoculars such as my old 8x30 Swarovski SLC, or the 8x32 Zeiss FL I borrowed for an African hunt. Another favorite is the Minox HG 8x33, a very sharp, compact glass, which was (and is) a great value. I like this size mainly for their weight (in the 20- to 25-ounce range). They are heavy enough to hold steady while glassing, and light enough to stick inside the shirt while crawling or slithering on a stalk. For me at least, binoculars are like rifles in that “medium weight” works best. Too heavy is a nuisance, too light is hard to hold steady. In between is just right. Bigger objective lenses of 40mm and more do provide advantages over smaller objectives. Field of view is often wider, edge resolution and low14 GREAT GLASS theMinoxaPOHg8x43isapremium-grade binocularbuilttocombinethebrightness andfieldofviewofafull-sizebinocularwith thelighterweightofamid-size.Builton amagnesiumframeforstrengthandlight weight,theaPOseriesusesthebestoptical glassavailable,21layermulticoating, retractableeyecupsandfast,closefocusing. light performance better. A larger diameter objective means a larger central “sweet spot” where image quality is highest. The top-line binoculars do offer other advantages. They use specially selected optical glass, highly developed lens coatings, tough exterior lens coatings. The purpose is to provide more accurate color transmission, better resolution in low-light conditions, greater resistance to dust, water and lens scratches. Top-end binos use costly construction methods and materials, tough exterior lens coatings to resist scratches, and are better protected against moisture and shock. The Minox APO, built on a tough, light magnesium chassis, combine the advantages of full-size 43mm objectives lenses and the weight—22.9 ounces—of a midsize. Other features are ones you’d expect of a premium binocular: phase coating, Schott ED fluoride glass, aspheric lens technology for better edge resolution, 21-layer M* multicoating, hard external coatings to repel dust and WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2010