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Old Wednesday 8th April 2015, 12:08   #1
oetzi
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I recieved a Minox BL 8x33 HD

Minox sent me their BL 8x33 HD to have a look at. Since Minox does present the BL-binos as "made in germany",I thought it could be useful to begin this thread by explaining what they mean with "made in germany".

This is what Minox claims on their german website.
http://www.payworxx.de/minox/product...L-8x33-HD.html
"Die neuen BL-Ferngläser werden im Stammwerk in Wetzlar/Deutschland von Hand montiert und einer strengen Qualitätskontrolle unterzogen."

And the UK-Version
http://www.payworxx.de/minox/product...L-8x33-HD.html
"The new BL HD binoculars are manufactured by hand and subjected to rigorous quality control inspections before leaving the main factory in Wetzlar, Germany."

Well, "made in germany" may mean all or nothing, we all know that. Ditto "manufactured by hand". So I asked and they told me this (here in my own words):

The Bl 8x33 HD was developed, from scrach, by Minox. It is
not a design bought from an OEM, Minox puts an emphasis on
this fact.

The parts for this bino are manufactured, according to given
specifications, for Minox from companies in Germany, the EU
and worldwide.

Assembly of the binoculars takes place at the Minox plant in
Wetzlar, Germany. After an in-house quality control, the
binoculars are then shipped to the dealer.

Not too bad for a bino at € 509,- (RRP), sold in german shops for around € 448,-.
What about the optical and mechanical properties?
Well, you have to wait a bit for this.
A small morsel: right now I am very pleased with the Minox Bl 8x33 HD.
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Old Wednesday 8th April 2015, 13:13   #2
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Thank you for the informations.

And how does it perform?
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Old Tuesday 14th April 2015, 02:29   #3
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oetzi, please, do tell...
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Old Wednesday 24th June 2015, 20:43   #4
oetzi
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My review in german language
http://www.outdoor-professionell.de/...ox-bl-8x33-hd/
The english versiom will follow soon
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Old Saturday 27th June 2015, 02:39   #5
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It's a nice looking binocular. Off to find a web page translator
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Old Saturday 27th June 2015, 13:10   #6
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Ok, here is the english version of my review.



At first, again the definiton of "made in germany", as made by Minox:
The Bl 8x33 HD was developed, from scrach, by Minox. It is
not a design bought from an OEM, Minox puts an emphasis on
this fact.

The parts for this bino are manufactured, according to given
specifications, for Minox from companies in Germany, the EU
and worldwide.

Assembly of the binoculars takes place at the Minox plant in
Wetzlar, Germany. After an in-house quality control, the
binoculars are then shipped to the dealer.

Sounds good to me and I apreciate the effort, not to have this bino made in china.


Mechanically, the BL 8x33 Hd is sound.
The focussing wheel turns smooth and without any slack in both directions. Also. there is no difference in the effort to turn it, no matter what direction. Focussing speed is fast and precise, exactly how it should be. The wheel´s diameter is 33mm, the ridges look at big too widely separated, but actually work fine.

Dioptre adjustment is done via a concentric wheel around the right eyepiece. It feels solid, minute adjustments are easily done and during the whole period there was no dioptre shift to be found.

Eyerelief is 17.5mm, no problem for me, but since I do not ear glasses with the bino I cant comment on this subject. Four settings: fully collapsed, fully extended. two more right between. I used them fully extended, they never unintentionally collapsed, neither in use or in transport (they fit in the supplied bag with fully extended eyepieces).

The armour was grippy and felt good and reasuring even with sweaty hands. Not too smooth, a bit velvety, easy to clean. Esthetically I liked the combinatuion of matte black and a dark gun-metal grey very much.

Optically, the Minox delivered a lot for the money. I compared it, as usual, to "Sancho", my trusty Nikon EII 8x30.

Colours are neutral with a slight warmish tone. The Minox is definitely more on the neutral side than my EII. but definitley not cold.

CA are visible throughout, a bit less than in the EII. They didnt disturb me, but I noticed them.

This Minox is very low on glare. Better than all my other roofs (Kowa Genesis 8x33, Swaro 8x32 EL). Especially veiling-glare is noticeable absent. I had to get very close to the setting sun to induce it.

The usual curvature-of-field is there, nothing new. Sweet spot is about 80%, outside this I couldnt get a sharp image. So if you need it flat and sharp to the edge, forget about this Minox. I got along with these characteristics quite fine.

The view is bright and contrasty, sharpness very good on-axxis and slightly detoriating towards the outer areas of the sweet spot.

So far, the Minox delivered a lot for the asking price of € 509,-, even more for the € 449,- its currently on sale for over here.

Still, there was something giving me trouble. The combination of contrast and sharpness on those dull, overcast days, when you crave for as much contrast as possible. So I choosed a subject on the limits of visibility to evaluate:
-A small branch, about 13cm, with some spiderwebs left on it, about 8m away.
-Against a white background.
-With a very low-contrast light.
The Minox had graet difficulties separating the white spiderwebs from the equally white background. When the sun shone occasionally through the clouds, they were identifiable, otherwise not.
Nikon EII and Swaro 8x32 accomplished this to a higher degree. The Swaro being overall sharper and having a better micro-contrast, the EII adding its Porro 3D-effect.

This may not being an entirely fair comparison, giving the price- and quality brackets of the EII and the Swaro. But it shows, what you do not get with a much cheaper middleclass binocular. BTW, the easiest and cheapest solution to dramatically increase the visibility of these spiderwebs was to move the head/bins a couple of centimeter til the background was no longer white. So much for the need of an alpha, at least in these special circumstances.

The Minox Bl 8x33 HD is most definitley a more than capable binocular, giving you a lot of bang-for-buck. Quality "made in germany" at an affordable price is still possible, it seems.
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Old Saturday 14th November 2015, 19:15   #7
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER
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Hi

That's interesting as i had a similar problem with the 8x42 version, in poor light sharpness and contrast was noticably reduced, in fact to be honest i didn't find the binoculars to be as bright as expected considering the inclusion of HD glass.

Overall i would say that there are better optics at this price point. I was largely disappointed by this binocular, and retuned it.

Steve
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Old Sunday 27th December 2015, 20:02   #8
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I agree. Not very bright and a bit yellow. Disappointing. Made in Germany my foot!
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