Minox Minoscope MS 8x25
A monocular is usually a relatively low magnification optic, designed
for use in the daytime. It differs from a telescope in that it is intended
to be hand-held. Macroscopes are a subset of monoculars that have close-range
capability, allowing it to double for a hand lens or magnifying glass
in the field. As such, the Minox MS 8x25 Minoscope is fairly typical of
this genre, though it has a lot of properties that render it atypical
in some very appealing ways.
The Minox Macroscope is incredibly
compact, just 4 inches long with the eyecup fully extended, by 2 inches
tall and 1.75 inches wide – this is truly a pocket telescope! The device
weighs 150 g, or about 5.4 oz., so it’s not going to rip out your pocket
either. The device is covered in black rubber armoring with black anodized
aluminum accents (the black and silver version is no longer available from
Minox) and sits comfortably in the palm of one hand, to allow focusing
with the other hand. Which brings up a small but important point about
this device: as tiny as it is, this is still a two-handed optic, unless
you have availed yourself of the tripod mounting hole on the bottom of
the ocular tube. This hole will fit the standard screw-mount for most
tripods and monopods. While we’re on the subject of focusing, focus
on the Minoscope is adjusted with the knurled aluminum ring on the end
of the objective lens. The focus goes from minimum close focus to infinity
in just 0.75 turns of this ring, which is a very steep mechanism. In a
binocular, this would be almost a problem since it would be an unforgiving
mechanism, but in a monocular, where speed of focus is at a premium in
the field on anything that is mobile, it’s actually a plus. The Minox
literature lists the minimum close focus capability of the Minoscope at
30 cm (~12 inches) and we found this to be accurate. Moreover, the image
is very sharp indeed. With this device, you can get closer to a butterfly
than it’s likely to let you get!
The unique aspect of the focus
mechanism is worth some attention. The Minox Minoscope is actually a porro
prism device, yet it is fully sealed and purged with argon (supposedly
better than nitrogen-purging because it is chemically inert), so it is
completely waterproof, dust proof and internally fog proof. You can even
submerge the Minoscope to a depth of 5 meters without it losing its seal.
Normal porro prism devices cannot be sealed in this way because they would
leak around their conventional focus mechanism, but Minox found a way
|Mag x Obj
||Field of view
||342 ft/1000 yds
||2.0" x 1.75"
The device has 8x magnification,
and a 25-mm objective lens. We were frankly surprised by how bright the
image is for an objective lens of such modest dimension. In part, this
is because Minox has used very high-grade materials for the lenses and
prism elements, excellent multi-coatings (they used the same M*coating
found on their premiere line of HG binoculars), and in part because porro
prisms have some intrinsic advantages over roof prisms in terms of light
transmission. In any case, this is a very bright little optic.
In other properties, the Minoscope
has a 342-foot field of view at 1000 yards, which actually competes favorably
with most binoculars of 32-mm or smaller objective lens size. The device
has 12 mm of eye relief, which is a bit short for most eyeglass wearers.
Accordingly, the twist-up eyecup does not come out too far, but it is
adequate to the amount of eye relief inherent in the monocular.
The Minoscope has a few features
and peripherals that are worth noting. The optic comes in a small, brushed-leather,
drawstring pouch that has a metal grommet built in for attaching to a
small aluminum carabiner that Minox provides, which allows it to be carried
from a belt loop. Alternatively, on the ocular end of the device, there’s
a recessed bracket for mounting to the thin cordura neck strap that comes
with it. Additionally, the device is protected by a 5-year manufacturer’s
Due to its small size and light
weight, the Minoscope is very versatile and works well in many activities
that don’t involve nature watching. We’ve used it to good effect at
symphony concerts and sporting events.
All that leaves just one question
we’ve yet to address, which is how much is one of these cute little
babies going to set you back? The Minox Minoscope sells for
At that kind of price, there may be quite a few people who want to drop
one of these in their pocket. We give the Minoscope an enthusiastic thumbs
Buy the Black Minoscope 8x25.