Lightweight spotters have always been a favorite of mine. While I do find value in large objective lenses that can gather more light in twilight conditions, personally, I prefer carrying lighter and smaller spotting scopes, as I find them more fitting to my hunting style. For the past few years I have used, almost exclusively while hunting in the backcountry, a 50mm objective spotting.
I first saw the Minox MD50 at the Western Hunting Expo in Salt Lake City. I was impressed with the size, build, and twist up eyepiece that I hadn’t seen in many other compact scopes. A few weeks later I had one sitting on my front porch and immediately started putting it to work.
I soon found myself carrying the MD50 with me through shed hunting season, summer scouting, and into the next fall. The MD50 is a well thought out and manufactured spotting scope. Especially for its low ($250-$300) price.
The MD50 is surprisingly small. At under 8 inches in length and weighing in right at 24 oz. it will almost fit in your pocket. The previously mentioned twist up eye-piece is not something that is typically featured on compact scopes. This eye-piece is very sturdy and comfortable. The focus ring is located on the body of the scope, rather than the eyepiece. I found it very easy to use, a little stiff at first, but over time it eased up a bit and worked flawlessly. The large diameter of the focus ring makes it easy to focus, and make small focus adjustments.
The MD50 features 16-30x zoom and optically was clear on all magnifications. Optical quality was good, and very good for the price. It features a waterproof body, with Nitrogen filling and coated glass.
I have now used this scope on several hunts and in varied weather and hunting conditions. It’s done more than I expected at a price point that fits almost any hunters’ budget. If you prefer a light-weight spotter, take a close look at the MD50. The MD50 is available in a straight (as pictured) and angled model. It think you’d be hard pressed to find something as optically clear and well put together as this little scope.
Straight model available from Amazon.com: Minox MDS50 16-30x50mm Straight Spotter – $279
Angled model available from Amazon.com: Minox MD50 16-30x50mm Angled Spotter – $259