If you’ve been looking at binoculars of various sizes for some time, you’re used to seeing numbers like 8×42, 10×42, 10×25, 12×56, and so on. You’re probably not used to seeing 8×26, 7.5×44, or 10×33. But if you’re interested in Minox binoculars, prepare yourself now to see more of those unusual sizes than the common ones you’ve seen elsewhere.
By my count, there are 18 different models of Minox binoculars available in 2023. These 18 sets come in 14 sizes, meaning that just 3 of them are used more than once from one line to another. Here is a summary of the sizes of Minox binoculars.
- 8×44 (2 models)
- 8×56 (3 models)
- 10×44 (2 models)
Why Minox has chosen this route, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just to stand out from the crowd.
You’ll find these model sizes across 4 lines of Minox binoculars. I don’t know why most, but not all, of the lines start with “X”.
- X-lite (7 models)
- X-Active (7 models)
- Rapid (1 model)
- X-HD (3 models)
Let’s take a look at them in that order, which is basically cheapest to most expensive. (Minox also offers an X-Range rangefinder pair of binoculars which I will not cover here.)
Minox X-lite Binoculars
Minox X-lite binoculars are generally at the bottom end of the Minox lines, but that doesn’t mean they’re cheaply made. In fact, the MSRP of this line runs from about $250 to almost $600. At that price point and even though they’re called “lite”, there’s got to be some quality baked in here somewhere.
X-lite binoculars come in 8×26, 10×26, 8×34, 10×34, 8×42, 10×42, and 8×56 sizes. This is the only Minox line that has both common sizes with 42mm objective lenses.
Field of View and exit pupil vary from model to model. (Minox only reports measurements in metric units, so I’m not going to give the FOV numbers here. Sorry, you’ll have to look them up elsewhere if you really, really need to know.) Close focus is 3 meters for all but the 10×26, which for some strange reason is 4m. Eye relief figures are not available.
All Minox binoculars, not just this line, have phase coated prisms, are IPX7 waterproof, and have nitrogen purged tubes. What most sets the X-lite line apart from the others is that the lenses apparently are not coated. At least, they don’t have the proprietary M multi-coating that all the other models do. Minox does not specify how or if this coating differs from traditional multi-coating.
Minox X-Active Binoculars – A Step Up
Next up are the binos in the X-Active line. The sizes here are 8×25, 10×25, 8×33, 10×33, 8×44, 10×44, and the large and pricey 8×56.
All of these models do have M multi-coatings. Close focus is 2.5m for all except the 8×56 which is 3.5m. Again, all have phase coated prisms and are waterproof as described earlier. MSRP ranges from $360 to $545…and then over $1000 for the big gun, the 8×56.
Minox Rapid Binoculars
“Rapid” is a bit of a strange name for a pair of binoculars. And it’s not even “X-Rapid”. There is only one set in this line, the oddly-sized 7.5×44. I don’t know if Minox intends to add more to the line in the future.
Feature-wise, there’s nothing to distinguish the Rapid from the X-Active. The magnification and objective lens size probably have something to do with the cost, which approaches $900. I would hope that the overall quality of materials and workmanship increases here too, otherwise, there’s little justification for the high price.
The Minox site (if I read it correctly) says the the close focus of this set is 20m. I hope that’s a typo and it’s really 2.0m instead.
Minox X-HD Binoculars – ED Glass
What shoots the X-HD line to the top in features and price (over $1200 MSRP for each) is the addition of ED glass. And, as I suggested for the Rapid, hopefully other materials and craftsmanship get a bump up too.
Based on the HD in the name, I’m guessing some high density glass is involved somewhere here too. I couldn’t find any reference to it at the Minox site though.
Where to Find Minox Binoculars
Sadly, these Minox binoculars are not currently available on Amazon in the US. They’re not even sold here via Ebay.
If you do click the Ebay button below, you will see some listings for Minox models, but note that they will likely ship either from Australia or Slovenia, which is where they’re made. So be prepared to pay a little more than usual for shipping.
If none of these suit you, check out the Bushnell lines instead.