MINOX Binocs Come Packed with Features

Made for the marine environment, these German binoculars do much more than just bring distant objects into focus.

Minox BN 7x50 DCM binoculars

MINOX

On this year’s summer getaway, I spent some time trying out the new BN 7x50 DCM binoculars from the German company MINOX. The binoculars are built for the marine environment and feature watertight optics (good to 1 meter), filled with nitrogen gas to be non-fogging. Though I didn’t try, they also reportedly will float if dropped in water.

As you’d expect with a pair of high-end binoculars, the optics are crystal clear, and even on a moonless or cloudy night, the ambient light they capture is impressive. Late one evening I was easily able to watch ducks splashing about in the mooring field, several boats away.

A built-in digital compass with LED readouts lets you store up to three sightings, which is helpful if you’re trying to grab bearings quickly when coastal piloting. You can also toggle into a second mode where a horizontal graticule appears. If you’re keen on math, you’d use this to determine the size of a distant object, or its distance away. A tilt reading will allow you to measure distance and height. Spin the control dial farther and you can determine altitude and air pressure, temperature, and there’s even a clock and stopwatch function.

One thing I wished MINOX had done is made the “on-off” switch do both. Once the LED displays were turned on, the only way to get rid of them was to wait a minute for them to shut off automatically. If you’re looking for a buoy and need to find it in a hurry, a clear field of vision is a safety issue.

My needs are simple, so to be honest, in day-to-day use I’m not sure that I’d get much past the compass feature. But for skippers who like toys with their tools, the glasses from MINOX pack a lot into a compact, easy-to-use package. (www.minox.com) $700.