26 Jan Rēkon Review – Minox ZP5 5-25x56mm
As many more Scope manufacturers are listening to their customer base the optics world continues to become more diverse. From a low end cheap consumer product to a very high end military or competition precision we continue to see innovation from across the globe. This has created a user experience never before seen in the optics realm off the firearms world. Many of the European companies, in particular, draw a good deal of criticism from myself and others for being completely unaware of (or are unwilling to provide) the features demanded by the market in their optics. This degree of connection with the intended customer, at this level in the market, is both unusual and quite effective when it comes to providing compelling products. I feel the Minox ZP5 line as a child of a better industry connection and the rapidly improving customer relations coming from European optic OEMs. The Gun Vault out of South Jordan Utah was very excited to show me the new Minox line of products and particularly the ZP5 5-25x56mm first focal plane model. Now that I have spent some time with it, I am not surprised.
The Minox comes in an ample double wide textured cardboard box with a very nice cut out foam lining for protection. In with the scope are: caps, a lens cloth, an adjustment wrench tool, battery, and manual.
The basic specs of the scope are as follows (from the manufacturer’s website):
● 5x magnification for maximum flexibility and precision
● Finely dimmable illuminated reticle at the 1st focal plane – 11 illumination settings
● 28 mrad double turn (DT) elevation with zero stop and visible indicator during the second turn
● Parallax compensation from 50 m (55 yds.) to infinity
● Reticle variations: Mildot, MR5, MR2
As you can see this scope comes feature packed with the same qualities as one would expect from a premium, high end, tactical scope. While I was slightly surprised that I hadn’t heard much about this scope previously to using this scope (more on this later) I was happy to see that someone had been communicating to Minox what the high end market was wanting in a scope in a reasonable price point for the feature set.
The guys at Minox were very confident I was going to be pleased with this scope’s optical performance. This model in particular they were very proud of and they were quite eager to have me put it up against anything at all I cared to. At the time I tested it against the Minox ZP5 5-25×56, I had quite a variety of optics on hand to compare side by side with it. These optics were the: Vortex Razor Gen ii 4.5-27, Schmidt and Bender PMii 5-25 in Gen2XR reticle, Nightforce SHV, Burris XTR II 5-25×50, Kahles 5-25, and a Tangent Theta 5-25. This suite of test optics varied widely in price and included both scopes aimed at the tactical market and those designed to appeal to hunters.
As I spent time behind all of these optics, some of the cheaper priced scopes mentioned less than the others, I began to quickly realize that the glass clarity was going to be outstanding. As I understand it the glass is sourced from Schott just as most of the high end scope manufacturers source from Schott. The full story however is told not just in sheer clarity but in the coating as well as the optical design.
The first notable aspect of the Minox, optically, is the eyebox. The Minox had substantially a larger eyebox of most of the scopes in the lineup. This larger eyebox combined with minimal curvature of field rendered most head positions sufficient to observe the entire field of view in focus at the same time. Not being able to observe the entire field of view is a problem I have noted with a few other scopes in the past, though it is by no means a common issue with many above the 2k price range. As the user moves his head around in the eyebox, he can note different parts of the image coming into and loosing focus. It should also be noted that the Minox is on the medium side for field of view, being greater than the SHV, the burris and equal to the Gen ii in this set of comparisons. FOV is an important consideration for curvature of field since, larger FOV makes limiting curvature more difficult but is well worth the trade. This eyebox / curvature of field issue will be noted by the user even in the absence of comparison scopes. This is not the case for many other optical properties, such as resolution or contrast. It renders use of the scope an uncomfortable and straining experience that tires the user.
In my optical and mechanical testing I found the Minox ZP5 it to perform excellently. Tracking tests proved to have less than .05% mil deviation along a 15 mil tracking test. To compare we found the both the S&B and Vortex to score between .04-.08% deviation.
The Minox has a 15 mil per revolution specification. This is a nice feature as the shooter will most likely not have to do more than one revolution to dial their scope as a 6.5 creedmoor will take you out past 1500 yards at my elevation. The user will experience something interesting however as the get to the second revolution. As the internals push over to show the second “turn” indicator it requires more force than most might like to get into the second rev. The Minox rep explained to me that many tactical/military wanted much more feedback to feel as they entered the second revolution. The rep also explained that it would be a simple fix for users to send their scopes in to decrease the amount of required push. My hope is the y start to ship scopes to the civilian market making this slight change in tactile feedback.
While I compared many different scopes I believe the comparison came down closest between the Vortex with the Minox. In many ways, parsing the optical performance of the Minox ZP5 and the Vortex Razor HDII 4.5-27×56 is splitting hairs. Both were quite exceptional and I doubt very much anyone will be unsatisfied with the optical performance of either. Some of what I do however as a competitive shooter though is split hairs, and since we can probably see individual hairs though either of these two scopes, we had best start – keeping in mind the difficulty of this as the slightest changes in lighting as cloud thickness changed, or whatnot, were enough to constantly make me change and reverse opinions about who had better resolution (Minox), contrast (Vortex), or color rendition (Vortex). A more certain judgment is that the eyebox on the Vortex was slightly better and that its edges were slightly clearer. The Vortex as well as the Schmidt suffered more image loss as adjustments were moved near max adjustment range and farther from optical center.
It was apparent to me why the Minox guys had been so excited about this
MSRP is set at $2999 with a street price around $2500.