Sunday, November 10, 2013

Product Review: MINOX BL 10x44 Binoculars

Hunting the West forces you to become best friends with your optics out of necessity. Covering ground in a short amount of time is imperative.  One of the best ways to do this is with the use of high quality optics. As a Southern California hunter who has to cover much ground in search of wild game, I have become one with MINOX Sport Optics. As part of the MINOX Adventure Team, my MINOX BL 10x44 binoculars are an essential tool to locating animals and if I ever left home without them, I'd make the drive back to pick them up. I have been using them for all of 2013 and they are without a doubt one the best tools I am using and will continue to use.

The BL 10x44 binoculars are extremely lightweight and very easy to carry and hold while glassing, but don’t let that fool you. These binoculars are top notch in the form of quality. I carry them while scouting, hunting, and even hiking with the family. I do like having them on a tripod when I am glassing an area for a long period of time, but honestly, these are light enough where I can comfortably rest my elbows on my knees and glass for hours.

The powerful light-gathering optical systems feature multi-coated lens elements that guarantee the best optical performance and neutral color rendition of the object in view. Thanks to the roof prisms with a phase-correction coating, the user is offered an image with exceptionally high detail rendition and high contrast, also in low light situations.

Low light visibility is one of the best features of the BL 10x44 binoculars. On a recent deer hunt in SoCal, my hunting buddy and I were set up long before sunrise. I began glassing an hour before sunrise and he asked me if I could actually see anything. Not only could I see, but I didn’t have to squint or refocus. I viewed a valley over a half mile away with ease. It is one of my favorite features of the MINOX 10x44 BLs. I was able to spot a doe, bedded across a canyon from us before the sun rose and my confidence in these binoculars grew even more.

Eye fatigue is something I hear so many of my fellow hunters talk about and share with me. They ask me how I avoid it and I simply say, 'I don't get eye fatigue because I use MINOX optics.' That's the honest truth. I glass the foothills and mountainsides for hours every time I hunt and my eyes always feel good. No headaches, no fatigue, and a crisp, clear view of everything I am looking at.

I also look for smooth diopter adjustment in a binocular. These have it! I am able to adjust the diopter and refocus quickly, smoothly and it stays in place. I have used other binos where the diopter adjustment would rotate on its own. The adjustment is very smooth, even when it gets gritty from use in SoCal, which leads me to my next point.

I am very hard on my gear and the conditions out here are rough on it, too. It’s dry, sandy, and hot. It is inevitable that my gear will get dusty and dirty. My MINOX binos have seen their share of dirt this year. I don’t just clean them with an optics cloth though. First, I blow out as much of the debris with an air hose at a low PSI, and then I use an optics cloth. While most of the dirt comes out, I have noticed that some dirt has made a home around the diopter adjustment. There is a slight grinding sound when I focus. Not a huge issue, but it is there.

MINOX also offers one of the best warranties in the business, too. You can read it below.

MINOX offers all customers a specialized Total Coverage Warranty. After a simple registration, customers can benefit from an extended protection against all manufacturing and functional defects - from the day of registration, the MINOX Total Coverage Warranty will be valid for 30 years.

The MINOX BL 10x44s retail for $499.00 and for quality optics and a warranty like they offer, this is a great price for optics. Plus, you will use these for more than just hunting and the investment is worth it in my opinion. Even now I can’t stop thinking about hitting the forest with my MINOX binoculars in hopes of locating that elusive mule deer buck!

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  1. Eye fatigue was a real problem on my last trip out west...thanks for a great review Al, I'm going to have to check out those Minox Binos.I didn't realize what a difference quality glass would make.

    1. I feel your pain, Aaron. When I came to California, I owned a pair of Simmons binos. Foggy and nearly impossible to spot game. After going through a few different pairs of binoculars, I have finally found some that work great all the time.

  2. MINOX's latest addition to its birding optics range is light, easy to use and certainly impressed Mike Alibone when he field tested the model. There are a lot of binoculars which feel instantly easy when you raise them to your eyes for the maiden time, and for me, the MINOX BL 10x44 is one of those models.