The Minox MD50 is one of my go-to spotting scopes. Lightweight spotters have always been one of my favorite companions out in the field. I do think that it is useful to have large lenses that can gather more light during those critical twilight hours, but my personal preference is towards lighter and smaller spotting scopes. They’re more fitting to my hunting style, I love that they’re generally much more agile. The Minox certainly fits into this profile. I’ve used 50mm objective spotting almost exclusively for a few years now, mostly while hunting in the backcountry.
The first time I saw the Minox was at a friend’s house. The size impressed me immediately, and when I held it I was even more impressed by the build. The twist-up eyepiece was really nice, since I haven’t seen that feature in many other compact scopes. Not long after my visit, I had one of my own waiting for me on the porch. I started putting it to work right away.
It wasn’t long before I was carring the Minox with me all through shed hunting season, and then summer scouting, and then right on in to the next fall season. The Minox is really well made, and the designers put some good thinking into it. I can’t say I ever thought about switching it out for one of my older spotters. This is surprising, considering its low price.
The size of the Minox is what caught my attention at first, because it is surprisingly small, even for a lightweight spotter. It’s just under 8 inches in length, and doesn’t sit too heavy in the hand with a nice 24 oz. weight. It’s almost small enough to fit in my pockets. I mentioned the twist-up eye piece before because it’s not something that you usually see on compact scopes at all. I’m glad they made it work. The eye-piece is plenty sturdy, and is very comfortable. The focusing ring is set on the body of the Minox, which is different from the usual configuration which places it on the eyepiece. The scope is very easy to use. At first it starts out a little stiff, but over time it loosens up a bit. After that brief break-in period it has worked flawlessly every day. The focus ring has a large diameter, which makes it easy to focus. I really like it because it makes those small focus adjustments easier than you would expect on a small scope like this.
Now on to the optical quality, the real deal-maker (or breaker) for a scope. The Minox has a 16-30x zoom, and I’m pleased to say that it is clear on every magnification. Optical quality overall is good, and when you consider the price this scope comes at, optical quality is very good. The waterproof body works together with a nitrogen filling and coated glass to keep the optics clear at all times, which has really been appreciated on some of my hunts.
This scope has been with me for a while now. I’ve used it on several hunts and in all kinds of adverse weather and hunting conditions. The scope has performed better than I could ask of a scope at that price, and it will fit in with the budget of almost any hunter. If you’re like me and you prefer light-weight spotters, then you should definitely consider the Minox MD50. Take a close look at it even, I recommend going in to a store or to a show to see it in person. It’s hard to impress just how small it manages to be. There are two models for your preference, one is straight and the other is angled. It’s hard to find a lightweight spotter that is this well-made and as optically clear as the Minox at such a low price. I definitely recommend you pick one up.