I was thinking about getting a new pair of binoculars for a while. I have an old pair of Zeiss 8×56 that has sentimental value for me. They belonged to my wife’s grandfather that probably received them as a gift from a grateful foreign hunter after a successful stalk. When I had them serviced couple of years ago I found out they were nearly 40 years old. To be honest I have had a couple of problems with them as after Zeiss serviced them they misted up, so had to be sent back. It was done free off charge, but it took a while… 🙄
I also have a pair of Minox 8.5×42 that lives in a gloves compartment of my car and they are great glass, although I prefer 8×56 for low light work. I have had Minox for 7-8 years now and never had any problems with them.
8×56 – best low light choice
This is not popular choice in the UK, but I favorite 8×56 glass. It really makes sense if you shoot in low light. Many people talk about low light shooting and then they show 8×42 or 10×42 binoculars… 🙄 Even medium range 8×56 is much better in low light than top range 42mm objective £2000 glass. I think the main reason 8×56 binos are not popular here is that there is no real night shooting in the UK, and even if there is, it is mainly fox/rabbit lamping. In Poland we can shoot foxes and wild boar at night, but cant use lamps. This is when you really need good binoculars and riflescopes, but even more important is experience. Wild boar shooting at night and identification is something that is not easy when you cant use lamp or night vision.
Minox 8×56 BL
I managed to get my hands on new Minox 8×56 BL. These are German made binoculars that really are good quality. They come in a standard Minox box and nice neoprene bag. Nice wide neoprene strap and rainguard for ocular end and two rubber caps for objective end. I really like the idea of these two rubber caps and in the weather we had for the last couple of months they proved to be invaluable.
I only been out a handful of times with them, but really like the Minox glass. It is great in low light and I could easily watch deer well after 1hr after sunset legal limit. I am looking forward to taking them with me wild boar stalking in Poland, but due to other commitments it may have to wait a few more months.
I also have a new Minox ZE5i riflescope I am using and it is top end product as well, will write a short review soon as well.