Monday, August 19, 2013

Minox MD 50 - Gear Review

Minox MD 50
Minox MD 50 watching the sunrise
 Well hunting season is upon us for some of the lucky ones while other parts of the country are still counting down the days/hours until opening day comes when they can finally be themselves again.  With hunting season, a lot of us either go through our old gear and make sure it is working well while others get their new gear out and make sure it works as good as it's supposed to.  For me I have been lucky enough to score a few new items this year that I feel pretty fortunate about and want to let you know what I think about them.  The gear I will tell you about today is the Minox MD 50 spotting scope. 
Minox MD 50
If some of you haven't heard of Minox Optics yet I encourage you to check them out.  Minox is a Premier German Optics company who has been producing quality products for over 75 years.  Minox is working their way into America building a very reputable name for their products by providing not only a quality products but also a reliable one with a Total Coverage Warranty.  I doubt you would ever have to use the warranty but it is comforting that it is there... Now to the MD 50!

Just to give you a few specifications on the MD 50 I will provide the description on their website:
Technical data MINOX MD 50
Magnification 15 - 30x
Front lens diameter 1.97 in. / 50 mm
Exit pupil 0.13 in.- 0.07 in. / 3.33 - 1.67 mm
Field of view  147 - 100 ft. at 1.000 yds. / 49 - 33 m at 1.000 m / 2.8° - 1.9°
Close distance 16.4 ft. / 5.0 m
Eye relief 0.59 - 0.43 in. / 15 - 11 mm
Twilight factor 27.4 - 38.7
Operating temperature 14° to 104° F / -14° to 40° C
Waterproof down to 16.4 ft. / 5 m
Height, width, depth 8.38 x 2.48 x 4.84 in. / 213 x 63 x 123 mm
Weight approx. 23.3 oz. / 660 g

When looking at a picture of the MD 50 you can tell that it is a smaller spotting scope than what most of us may be used to.  What impressed me the most besides the size was how light it was!  This spotter is just over 8 inches long and weighs less than a pound and a half! This is perfect for throwing in my hunting pack and not having to sacrifice half my pack as well as 6 pounds just for a spotting scope!  This is true especially if you are a hunter who does a lot of backpacking or if you do a lot of spot and stalk type of hunts.  In those certain situations, this spotter is ideal!
Minox MD 50
How small the MD 50 is compared to my old Badlands Pack
I took the MD 50 out on a few different occasions to test it out and see what I thought.  The first trip I took it on was out coyote hunting. On this hunt I didn't have much except my coyote calls, my rifle, and the spotting scope.  I placed the spotter on a tripod and packed it around in my hand rather than taking it in a pack.  On the trip I would go from spot to spot stopping at high points and glassing for coyotes coming into my calls.  What I liked about the MD 50 on this trip was the fact that it was simple, light, and just enough power to make it worth it.  I could have had my binoculars or used my rifle scope to glass for coyotes moving through the sage brush but it was a lot more comfortable sitting and looking through a spotting scope.  The spotter was light enough that I never got tired of carrying it and it wasn't annoyingly big to be carrying around in the sage brush.  Even though the trip was unsuccessful for coyotes I enjoyed trying the MD 50 out in a situation where I had to carry it around by hand. 
Minox MD 50
Glassing for coyotes
The second trip I took it on was out spot and stalk hunting antelope with my brother and dad.  This trip was a lot more labor extensive than my simple coyote hunt.  For anyone who hasn't spot and stalked antelope, it involves a lot of spotting not only for the antelope but also to find a way to make a successful stalk.  With this type of hunting I was wondering how a spotting scope this small would perform when looking through it for hours and hours on a single day.  Starting off in the morning my brother and I both sat up on a high spot glassing the area for antelope.  Once again I sat up the scope on my tripod and glassed back and fourth for quite some time.  After not seeing any antelope we went to a second location where we quickly found a herd of antelope.  While sitting on top of the a shady hill I set my spotter up on my tripod and made myself comfortable.  We decided that I would stay on top of the high point, watch my nephew that we brought with us and let my brother and dad put a stalk on the goats. 
Glassing for antelope Minox MD 50
Glassing for goats
Doe Antelope
A doe bedded in the grass

 The MD 50 comes in two styles, you can either get the straight angled or the MD 50 W which has an angled eye piece.  I myself have the straight angle and like the fact that I can look straight outward instead of putting my head down to look through the eye piece.  I literally spend a good 2.5-3 hours looking through this scope watching my dad and brother sneak in on a heard of 16 antelope.  As the my dad and brother got closer and closer, the antelope made their way toward my dad who was presented with a shot but unfortunately missed.  After belly crawling for half a mile in 95 degree weather without water I'm not sure why he wasn't able to make the shot but I won't criticize him :) I was able to watch the entire stalk nice and clear from 1500+ yards away.  Below is a picture of how far away the antelope were from the spot I was set up. 
Minox MD 50 Spotted Antelope
The antelope were bedded down on the back side of this grassy spot... over 1500 yards away!
The spotting scope was a great tool for this hunt and I love it more and more every time I use it!  The Minox MD 50 runs between $260 and $300 which is a great price considering the quality of product you get! I could try to explain how clear and simple the Minox MD 50 is to use and operate but the only words that come to my mind and clear and simple.  The view on this spotter is extremely clear and provides an amazing view on whatever you are looking at.  It gathers enough light in the early morning situations that you can tell what you are looking at.  The clarity of all the Minox products I have placed my hands on has absolutely amazed me!  This spotting scope is defiantly one that I will have in my pack all season long no matter where or what I am hunting. I was even considering packing it in place of my binoculars but couldn't figure out how to attach it to my binocular straps for easy access!  The MD 50 is extremely light and compact where you don't have to sacrifice space or weight in order to pack it on your hunting or scouting trips as well as making it simple and easy to use in the field.  I would highly recommend this spotting scope as well as any products that Minox makes.  I love the Minox products and hope that you all check them out and let them know I sent you their way!

As with all reviews on Idaho Pursuit, the following review is my honest opinion. I am not a pro-staff member of, sponsored by, or associated with Minox Optics and am not accepting any  compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

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