It’s hard to know what to call this monocular. You’ll see it called the Minox Minoscope, the Minox Macroscope, and the Minox mini-telescope.
Whatever you decide to call it, I think you’ll be pleased with what it can do for you.
For the purposes of this review, I’ll usually call it either the Minox Minoscope or the Minox MS 8×25.
If you already know enough about the Minox Minoscope and just want to check the availability and pricing at Amazon, you can click the link below.
What’s So Special about the Minox Minoscope?
Let’s see first what Minox has to say about it.
“The extremely close-focus distance of only 35 cm (14 in.) and 8x magnification make the MINOX MS 8×25 the perfect pocket sized telescope for use at concerts or for observing insects and flowers at close range. With a field of view at over 110 m (120 yds.), it is the perfect tool for observing distant objects and can even be used as a visual aid for the sight impaired.”
Notice that even the manufacturer sometimes just calls this unit the “MS” – which could stand for Minoscope or Macroscope – or a small “telescope”.
What Minox describes here is pretty much the definition of a macroscope that you may see elsewhere. A macroscope is a special type of monocular that lets you zoom in on targets both far away and nearby. It’s essentially a telescope and a magnifying glass in one tube.
This is a Porro prism device. Normally, such items are not sealed and purged to make them waterproof, etc. Minox somehow found a way to accomplish this.
They sealed the tube and then purged it (replaced the gas inside) with argon. Argon is supposed to be better that nitrogen for this purpose because it is an inert gas. It shouldn’t react with any of the pieces around it.
So what you get in the Minox MS is a completely waterproof (to a depth of 5 meters), fogproof, and dustproof monocular.
What Are the Specifications of the Minox MS 8×25?
As you can see in the name, the Minoscope magnifies objects 8 times (8x) their normal size. It shows you your target through a 25 millimeter objective lens which lets in a surprising amount of light for a rather clear and clean view.
Much if this has to do with what Minox has done with the glass in the lenses and the prisms as described below.
The glass in this MS 8×25 has what Minox calls M* lens coating. Presumably the “M” stands for “Minox”, making this a proprietary type of lens coating. It’s probably very similar to coatings that other manufacturers put on their lenses to make brighter images.
The field of view (FOV) of the MS is a decent 342 yards at the standard 1000 yards, so you should normally be able spot your distant targets easily. This spec won’t matter much when you use the monocular like a hand lens for close objects.
With an exit pupil of 3.1 millimeters and and eye relief of 12 millimeters, you might have a little trouble using this with eyeglasses on. That said, you might be able to use it just fine even if you don’t normally try to look at things without your glasses on.
And that said, the MS 8×25 does have a turnable eyecup which may work even with your glasses on.
The Minox Minoscope weighs just over 5 ounces (150 grams), so it won’t cause any muscle fatigue even with extended use.
You do get a neck strap and a carrying case, so you don’t always have to keep it in hand on a hike. It also has a socket that lets you mount it on a tripod should you ever find that necessary. At 8x magnification, holding it steady might sometimes be a problem, but its light weight could help in this regard.
You can get the Minox scope is all black or in silver, which is actually a combination of silver and black.
What’s the Verdict on the Minox Minoscope 8×25?
I really like the fact that you can use this for close objects as well as distant ones. It’s a little like having a very portable spotting scope.
Most other owners agree and like the Minox very much.
This owner agrees too but finds this one fault.
“It is 5 stars in all ways except for the cheap bag which is too small for complete protection and/or lack of lens caps. Minox hit the ball out of the park and then neglected to walk the bases. I can imagine the bean counters wringing their hands with glee as they anticipate the extra 50 cents they will make on each sale by going with too small of a bag and no caps.”
Another user has similar concerns.
“When you buy this, just accept that you are paying for the monoscope and assume the padded carry bag it comes with is useless, which it basically is. It is too small to easily get the monoscope in and out, and the cinch cord on top leaves a small hole exposing the eyepiece to dust, dirt and rain.”
So, as long as you aren’t expecting much from the case, you should be extremely satisfied with your Minox MS 8×25.
If you think there’s a better monocular for your purposes out there, check this article to see if you can find it.