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Minox: Japanese HGs vs. German HGs

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2010 at 07:21
Blackmore View Drop Down
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Specifically, HG 8.5 x 43 BR #62155 (discontinued Japan) and HG 8.5 x 43 BR #62189 (current German).  There seems to be a significant price difference as the amount of discontinued inventory dwindles.  The 62189 have a FOV advantage but other than that, are they really more than twice as good?  I'm looking to get my first pair of good bins upgrading from ancient 8x30 Japanese Tascos. I had been leaning toward Zen-Ray EDIIs until I found this. Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2010 at 13:49
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I have only heard rumors that there was a minor optical redesign, but manufacturing in Germany is pretty expensive, I think.  Most of the specs are the same.

I have also seen the deals available.  Pretty tempting.  I think the HG line should compete well with the ZENs, but the ZENs are also an excellent choice.  Both have had pretty friendly reviews from the public and "experts" alike.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2010 at 22:18
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Originally posted by Blackmore Blackmore wrote:

Specifically, HG 8.5 x 43 BR #62155 (discontinued Japan) and HG 8.5 x 43 BR #62189 (current German).  There seems to be a significant price difference as the amount of discontinued inventory dwindles.  The 62189 have a FOV advantage but other than that, are they really more than twice as good?  I'm looking to get my first pair of good bins upgrading from ancient 8x30 Japanese Tascos. I had been leaning toward Zen-Ray EDIIs until I found this. Thanks.


 Spoke to a tech at Minox USA about same ?- as I was looking at maybe  getting the 8x33 HG's from Japan after they came out with the ones from Germany. The Tech person told me-

  "Well, they have a stamp on the new ones that says Made in Germany; other than that, they are about the same to me."

 Not sure the head of the company wants the techs saying that, but that is what was told to me. I would call the techs in service yourself if you want to get the info from straight them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2010 at 13:55
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Seems like I remember a discussion somewhere where it was mentioned that the glass in the German models was going to be an upgrade over the Japan models.  Can't remember where I saw that though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2010 at 15:17
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To clarify:  The glass and FOV has indeed been improved in the HG APO models made in Germany, but I'm not sure what the difference is between the Japanese and German "NON- APO" HGs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2010 at 16:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2010 at 23:21
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I have to admit that all of the specs on the APO HG really do look impressive. The only thing that surprised me when reading the item description is to see that they are still utilizing silver prism coating. I would think they would make the jump to dielectric especially when we are finding it readily on the $200-$400 binoculars now.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2010 at 23:31
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Frank:
I did not see that about the prism coatings, you are right, these should be like most mid to upper level optics and have dielectic prism coatings, especially as they do include ED glass,  but they do come with a wood box, and leather case.
I suppose those options will make up for that,,,
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2010 at 06:26
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Well, I did end up buying the Japanese produced Minox 8.5x43 HGs.  I used them to a limited extent locally but finally had a chance to give them a good workout on a trip to the ocean over Columbus Day.  The FOV was not a problem for me.  The binoculars my hosts had were not of as high a quality though with a wider field of view so any comparison was not objective.  My binoculars were nice and sharp for picking out porpoises and seals on the surface of the water along with seabirds and eagles both floating and in flight.
 
The problem I did notice was in the looking at the sea/sky horizon and at the treeline of an island against the sky. When viewed thru the top +/- 25-30% of the lenses these transition zones/lines had a pink hue.  When viewed thru the bottom +/- 25-30% of the lenses these transition zones/lines had a green hue.  When viewed thru the center of the lenses these transition zones/lines were perfectly clear.
 
Any insights?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2010 at 11:24
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You are likely seeing some chromatic abberation.  Those are the conditions needed for it to be expressed.  That is present in most binoculars to some degree and some people are far more sensitive to seeing it than others.  If you start worrying too much about it, you will see it more and more everytime you use the binocular.  If you can ignore it and go ahead and just use the binocular, just do that.  Some can ignore it and some can't.

Edited by Klamath - October/25/2010 at 11:27
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2010 at 11:29
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Originally posted by Blackmore Blackmore wrote:

The problem I did notice was in the looking at the sea/sky horizon and at the treeline of an island against the sky. When viewed thru the top +/- 25-30% of the lenses these transition zones/lines had a pink hue.  When viewed thru the bottom +/- 25-30% of the lenses these transition zones/lines had a green hue.  When viewed thru the center of the lenses these transition zones/lines were perfectly clear.
 
Any insights?
That's where the extra money comes into play, for the new APO fluoride ED-glass; it eleminates the irritating color fringes.
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - October/25/2010 at 11:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2010 at 13:51
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Here are some photos through the Japaneses Minox HG, Zen-Ray ZRS and ED2. The ED2 is in another league. The ZRS resolution is slightly better than the HG and has a warmer image and larger FOV. The ZRS is much "easier" to use.

Japanese Minox HG


Zen-Ray 2010 ZRS


Japanese Minox HG enlarged on USAF 1951


Zen-Ray 2010 ZRS enlarged on USAF 1951


... and finally the Zen-Ray ED2 which is in another league again above the ZRS and Japanese Minox HG


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2010 at 15:46
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Figured it was probably CA.  I'm sure I can block it out.  My usual viewing doesn't generally include long horizons.  Thanks to all for the replies.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2010 at 20:48
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Blackmore,
 
If you don't mind porro instead of roof you spend about half the money for the same quality of glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2010 at 23:18
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Originally posted by Rich Coyle Rich Coyle wrote:

Blackmore,
 
If you don't mind porro instead of roof you spend about half the money for the same quality of glass.
Rich,
 
Thanks for the reminder.  I purchased the 10x44 Porro a few months ago and it is excellent glass.
 
Minox discontinued the Porro prism BD 8x44 BP as well as the BD 10x44 BP, so, even though it is still available on the internet, many individuals are unaware of its existence.


Edited by Bird Watcher - November/03/2010 at 23:19
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2010 at 20:10
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Bird Wacher,
 
A few months ago I  compared the BD8X44 side by side with my Nikon 7-15X35 binocs.  I love those 7-15X but the BD8X44 were definately better.  But they were heavy so I ended up purchasing some Vortex Raptor 6.5X35 to reduce ten ounces.  Very nice glass for about $125.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2010 at 22:36
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Originally posted by Rich Coyle Rich Coyle wrote:

Bird Wacher,
 
the BD8X44 were definately better.  But they were heavy
Heavy?
Both the Minox 8x & 10x Porro prism binoculars are only 24.3 ozs.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2010 at 18:30
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Bird Watcher,
 
They are heavier than the 6.5X32 Raptors by several ounces.  I am getting old and weak.  A few ounces is a big deal to me.Sad
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2010 at 21:29
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I understand. I'm getting old as well. 

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