August 18, 2011
Scope Review: More Miracles from Minox
By David E. Petzal
Oh well, back to guns. As Pogo said, politics is the kiss of death for swampland critters.
Some time ago I reported on Minox’s binoculars, and stated that, dollar for dollar, they were the best I knew of. (Or if I didn’t, I should have.) The optics were wonderful and the glasses themselves were simple, straightforward, and direct. They would not double as an astrolabe or tell you where there was an open parking space, but they would show you where the game was.
Now, I’m pleased to report, the company is offering a line of 9 scopes, designated as the ZA3 and ZA5 models, depending on power, that range from a 1.5X-8X shotgun/dangerous game scope to a monster 6X-30X with a 56mm objective. I have been using a ZA5 2X-10X (Yes, a great many of these scopes offer 5X magnification) for a number of weeks now and have not been so impressed since Redfield came back from the dead.
As with the binoculars, Minox has decided not to do anything cute; in addition to a choice of models you have a choice of three reticles, and that’s about it. They are all of normal size, weight, and configuration, but there are two things about the line that sets it apart.
First, unless you’re already living in a refrigerator carton, they are affordable. The MSRPs are in the medium range, but the real-world prices put them down in low medium. My ZA5 can be had for $479, but judging by its overall quality, it’s a legitimate $700-$800 scope.
Second, the optics are sensational. I don’t mean good for the money, I mean sensational. My scope is clearly better than a comparable American scope of slightly higher price, and about equal to an imported scope that costs nearly three times as much. Tom McIntyre just selected the 1.5X-8X ZA3 for a Best of the Best Award, if you’d like independent confirmation.
Go compare for yourself. Also, apologies for writing about something affordable. Better brace yourselves—there’s going to be more.