Binoculars review

Minox HG 8x33 BR asph.

Minox HG 8x33 BR asph.
9 March 2011
The top-of-the-range quality and price HG series of the German company Minox has been recently enlarged by low-dispersion glass models and received an APO-HG symbol. Still you can find the whole line-up of HG binoculars without such a glass in objective lenses on offer and it consists of models with the following parameters: 8x33, 8x43, 10x43, 8.5x52, 10x52 and 8x56

The binoculars feature roof prisms set in the Schmidt-Pechan system, made of BaK-4 glass and phase correction coated. On the reflective surface there is a hardened-silver layer; on other air-to-glass surfaces we have very efficient 21-layer anti-reflection M* coatings.

The casing of this series binoculars is made of magnesium alloys, armoured with high quality rubber, waterproof and Argon-filled. The buyer gets a case, a neoprene strap and joined caps for eyepieces included in box.

It’s worth remembering that our test concerns the older HG model, produced in Japan. The HG (MIG) series, currently on the shelves, was launched just recently; its production has been moved to Germany and the fields of view have been enlarged by even 15%.

  • Lornetka Minox HG 8x33 BR asph.
  • Lornetka Minox HG 8x33 BR asph.
  • Lornetka Minox HG 8x33 BR asph.
  • Lornetka Minox HG 8x33 BR asph.
Manufacturer data


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Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
8 33 130.9(7.5o) BaK4/roof 15 mm 605 g 2499 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   33.07+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  33.05+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 7.95+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 90.8+/- 1.5% 18/25.0
Chromatic aberration A bit lower than medium in the centre, a bit higher than medium at the edge. 5.3/10.0
Astigmatism Slight. 7.4/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius: 41% +/- 4% 4/10.0
Coma Quite significant at the edge. 5/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 74% +/- 4% from the field of view centre. 4/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Slight. 4.4/5.0
Whiteness of the image Quite flat transmission curve. Very nice and white image. 4.5/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Minox HG 8x33 BR asph. - Internal reflections - Left Minox HG 8x33 BR asph. - Internal reflections - Right
Quite nice. You can hardly have serious reservations here.
Housing Solid but handy. The rubber doesn’t stick out on the casing. Plastic eyecups with 4 regulation stops. A bit slippery armouring. Some grease on the bridge. The rubber gets dirty easily. 7/8.0
Focusing Central wheel is comfortable and it works correctly (full turn of 350 degrees). There’s a distance scale painted on the wheel – very ingenious solution! Individual focusing on the right eyepiece needs shifting the ring. It moves the lens and its work is rather stiff. 4.4/5.0
Tripod There’s a comfortable exit. In our 8x32 binoculars test we granted all the instruments the average mark of 1.5 points as in the case of the equipment of this class a tripod exit is rarely used. 1.5/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 58.9 to 74.5mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.25 m 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 61.0 deg (according to simple formula) and 56.1 deg (according to tangent formula). 11.5/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 7.67 +/- 0.03 degrees and it was a bit wider than in the specifications. 6/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Inner tubes are dark but they shine a lot. Grey bottom. Inside some isolated specks of dust. 3.6/5.0
Left: Right:
Minox HG 8x33 BR asph. - Vignetting - Left Minox HG 8x33 BR asph. - Vignetting - Right
Pupils distinctly egg-shaped.
OL: 3.5%, OR: 4.4%
Prisms quality Good quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Yellow-orange on the objectives. Greenish on the prisms. Green-purple on the eyepieces. Medium intensity. 4.5/5.0
Warranty [years] 30 5/6.0
Final result
134.7 / 190 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.


  • Solid and handy casing,
  • Good transmission,
  • Very good colour fidelity,
  • Slight astigmatism,
  • Low brightness loss at the edge of the field of view,
  • Exit pupils on a dark background,
  • Good quality of prisms and coatings,
  • Image sharp already from1.25 metres,
  • Very ingenuous idea with the distance scale painted on the focusing wheel,
  • Long guarantee period.

  • Distinctly truncated exit pupils,
  • Too high distortion,
  • The field of view is not too big for this class and not very sharp at the edge at the same time,
  • Coma and chromatic aberration at the edge of the field could have been lower,
  • Shiny surface inside the inner tubes.

Let’s start with the praise and present the transmission graph because in this category the Minox really has something to show off.

For a roof-prism Schmidt-Pechan instrument it fares very well – we have no reasons to complain. The maximum transmission level reaches 93% and in the middle of the range – 91%; the graph is flat in the wide range of the spectrum and this in turn causes very good colours rendition. The coatings used by the Minox company pass their test with flying colours.

The problem is that the Minox 8x33 HG has had decidedly too many average results and slip-ups for a top-of- the-range series of a German producer and a set of binoculars which costs 600 Euro. When it comes to the slip-ups you can list here truncated exit pupils, significant distortion and the quality of the image at the edge, which still leaves a lot to be desired (and the field of view is not especially huge after all). Inner tubes, which inside is very shiny, are a bit peculiar for this class of equipment. Perhaps nobody told the worker, who had been sent to buy black paint, that it should be matt, not glossy…

To sum up – please, don’t misunderstand me here. The Minox HG 8x33 BR Asph certainly is not a bad set of binoculars. If you got it as a gift you would be very pleased for sure. The final score of 125 points is a good result and it places the tested device in a very favourable light. The main Minox’s problem is the price. For as much as 600 Euro you should expect a bit better performance because the results similar to those of the Minox have been achieved in our tests by much cheaper binoculars. Not to look for examples very far we can mention here the test of the Vixen New Forest HR 8x32 WP, published by us not so long ago.

It’s quite possible the same conclusions have been drawn by the producer – they have finished the manufacturing of HG models in Japan not so long ago and moved it to Germany. The new HG (MIG) models are supposed to be a lot better optically and they will feature a wider field of view – in the case of the 8x33 device by as much as 8.1 degrees. I hope we will be able to check how these new Minox binoculars fare in our tests.